Step-By-Step: Migrating from Exchange to Office 365

 Exchange to Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 services have attracted many companies. The Exchange Online offering in Office 365 is much simpler to handle, as it removes both the capital expense and the management burden associated with operating the Server version.

To migrate Exchange to Office 365 is a significant task for most companies, challenging months of pre-migration analysis, roadmap preparation, mitigation of problems in current on-premises infrastructure, and actual migration activities. There is a steep learning curve for IT managers who have never served on an Office 365 migration before.

This article provides a quick guide to migrating from Exchange to Office 365 to show you how to get started. And how to make things go more smoothly.

Why should we migrate Exchange to Office 365?

Whether you are a large, medium, or small-scale company decision-maker to migrate Exchange to Office 365, you need to check the below-mentioned benefits of switching to Office 365 from on-premises Exchange.

  • Office 365 is a subscription model that offers a lot of applications like Word, PowerPoint, SharePoint, etc. It is a standalone SaaS, where you do not need to put a lot of investment rather than paying the subscription charges.
  • Microsoft Office 365 stores all your documents on OneDrive, allowing you to access them from anywhere at any time.
  • Users don’t need to think about regular updates as Microsoft itself takes to upgrade Office 365 from time to time.
  • Users are switching from Exchange to Office 365 for several purposes, one of which is the increased security of data stored in the cloud.

All these reasons combine users to decide to move to Office 365. Now we’ll look for a way to migrate Exchange to Office 365

Best approach for Exchange to Office 365 migration

Before going for selecting the method for Exchange to Office 365 migration, you need to consider the given below factors:

  • How much data you to migrate?
  • Allotment of time to the migration project
  • What is the total budget assigned to the migration task?
  • What is the current version of the Exchange Server?

Now let’s quickly look at the available option to migrate Exchange to Office 365.

Native Methods-

To migrate your organization from Exchange to Office 365, you have three options:

  • Staged migration allows the movement of mailboxes in small batches.
  • The simplest alternative is cutover migration. It’s possible to describe it as copying and pasting mailboxes from the source server to the target environment.
  • Hybrid deployment permit Exchange and Office 365 to coexist.

Exchange to O365 Staged migration

Staged migration, as the name implies, a method to migrate mailboxes in small batches. This method will let you move the mailboxes in a small number of batches, and it is recommended to use when you are migrating over 2,000 mailboxes and are using Microsoft Exchange 2003 or 2007.

Exchange to Office 365 Cutover migration

The best way to migrate mailboxes to Office 365 is to use a cutover migration. It is close to staged migration, except that all mailboxes will move at the same time.  If you have less than 2,000 mailboxes and are using Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, or 2013, this Office 365 migration approach is perfect. Due to the time, it takes to migrate too many accounts, Microsoft suggests the cutover migration for businesses with less than 150 users.

Migrate Exchange to Office 365 using Hybrid migration

You need more than 2,000 mailboxes if you want to use a hybrid migration. It also required that you have Exchange 2010 or later enabled. To allow hybrid deployment connectivity, you must install at least one on-premises Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3 (SP3) server.

To migrate Exchange to Office 365 using the manual methods is quite a complex job for non-technical users to overcome this; you can look for a professional Office 365 migration tool.

Automated solution for Exchange to Office 365 migration

To simplify the task of migrating Exchange to Office 365, you can go with Shoviv Exchange Server Suite. This tool allows you to migrate Exchange to Office 365 mailboxes with proficiencies.

  • Users can export and save Email Items from different sources by adding multiple mailboxes as a source. Added Mailboxes can be Exchange Server, EDB Files, and Office 365, etc.
  • This tool provides an eDiscovery function that allows users to scan specific items based on item properties such as subject name, sender name, recipient name, attachment availability, and date requirements.
  • The feature to preview added source mailbox and check folder hierarchy helps to ensure that correct data goes for migration.
  • It is available with a free trial version wherein the users can process the first 50 items/folder.


We can’t deny that migrating Exchange to Office 365 using native methods is difficult and time-consuming. So, to get over these conditions, it is better to look towards a professional tool like Shoviv Exchange Server Suite.

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