Staff Migration Strategy for Office 365

Hey all! We have migrated our email to Offfice 365 successfully, and are now wondering how to migrate our staff of 50 users. They don’t have much experience with cloud file storage, and only some have experience with web apps.

Have you fully migrated your staff to Office 365? If so, could we talk with you about your strategy and process, and about your lessons learned? We would love to hear how you introduced the cloud concept to your staff, got them to embrace OneDrive, and how you empowered your savvy users to dive in!

Grace Fellowship Church
Baltimore, MD

Having just purchased a new file server in 2014, I wasn’t really excited about cloud storage in 2015 when we migrated to o365. In fact, I asked our network administrator if he thought the file server was a waste. He said, based on the stuff we were storing (not all Microsoft Office documents) and the way our departments worked, he didn’t think going all-in on cloud storage was the way to go. He said someday but not yet.

Last year we opened two remote sites and I put both of them on SharePoint because they didn’t have access to our File Server. Both have ties to people here and so the ability for the remote site to store everything in the cloud was great from a security AND a collaborative point of view.

For me, setting permissions felt odd. I’m used to right clicking on an entire folder and saying who can or cannot have access to it. In SharePoint permissions feel different…enough to feel a little bit clumsy BUT I got it set up and things are working well.

We use the OneDrive for Business sync tool to give people desktop access to the files. Permissions reared it’s ugly head here too. The remote staff needed access to all of the Sharepoint Documents. People in this building only needed access to one folder. The sync process has some issues with this. Tweaking the permissions with Microsoft’s help resolved that issue.

Users have to be a bit retrained. While OneDrive Sync does give you quick access to the files through a sync folder on the desktop/taskbar, the files contained in those folders aren’t really files. They are somewhat compressed shortcuts to the original files. Users are working against muscle memory when it comes to sharing them and attaching them.

They want to right click on a file and choose share. This causes a permission error that requires administrative access. I don’t give users Administrative access. Plus, I don’t think it’s designed to work that way. The fix is to train users to use the “Share” feature inside Office.

And, they want to “attach” a file to an email and hit send. Recipients are then forced to request “permission” to the file which gets sent back to the administrator to approve. This issue just cropped up yesterday. We are still testing different options to find the best resolution but I’m leaning toward recommending the Share function again. Near the bottom of the share taskpane is an attachment option.

The other issue when creating a Sharepoint Team site is to remember that the default size is 1 tb for all of your TeamSites. We ate that up in less than a year. Global Users started getting errors and the sync stopped working. When I called Microsoft, they pointed out that we needed to bump SharePoint up to 100 tb to give all of the Team Sites more elbow room. Quick fix but something I had to be told. I knew we had lots of space but I didn’t know Microsoft had throttled it.

I fight with people to stop putting their personal files on my file server. Now I tell them to move them all to OneDrive.

When people leave you have to remember to look at their OneDrive folder before you delete them or you could be deleting important files. Getting those files used to be horrible but now you can move files to Sharepoint easily and you can download easily. BUT you have to remember to look there before you nuke someone. Even casual users put stuff up there because Office makes OneDrive sort of a default – just by it’s position as 1 in the list of places.

I’m thinking of asking our art department to move their image files to SharePoint. I am absolutely drowning in jpgs. They eat up space on my SAN at the rate of 100 gb per quarter. I already can’t back it up.

I held classes by department to teach them how to use the collaboration tools built into the Share feature. Those were fun classes. I love to see people get excited about the potential of tech. I also appreciated sharing the ideas with one department with each department I trained.