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Third-party tools support an Exchange to Office 365 migration

Third-party tools are available to help migrate Exchange and non-Exchange platforms to Office 365. To choose the right option, consider data protection, control and speed.

Microsoft's Office 365 is packed with features that appeal to users from the home office to the corner office....

But Office 365 doesn't do everything perfectly -- especially in large enterprise environments where management and reporting are critical.

Administrators can leverage a host of third-party tools to enhance Exchange to Office 365 migration, data protection, control and more.

Let's review some available third-party tools and consider some of the most noteworthy features for enterprise IT.

Migrate Exchange to Office 365

The most common migration process is to move email data from a hosted or on- premises Exchange Server platform to Office 365. Most administrators use the Exchange Admin Center (or Exchange Online PowerShell) to handle this onboarding migration in one or more batches. However, there are numerous third-party tools to direct the Exchange to Office 365 migration for IT staff.

Binary Tree E2E Complete automates and manages migrations from large enterprise environments dealing with intra- or interorganizational (cross-forest), cloud and hybrid (coexistence) Exchange migrations. It relies on automation and a local SQL database to speed migration by boosting data collection, scheduling, organization and reporting.

A third-party add-on allows the tool to migrate public folders to Exchange 2013 or Office 365.

Administrators can control scheduling with accurate predictions about migration requirements. Detailed reporting provides administrators with real-time insight into migration progress or issues. Users can see when they'll be migrated, request notifications and even ask for their migration to be delayed.

BitTitan MigrationWiz is a cloud-based migration platform designed to migrate mailbox, data, SharePoint and other content through a single wizard-driven Web interface. The tool migrates mailboxes along with calendars, contacts, notes and other features.

Admins select a migration project, identify the source and destination systems, select a schedule then monitor the migration's progress in real time.

There are some migration restrictions depending on API restrictions and the data supported by the destination system. For example, you can't migrate features such as calendar notifications or mailbox rules and folder permission settings from Exchange to Office 365 with this tool. Admins will need to resend or reconfigure some items when the Exchange to Office 365 migration is complete.

CodeTwo Office 365 Migration migrates any on-premises version of Exchange Server to Office 365. In addition to moving mailboxes the tool moves calendars, contacts, tasks and other user content, admins can decide how much user content to migrate. Batch migrations occur at preferred times via the scheduling feature, and admins can prioritize mailboxes to ensure that the most important accounts are moved to Office 365 first. The tool generates detailed reports for the process and individual mailboxes, so admins can see when the migration is complete -- and address any migration problems with specific mailboxes.

CodeTwo also has the CodeTwo Exchange Migration, which provides an Exchange-to-Exchange migration tool.

Mimecast Services For Office 365 offers a suite of cloud-based risk mitigation services that improve email security, data protection, and disaster recovery in the event of an Office 365 outage.

As a migration tool, Mimecast's Office 365 service provides a faster migration than native methods from on-premises Exchange systems and adds cloud mailbox archiving and message routing between local and cloud services. Mimecast's service also provides other complementary email services including security, mailbox archiving for compliance and discovery and protection against service outages. Organizations that only need migration support may be overwhelmed by the scope of this offering.

Move non-Exchange platforms to Office 365

Exchange email isn't the only content that organizations migrate to Microsoft Office 365. SharePoint collaboration data, Lync messaging data and Office tool data such as documents, spreadsheets and publications are also frequently moved to support the complete Office 365 suite.

A selection of third-party tools can help IT admins organize and automate movement of this additional data across the enterprise. By moving users completely to the cloud with Office 365, the business can repurpose or retire on-premises services and support sooner.

AvePoint DocAve High Speed Migration for Office 365 delivers a means of migrating legacy SharePoint deployments to Office 365, SharePoint Online 2013, and OneDrive for Business. The tool deconstructs and organizes the SharePoint data -- avoiding common network bandwidth, throttling and latency issues that could otherwise slow the migration -- therefore enhancing migration speed. It performs a complete provisioning of the online SharePoint environment, and duplicates the environment at the destination.

Monitoring shows the ongoing health of SharePoint farms during migration and adjusts traffic to prevent SharePoint service disruptions.

Metalogix Content Matrix aids in SharePoint migration planning, execution and monitoring. Organizations can migrate from SharePoint 2007 or 2010 to SharePoint 2013, OneDrive for Business or Office 365.

With simple setup and no server-side installation, admins can exercise granular control over what to migrate. Content Matrix supports migrating and mapping term stores and allows admins to choose the number of migrated file versions.

Migrations can be initiated by collection, site, library, list, business unit or department. Old and new SharePoint farms can be run together, allowing for new migrations to be refined or optimized as-needed.

Sangoma Express for Lync is a dedicated hardware appliance to support Voice over IP for up to 1,000 users. The combination of Sangoma VoIP gateway and Microsoft Lync Server 2013 allows businesses to connect Lync with Office 365 to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). This integrates VoIP services when moving to Office 365 without direct connections to the PSTN or session initiation protocol trunks. It also alleviates the need for specialized contractors or service providers.

Sharegate SharePoint Migration provides a versatile migration tool capable of moving sites, libraries, lists, documents, workflows and other content between file shares, SharePoint, Office 365 and OneDrive for Business. Administrators can drag and drop entire sites, or move any site object to Office 365 or SharePoint.

PowerShell support allows detailed scheduling and automates complex migration processes. Detailed reporting provides updates on the migration process along with notifications of any problems or issues. Sharegate also supports Nintex workflows and forms migration to Office 365 or SharePoint 2013.

Next Steps

The complete guide to an Office 365 migration

One expert explains what he learned during a move to Office 365

Should you stick with Microsoft's Office 365 migration tools?

This was last published in December 2015

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Which third-party tools did you use in your Exchange to Office 365 migration?
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Really? You totally omitted SkyKick, which AMI Research determined is the #1 migration tool on every criteria from surveying many Exchange consultants.
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