Research suggests around a good 3 billion people globally began using Google Workspace at the end of 2021.
For any business, switching from Microsoft Office 365 to Google Workspace is a big step. You should keep in mind that Google makes the transition amazingly simple. However, it does take some coordination to make sure that your emails, calendars, contacts, files, and other critical business elements are preserved.
It is true that Microsoft Office 365, recently rebranded as Microsoft 365, is a great product. Still, it is essential to consider how it fits in with your company's systems and goals when choosing a suite of productivity tools. A major advantage of Google Workspace is its competitive price, exceptional security, and Google's search algorithms that always find the exact information you need! The ease of use and agility of the tools have encouraged many companies to adopt Google Workspace.
Understanding the Basics
If your business has been using Office 365 or MS Office to create documents - such as Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint files, it's essential to ensure you have a backup of these files before initiating the migration process, this avoids the possibility of losing business-critical assets.
Google's Data Migration Service, however, does not automatically transfer these types of files from OneDrive. Be aware you’ll need to do a manual transfer to move these across to Google Workspace.
Your data cannot be migrated simultaneously with the Data Migration tool. It is only possible to move one type of data at a time using the tool. Consequently, migrating emails, calendars, and contacts must be done separately. Keep these points in mind as you plan your migration to Google Workspace.
Fortunately, Google Cloud Partners like Future Matrix can help. Our migration process is carefully designed by our team of Google Workspace-certified professionals to ensure all outcomes are covered. Reach out to us here if you're looking for a hassle-free transition with no downtime guaranteed.
Migrating from Office 365 to Google Workspace
In the upcoming sections, we outline the steps to take while migrating from Office 365 to Google Workspace.
1. Set up Google Workspace Accounts
As a first step, you need to set up and organise google workspace accounts for every team member in your organisation. Before you embark on the journey to migrate from Office 365 to Google Workspace, you must set up Google workspace accounts.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a one-man army or an organisation of 2 to 100; you must set up Google Workspace accounts for each member of your organisation.
Besides, there are special options for schools, educational institutions, and non-profit organisations. Note that the data migration tool may be able to transfer a maximum of 100 accounts only.
In addition, you must have a Super Administrator account with its entailing rights to create accounts for other users from the Admin Console. This also needs you to be a Super Administrator on Office 365. Otherwise, you won’t have permission to create the Role Account.
Next, you may enter the name and surname of each member to generate their new accounts. In case, someone has an old account, you can send an invitation email to them. That would help them go to their new account with sign-in information and passwords.
2. Re-route Emails
It may be necessary to forward all emails sent to the old Exchange Online email addresses to the new Gmail addresses during and after the migration. The purpose of this is to ensure that no communication is missed. Messages sent to the old email address will automatically be delivered to the new inbox in Gmail.
3. Transfer Emails from Outlook to Gmail
Now that you have set up re-routing, you can use the migration tool from Google to transfer all your emails from Outlook to Gmail.
At the outset, log in to the admin console at admin.google.com with your Gmail address and password. Use the Google Chrome browser and choose the Data Migration option on the console.
A status or progress bar is also displayed, indicating how much work is completed. Depending on the number of emails to be transferred, it might take longer.
Follow the instructions below for a smooth email transfer:
Select Email, Calendar, or Contacts on the Data Migration page - whichever you want to move first.
In the Migration Source section, choose Microsoft Office 365.
In the Connection Protocol section, choose Exchange Web Services. Below this field, you need to enter the URL of the Outlook account you want to move from.
In the last field, enter the email address and password of the Mail Server’s Role Account. This is the account with the impersonation rights for all accounts that are being moved.
Next, when you click Connect, you will be directed to a new page wherein you need to enter specific details of emails you need to move to the Google Workspace.
On the final page, select the Microsoft 365 accounts you want to migrate and the corresponding new Gmail accounts on Google Workspace, where the information will be sent. Once you specify all account details, click the Start button and wait.
In case, you don’t wish to migrate immediately, you can choose a date and time that is convenient. Usually, the recommended practice is to migrate on weekends, as work email addresses will not be used.
4. Transfer Contacts and Calendars
Repeat the above steps to migrate your email contacts and calendar information from Office 365 to Google Workspace. Note that these steps will be used repeatedly when you migrate from Office 365 to Google Workspace.
5. Devise an Initiative to Transfer Existing Files
While the Data Migration Service is free, Google Workspace doesn’t have a service to help you transfer all your files saved in OneDrive. File types such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, and others must be manually transferred, leaving you with a lot of work.
Additionally, there are organisational challenges that arise from this process. There is a great deal of complexity involved when migrating all company data, managing file structures, where to place files, and managing permissions and security. It's here where third-party companies like Future Matrix can help you avoid the typical pitfalls and save you time, money, and productivity loss.
6. Change Management with Google Workspace
It simply refers to managing the technical and cultural changes a business will undergo while moving to Google Workspace. Google Workspace requires employees to adopt new tools and methods of working and leave legacy systems behind. To truly embrace this change, you need to manage this change effectively. As part of our change management activities, we empower your employees to be part of the change by correctly utilising Google Workspace. Through detailed planning, we can guarantee that the change will be smooth and easy.
As we establish your Google Workspace environment, we consider the services and processes you currently use, as well as your unique requirements. Our goal at Future Matrix is to ensure that your workflows are minimally disrupted by designing and implementing a change strategy that is appropriate for your business needs.
Google Workspace can be a complex technical rollout that can consume much of your time and business resources. Find out how Future Matrix can make the transition seamless for your business by talking to one of our Google Workspace consultants here.