Decision Points Around Tenant to Tenant Migrations

April 16, 2019 Josh Pusateri

Whether you are going through a merger, acquisition, divestiture, or just want to change your root SharePoint URL to match a new company name, there are an increasing number of reasons why a company would want to undergo an Office 365 tenant-to-tenant migration.

In short, a tenant-to-tenant, or T2T, migration takes some or all Office 365 data from one tenant and places it in another. This could range from Exchange Online mailboxes, OneDrive data, SharePoint sites, Power BI reports, Office 365 Groups, or all the above.

One of the major decision points around a T2T migration is whether you want to migrate your existing vanity domain into the new Office 365 tenant from the get-go. This minor decision could change a straightforward migration into a complex one. Microsoft only allows a vanity domain to exist in one tenant at a time. When moving tenants, the domain will first have to be removed completely and disassociated from all users (aliases, SIP addresses, groups, etc.). This causes an outage in user access and email delivery for a short time while the domain is moved and assigned to the new tenant objects. This type of migration requires detailed planning to be successful.

Aside from deciding on whether to carry your vanity domain to the new tenant, there are some other points that should be discussed when planning a T2T migration:

  • Identify all users needed to move. Even though you might be moving an entire tenant to a new one, now may be a good time to clean out those departed user accounts. Identifying exactly which user accounts need to be moved will save time (and money!) and lay the grounds for a cleaner environment.
  • Identify all applications you are using. If that one user doesn’t get their Visio license in the new tenant, they won’t be happy!
  • Think about any new functionality you want to implement. What better time to enable Advanced Threat Protection, or those retention policies HR has been bugging you about? While setting up a new tenant, this is the perfect time to enable and test these features before rolling out to the entire organization.
  • Amount of data. Do you have 1,000 SharePoint sites and an average OneDrive size of 70GB? Even though data is moving internally inside the Microsoft ecosystem, it is still time consuming. Data migrations could range from 2-6 weeks (or longer) depending on user count and data sizes.
  • User Communication. This is so important it should be listed twice! Make sure your users are aware of the changes throughout the migration process. Is their email domain or logon name changing? Will there be a loss of functionality at any stage of the migration? What kind of popups should they expect to see?
  • Is there a requirement for a new Active Directory forest? An AD migration is a complex project on its own, let alone coupled with a T2T migration. This should be planned out well in advance and staggered alongside a T2T migration to minimize user disruption.

No matter your scenario, New Signature can assist in your T2T needs. We utilize the best third-party migration tools for each O365 application and can minimize user impact while providing communication templates so there are never any surprises.

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