By Patrick Lonz, President, Compliant Workspace

Alright, so you’ve decided that moving to the cloud is the next logical step for your company, and you’re going to move all your IT systems there. However, there’s one important thing you have to know: you’re going to move everything, I mean the whole shebang. I am talking about moving everyone’s personal data, files stored on any servers you have in-house, scrapping your email system for hosted Microsoft Exchange, then of course you’re going to use Teams for video conferencing. However, you when you do this you want to start with a clean slate.

When I say a“clean slate” I mean you don’t want to move junk over from your old systems to your new Microsoft 365 setup, (it’s called a tenant by the way). And by junk I am saying old useless docs from people’s PCs, also you don’t want to transfer your old Active Directory configuration either, but most importantly don’t buy expensive, complicated “migration tools” from the third-party vendors of the day. In fact, go ahead! Throw the baby out with the bathwater to get a fresh start with our 365 Cloud Migration Service: A unique approach that will get your company on the Microsoft Cloud, simply and inexpensively.

“A clean slate means not moving the junk off your old systems onto your new Microsoft 365 setup. By junk I mean move useless docs from people’s PCs, you also don’t want to migrate your old Active Directory configuration either, but most importantly, don’t buy expensive, complicated “migration tools” from the third-party vendors of the day.”

Lots of Questions When Migrating Your Company to Microsoft 365

Move everything at once?  Break it down into steps? Do it yourself or get help? And who exactly is going to help? Microsoft? Some third-party vendors you Googled?

You want to get your company on Microsoft 365, but you have lots of questions. Like, do you move everything at once? Do you break it down into pieces? Will you do it yourself or get help? And who exactly is going to help? Microsoft? Some third-party vendors you Googled? The company you purchased your 365 subscription from? Are you going to merge your data and emails or start fresh? You may have also begun to question some of the vendors out there since they don’t seem to have solutions aimed at helping small firms migrate to the Microsoft 365 Cloud. I did some research migrating to the cloud and found a company charging $550 PER MONTH for a 10-user license for their full-featured cloud migration tool. I thought that was real confusing , and expensive. While I am thinking – you only need to do the migration once, why do they want to lock you into a monthly subscription?

You’re probably asking yourself:

  • Do you move everything at once to the Cloud?

  • Do you break it down into pieces? Move to OneDrive first or migrate eveyone’s email?

  • And who exactly is going to help? Microsoft? Some third-party vendor you googled?

Get on the Microsoft Cloud in Three Steps With Our 365  Migrate Service

But at this point, you probably have a piecemeal of a plan forming in your mind. You kind of know what you’re going to do. You know you’ll need to move people’s personal files; you’ll use Onedrive for that, you’ll need to setup a shared file system on SharePoint then you’re going to use Teams for video conferencing, and of course you want everyone on Microsoft hosted Exchange for email. However, you still don’t see the big picture, like what’s the logical first step, second, third… At the same time, your IT could be a bit of a mess. I mean, you might have files all over the place like on people’s PCs, maybe you also have cloud storage like Dropbox, you may even be hosting your email on some hick-back country system you’re not too sure about.

However, you know exactly what you want: get everyone working from anywhere with a professional company email. Also, you want centralized storage where employees can collaborate with each other, with suppliers, partners, and customers. Surely the Microsoft 365 Cloud can do this. That’s why we have created our 365 Cloud Migrate – a unique approach that guides small firms to get on Microsoft 365 simply & inexpensively. Our Cloud 365 Cloud migrate gets your firm on the Microsoft cloud in three steps.

Our 365 Cloud Migrate is a unique approach helping firms get on Microsoft 365 simply & inexpensively.

Step One:  Get Your Subscription Setup on Microsoft.

First, we’ll get your business subscription setup on Microsoft. With Compliant Workspace everyone in your company gets 1 TB data storage, 50 GB email on Exchange and Teams, oh and we include our 365 Cloud Protect Plug-In that will automatically backup and retain any data you store on the Microsoft Cloud – free. Best of all, we won’t make you pay for fancy complicated migration tools. Essentially our 365 Cloud Migrate will guide you through the steps to get your company fully moved to the Microsoft Cloud.

Step Two: Move Your Data to OneDrive and SharePoint

After we have your Microsoft 365 subscription is ready to go, you’ll begin to move company data. The simplest thing to do first is users’ personal data off their PCs, good thing is, this is simple so you’ll get everyone to do it themselves, and they can do it anytime. So now, once you have signed up with Compliant Workspace, here’s what each person in your company can do themselves as the first step:

1. They will login to their Microsoft 365 account we have setup for them by going to (we will give everyone a user name and password for this).

2. When they’re in, they’ll go to “App Launcher” and Get OneDrive, download it and install it on their PCs

3. A folder will appear on their PC that’s their OneDrive storage on Microsoft 365, and they will simply drag and drop their folders from their PC to this OneDrive folder. (Do this for any other PC’s they have or if they have files on a personal Cloud service like Dropbox).

Next (if you have a file server) you’re going to move any shared data off it to SharePoint. When you sign up with Compliant Workspace we will have a main company SharePoint site ready for this data that will be shared with everyone in the company. Here is how you move data from your in-house server to Microsoft 365 SharePoint:

1. Go here and download the SharePoint Migration tool:

2. But be sure to install and run the SharePoint Migration tool from the server

3. Connect to your SharePoint, Choose the folders you want to Migrate and run it. The cool thing here is you can do exclusions before you run the SharePoint migration tool so that you’ll exclude garbage from being migrated to your fresh Microsoft 365 tenant. For example, I suggest you create a list of file extension types you DO NOT want to migrate. Also, set the option in the SharePoint tool to move files modified after a specific date. For example, don’t move files that haven’t been modified for 3 yrs.

Step Three: The Seemingly Hardest Task – Migrate to Microsoft Online

Four Steps to Exchange Online:
1.  change MX record to Microsoft 365
2. export email to a PST file
3. add new profile to Outlook
4. import PST file to new profile in Outlook

Alright, we have moved everyone’s personal data off their computers to their individual OneDrive accounts, and you got shared folders off your server onto SharePoint, now let’s tackle the seemingly most complex thing: get peoples email onto your hosted Microsoft 365 Exchange.

I say this is the seemingly most difficult part of your move to Microsoft 365 because if you go ahead and google “how do I move my email to Microsoft 365” you’ll get lots of hits (Google sponsored adds by the way) from third-party vendors selling your their awesome “must-have migration tools” that will automate and take care of the whole move in one fell-swoop. We are going to ignore them. Further down in your search, you’ll see Microsoft selling their tool: the Network Upload Tool you’ll find on one of their portals, we’ll ignore that too.

Finally, and this can be the most difficult part of an email migration to the cloud, when you move email, if you mess up, employees’ emails could stop working if you don’t know what you’re doing, also you might loose everyone’s email.

Nonetheless, our 365 Cloud Migrate takes a cold cut-over approach that’s foolproof, further it doesn’t use expensive third-party “google sponsored” tools, or add-ons, or pay-as-you-go license fees for something you’ll only need once. Here is how we will move you from ANY email system to your hosted Microsoft Exchange accounts we have setup for you. We pick a Friday afternoon, and:

  1. With access to your DNS hosting provider, change your MX mail record to redirect your email from your old email provider to your Microsoft 365
  2. While this is being done, each person exports their email from out to a PST file (dump this file in their personal OneDrive so its available ready to be switched)
  3. Each person goes to their Outlook, removes their old profile adds another one for their Microsoft 365 user
  4. Then they import the PST file they exported in step 2 to import everything from their old email account to their new profile in Outlook

Moving from any email system to Microsoft Hosted Exchange done in four steps:

  • Change MX record from current email host to Microsoft 365 Tenant

  • Have each person export their entire PST file from their Outlook
  • Everyone removes old email profile and adds new one for Microsoft 356

  • Import PST file into new Outlook profile

Our 365 Migration Service is a Unique Method Designed to Get Small Companies on the Cloud

Small firms who have decided they want to move their company to Microsoft 365 need a clean slate, this means they don’t want to move old useless data, nor do they have to transfer their Active Directory configuration to their new Microsoft Tenant, they surely don’t need to purchase complicated migration tools, they need a simple and inexpensive path to get on the cloud.

Our 365 Migration Service is a unique method designed to get small companies on the cloud. We take you through the complete process by creating your Microsoft 365 Subscription ready for all employees with everything needed, we then guide you through the complete move of your data and emails to the cloud.

About Compliant Workspace

Compliant Workspace is a managed Microsoft 365 cloud service provider committed to giving small companies an option to move their firm to the Microsoft 365 Cloud. With our unique Consolidated 365 Service® we include our Pre-Set 365 Security Template, our 365 Cloud Protect and our 365 Cloud Migration Service that gives your firm an office in the Cloud – fully-secured, fully-protected: out-of-the-box.

Contact us today, and get your firm on the Microsoft Cloud