Office 365: Important Things to Know Before Migrating to Microsoft's Popular Cloud-Based Subscription Service

Take a peek into some of the top features of Microsoft's SaaS Office 365

migrating to Microsoft Office 365

Over the years, Microsoft has taken several bold steps to improve one of its most popular and best-selling products: Office 365. The latest Office 365 releases differ immensely from earlier versions released by the tech giant. However, you don’t need to stress out about the changes as they’ve been made with user benefit in mind.

Here are a few important things to know about about migrating to Office 365 before taking the plunge.

Office 365 is Cloud-based

Microsoft hosts Office 365—a SaaS (software as a service) program—on a public cloud platform. For business technology managers, the main concerns about public cloud revolve around security and availability.

However, there is little need to fret in this regard. Microsoft is a major Fortune 500 company with a reputation to protect, so you can guarantee the company’s engineers work around-the-clock to ensure that users don’t experience any trouble accessing the platform or suffer security breaches.

Office 365 also has many robust built-in security features aimed at increasing productivity and improving collaboration while helping organizations safeguard their data and stay compliant with industry and regional requirements. The platform uses Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to manage users and to provide authentication, identity management, and access control. In addition, Office 365 is designed on the principles of the Security Development Lifecycle, a mandatory Microsoft process that embeds security requirements into every phase of development.

Because they are cloud-based, SaaS offerings like Office 365 have many benefits. One of the biggest advantages is the low price of using the service. Users pay a monthly subscription and receive standard features which will allow them to work with external third-party partners easily.

Another benefit of Office 365 is that employees can accomplish tasks from remotely.

Choosing Your Office 365 Package

There’s no doubt that running on-premises office suites on your premises is costly. On top of hardware and software costs, you must spend valuable time and money on regular maintenance, upgrades, employee training, etc. These costs add up over time.

With the cloud-based Office 365, less of these costs apply and the solution is more scalable. Users only pay the low monthly subscription cost based on what their organization needs.

Microsoft has several different Office 365 main package categories available, ranging from basic small business to global enterprise-level. Choosing which one is best for your organization depends on your size, needs, and goals:

  1. Office 365 Small Business - maximum of 25 users for $5.10/user each month

  2. Office 365 Small Business Premium - maximum of 25 users for $13.25/user each month

  3. Office 365 Midsize Business - maximum of 300 users for $15.40/user each month; package includes desktop versions of the Office applications

  4. Office 365 Enterprise - three different subscription packages available at costs ranging from $8.20 to $25.50/user each month.

Migrating Existing Content to the Office 365 Cloud

Your business probably already uses an office suite like Microsoft Office tools, so it’s unlikely that you’ll want to build content from scratch when you switch over to Office 365. This means that you’ll have to move your old content and data over to your new platform.

Depending on the complexity of your organization, the process of migrating business data may not be easy. For instance, some objects or templates you use now may not be supported in Office 365 so you may have to stop using them and figure out how to convert them to accepted files.

For this process, it’s advisable to contact an expert who can help you plan the move, choose the most appropriate tool and secure your documents during the entire process.

Office 365 Data Backup Options

It’s important to have a backup for your data. Fortunately, Microsoft offers some standard backup and restoration services via Office 365. Several other out-of-the-box solutions are also available.

To ensure the security of your data, we recommend setting up a backup outside of Office 365 as well. Another cloud environment not associated with Microsoft is ideal. You can even backup the data in physical servers located on your premises.

Analyze the unique needs of your company to decide if you want to rely on the backup options provided by Microsoft or consider a third-party.

Contact a Gold Certified Microsoft Office 365 Migration Consultant

Are you considering migrating your organization to Office 365? Our Microsoft Gold Certified experts can evaluate your business, determine if migration is the best move and, if so, facilitate a smooth and seamless migration with minimal disruption to your daily operations.

Contact Innovative Architects if you require assistance migrating or applying custom solutions to your Office 365 platform.