How we successfully migrated data to Microsoft 365 during mergers and acquisitions 

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Migrating data to Microsoft 365 during mergers and acquisitions is no easy task, especially as businesses usually require a quick turnaround with as little disruption as possible. 

This is particularly important because Microsoft 365 is the backbone of most modern workplaces, and it is essential to ensure that all employees have access to the data they need to do their jobs. 

Mergers and acquisitions are becoming more common in today’s business world, and migrating data, as a result, requires plenty of hurdles to be navigated to make an effective, efficient and seamless transition. 

However, with plenty of preparation and planning, this can be achieved with as little fuss as possible. Indeed, our technical implementation team have been busy assisting customers who have recently completed acquisitions. 

This blog aims to offer a guide on how to complete a successful data migration, drawing on our recent experiences with several of our customers, and how we created a bespoke solution for one of our clients. 

When is the right time to migrate data? 

Businesses usually consider migrating data when they need to upgrade their IT infrastructure, consolidate systems, or improve data security. 

Migrating data can also help a company streamline their IT infrastructure, reduce costs and improve data security. By consolidating systems, a company can reduce the number of servers they need, which can save on costs related to maintenance and energy consumption. 

Migrating to the cloud can also help a company reduce costs by eliminating the need for on-premises hardware and software. 

Data security is another important consideration when it comes to data migration. By migrating data to more secure storage locations, a company can reduce the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks. Additionally, migrating data to the cloud can provide better data security, as cloud providers typically have more robust security measures in place than on-premises systems. 

A few key points to think about before migrating your data

Migrating data to Microsoft 365 is a complex process that requires careful planning. You need to consider the following: 

  • Which data needs to be migrated 
  • How the data will be migrated 
  • Who will be responsible for the migration 
  • The timeline for the migration 

A success story – how our bespoke solution helped migrate data to Microsoft 365 for a customer 

We were recently tasked with moving all users and data on to the systems of the parent company who had completed an acquisition. 

Historically, this would have involved the migration of exchange mailboxes, file shares and, potentially, domain trusts and so forth but, during recent years, more companies are utilising Microsoft 365. 

That means this type of project now involves AzureAD, Exchange Online, SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams, all of which come with their own considerations, complications and require careful planning and execution. 

In a recent example, we created a bespoke solution to successfully complete a tenant-to-tenant migration of 40 staff, which also included the deployment of new laptops. The customer operates from Monday to Friday, from 9am-5pm, so it was imperative to avoid any downtime. 

What did we do first? 

We migrated Microsoft 365 services, including AzureAD accounts (with existing identifiers), Exchange Online mailboxes, shared mailboxes, and a large selection of Microsoft 365 groups. 

It also included moving the domain name to the parent company’s tenant to ensure the users could receive email from their existing email addresses, along with the new email address from the parent company’s domain name. 

How did we tackle Teams? 

The migration of Microsoft Teams is, in itself, a huge undertaking when you consider all the cogs that are involved. 

We moved channels, groups, files, group chats and private chats to the parent tenant. User membership and chat history were also included, which allowed users to continue with conversations and collaborate on projects with very little inconvenience. 

Transferring data without hindering the customer 

Company data was migrated from a legacy third party solution to SharePoint sites and libraries. 

There was a slight learning curve for the users, as the method of accessing data was different from what they had used previously. However, we pre-empted this, and user documentation was created to assist with the process. 

User data was moved to OneDrive for Business, and our team also made sure that we exported niceties, such as Google Chrome bookmarks, to further reduce the inconvenience for the users.   

The data across the various services were seeded during the early stages of the project to ensure the majority of data was in place, and only incremental syncs were required on the weekend before going live. 

Ensuring security during the migration 

We utilised Microsoft Autopilot as part of the deployment, along with Microsoft Endpoint Manager for the configuration of applications and assignment of policies to ensure a good level of security hardening was in place. 

We then logged on to the new laptops as the users, and finalised the preparation of third party applications and synchronised Outlook and OneDrive. This allowed us to download the seeded data, meaning when the users received the laptops, they would just need to download the last weeks’ worth of email rather than their entire mailbox. This dramatically decreased delays on the big day. 

Once the laptops were ready, they were boxed up and delivered to the offices and homes of the remote workers. On the following Monday morning, they logged into the new laptops and were able to continue with their workload just how they left it on Friday. 

In conclusion 

Migrating data to Microsoft 365 during mergers and acquisitions is a critical process that requires careful planning and execution. 

By following the best practices, as outlined in this blog post from our experiences working with our customers, you can ensure a smooth migration process that minimises disruption to your business operations. 

How EBS can help with your data migration 

We have a track record of helping businesses migrate their data to Microsoft 365 during mergers and acquisitions, as we have demonstrated above. 

With more than 40 years’ experience as a business solutions provider, we specialise in software solutions, cloud services, IT hardware, network infrastructure, managed services and support. 

If your business is about to embark on a merger or acquisition, or you require data to be transferred to Microsoft 365 with minimal fuss, please contact us now. 

We’re here to support you every step of the way, and our friendly team are here waiting to help and assist you. 

We’d love to hear from you, so please email us at info@ebs.tech, give us a call on 0121 384 2513, or click the ‘Contact Us’ button below and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.