Our Chief Technology Officer, Mike Paul, has put together an article on "Eight Factors to Consider Before Migrating Your Law Firm to Microsoft Office 365." A week ago, we shared the first four considerations. This week, we finish with the final four factors you need to consider before moving your law firm to Office 365.
Five: Exchange is your friend
While Outlook is the client-side piece of software that most users interact with, the back-end server software that hosts the mailbox on-premise is called Microsoft Exchange. Depending on the version of Exchange and the migration scenario, a two-step migration may be required. Any version of Exchange prior to 2007 involves additional steps and possible third-party tools to migrate to Office 365. Some deployments may require an upgrade to Exchange 2013/2016 and only then a migration to Office 365. The experts at Innovative can help your firm evaluate the on-premise Exchange version for compatibility with Office 365.
Six: Plan for storage
Frequently a firm will deploy Remote Desktop or Citrix servers to remotely deliver applications to users. When on-premise Exchange was deployed, the Outlook mailboxes could operate in online mode and cached folders were not required. When using Office 365, Outlook must be in cached mode to function properly. Cached mode allows for a copy of the mailbox to be made locally which speeds up performance. For practical purposes this requires the remote server to have a larger drive size to support the copies of email stored locally. If the remote server does not have enough storage space to support the
now local copies of mailboxes, Outlook will have performance issues.
Seven: The need for bandwidth
The amount of internet bandwidth your firm has is critical for the successful launch of a cloud-based platform. Before an Office 365 migration, most of the email traffic from Outlook to the back-end server occurs within the office on fast ethernet or fiber connections. When migrating mailboxes using Office 365, the amount of bandwidth should be evaluated. During the migration process a slow internet connection will take a long time to move on-premise mailbox data to Office 365 and can affect migration timelines. Additionally, when setting up a new computer for a user, Outlook will download the user’s mailbox to its cached folder more quickly with faster internet. A slow internet connection means this process will take a long time, especially for any user’s mailbox over 10 gigabytes in size. An additional reason to upgrade the Outlook version is the most recent Outlook 2016 has optimized the experience of how the cached Outlook mailbox behaves, making the interface very similar to that on-premise.
Eight: Embrace two-factor authentication
Migrating to Office 365 is a perfect opportunity to introduce two-factor authentication(2FA) to your firm because users are expecting a change anyway. Adding 2FA at this moment will help with adoption and overcoming any hurdles to the security upgrade.
Are you considering migrating to Office 365? Need help? Contact us.