If your goal is to perform a migration from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps, it is important to plan thoroughly. People generally resist change – even when new features are likely to (eventually) make life easier and increase productivity.
A smooth migration is essential for winning adoption and heading off what could be ongoing headaches for your IT staff. Here are a few tips to help you prepare properly.
1 Be sure to think about what really needs to move. Do your users really need all of there old mail? You may end up dealing with this on a case-by-case basis. Luckily, there are client-side migration tools that would allow you to let users pick and choose folders to move, for example. If your users have a healthy amount of data, you’ll want to be sure to set proper expectation on migration time.
When migrating calendar information over, remember to consider both events and resources.
2 Consider how you will go about migrating information from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps. Google provides several tools for you to make moving data easier. Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange is a server-side tool that allows administrators to centrally manage the process. If you will rely upon users to participate, then either Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Outlook or Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook will automate the movement of information. Here are a few considerations:
- Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange takes care of mail messages, personal contacts, and calendar events. This tool should be installed on a system other than your Microsoft Exchange server
- Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Outlook allows the user to selectively migrate mail, personal contacts, and calendar data. The information can originate from their Microsoft Outlook profiles or .pst files. Moreover, the user can specify a date range to limit what is migrated.
- Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook is the right choice for users that must continue to use Microsoft Outlook for one reason or another. This tool allows the user to migrate information initially, then works to maintain synchronization between Outlook and Google Apps on an ongoing basis.
3 Be sensitive to who will be migrating. VIPs like executives and their administrators may have a greater need to maintain communication archives, so they are likely to request that all messages be moved to Google Apps. General office users and traveling/field personnel are likely to have different needs and communication habits. Again, the availability of both server-side and client-side migration tools will allow you to adapt your migration plan to these different types of users.
A Microsoft Exchange Migration to Google Apps can go be a piece of cake with proper planning and leverage of the right tools. Feel free to use the comments section below if you have questions.
We’ve moved thousands of users to Google Apps. If you’d like to talk about your migration plan, just contact us via our website or call (866) 552-4101.