The once dominant player, IBM Notes, is gradually paving the way to Office 365. The need to adopt to Office 365 is greatly increasing within organizations for ease of use, cost effectiveness, and overall greater business agility. But how does one migrate from the sunset IBM Notes to the trending Office 365 platform? Is it cost effective? Will there be a downtime? Maarga has the answers.

Though Lotus Notes to Office 365 migration sounds simple and easy, it has its own complex knots that need to be untangled without any disruption to business users. Here are some key elements that Maarga follows to untangle the knots, however fragile, complex and unique they may be in Office 365 migration process.

The 10 best practices outlined below is a culmination of Maarga’s experience and expertise in IBM Notes to Office 365 migration.

1.Choose The Way To Go

Based on your organization, choose between the Cutover, Staged and Hybrid approach. If your organization is small and you want to move all users in one go, then just Cutover. This approach also works if your organization is large, but you want to move only specific teams (up to 1000 mailboxes).

If your organization is dispersed and if you have to migrate the users in phases and at the same time co-exist with the legacy platform, then choose the Hybrid approach. For e.g. mails will be migrated to the Office 365 platform, while the applications will remain on the Domino infrastructure.

Have an interim and end state architecture, and in the process identify the bottlenecks in implementing them. A best practice is to run a pilot project to discover specific challenges, so the project schedules aren’t affected.

Take cues from our latest Webinar on what strategy to choose in Lotus Notes migration?

2.Get the Team In Place

Getting the right team on board to support the Office 365 migration process is crucial for the project’s success. With a well-planned strategy and with the best on board, you are well set for smooth transition. A failure of any of the Cs – Co-ordination, Collaboration and Communication, could serve as brakes in your migration journey.

3.Are Your Licenses/Subscriptions Up to Date?

With flexible Office 365 subscription plans, choose the one that works the best for you. Have a tab on your IBM Notes licenses as well, for they may be on the brink of expiring. Time and again, review your needs and plan for growth simultaneously, so both your platforms are up and running when in need.

4.How To Go About The Rollouts?

While the Big Bang rollout sounds feasible and can be quickly deployed, it is the Phased rollouts that have an upper edge. When migration happens in a phased manner, based on the region, location or the Business Unit, you will be taking small baby steps for a steady giant transformation.

The phased migration rollout could fall out if you are unaware of the groups to be migrated or if the groups have high LOB (Line of Business) applications to be integrated.

5.Integration with LOB

Migrating emails to Office 365 and integrating them with existing LOB applications is needed and may appear easy to accomplish. However, it’s not easy as it sounds for you need to review the limits, including address books, mailbox storage, and attachment size. This best practice will ensure your new platform is performing the way you want it to.

6.Does your Network Work?

The time taken to migrate email to Office 365 is determined by the available maximum capacity of your network. With best network coverage you are on the path to smooth Office 365 migration. A best practice would be to identify your network capacity and determine the maximum upload capacity. You could also identify other loads on your network as backup utilities and scheduled maintenance can affect your network capacity.

7.Implement Robust Authentication and Authorisation

Are the security and governance policies in line with the industry and country specific needs? Assign owners for ensuring better compliance and easier management of Office 365 products.

8.Prepared for the Change? Then Get Going

With change being constant, adapting to the change, rather, a new technology within organizations is always a challenge. Think of how prepared your organization is for the new journey, how your teams will adopt to change once it complete and how well you will function after the move. With predefined usage metrics and best practice guidelines for adoption, Maarga is here to support you in Office 365 migration.

Did you know, Maarga has a proprietary adoption framework to help users embrace Office 365 quickly? Watch this webinar to learn more

9.Get the Facts and Stats Right  

Have the numbers on mailboxes to be migrated and the type of mails within mailboxes to improve data migration performance and optimize migration velocity. For instance: a 2-GB mailbox with 200 items, each with 10 MB of attachments, will migrate faster than one 2-GB mailbox with 100,000 smaller items.

10.Bid Goodbye to Legacy Notes Servers

When it comes to IBM Notes and Domino application retirement, you can either choose to retain decommissioned databases on your Domino servers or export the application data to an open standard repository. Whatever approach you choose, remember while your old platforms are slowly phasing out, they are often left sitting around, taking up space and increasing maintenance and costs.

Moving your organization’s email, data and applications from Lotus Notes to the Microsoft platform requires the right strategy, planning, tools, proper execution and testing.

Need answers to your questions on Lotus Notes migration? Check out our FAQ page. Take advantage of our Webinars to learn more on Lotus Notes migration to Office 365.


Migrate To Office 365 -10 Elements Of Successful Strategy By Maarga Systems

Maarga is a boutique consultancy with deep expertise in Lotus Notes migration, digital transformation and enterprise collaboration. Reach out to Maarga with your needs at