You have been using Google Apps for business for a number of years. But now you have decided to migrate to Office 365. We have compared Google and Office 365 in one of the articles before, and the odds are that Office 365 suits medium and large sized companies much better than Google does. In this article I’d like to tell how you can import your Gmail emails to Office 365 and also say some words about Office 365 email security.
If you were using local Exchange before and now moving to Google Apps or Office365 there are lots of documents and instructions on how you can do that. But what about migrating from one cloud to another? Unfortunately the process may be not as smooth as you think.
There are two options for the companies of different size and budget: manual migration or third-party migration. If you don’t have much data to migrate and want to do everything yourself you can use Office365 migration wizard for the mailbox, but you won’t be able to migrate Google contacts and Google Calendar.
Before you start migrating you should increase the Office 365 connection limits to your IMAP server (Gmail supports up to 15 simultaneous connections), shorten the DNS Time-to-Live setting on your MX record, backup and purge all the Google Apps filters.
Then you should create the mailboxes in Office365. You can create one mailbox at a time or set up many mailboxes at once using a CSV file.
Also you have to assign a licence per user.
If you have already finished these steps use the native Office 365 Exchange migration tool. It is available in several places if you are an administrator:
- Go to Outlook -> Manage My Organization settings. In Users & Groups go to the Email Migration tab.
- As an admin of Office 365 go to the admin settings -> Manage -> Manage My Organization settings.
Then go to New and start the wizard. Choose IMAP. Give your IMAP server basic connection information. Then select the CSV file with all the mailboxes that you want to migrate. Point your DNS MX records to Office 365 if you had not done that before. The steps you need to perform depend on your DNS provider.
You can select MS domain like mycompany.onmicrosoft.com or set up and verify your own domain for Office 365.
To migrate filters, contacts and caledars you will need to perform some more actions.
For contacts merge duplicates in Google Apps, export an Outlook .CSV file and then import it into Office 365. You won’t be able to do this for all the account at once and you’ll have to perform these actions for each of them individually. Do likewise for Google Calendar (.ICS files for export).
Automated migration and Office 365 email security
There are lots of third-party tools for Office365 migration in the market and this is not this blog’s main topic. You can easily find the ones that would suit you via Google search.
But no matter what app you choose you will have to grant is some permissions and let it have access to your private data. This may cause Office 365 email security problems, your data may be at risk.
To minimize those risks regularly backup Office 365 Mail to make sure that you always have a reserve copy of your cloud data at hand.