Critical Considerations when Moving from Domino to Office 365 — Part II

From our last blog, you now realize how many enterprises and millions of users worldwide will be affected by migrating from Lotus Domino to Office 365, as well as the complexity and planning involved for a successful and trouble-free transformation.

We’d like to continue with our tips and considerations to help you have a successful journey to the cloud.

Clean Up Your Domino Environment and Get a Check Up!

You wouldn’t move your home by packing everything you currently own and not discarding unneeded items, would you? A messaging migration is no different in terms of cleaning before your move. Start by running your standard Domino maintenance tasks and make sure you have no damaged items. Fix corrupted databases and replicate everything onto a staging server as your central point of migration (do not use a production environment). Decide which quantity of data you want to bring to Office 365 live mailboxes, and what to archive. If your migration includes centralizing a geographically-disperse environment, be sure to check all potential problem areas such as encrypted emails, contacts, and journal entries. Verify your multi-domain Domino connectivity. This is check-up (and clean-up) time for your environment, so we urge you to make sure it’s as healthy as possible before moving to your new platform.

Choose Your Coexistence Software Carefully, If Needed

Do you actually need coexistence software at all? Sometimes customers don’t have that much data or don’t use Domino applications, but still have a lot of users. In these cases, you may be able to transition them quickly (even over a weekend) without a co-existence deployment. If you do need one, research the products and vendors out there. Binary Tree has a great solution, called CMT for Coexistence that supports interoperability between Domino and on-premises and online versions of Microsoft Outlook and Exchange.

Coexistence will handle all the necessary services to allow Domino and Exchange users to collaborate seamlessly despite the huge platform differences: directory synchronization, mail and meetings remediation, application remediation, cross-platform free/busy lookups even for rooms and resources, etc.

Choose Your Migration Software Carefully

Of course you need to have migration software, but you do have choices. There are some offerings that rely on your users to migrate themselves, but we really do not recommend those. We are too often brought in to fix these types of migrations – as they frequently have issues. There are other products that don't scale to an enterprise level, so watch out for that. Some have a good reputation, but are not for Notes. Binary Tree’s migration solution combines the infrastructure needed for integrating the directory and mail systems, the industrial-strength migration software for Notes, and a proven methodology for your IT and support staff. You may not realize that Binary Tree’s CMT suite of software is exclusively used for all of theOffice 365 migrations from Domino that Microsoft does; and CMT for Exchange is the only scalable migration farm software out there.
Test, Test, Test

At every stage, never take success for granted. Each change will bring its drawbacks, new issues, unexpected behaviors, and need for resolution. If you decide to keep a geographically-dispersed environment and are not using a centralized staging server, you need to use a good sample of your data and transition some of the more complex users before migrating everyone. When planning testing plan, set all possible scenarios and give time for testing: most of the issues will take time and usage to be discovered.

Do Not Move VIPs First!

They will ask to be, and be the most eager to be, the first in line to get on the new Outlook client and enjoy the latest Exchange and Lync services and features. Unless you are ambivalent about your career in IT, try to never migrate VIPs first! Your first user migrations should be done while your new architecture and your migration process are still being refined. Move your VIPs (and their personal assistants) after your pilot has been successfully completed, your target environment is fully functional, and your processes are polished and controlled.

Plan for Extended Support

Train your service desk AHEAD of the migration to understand the new platform. Supporting the new and old environment, and the coexistence infrastructure in-between, is completely different from anything they’ve ever had to do. Some of our clients hire new employees while also training existing ones. Another client put together an entirely new team strictly for user support and to look after the new platform. Think about the best option for your enterprise and plan for it.

We hope you found our recommendations to be helpful and you will consider attending one of our scheduled or on-demand Notes-to-Exchange webinarsto learn more about best practices and solutions for this type of migration.