With more businesses realizing the importance and benefits of cloud computing, a paradigm shift to various cloud models is becoming very common. In search of reduced IT cost, flexibility, scalability, anywhere anytime access, enhanced security, and less hassle, we are noticing a rise in the number of businesses that are looking to upgrade. This is why companies are moving from Email Exchange and migrating to Office 365.

Since its initial release in 2011, the office 365 has moved out from the zone of an optional suite to a necessity for businesses. The secret behind the success of office 365 lies in the way it integrates with the cloud platform.

By integrating seamlessly with cloud based services, office 365 has surely opened multiple doors of opportunities for businesses. By reaping the advantages of office 365, businesses have been able to witness an increase in their productivity and growth. But still, many companies are surrounded by various myths which stop them from moving to the advanced office 365 platform. If you are planning for an email migration to Office 365 then getting familiar with the different methods of email migration is very necessary. This will help you in making an informed decision and you will start working on Office 365 without going through any hassle or delay.

This blog post addresses the different ways of email migration to Office 365 and understands which method is best for your business.

What are the different ways of email migration to Office 365?

Your company can migrate from any standard email platform to Office 365 without any hassle. There are different roads of email migration used by different people but they all lead to the same destination; Office 365. But before migration, you should never miss going through the limitations and best practices for Exchange Online. This will allow you to get an expected level of performance form Office 365 after migration. Now let’s look at the different ways of email migration to Office 365.

Cutover migration or Express migration

This type of migration is suitable for those people who are using Exchange 2003, Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013. In the cutover migration process, the user shifts the entire on-premises mailboxes to Office 365 over a few days.

If you are planning to move your whole email base to Office 365 and even manage user accounts in Office 365 then cutover migration will be the best option for you. But you should know that you can shift a maximum of 2,000 from your on-premises Exchange organization to Office 365.

Staged Migration

This is suitable for those users that are working on Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007. A staged migration is a more lengthy process of migration than cutover migration as it is done over a few weeks or months. If you plan to eventually shift all your mailboxes to Office 365 then you should stick with staged migration. In this process of email migration, the user migrates to Office 365 in batches instead of migrating at one go. This is a more systematic but lengthy process of email migration which is used by many firms.

Hybrid Migration

The third type of email migration uses both Integrated Exchange Server and Office 365. It used if the user wishes to maintain both on-premise and online mailboxes and then gradually shift to Office 365. This type of email migration makes sure that there is minimal resistance from the employees.

Through hybrid deployment, organizations can enhance the feature rich experience and administrative control they already have with their on-premise solution. The best part about choosing hybrid migration is that it provides an intermediate stop while migrating to Office 365.

Internet Message Access Protocol Migration

In the IMAP migration, organizations use the Exchange admin centre to migrate the contents of user’s mailboxes from IMAP to Office 365. This is used by those businesses that were earlier working on hosted email services. So, if you are working on Gmail or Yahoo Mail and looking forward to migrating from your hosted email service to Office 365 then you will have to use Internet Message Access Protocol migration.

When you shift your mailboxes by using the IMAP, only the items from the inbox of the user or the mail folders are migrated. In the IMAP migration, calendars, contacts, tasks, and items can’t be migrated. Another big limitation of IMAP migration is that it doesn’t create mailboxes for the user in Office 365. This is why before migrating; you will have to create different mailboxes for different users in Office 365.

Third Party Migration

If none of the above-mentioned ways of email migration suits your firm then you should go for the third party migration. In third party migration, an organization will have to work with a partner for migrating mailboxes from the on premise email platform to Office 365. You can also use a third party migrating tool for email migration.

The third party migration tools can help you to boost the speed of migration and simplify the whole process. There are many third party migration tools available on the internet and you will have to choose the best one according to your specific business needs. The third party migration tools use different protocols and a wide array of approaches for email migration from different platforms like Novell GroupWise and IBM Lotus Notes.

Migrating to Office 365 from a different system can be lengthy and tricky. To make sure the migration happens smoothly and quickly, you will have to choose the best method of email migration. From shifting mailboxes at one go to taking help from third party migration tools, you have many options.