More and more companies are choosing to switch to cloud solutions for their operational processes. The best-known examples are e-mail services and platforms for collaboration. One migration that is common here is the transition from a local Microsoft Exchange server to Microsoft 365. At Cloud360, we specialise in such migrations and are happy to tell you more about what to expect from this.

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What is Microsoft Exchange?

First, let’s briefly summarise exactly what these services entail. Microsoft Exchange is a comprehensive email and collaboration platform for businesses. It typically runs on a company’s internal servers. Exchange allows an organisation’s employees to send and receive e-mails and also has features such as shared calendars, contact management and task lists, making internal processes smoother. It also has a number of security and management features, such as a spam filter, encryption and integration with other Microsoft products.

What is Microsoft 365?

Formerly known as Office 365, Microsoft 365 is a cloud platform from Microsoft with various tools and services to increase organisations’ productivity. Think of tools for e-mail, collaboration, document management and communication. It additionally includes Microsoft Exchange Online as an e-mail service, giving you access to functionalities of Microsoft Exchange via the cloud. With Microsoft 365, you benefit from Microsoft services available anytime, anywhere, while being assured of advanced security, continuous updates and integration with other Microsoft products.

Why migrate from Exchange to Microsoft 365?

As a company, are you currently using Microsoft Exchange and considering switching to Microsoft 365? So then it’s good to know anyway that Microsoft Exchange services are included in the Microsoft cloud. However, it is important to know why this migration is recommended and what its benefits are.

  • Accessibility: With Microsoft 365, employees have anytime, anywhere access to Microsoft services such as their e-mail, documents and tools like Microsoft Teams. This ensures that flexible working becomes possible and employees can also remain productive even when they are away from the office.
  • Security: Microsoft 365 has more advanced security. This includes security against all kinds of threats, protection of information and compliance with privacy laws. With Microsoft 365, you are therefore better protected as a company against malware, phishing and data loss, for example.
  • Scalable: Microsoft 365 is a scalable service and easily grows with the needs of any business; in fact, you pay per user. Therefore, Microsoft 365 is suitable for all types of businesses, whether it is a small VOF or a large enterprise with thousands of employees.
  • Updates: Because Microsoft 365 is a cloud solution, you are assured of regular updates and new features. So you can always take advantage of the latest technologies and improvements without having to do much work or worry about it yourself.
  • Cost reduction: Switching to Microsoft 365 can save costs in terms of hardware, maintenance and IT support, which a local Exchange server does require. In addition, Microsoft 365 is flexible and you pay per user, rather than per server. Especially for smaller companies, this makes it almost always cheaper.
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How does the migration to Microsoft 365 work?

Migrating Microsoft Exchange to Microsoft 365 is a complex process that requires careful planning and is carried out by an experienced professional. We are happy to explain in a few steps what such a migration by Cloud360 looks like:

  1. Preparation: The process starts with thorough preparation and planning. All users and resources to be migrated are identified and the current Exchange infrastructure is evaluated. We take stock of the number of licences needed and draw up a detailed migration plan.
  2. Migration of data: Once the planning is complete, we get to work exporting contacts, calendars and other relevant data from the local Exchange server. These are then imported into Microsoft 365. Depending on the size of this migration, this process may take some time and it should be carefully monitored in between to ensure that no data is lost. In fact, we establish a kind of synchronisation link, so users really don’t notice anything. For example, some users may in practice already be working in Microsoft 365, while others are still working on the Microsoft Exchange environment without realising it.
  3. Configuration: After migrating the data, the necessary configurations must be carried out. For example, all users must be added correctly and given proper access to the services. During this step, user accounts are set up, e-mail addresses configured and licences assigned.
  4. Testing: Before the services are actually deployed, it is important that the migration is thoroughly tested to ensure that everything actually works as expected. This way, we can be sure that no problems occurred during the migration process.
  5. Training and support: Finally, it is of course important that all users know how the system works and can work with it effectively. Therefore, we provide the right training and offer support even after the migration to ensure that all Microsoft 365 features are used to their full potential. Among other things, you can expect manuals, training sessions and/or ongoing technical support.

Start the migration

Need help migrating from Microsoft Exchange to Microsoft 365? Cloud360 specialises in this and helps companies with great regularity. Feel free to contact us to discuss the possibilities.