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Larry Seltzer
Larry Seltzer
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Google Apps To Microsoft Office 365: 10 Lessons

Switching from Google Apps to Microsoft Office 365, you will find good and bad surprises. But overall, Microsoft's Web apps make the migration worthwhile.
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Any administrator preparing for a significant system migration knows this: You need to plan for things to go wrong, because they usually do. I planned to start my migration on a Friday night, as a business might, to concentrate downtime in less-critical periods. Almost immediately I ran into two roadblocks that were my fault alone.

The first: the domain I was migrating was configured in a complicated way, registered at one registrar but with the authoritative DNS at a different one. Furthermore, the domain was locked at the registrar. I ended up having to make changes at both registrars, but unlocking the domain required filling out a form and faxing it and photo ID to the registrar. Worse, because it was a Friday night there was a good chance nobody would see it till Monday morning. (This process may seem absurdly primitive and cumbersome, but it's part of an effort to protect domains from theft and abuse and I appreciate the need to impede speed, lest domain thieves do their dirty deed.) Fortunately, there were things I could do while waiting.

Once the domain was unlocked, I ran into problem number two, which was that the email address I was going to use for the administrator of my Office 365 domain was the same as one I had been using for many years as a Windows/Live/Passport ID. Microsoft's systems were so confused by this that it took a good 24 hours working with a support escalation engineer to get it fixed.

The final barrier was migrating the data itself, also explained earlier.

If I had the resources and the time I might have been able to do more of the work in advance of changing the actual domain structure, but it doesn't change the overall lesson: You need to know what to expect when you actually start throwing switches in a migration. I should have planned it out better in advance and investigated each stage of the process.


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User Rank: Apprentice
1/25/2015 | 12:32:52 PM
migration software
Great article.

This would be wise to talk about migration software in SAAS mode like Cloudiway migration or others.
User Rank: Apprentice
5/17/2013 | 5:10:12 AM
re: Google Apps To Microsoft Office 365: 10 Lessons
Hi Larry,
Great article and thanks for sharing your experience. I too ran into the same problem that you did early on in my learning of how to migrate users to Office 365. Namely the issue where your email address is in use as both a Windows account and as an Office365 email address. Before setting up my own Office365 subscription, I had my custom Domain hosted at a major ISP. My email address had been in use for years and I intended to keep using it once I migrated my custom Domain to Office365. I also happened to have had a Microsoft account that was setup using this same email address. This presented the problem you highlighted because Office365 setup using my custom Domain created a new O365 account with that same email address as well. The Office 365 account is completely different from the Microsoft account and will cause confusion to many users who are unaware of this distinction and its impact on working with the two Microsoft signons for their online services.
Microsoft needs to somehow address this issue because I'll bet it comes up often.
Other than that, I am glad you like Office 365. It has turned out to be one of the best products that Microsoft has created and it is only getting better.
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