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Why Companies Should Test and Verify Before Migrating to Office 365

By CIOReview | Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Secured and infallible medium of communication is the basis for the exchange of data between departments in an organization.  In the absence of the right tools, companies have to deal with the clutter and heaps of data in form of paper work, bills, and files. It is by grace of constant evolution in information technology, communication in organizations has become very feasible. E-mail served as a predominant business information exchange tool but, to keep pace with the ongoing evolution, companies need to make strategic approach to implement new solutions that can manage myriad of information. Understanding the need, Microsoft nailed the situation by introducing ‘Microsoft Office 365’ for organizations.  However it is often advised for companies to test and thoroughly understand Office 365 before migrating completely.

Migrating to Office 365

Use of POP3 or IMAP protocols for emails can be a bit tricky while migrating to Office 365 as it replaces previous protocols with its own mechanism. Similarly, to use Microsoft Office 365, companies need to chalk-out their migration strategies as they have to transfer every email activity on cloud. Whereas, companies using Outlook just need to create PST files to exchange mail and address books. Migrating to office 365 is quite simple; just follow two plain steps if not an ‘Exchange user’. First, implement SharePoint and SSO/Active Directory to setup Office 365 hosted Exchange environment. Then transfer mailbox, as second step, once the first phase is completed.

Firms often  find it difficult to send emails if they are not using Outlook. Consequently, they experience a common snag of low level compatibility between them and difficulty in mailbox conversion with perplexing features. But these companies recommend preserving Outlook licenses, getting the pilot-test done, and then migrating from Outlook to Office 365 using 2 simple steps.

At the end, companies also need to validate mail settings and the shared resources to start working on live data involving manual intervention to some extent. Therefore, it is wise to transfer a whole group at once to lessen the migration-burden and measure performance by involving regular users. Implementing a new email tool is not an easy job as organizations need to incorporate new features and scrub out what they are accustomed to. But a robust and foolproof planning can boost performance further for better email communication.

Leveraging Security for Data

Organizations can access their secured and omni-present data through Microsoft Office 365 cloud email solution. In fact, it is becoming one of the trusted tools for companies. Microsoft Office 365 facilitates security and exchange of data by including certain encryption methods while sharing data. The software makes sure that exchange credentials, emails, contact details, calendar, and other attachments are securely managed and cached using encryption key. Security features not only secures data for organizations but it also meets user expectations to enhance user satisfaction level.

Medium of connection is placed over ‘Transport Layer Security (TLS)’ ensuring high level encryption key AES-128 encircle original data. The key is used to decrypt the password in the cloud while accessing the data. Furthermore, admins have privilege to block some of the features using ‘Mobile Device Management (MDM)’ products or ‘ActiveSync Device Management’ procedures, and remote accessing devices.

Office 365 encourages the multi-factor ‘Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL)’ based authentication with ‘Mobile Device Management (MDM)’ that prevents users copying data to and from the non-MDM devices. It also secures system without changing user-behavior.

Benefits of Office 365

Office 365’s strong performance attracted 440 customers in 2013 including giants such as Burger King and Campbell and the number seems to be still growing. In second quarter of financial year 2015, Office 365 alone contributed with 88 percent of revenue growth upto $8Bn. The success of office 365 lies behind its simple user interface (UI) as it maintains data even after using with other email tools. The tool is again popular with customers of ‘Skyhigh Network’ where 87.3 percent of customers are able to upload 1.37TB of data each month.

With cloud compatibility, small enterprises can gain more advantages by storing data over cloud to sustain any major disaster. Office 365 also allows organizing meetings, emails, and contacting management for small business. Users can update any contact, reschedule meetings, or make necessary changes in documents through mobile device and same changes reflect on all the devices synchronized with it.

One of the major advantages of Office 365 is its strategic association that allows users to communicate through instant cloud collaboration instead of using faxes, emails, or phone calls. Leading companies in the industry use Office 365 to connect with other organizations serving industries such as manufacturing, energy, finance, and many more.

ABB Embraces Office 365

Online sessions, workshops, and open-line communications were arranged by Microsoft for ABB and its employees. Microsoft was all set to coach ABB employees about Office 365 with its admirable client services. However, it was not easy for the company to transition from existing systems to transfer data to Office 365. The company had a goal to make employees more productive and effective with the new communication tools and achieved it seamlessly. Office 365 was found to be the perfect fit for every need of ABB including to keep employees engaged after evaluating various on-premises and cloud solutions. ABB then geared up for pilot testing before migrating to Office 365 and after gaining knowledge of benefits of using Office 365, the company embraced it as communication medium.

With robust infrastructure provided Office 365, it is evident that it can transform primitive communication methods adopted by organizations as per needs of today’s IT world. It has every possible solution for large companies as well as small and medium enterprises to leverage their communication process through cloud. With its simple but robust features, Office 365 is viewed as the next generation communication tool for enterprises.