Are you ready to move to Microsoft 365?

As technology continues to expand beyond boundaries, more innovative ways of increasing business productivity while mitigating expenses are discovered on a regular basis. A good example of such is the implementation of software as a service (SaaS).  

Saas simply refers to a software distribution system whereby users can easily access applications hosted by a cloud provider via the internet. This method completely frees businesses from the burden and complexities involved in hardware, as well as software installation, maintenance, and management. For a small business owner this means the budget for expensive hardware or software can be diverted towards something of much importance, as there won’t be need for them anymore. Also, you will enjoy a reduction in the cost of maintenance, zero charge on licensing, no need to hire expensive IT employee, as most Saas models are easy to operate and can be managed by the average computer user.  

Out of several Saas platforms that offer email, storage productivity tools, and so on, office 365 and G suite are considered the most popular ones. Both platforms offer great services, and are often compared to each other, however, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Choosing to use the G suite or Microsoft 365 is mostly dependent on the company’s requirements than just their natural preference. So it is important to know what each Saas offers, to help determine which will serve you better. Nevertheless, one can always migrate from G suite to office 365 and vice versa. 

Before we dive right in to how to move your organization from G suite to Microsoft 365, let’s highlight some of the questions most business owners do ask before making their choice of both platforms. This comparison aims to throw light on the advantage of one over the other. At the end you should be able to determine if you already made the right Saas choice or there’s need for you to migrate from G suite to Microsoft 365. 

Which is better G suite or Office 365? 

Your ideal choice relies on what you are looking for. Take for instance; the bulk of your work revolves around using Microsoft office applications like Microsoft Word, Power Point, Excel, etc. which most PC users are familiar with, you may want to consider sticking to Microsoft Office 365. 

G suite gives analogs of Word, Excel, Powerpoint that can be utilized online for collaboration and editing shared files. However, G suite’s interface is different from that of Microsoft office 365, and some users will find it difficult to navigate. This doesn’t make G suite any less great, neither does it make Office 365 greater, it all boils down to which you feel is more convenient for you to use. Google Docs versus Microsoft office is a hotly debated topic. 

Is Google drive better than Microsoft Office? 

This is an invalid comparison, yet, it is surprisingly one of the most frequently asked questions. Microsoft office is a set-up of various productivity software (including online apps of Microsoft 365), while Goggle drive is solely a cloud storage service. You can’t compare both of them. However, Microsoft office has its own cloud storage service called One Drive, which can be weighed against the Google drive. When comparing both drives, here are a couple of factors to note; 

  • User Interface convenience: is it easy for users to navigate? Can the average computer user operate it without advanced technical help? 
  • The cost each month (year). Which can you afford in the long run? 
  • Available cloud storage capacity. 
  • In-built recuperation options in case of a breakdown. 
  • Versioning. 

Considering these factors will help you determine which solution is generally reasonable for you. 

Which costs more G Suite or Microsoft 365? 

In most cases the cost for Microsoft 365 is similar in price to the cost for G Suite though Microsoft 365 includes many additional capabilities which may save you money in the long run. You can always get current pricing on the official website of Microsoft and Google, or forward a request to sales for more nitty-gritty data on the cost of each. However, pricing can be dynamic and may change at any time. It is important that the information you have on the prices is up to date to avoid costly mistakes. 

What distinguishes G Suite from Microsoft Office 365? 

There is a vivid distinction between both, starting from their web interface. The design and navigation applied in both are totally different. Some other notable can be spotted when comparing their cloud storage limits, file sharing options, versioning, maximum capacity of shared resources, and many more. In addition, Google allows you to enjoy a better search engine, as well as offers you integration with other Google services and products. Microsoft on the other hand offers better integration with Office 365, and other Microsoft solutions. 

Completing a successful G Suite to Office 365 migration may seem technical, nevertheless, there a several tools available that you can utilize to make the process seamless.  

  • The local tools accessible in the web interface of Office 365, G Suite, domain registrar, etc. are basically all you need for a G Suite to Office 365 migration. 
  • PowerShell; an efficient migration tool provided by Microsoft. 
  • Available APIs (Application Program Interface) and related tricks; they enable effective communication between two applications. 
  • A number of third-party software solutions are available for carrying out a hassle-free migration either from Office 365 to G suite or the other way round. 

However, the focus of this article is on how to migrate from G Suite to Office 365, utilizing the local tools available in the web interface. You will also learn how to use IMAP protocol to transfer emails.

How to Migrate from G Suite to Office 365 

Before you begin migration from G Suite to Office 365, you first have to add your domain to Office 365, and verify it. Note that you cannot use Office 365 for organizations unless you have a domain name. There a number of domain registrars that you can make use of, including Google Domains. What’s more important is the uniqueness of your domain name.  

It is highly recommended that your company should have a custom domain name. Fortunately, when you newly set up a Microsoft Office 365 account, the default email you will be given for your business is in this format; yourcomoany.onmicrosoft.com. Using this domain name helps to simplify configuration.  

Use a record in a TXT file provided by Microsoft to verify your domain and add the DNS record to your domain settings at your domain registrar. You can add custom DNS records manually to use Office 365 for organizations. If Domain Connect is supported by your domain registrar, the needed domain settings can be configured for Office 365 automatically in a few minutes. 

Add Users to Office 365 

Once your domain has been configured, you can now navigate to the Microsoft 365 admin center where you will begin to add users to your Office 365 for organization account. Bear in mind that each user you add requires a license before they can be activated. To generate and assign these licenses to added user accounts, you must buy a selected Office 365 subscription plan.  

The Basic plan, just as its name implies, offers your business all its basic remote solutions on a platter. Whereas the Standard and the Premium subscription plans offer all of the basic solution with some added advantages, including security for a higher price. Whatever plan you choose, make sure it suits your business needs. 

Also, it is required that each user has a mailbox in Office 365, before you can initiate a G Suite to Office 365 migration, with email and other data included. To maintain consistency, and avoid confusion, it is advisable to create usernames that are almost identical to the usernames used for the Gmail accounts. For example, Jackrobin_jade@mail.domain.com, and jackrobin_jade@o365.domain.com, the difference is in what comes after the “@”.  

Make a comprehensive list of all the email addresses you intend to migrate from G Suite to Office 365. A faster and easier way to do this is by utilizing Microsoft Office Excel to create a file containing a table where the email addresses of each user accounts can be inserted.  

First step is to create a new Excel file containing a three column table. Give the following Header names to each of the three columns: A — EmailAddress; B — UserName; C — Password. 

Next step is to sign in to Google as an organization administrator. Then go to the Users section in the admin console, which is where you will find the details of each user including the email address. 

Copy a Google email address of each user and right under the B column (the second column) of the Excel you created initially, paste each copied email address. 

Under column A input the appropriate email address of the users created in Office 365. Lastly, the third column (C) should include the password of each Gmail user account.  

For security reasons, it is advisable for you temporarily reset user passwords during the migration process to keep their real passwords a secret. At the end of the migration, users can easily replace the temporary passwords to their original one, or you may compose new passwords for users yourself. 

Note; for the period of the migration process, enable the IMAP settings for each Gmail user. Also, the Less secure app access option under the Gmail security settings should be enabled. 

Creating Migration Point 

Follow these steps to create migration points 

  • Open the Exchange admin center. 
  • Go to Recipients > Migration, click the three dots ( …) and select Migration endpoints. 
  • When the window pops up, click New (+). 
  • For the migration end point type, choose IMAP, and click next to continue.
  • Configure the required settings for the new migration endpoint. 

IMAP server: imap.gmail.com 

Authentication: Basic 

Encryption: SSL  

Port: 993 

Creating a Migration Batch 

Relocating a group of mail boxes from G Suite to Office 365 is best done using a batch. To test the efficiency of the migration configuration, create a batch containing few mailboxes for relocation. Implementing this approach, you will have a rough estimate of time needed for the migration of email accounts. If your test works out well, go ahead and create a larger batch and proceed with the migration. 

  • Go to recipients > migration. 
  • Click New (+) and select Migrate to Exchange Online. 
  • Set new migration batch options. 
  • Select IMAP migration (Supported by Exchange and other email systems). 
  • Click Next at each step to continue. 

Tap the browse button to select the created CSV file containing a list of user accounts and their passwords. The CSV file is immediately read, and the exact number of users in it is displayed. The example on the screenshot below displays 4 mailboxes to be migrated. 

Set IMAP migration configuration. 

IMAP server: imap.gmail.com 

Authentication: Basic 

Encryption: SSL 

Port: 993 

IMAP settings is needed to ensure connection to Google servers, authenticate users, and copy their mailbox data to Office 365 accounts. 

Give the new migration batch a name, let’s say, migration 1. There muight be some folders you don’t want to migrate, click the minus (–) icon and select folders that should be excluded from the process. The minused folderws will not be seen in the Office 365. 

Click the Browse button to appoint users who will be notified and be give a report after finishing the G Suite migration task is completed. 

Select Automatically start the batch to begin the batch, Immediately after that, run the G Suite to Office 365 migration process

Finally, select new to commence the G Suite to Office 365 migration. 

The syncing staus should appear to notify you that the migration has begun. It also enables you to monitor the status of mailboxes and alerts you if any of the mailboxes are unable to migrate. 

Checking MX Records 

At the end of the data migration stage, check for your domain in MX records. If after mifration from G Suite to Office 365, you still maintain the same domain name, all you need to do is edit MX records and configure email servers for sending emails to Microsoft Exchange servers, instead of Gmail servers. 

It takes about 72 hours for MX records to be updated on DNS servers. After 72 hours, you are free to stop synchronization with Gmail. However, before you stop the sychronization, ensure all your mportant email messages have been transferred. You can slso delete the migration batch.  

At the end of the G Suite to Office 365 migration, remember to replace the temporary passwords you had set for user accounts to a stronger and unique one. 

Transferring Google Docs to Office 365 

You can do this manually by a simple download and upload method. Firstly download all the necessary files from your Google drive. When you open up the web interface of your Google drive, you will notice that the default format in which Google docs application saves text documents is .gdoc. Select the gdoc files you want to migrate one after the other, and click on download. The Zip file containing your compressed documents immediately starts to prepare for download, in that process, your gdoc files are converted to the default Microsoft document format (docx). Save the downloaded zip file and extract all your documents into a folder you can easily locate on your computer. 

Now that your Google docs files have been extracted to your local computer, it’s time to upload them on to Office 365 OneDrive. Log in to your Office 365 account, once you are in, navigate to the application section, and click on the OneDrive icon. Finally, click on upload to import your initial Google docs files from your local computer into Office 365. 

What Data should you include when migrating from G Suite to Office 365? 

  • User accounts/email accounts from Gmail of Office 365 Outlook. 
  • Migrate all your documents and files from Google Drive to OneDrive. 
  • Contacts 
  • Calendar 
  • Meeting Rooms 

Note: If your Gmail migration involves a large amount of data transfer, you may experience a slowing down due to Google bandwidth limits. If care is not taken, it may lead to suspension of a Gmail user account. Below are some of the current Gmail limits.  

Download with IMAP      2500 MB per day 

Download with POP        1250 MB per day 

Upload with IMAP            500 MB per day 

Limits for using a web interface 

Download with web client: 750 MB per hour or 1250 MB per day 

Upload with web client (emails sent via Gmail SMTP are included): 300 MB per hour or 1500 MB per day 

If these limits are a barrier to you, opt for other G Suite migration alternatives, such as using API, migrationwith PST files, third-party solutions, and so on.

I hope that you found this article helpful. If you are interested in moving to Microsoft 365 and would like self help making the decision or making the switch, we’d love to help make IT easier for you! Call Blue Maven IT at 317-751-1705 or email itpro@bluemavenit.com

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