How to Successfully Conduct a 15 TB Microsoft 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration (Case Study)

Post Date: 03/19/2021
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Case Study – Ordina

The Challenge

From an internal collaboration perspective, Ordina faced a divide. The company was essentially operating as two separate organizations — each with a different Microsoft 365 environment.

“We have been using Office 365 since its inception by Microsoft,” said Jo Geeraerts, Business Unit Manager at Ordina Belgium. “Historically, we had been two separate technological entities between Belgium/Luxembourg and the Netherlands.”

As the company continued to grow, operating two different environments created an unnecessary barrier to collaboration for Ordina employees.

“The motivation for this project arose when the company wanted to have employees working closely together across all countries. The main business objective was to increase the “One Ordina” sentiment and cross-country efficiency by improving collaboration possibilities on one secure platform and digital workplace,” said Geeraerts.

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To reach their goal, Ordina decided to merge their two Microsoft 365 environments. Specifically, they decided to migrate the Ordina Belgium/Luxemburg environment into the Netherlands environment. This involved moving 900 employees and a total of 15 terabytes of data across Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams services.

The AvePoint Solution

After assessing and researching third-party migration solutions, Ordina determined FLY was the best solution for their migration needs.

FLY delivers a simple three-step approach — performed via a self-guided tool or with help from AvePoint — to migrate on-premises or cloud-hosted mail, content, and collaboration into Microsoft 365 or SharePoint. Data can be migrated from existing Microsoft accounts or from SaaS providers such as Box, Google Drive, and Slack.

“We did research other tools. We noticed AvePoint is a very customer-oriented organization with a local presence and they are a strong Microsoft Partner,” said Geeraerts. “Seeing a demo of a Microsoft Teams migration using FLY convinced us to choose AvePoint as our migration solution.”

With the help of AvePoint team, Ordina devised a migration schedule and strategy consisting of pre-migration analysis and migration planning and monitoring.

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“We followed a fully staged project approach according to best practices, which included a discovery stage,” said Geeraerts. “During this discovery stage, reporting was created on the data to be migrated. This gave sufficient insight for clear decision-making and defining the migration strategy. Moreover, scripts were created to inquire about the target content and identify conflicts.”

Through AvePoint’s FLY migration schedule, Ordina’s tenant-to-tenant migration was smooth and on schedule.

“FLY helped us migrate Exchange and Teams content. A clear migration schedule was defined upfront and the solution performed as expected to remain within the schedule,” said Geeraerts.

Minimizing business disruption was a key goal throughout the six-week migration.

“We worked with a good test environment and had good pre-production tests, so we minimized the disruptions to end users to zero,” said Geeraerts.

The Bottom Line

Tenant-to-tenant migrations can be complex, but as a leading managed service provider, Ordina had managed many successful migrations. This experience, combined with AvePoint FLY, resulted in a very successful project.

“We were kind of nervous because we were the ones being migrated, and we were doing it ourselves,” said Geeraerts. “But the experience overall was very good, with high ratings from our end users.”

The project’s execution and impact on interoffice collaboration have received significant praise across the company, including senior leadership.

“During the project closure meetings, the project manager has received nice feedback and compliments from our senior leadership team saying this was a very smooth project,” said Geeraerts. “They really liked the result of being able to communicate fast with their peers in the leadership team in Belgium. This was actually the start of creating additional value because now we had a common ground that was necessary to start other initiatives.”

His advice for businesses considering tenant-to-tenant migration: Planning is key.

“Have a very good test experience and environment where you can do test scenarios multiple times,” Geeraerts said. “Also, having a good migration tool is very crucial to limiting downtime. From the bottom of my heart, I would say we had really good content and support. And finally, invest a lot of time in communicating with the management.”

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Ordina is the largest local IT services provider in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg region (Benelux). By devising, building, and managing technological applications, Ordina helps its clients stay ahead of the challenges and changes in their business.

Read the full case study here.

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Michael is AvePoint's former director of content and communications.

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