Owen Pridden

Owen Pridden

Senior Technical Specialist

So, you want to migrate your email to Microsoft 365. That’s fantastic, but how do you plan to do it? There are a lot of options out there, and it isn’t always clear which option is best for you. At Perspicuity, we have expertise and experience in migrating from almost everywhere. From an email migration perspective, the 2 methods we use are Hybrid and Cloud, and both are best fit for different environments, business needs, and organisation sizes.

Hybrid

If you’re currently using your own Exchange Server in-house and have a large number of mailboxes, this is the way to go. Implementing a Hybrid setup allows you to gradually migrate to Microsoft 365 at a pace that suits you. One of the main benefits of a hybrid setup is that free/busy information is shared between cloud and on-prem users, allowing you to migrate with minimal disruption, to the point where many users may not even notice they’ve been migrated. With this, and with shared permissions working between cloud and on-prem users, the integration throughout the migration reduces disruption to a minimum. Migrating a test user is a great way to catch any issues that may arise when migrating actual users, ensuring everything is working before committing to the migration.

For larger organisations especially, a Hybrid migration can save a lot of money compared to a cloud migration as many will charge based on how many mailboxes you need to migrate. The main downside is that this approach is limited to Exchange on-prem servers. Luckily, there’s an alternative.

Cloud

Out of both options, a cloud migration is by far the most flexible. As long as you can access your email online, chances are you can migrate from it, be it Google, other Microsoft 365 tenants, or that old IMAP server you’ve been meaning to get rid of. With an Exchange server, whilst a hybrid can make a lot of sense for a long-term migration, if your plan is to migrate as soon as possible or have a smaller user-base, using a cloud migration tool is a great alternative, with much less pre-configuration needed in many cases.

One of the main complexities that can come from a cloud migration is determining what can actually be migrated, as this can change based on where your email is currently hosted. That’s where we come in, with many years of email migrations from all kinds of environments we know how and what can be migrated. Configuring all the new accounts in Microsoft 365 can be a headache too, making sure you catch all the mailboxes, aliases, and distribution groups to replicate in the cloud. Our tools can take much of this pain away, by scanning your environment to pick up all of this, and then managing the setup of all of the mailboxes and groups for you.

Whichever method best suits you, we’ve worked with many organisations on both Hybrid and Cloud migrations. If you’re unsure whether a migration to Microsoft 365 is right for you, read our article on the types of scenarios we encounter here.

Originally published July 27 2021, Updated September 22, 2021

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