5 tips for migrating to G Suite Business

The benefits of moving to Google´s G Suite Business are many: greater workforce productivity, predictable expenses and business continuity, just to name a few.

But making the switch from desktop Office products to a web-based program isn’t necessarily simple. One wrong move, and all your company emails could go down.

If your company has many users – especially if users are on multiple devices – I suggest you work with an experienced cloud service provider.

Many businesses are using a Microsoft Exchange Server or IMAP/POP (Internet Message Access Protocol/Post Office Protocol) for their emails. If your organization is considering migrating to the cloud, here are some recommendations for making a smooth transition from both of these environments.

1. Understand your environment and needs

Before you begin to migrate to G Suite, your IT team or managed service provider should conduct a thorough review of the business’s current situation. This should include identifying:

  • Your current email environment (for example, Microsoft Exchange or IMAP/POP)
  • The number of users
  • The current version of Microsoft Office applications
  • Whether you need more indept training for a specific user group or use case
  • Any special needs, like email archiving or equipment

2. Pick the right subscription plan

For anyone not familiar with the product, G Suite offers subscription plans that include access to web based applications – like Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Slides – plus other productivity services that are enabled over the cloud.

Having a good grasp of your environment and needs enables smart decision-making when considering which G Suite plan to choose. Keep in mind that some plans may include features, like data loss prevention and archiving, while other plans may require that you pay for them as an add-on or move up one tier in your subscription.

3. Use software to sync accounts and data

The most seamless way to migrate to the cloud is by using a software tool designed for this purpose. Migrating from IMAP/POP is a more-involved process than migrating from Exchange, and the right tool can speed up the process.

IT professionals can use this tool to discover all company-related mailboxes. Leadership can determine which email addresses to keep active and whether any should be closed. IT pros will also need to gather passwords to the source for all email addresses, if migrating from IMAP/POP. Then, all email accounts and passwords can be pulled into the migration tool, and all accounts and data can be synced to G Suite.

4. Plan for migration

After the accounts and data have been synced to G Suite, professionals can then set the cut-over date for weeks in advance. Once they see the data has been moved, the cut-over date will be scheduled.

I suggest scheduling cut-overs for a Thursday night and having engineers on-site Friday to help employees get used to G Suite. Have experts confirm that email is properly set up on all mobile devices and offer to help your team adjust their view settings and work out any kinks.

5. Beware the temptation to do it yourself

If your company has many users – especially if users are on multiple devices – I suggest you work with an experienced cloud service provider.

Whoever handles this process must be familiar with email flow and how it works and getting everything into G Suite without any glitches. Something as easy to overlook as forgetting to change an internet record during the process can cause problems with receiving email.

Migrating from IMAP/POP can bring particular risks. If you don’t use an automated tool, you will have to manually backup all users’ email then import all emails after the cut-over to G Suite. This adds unnecessary downtime and the potential to miss new incoming emails during the cut-over.

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