Domino to Office 365 Migration|Success

Domino to Office 365 Migration | Introduction

As lead consultant here at I am lucky to work on many Office 365 migration projects each month.  This allows me to experience how each migration project is run – identifying the good, and the bad.

This blog post aims to highlight some examples from successful email migrations, along with some poorly run ones.

Domino to Office 365 Migration | Strategy

Getting the strategy right is a key aspect of all successful Domino migration and coexistence projects I have worked on.  Please read more about what is involved with an Office 365 migration approach that will succeed – in my blog.  This means involving the lead consultant, the project manager, and the project sponsor (from the business).   There must be clearly stated business requirements, or if lacking, it must be documented that none were provided.   All three of these people must be together from the inception.   This allows a realistic email migration strategy to then be worked out, and importantly, understood by all parties.   These three people must then meet regularly throughout the project and collaborate on any major decisions, and understand the email migration project clearly.

An example would be for a Domino migration to Office 365 for 1,000 mailboxes.   How would this be achieved to minimise disruption to the business ?  Is coexistence required, or can migration cut over take place over a single weekend ? Each of these approaches will be costed very differently.

I have been brought into projects that initially decided they do not need coexistence, but then decide they do want it after all – these sorts of projects often go over budget to a large degree.  Achieving a rapid migration is the key aim – as fast as the business will allow.  It is more cost-efficient to deal with only post-migration issues, not coexistence issues as well.

There are smart ways of testing the migration phase, without having a lengthy pilot period.

Domino to Office 365 Migration | User Communications

Inform the users throughout the project, so they know what is coming.  This allows expectations to be set, allowing them to get used to the idea that there will be disruption.

Domino to Office 365 Migration | Constraints

Identify any constraints as early as possible in the migration, you do not want any surprises once the migration project is underway.

Domino to Office 365 Migration | Outlook Deployment

Often overlooked on a Domino to Office 365 migration project is the deployment of the Outlook client, and how it should interact with the existing Lotus Notes Client.  You do not want annoying pop-ups about choosing the default mail client, and you want to ensure the correct mail client is used for any application sendmail operations.

The deployment of the Outlook client is key to any successful migration project.   It does not matter if the mailbox migration was 100% successful if the Outlook Client is not available for users to run on their desktops !   I recommend alternative methods of communicating with users (eg: Intranet), and an alternative way of accessing their migrated email (eg: webmail url published on the Intranet).

I also recommend a method of measuring success on Day 1 of the migration.  The CEO will want to know how successful the migration is – what do you say ?   Saying, “it is looking quite successful so far.” does not inspire confidence.   You would be better to say, it is 11am and 80% of the staff are actively in Outlook now.   This can be measured by sending an email to all Office 365 mailboxes with a Delivery Receipt, and a Read Receipt.   The email can be a brief Welcome to Outlook message, with a note to not reply.   Then just monitor the Inbox of the mailbox you sent the mail from – and watch those Read Receipts arrive.

Otherwise, you cannot control any issues reported getting overblown out of proportion.

Domino to Office 365 Migration | Conclusion

Moving from Domino to Office 365 is a major change for any business, with many changes to cater for, and many pitfalls to watch out for.   This blog post has given some examples to consider.  However, I recommend using our consulting services to help you achieve a successful Domino to Office 365 migration project.  Contact Us to discuss your project.


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