Having rightly gauged the revenue-boosting advantages that Office 365 offers, many organizations are on the move to embrace it and select office 365 migration vendor. They are relying on the external partner to do this heavy lifting. Though Microsoft has increased responsibility for partners in their Cloud Solution Provider program to make the migration as seamless as possible, the success of migration is closely tied to the selection of the right office 365 vendor. It alone can emerge as the differentiator between a smooth migration and the one that goes sideways. The brighter point is there is a slew of transformation vendors out there, each with different strengths and specialties.
However, selecting office 365 migration vendor from a myriad of options is not as easy as it elusively sounds. This difficulty basically stems from the fact that technicality is not the domain where many organizations’ specialization dwells. Gartner dig deeper and found out that many organizations –
1.Haven’t worked with external partners on migrations before
2. Don’t know different types of partners and business models
3. Don’t know how to evaluate proposed migration plans
4. Are clueless about a realistic, competitive price for this type of work
5. Go through only one bid
To cut these all-too-common ordeals and guide you in your search, we have zeroed in on some of the factors which should be considered while selecting the office 365 migration vendor.
A) Know about Common Migration Approaches:
There are multitudes of services and approaches that Office 365 migration vendor offers. Few are specialized only in more basic up-front assessment and leave the actual migration for your internal team. On the other hand, there are vendors that offer end-to-end services across all migration phases, from assessment to adoption.
This diversity can put you in difficulty while majoring the impact and cost of various approaches. That’s why it’s of prime importance to know each of them in detail. They can broadly categorize in five types –
1) Assessment Specific:
In this first step in any migration project, an Office 365 vendor can assess your entire environment and workflows. Based on it, he can give you a concrete idea about migration scope, timeline, and cost.
2) Cloud-Based Migration Services:
It is generally helpful for simple email environments and it offers documentation and support and remote professional services. The tasks of actual data transfer and tweaking the settings in your software are left for you.
3) Email Migration Expert:
This kind of Office 365 migration vendor gives you a detailed project scope. Usually, he relies on repeatable processes and proven tools, offer lightweight project management, and remotely assist in technical work.
4) End-To-End Global Integrator:
This work can be categorized as more detailed, standardized, and comprehensive. They are tailed by a proven track record of working with global organizations and handling many types of complex migrations. As they have detailed project phases, checkpoints, possible remediation, and SLAs, they are more likely to deliver timely solutions.
5) General IT Consultant:
It’s more than tempting to ask your IT consultant to help you with Office 365 migration. The problem with this approach is that your consultant may have zero specialization in migration processes.
B) Do A Thorough Analysis of Your Office 365 Migration Vendor:
With the rapid mushrooming of vendors, it can become difficult to keep track of all the new entrants. It’s, thus, always a good idea to check the experience and expertise of partners to ensure that – They are entirely focused on migrations
● They have case studies that prove that they have helped organizations similar to you
● They have key certifications that validate their authentic and strong relationship with Microsoft
C) Deciding the Scope and Effort:
Even though your migration vendor is supposed to shepherd you through all steps of the process, your internal team will still have certain duties to perform. Hence, once you have taken a strong view of the abilities of your partner, it’s important to decide what you need the partner to do vs. what you will do. It helps you in framing more specific requests for proposal and asking the right questions in early conversations.
D) Assess Statements of Work:
The best way to judge the thoroughness and attention to detail that the Office 365 migration vendor will bring to the project is to assess his statements of work. It can give you a gut feeling of whether his approach matches up with your needs. The following points should form the core of your considerations:
● Have they pinpointed the scope of the project appropriately?
● How well they have understood your environment and needs?
● Have they chalked out a proven process?
● Do they have plans to assist you in case of an emergency?
● Do they mention clear phases, tasks, deliverables, and SLAs?
● Will they assign a dedicated team to you?
E) Go Through More Than One Bid:
In order to scrutinize a wide range of vendors and zeroing on the Office 365 migration vendor that best suits your requirements, you should go through at least three bids. More importantly, it gives you a sense of the costs involved, which varies according to the proposed scope.
F) Cost versus Value Assessment:
Usually, these kinds of projects have tremendous cost variation. It depends a lot upon the type of support you’re looking for. In case you are working on a tighter budget and can’t spend heavily on the prime offerings of vendors, your internal team has to take more burden of work. Or, if you have an over-complicated environment, making a one-time big investment is more prudent than being at the receiving end of massive loss all the time.
The bottom-line is, do not remain stranded at the thread of cost alone. Instead, measure the value that the Office 365 migration vendor will bring against how much work you’re planning to perform internally. Moreover, as it’s not always possible to predict the snags, migrations of this type may overrun their scope and timeline. A good vendor becomes extremely vital here to ensure that unexpected costs and delays won’t sneak into your project.
G) Post-Migration Support:
The collaboration of the Office 365 vendor should not abort after the point of final migration. Ideally, your partner vendor should provide documentation to help your post-migration procedures. He/she should provide a dedicated support center to resolve any incidents you might encounter and help you in addressing the issues that need immediate attention.
Remember that the process of selecting an Office 365 migration vendor is not just about choosing technology. It’s about choosing the people behind the technology too. That’s what justifies methodically following the aforementioned long ordeal.
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