Between Microsoft’s decision to no longer support older versions of the Microsoft Exchange and the archaic qualities of legacy messaging systems, your company may be eyeing an email migration.
But how do you ensure your company’s cloud email migration proceeds without a hitch? Plus, you need to ensure all data is securely transferred to your new email client.
We’ve got you covered when it comes to making this important transition. Read on for your complete guide to switching email servers without major headaches.
Email Migration Considerations
An email migration involves careful planning. First, you probably have infrastructure that needs to migrate over.
Second, you have on-site servers that require migration, too, and if your timing’s off, the consequences could prove dire. As in file corruption and loss of user email records.
Third, you need to make this as painless and stress-free for your employees as possible. That’s no small order.
Do Your Research
Before your cloud migration ever begins, you need to choose the best cloud-based email service for your company’s unique needs. As you speak with vendors, don’t just take their word for it when it comes to the best product for you. Ask around and be ready to do some digging to find customer reviews and insights.
Spend time surfing the Internet, too. Check out support forums and internet communities to get all of the latest gossips on different services. You don’t need to rush into cloud email, but you do need to make a sound choice based on solid information and user insights.
On the subject of researching the best email package for your company, keep in mind the old (but true) adage that you get what you pay for. Be wary of too-good-to-be-true pricing and overcharges.
Then, Dig Even Deeper
Consider what the cloud can do to serve your company’s current email problems better. Will it augment your security features? Perhaps providing antispam and antivirus software?
Will it help to prevent data leak? Does it offer functionalities such as messaging gateway?
You also need to dig deep when it comes to exploring the sophisticated infrastructure necessary to facilitate business-class email services. How will your new cloud system hold up to heavy infrastructure processes such as searching, archiving, long-term retention, and data indexing?
Only once you’ve considered all of these factors are you in the position to make an informed decision. This process will take time and tireless investigation. Don’t let vendors looking to reach their customer quotas push you into a commitment your company’s not ready to make.
Record Daily Operations and Needs
Before any migration processes launch, make sure that you’re keeping excellent records of your company’s daily operations. You should also make a list of the applications and services most crucial to those day-to-day operations, ranking them by importance.
After you’ve listed these business-critical activities, make a list of the employees involved with each of these operations. You’ll find it useful to chart your company’s production flow and producers in a flowchart.
That way, you gain a better picture of the essential operations and individuals in your business. Once you’ve done this, you can plan your migration around business-critical processes to cause the least amount of disruption possible.
You also need to manually check and take notes about how your data flow functions. A variety of tools exist to help with this data discovery process, but none of them prove as thorough as doing this manually. Establish where your mail records and domain are hosted, too, so that you have the knowledge you need for successful cloud migration.
Migrate in Waves
All great migrations happen in waves, from the wildebeests of the Serengeti to the Monarch butterflies of North America. Why not take some advice from nature and use the same tactic for your email transition?
Look back over the flowcharts and lists you made in the last section, and you’ll quickly see that migrating over specific segments of your company one at a time makes the most sense. It’ll allow your company to avoid significant downtime and, you, lots of unnecessary stress.
Migrating in waves also allows you to avoid problems down the road. When you take the time to organize a sensible file structure, it’ll make for a more seamless migration. What’s more, it comes with benefits down the road including tagging files for easier discovery later.
Plan, Prepare, & Test
As you may be starting to see, rushing an email migration proves nothing but a bad idea. Instead, hire a reputable IT company to act as your cloud migration team. Then, provide them with plenty of time for planning and preparation.
If you don’t meticulously figure out the process ahead of time, your migration’s bound to get painful. As a part of the process, a good IT team will build flexibility into their migration efforts so that they can test various steps in the plan before going live.
Yes, this might seem like overkill. But extra prep work and testing will save you from disastrous consequences down the road. It’ll help your team find and repair flaws in your plan before the actual migration begins.
Now that you’ve carefully prepared for this stage of the game, you should feel confident about the cloud migration. When you schedule your data move, make sure your email migration service team pinpoints a window of time with a little extra flexibility in case complications arise.
There will be downtime at your company. Make no doubt about it. But because you’ve planned and done your research, the overall impact on your office should prove minimal, especially if you’ve got a great migration team at the helm.
It’s easy to get so caught up in the technical side of things that you overlook other critical considerations related to dealing with email migrations. Your email supervision policies have to comply with various levels and types of confidentially.
For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) relates to data handling and confidentiality for the healthcare industry. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does the same for educational institutions. Know going in that data archiving involves multiple retention policies for different types of email-encryption regulations.
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At Pegasus Technologies, our handpicked team of IT experts will work with you to ensure your technology runs smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company’s email migration happen painlessly and efficiently.