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An Expert Guide to Bridging the Gap Between Decades of On-Prem Files and Microsoft 365

Moving your data to modern software is the best decision you could ever make. Microsoft 365 offers a wide range of options for your business, especially in terms of databases. Unfortunately, if you’re working off decades-worth of data files, integrating them into the Microsoft 365 platform can be a little challenging.

Luckily, some processes can help create a seamless changeover for your business. By following the right regimen when migrating from an on-prem or networked drive/database to Microsoft 365, you will not interrupt your organization’s day-to-day operations. But this is easier said than done.

How to Transition from an In-House Database to Microsoft 365

To ensure a seamless migration from an on-premise database to Microsoft 365;

Choose the Right Plan

It’s essential to understand Microsoft 365 to know which plan is ideal for your setup. Microsoft 365 has three packages. These include;

  • Home,
  • Business, and
  • Enterprise.

Each plan has different features that cater to different needs. The home plan fits individuals with basic requirements, while the business and enterprise packages are appropriate for companies looking for a wide variety of features. Take time to understand what each package offers, then look at your company’s demands.

If possible, consult with other stakeholders to make an informed choice. Also, consider the cost. Microsoft 365 has a subscription license payable monthly or annually. You might find paying for an entire year has more benefits and is cheaper than monthly.

Understand the Challenges You Might Encounter

As much as you want a seamless transition, challenges are inevitable. Moving to a cloud-based platform for the first time can be daunting. Things are bound to go wrong, and issues will arise. Take time for user training, then draft a contingency plan to handle any problems encountered along the way.

This step is critical if your business is exceptionally reliant on its database system. It might take a while before the entire company adapts to the changes, but the move is worthwhile.

Back-Up Data Before Shifting from an On-Premise Database to Microsoft 365

First things first: make sure that all your business data is in a backup file. It’s not just your files that are important; it’s also their formatting. You can either back up the data using an online tool or copy the database into another folder or a portable hard drive.

Microsoft 365 offers support for the transition process, but there are templates it doesn’t support. You might also have to work with third-party tools to make a move flawless. Understanding the package will enable you to choose the right tools. It also means that you don’t have to work from scratch when launching the new platform.

To make the process easier, work with an expert who can help make a move more straightforward and quicker. As you will realize, it’s not easy migrating decades-worth of data to a new platform.

Secure Your Data

As you migrate to the new platform, security should be a top priority. Apart from losing data, other threats are hackers, and cybercriminals keen on getting their hands on valuable information. Ensure that all of your client’s data is secure before moving it to Microsoft 365.

The database should be stored in a protected server, and the cloud platform should have solid security features installed as well. Microsoft 365 offers different security features depending on the package you choose. You can even choose extra security features depending on your needs.

Allow for Back and Forth Movement

A smooth transition to Microsoft 365 means that your old data should be easy to access, edit, print, or modify. However, a few things are crucial when formatting the data. These include:

File Names

When creating the new files on Microsoft 365, consider changing the file names. It ensures that you don’t overwrite any of your old data and will help with transferring from one platform to another.

Tables and Fields

You might have several fields or tables in your database, but not all of them are necessary for the new system. Make sure that you have all the data in the right places before moving it to Microsoft 365.

The effort will ensure a stable and seamless transition process without interrupting any business activities. It will also eliminate errors and issues that might put your clients’ data or convenience at risk.

Converting Files if Necessary

Microsoft 365 might not support all of your files. This can be a challenge if you have large files with lots of data and formatting. Depending on what type of information your legacy database has, you might have to convert it before the migration.

There are many ways to do this, such as using Microsoft products, online tools, or third-party programs depending on what type of file you’re working with.

Give Users the Lowdown

As a business owner, any changes in the database must become widely known and understood by all stakeholders. This ensures no interruptions in service delivery or misunderstandings that could lead to problems later on. For minimal disruptions, consider making the migration in phases. Most importantly, educate your staff on how to use the new system.

Understand the Third Party Integrations Required

For your Microsoft 365 to function correctly, you may have to integrate it with third-party applications.  Among these include documentation applications and CRMs. Ensure you have the right professional to help you with this process. It’s also essential to check whether the applications you intend to use are compatible with the package.

Facilitate Onboarding for Users

User onboarding is crucial when it comes to transitioning from one system to another. It helps staff get accustomed to the new system, reducing confusion and go-slows.

You can either provide a training session or a demo, depending on your employees’ preferences. An expert can offer this service, making the migration less stressful.

Key Point

Research on what’s involved with a Microsoft 365 transition before actually moving your old files into the new platform. Without conducting due diligence, you risk losing important data. You can even consult with professional IT companies who can guide or even assist with the migration.

Entrance is a well-established and experienced company with many years of experience helping wide-ranging organizations find the right software solutions. We’ll not only assist you in choosing the right Microsoft 365 package but also execute a seamless migration that’ll be quick with minimal interruptions to your workflow.

Contact us today and we will roll out your company’s data conversion from an in-house database to Microsoft in no time.

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