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SharePoint Migration: The Process and your Options

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series of blogs that will offer condensed versions of several sessions from Microsoft Ignite 2017.

Now that Ignite decompression is in full swing, we at AvePoint are working to make your process of unpacking what you learned a little easier. Or, if you missed a few sessions you were looking forward to but were short on time, we’ve got you covered there too. This blog will offer a condensed version of the session entitled “Migration to SharePoint and OneDrive in Office 365: Process and Options”, presented by Bill Baer, Senior Technical Product Manager at Microsoft and Simon Bourdages, Product Manager II at Microsoft.

Getting Started with the Cloud

There are two opportunities when it comes to making the move to the cloud. The first is migrating to the cloud, which is the migration, at your own pace, to Office 365 using a combination of migration tools developed by Microsoft partners or their own services, or simply drag and drop migrations. This also depends on what it is that you’re trying to migrate. It’s not uncommon for organizations to begin their migration with a smaller subset of data to test the waters of the cloud.

The second option is utilizing a hybrid model. Hybrid enables you to take users and synchronize those users with Azure Active Directory, allowing you to leverage capabilities like single sign-on. Also, with modern site provisioning, users can click a button on-prem and be redirected seamlessly to Office 365 to create communication sites, team sites and more without leaving the context of where they started.

Why Start with Hybrid?

First, it’s a simple configuration. Additionally, Microsoft has learned that customers who implement hybrid scenarios see five times greater usage than those who don’t implement them. This is due to the context-switching scenario.

Another benefit of hybrid is the vastness of its capabilities. You can configure a hybrid app launcher to bring in services from Office 365. However, the use of

these apps means data is used. Therefore, Microsoft offers a data discovery layer, consisting of hybrid search, unified auditing, unified taxonomy, and hybrid content types for ’13 and ’16.

Pre-Migration Steps

Step 1 is to determine where your data is located. It’s not uncommon for customers to perform their migration and then realize that they’ve left something behind, which can make for some real headaches.

Step 2 is to consider how much data you have because the size of your data may affect your approach to your migration – you may decide to perform your migration in waves, or perform over the course of a week, etc. Knowing the volume of the content you want to move is a vital consideration.

Step 3 is to consider what kind of data you will be migrating. One benefit of SharePoint is the ability to customize your infrastructure to suit your organization’s needs. Depending on your level of customization, manual intervention may be needed to complete your migration.

Step 4 involves determining if the data your migrating is relevant. It may not make sense for your organization to spend time and money migrating data that is old or no longer useful, so consider that in your migration strategy.

Next, perform a migration assessment, which can either be done manually, through a Microsoft assessment tool, newly native to SharePoint, or through a third-party tool, which is where a company like AvePoint would come in. We offer migration services to help you in your migration journey regardless of size of size or scope. Check us out at for a free trial!

Once you’ve assessed your migration situation, it’s up to you to decide on which route to take when it comes to execution. Whether you decide to utilize second or third-party assistance, migration is a big task and can be a bit daunting, but there’s plenty of information and other assistance out there to help you with your move.

Hunter W.
Hunter W.
​Hunter Willis has been in web development, SEO and Social Media marketing for over a decade, and entered the SharePoint space in 2016. Throughout his career he has developed internal collaboration sites, provided technical and strategic advice, and managed solutions for small to large organizations. In addition, Hunter has served as a strategy consultant for many companies and non-profits in the Richmond area.


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