Making the switch from Google to Microsoft

March 24, 2023

Many are making the switch from Google to Microsoft 365. Sometimes the purpose is practical. You need the extra security features, or there is just some other feature that does some specific thing better. Sometimes, you are forced to switch over. Things were working fine until some executive felt the sudden urge to change everything, a tale as old as time. Fortunately, not everything has to go wrong when you perform an Office 365 migration. Here are some things to keep in mind when making the switch, whether willingly or reluctantly.

Prepare Beforehand

The migration process is long and complicated, do not wait till the last minute to begin the process. If it was as simple as pushing a button, there wouldn’t be a need for this article. At the least, you will need to validate your domain, set up users, and set up security. However, the more work you put in beforehand means less work during it all, when your system is mostly down entirely.

In actuality, there are so many steps in Office 365 migration and any number of them have a bevy of individual problems. Plotting shortcuts, making easy-to-identify folders for your key documents, and setting aside a day to complete the transition are simple but hugely effective tasks to do beforehand. The ultimate goal is to cut down the time your system is inoperable while keeping things easy and manageable.

Make Sure Everyone Is On Board

The more people you can have on hand during the transition the better it will go. Everyone needs to individually transition from the Google Workspace apps to their Microsoft equivalent and not all of it can be done remotely. What’s worse is that those who can’t be transitioned are essentially unable to do work until they are transitioned.

Set aside a day, keep everyone informed, and manage everyone’s concerns during the process. Preparing beforehand will undercut this step significantly depending on how much was done. The more employees you have to transition the more can go wrong, so getting everyone in place to do the transition is essential for a smooth process.

Learn The Lingo Beforehand

Nothing is more frustrating than not transferring everything because you forgot that OneDrive is different from Google Drive or you misunderstood what Teams were. It seems simple but in the heat of the moment, it is easy to forget how to distinguish between all of the similarly named esoteric programs.

Fortunately, it isn’t difficult, you just need to take a minute to look over the terminology and make sure you don’t get your wires crossed. Many Youtube and step-by-step guides can help you familiarize yourself with the basic differences between the two platforms.

When In Doubt, Hire Someone

IT can be scary for many people, it's why there is such a booming industry for it right now. Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to hire someone who can guide you through this mess. This doesn’t even have to be a permanent hire, many companies contract out IT professionals and services.

What’s more, is that many of these IT service companies are explicitly equipped to handle these kinds of transitions. Office 365 migration is becoming increasingly more common in the competitive marketplace of arbitrarily important workspaces and many IT services companies have stepped up to fill that demand.

If your company is planning to initiate a large-scale transition, having a professional in charge of the process can greatly streamline the process. Depending on the complexity of the transition, many IT service companies offer scalable packages that can be useful for those not looking to transition everything all at once. Sometimes it is best just to call in a professional when you need extra help.

Never Forget Training

An oft-overlooked issue, training is key. Even the most tech-savvy need some time to adjust to an entire overhaul of their workspace. While Microsoft has many apps that perform similarly to what they used in Google, in the typical corporate fashion they are not the same and are often overly complicated for first-time users.

Don’t forget training, whether for yourself or your team. The time it takes to get up to your capability before the move is just wasted downtime and is more than likely to earn the ire of all involved. Schedule training, keep on top of good app equivalents to your most used Google applications, and stay in contact with those struggling. People forget that the transition doesn’t end at the migration and preparing for that will get you back on your feet a lot sooner.

Fortunately, there are many options to help train your team. Not only does Microsoft offer rudimentary tutorials but there are plenty of other online resources that can help your team get back on track. Not only that but many professionals that helped in the migration (should you choose that route) are also skilled in training teams in the basics of Office 365.

All of these steps help ensure that you successfully switch from one thing that was working fine to another thing that is gonna work fine. Ultimately, the one better for you and your company will come down to minutiae and preference, however, that doesn’t mean the process can’t be smooth. Whether a reluctant switcher or a willing one, these steps can make sure you ultimately don’t lose your business in the transition.

Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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