With O365 and its supporting office applications now mainstream, new integrations and migrations are becoming more common place. One we are seeing more of is the consolidation and migration of multiple O365 tenant environments into a single environment. For instance, COMPANY A acquires COMPANY B, and now has to figure out how to consolidate their O365 instances to streamline management and security operations.
If this is something you’re wrestling with, take a minute to hit pause, read a few of our suggestions, and contact us if you’re not comfortable tackling the complexities of this project alone. We’ve been down this road before, so feel free to leverage our experience to drive your success. With no further ado, here are six essentials to plan for when approaching a tenant to tenant O365 migration.
Azure AD is your friend
Azure AD, including Azure AD sync, is a very powerful tool. Explore what all Azure AD Sync can do and how it works. You may find yourself needing to change anchor attributes or having to sync to multiple tenants. Azure AD and Azure AD sync are vital to this process.
It will be helpful if you explore the tool ahead of your actual cutover. Become familiar with it and get to know it under the hood a bit more prior to the migration.
Leverage a migration tool
There are several tools that can help with this. The industry standard is BitTitan. One would think that a tenant to tenant migration would be a flip of the switch on the Microsoft side, but unfortunately that is not the case.
BitTitan has proven to be the top tool for this by continuing to improve the product as features change. We would encourage purchasing the package not the a la carte options.
Plan your cutover appropriately
There are many factors to keep in mind that could impact final cutover time. Below are a few of the primary factors to keep in mind.
- DNS Changes – You will want to lower your TTL as low as you can well before cut over. This will allow your DNS changes to propagate quicker at time of cut over.
- Final Sync – The final sync can take some time. You may find yourself being throttled by Microsoft during this window (reminder you are going out and then back into Office 365), so ensure you leave plenty of time for this to complete.
- Network Bandwidth – Make sure you account for any remote users and/or branch locations with bandwidth limitations. If you are working under restricted cutover windows, this factor alone increases the risk associated with the completion of the work within the windows provided by the business.
Deregistering then reregistering domain
One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot have the same domain registered within two Office 365 tenants at the same time. You must remove all associates to the domain in the initial tenant, initiate deregistration on the Microsoft side, wait for that change to propagate, then register it within the new tenant.
This step of the process is a bit of a wildcard as you at the mercy of Microsoft to complete the majority of the process. Keep this in mind as you build out your cutover window, and plan appropriately.
Be thorough when addressing conflict resolution
We will say it again…planning is your key. Spend time planning out the process as well as what to expect during post support. Thorough preparation surrounding the entire process will increase your likelihood for success. That said, the more you revisit and revise your plan the better prepared you will be.
Brush up on your PowerShell scripting. PowerShell scripting within O365 Exchange Online and Azure AD will save a ton of time. Build a few scripts up front for things like removing domain associates, confirming they are removed, assigning alias, etc.
You can’t over-communicate with your end users
Reminder this change impacts the productivity suite of your end users, this is the product they live and breathe every day. We recommend sending out an initial communication letting everyone know what is coming and why it is happening. Shortly after, send another reminder notice as the date approaches. Then, about a week out, some instructions with what to do after the cutover is complete. And then, a final notice this is happening in case they lived under a rock during you initial notifications.
You should try to make these fun notifications to keep everyone engaged. Make sure to keep these notifications short and to the point, anything long you will lose the audience (much like we have done here ?).
Thanks for the read! Is an O365 Tenant Migration something you’re staring at?
If so, reach out to us!
Mitigate your risk, and sleep at night. We can walk you through the details to make sure you’re pointed at success.