Chris is a Senior Software Engineer at ThreeWill. His area of focus is consulting in the development of Microsoft .NET and SharePoint technologies. His primary role has been development lead in recent projects. Project roles have ranged from Development/Technical Lead to Development Resource.
Find this Podcast “Migrating to Microsoft 365 Webinar” on the ThreeWill Soundcloud, Stitcher, and iTunes.
Danny Ryan: Hello, everyone. This Danny Ryan from ThreeWill. I’m VP of Business Development and co-founder, and this is a webinar on migrating to Microsoft 365. My subject matter expert for the day is Mr. Chris Edwards. Welcome Chris.
Chris Edwards: Hello.
Danny Ryan: Awesome. I appreciate everybody joining me today. I think we’re going to do this … Sort of the format for this is going to be conversational. Chris and I are just going to talk about some questions that we think are important for our customers to know about migrating to Microsoft 365. Just before we get started here, Chris, I guess you’ve done a couple of these migrations before in the past?
Chris Edwards: Yes. One for our own purposes; Internal staff turned to Microsoft 365, and then also a few customers as well.
Danny Ryan: Awesome. Awesome. Let me do a little … There’s a sponsor here who is paying for this webinar. [Just to 00:01:09] … [ThreeWill 00:01:09], a lot of folks who are on the call today are our current customers, so I’m not going to spend very much at all on this. I’ve been around for a long time focused in a lot of Microsoft technologies, excited about the stuff going on right now about Microsoft 365. We have … Probably the thing I’m most proud about if you were to take anything away, we’ve taken these surveys that Microsoft does from a independent source, and the last four times, we were ranked in the top 5% of Microsoft partners. I’m pretty proud of that. That’s pretty awesome stuff. We’ve also built a lot of connectors for companies like Atlassian, and Drive Software, and Salesforce.com. That’s it. That’s it with the commercial break.
Chris Edwards: We can now …
Danny Ryan: I’m [inaudible 00:01:55]. First one. Let me give you the slow pitch here. Just tell me what … For the people who maybe new to Microsoft 365, what is it, and why do you want to migrate to Microsoft 365?
Chris Edwards: I think it’s important to kind of have a quick definition of what Microsoft 365 is. If you try to migrate to it, if someone is assigned a task of actually moving a company to Microsoft 365, obviously should have a good idea of what we’re actually talking about here. Actually, I’ll read a definition from a co-worker; [Pitts Scalia 00:02:30]. I think it’s actually a pretty good definition of what it is. It says, “Microsoft 365 is an ‘evergreen’ Software as a service, or SaaS, environment which provides a continually updated suite of software services, including email, calendaring, task, search, collaboration sites, and more from Microsoft.
It’s pretty much all the stuff that you’re used to working with from a business perspective; all the Office products [where we excel 00:02:53], all that kind of crunchy goodness that folks are loving and are normally used to working with, plus SharePoint, plus email, plus some of the new things that are coming down the pipe, like Dell’s which is a pretty cool little add-on on top of Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 is cloud-based, so it’s a situation where you don’t have to have this infrastructure in your environment any more. You can have all these services in the cloud up and running, and basically it will update it for you.
We don’t have to worry about backups and things like that. You can license your users. If they want to … If users want to install Office on [optify 00:03:38] machines, they can do that. As long as you’ve got the licensing for it, they can install it on other [optify 00:03:41] machines, which is very cool. Just being able to do that and not worry about the licensing issues that go on with it. Like I said, it’s cloud-based, it eliminates the need for all the hardware infrastructure. That’s kind of my thing. I was involved a lot with that infrastructure at ThreeWill, kind of hosting SharePoint and keeping extra nuts up and running, and making sure backups were done, and all that kind of stuff, and be able to kind of push our content out to the cloud and not to worry about that so much. Certainly, [obviously 00:04:17] you have to worry about it, but it’s not a day-to-day thing that you have to deal with.
Danny Ryan: The thing that I’ve noticed is your hair is actually starting to come back …
Chris Edwards: It has started to come back.
Danny Ryan: That’s amazing. [crosstalk 00:04:28]. I’d love to tell you, seriously, the thing I’m noticing is there is a smaller [harm 00:04:33] coming from this [server 00:04:35]. [While I know 00:04:38] it’s as good, but …
Chris Edwards: Thanks a lot.
Danny Ryan: That’s great. I think you got into some of the white [ones 00:04:45]. It sounds like … It’s sort of like from a business productivity standpoint. That’s a lot of pretty much what you need.
Chris Edwards: It’s almost what you need, and I think Mike has often done a good job of introducing things that I know that you need. It’s that kind of thought. It’s [inaudible 00:04:59] to [coolest 00:04:59] stuff that’s coming out there, and really trying to stay ahead of the curve.
Danny Ryan: Next one, and this one is probably easier to go see of us. Chris and I have been working together, and we’ve put these questions out as a series of blog posts on the world famous Threewill.com. If you are interested, I’ve gotten some of them up. Not all of them are quite yet, but this one has … Since we are talking about references, URLs, it’s probably maybe easier if you wanted to go see some of these sites that Chris references. Just to go to our website, and go look up this question, or maybe a recent one that we put out there. What’s important … What sort of resources do you feel like is important for people to know about when they are doing this?
Chris Edwards: One of the things that I think is very important, and I’ll hit this [obviously 00:05:50] a set of times as we are talking, is making sure if you’re going to move to an environment where there’s Microsoft 365 or any environment, I think it’s important to establish an inventory and establish a plan of how you are going to do that. The first set of wings that they kind of dive into and you’ll see on they blog post is really around what the planning exercise. I’ve got a pretty simple one out there [inaudible 00:06:11]. How do you … If you are looking at your SharePoint environment, maybe you are an amateur at SharePoint, and you wanted to know what had actually been organized in that environment, and I want to be able to migrate that.
There is a simple way I got here for building an inventory that … I get it as an easier way to know what has been done. There is more links for that. If you want to plan your email. If you want to do an email migration, [inaudible 00:06:37] maybe the first thing that people kind of dive into Microsoft 365 with. That’s what we did, is dive into email first. How do you plan for that? How do you kind of make that a [seamless 00:06:48] process? Migration planning is one kind of format of the links. Another grouping, if you will, is more of the Microsoft 365 setup; things about how do you setup the administration portal, how do you set it up with your on-premise, premise? Maybe you want to keep an on-premise environment. You may want to keep kind of a hybrid of the two. How do you actually go about doing that? How do you make the decisions around that? These one links in here from a setup perspective that get into that.
If you’re more on the development side and you’re interested more of, “I want to develop some apps for Microsoft 365 or SharePoint,” there is some direct links to get hub in this case for the patterns of [practising 00:07:31] teams. Some really good content, some good guidance. There is a practical guidance in those links, but also some real code and some examples too. If you are interested more of the developer or the code side, then there’s some really good information there. Then tools, utilities. If you are doing a migration and you want to actually get this one done in a very predictable way, I’ve put some links to some tools … Some migration tools, like the Dockit tool, [MatchPoint 00:08:03], and a migration expert from [inaudible 00:08:05], and [Sharegate 00:08:06], and some other ones, so that you can take a look at it and do a free trial to see which ones are interested or maybe work for you.
Then a few other ones like around security [governance 00:08:18] and some things from Microsoft around their privacy, how they share data, how they deal with that kind of stuff. Whereas the data storage, it describes kind of how Microsoft organizes their data centers. Then customization is another large chunk if you wanted to customize. Kind of going back to that developer topic again, how do you … What are some guidelines as of things to be aware of when you’re customizing Microsoft 365 or particularly SharePoint, how will you go out to do that, and it kind of dives into those.
Danny Ryan: That’s great. Actually, as you were talking there, I just pulled up … Sort of showing my screen and pulled up the website and some of the links that are out there. I’ll probably run through those as we’re … Maybe if [there are ones 00:09:04] that are [in particular 00:09:05], it might be better for me to have a visual of … I’ll just [pull it up 00:09:08] on my screen.
Chris Edwards: [inaudible 00:09:09].
Danny Ryan: That’s great. I also feel, if folks have other links, there is a comment section here. We’d love to …
Chris Edwards: Absolutely.
Danny Ryan: … hear more links that perhaps you’re using that were helpful when migrating. I’d love to see any interaction on the website.
Chris Edwards: [I tend to 00:09:27] keep in mind. This is just … It’s really a more of a [inaudible 00:09:30]; this post that Danny is pulling up and some of the things we’re talking about. We have a [inaudible 00:09:34] from past experiences. There’s definitely more information, there is more stuff out there that [definitely 00:09:40] [afford 00:09:40] for people to add and comment on and contribute. It’s just getting the conversation going.
Danny Ryan: Nice. What are the differences with migrations? What are some of the different approaches that people could take to do the migration?
Chris Edwards: Sure. I kind of laid up my big three, or kind of the big three things you would look at is; do you want to buy a tool to do the migration? Maybe put the ownership on the tool to actually get the things done for you, or do you want to do it manually? Some folks are … Depending on how large their shop is, whether they are dealing with SharePoint … Large SharePoint environment. Do they want to just manually move their content over, or do they want to build something that’s custom?
Basically, there is a blog post out there that’s related to this as well. I think in the end, I would lean people towards investigating the tools first, and really kind of kick in some tiers on that to see if one of them will work for you. There’s free trials out there, one I’ll give them a shot. If you are dead set on, “I don’t want to buy tools, I’ll do this myself.” You can do it manually, and the blog post that I put out there describes kind of how you would … From a SharePoint perspective, how maybe you’d move some insights. In this case, in the example I gave, I’m moving sites from SharePoint 2010 to Microsoft 365.
I kind of lay out the painful process of how that worked. I really wanted to go through that process to say, “If we will do this manually, what will it look like? What is really possible?” Microsoft doesn’t really provide a way to say, “Here is a site collection backup. Take and upload that on Microsoft 365, and then make a site out of it.” There is no simple way of doing that where you could have been working on on-premise type scenario. Maybe that’s a good thing, because stuff has changed, they don’t know where you are coming from. You maybe coming from 2007, you maybe coming from 2010, you maybe coming from a different environment all together like Jive, or some other repository. I would say, use a tool … Find the tool that works for you, but feel free to read through the blog post. It kind of describes, like I said, some higher level of how you would you do this manually, but …
Danny Ryan: That’s wonderful. This is what you should not do.
Chris Edwards: Pretty much.
Danny Ryan: Maybe it would be more effective if you said it’s a pain then you put that in the [blood red 00:12:13], or just something [crosstalk 00:12:15].
Chris Edwards: Please don’t do this ever. Leave it to the experts. If you’ve had just a few sites, there may be some small sites, and maybe there’s just a few in your environment, you just want to move over. Following a process like this is …
Danny Ryan: Totally could be …
Chris Edwards: … fun. That’s why we wanted to kind of work through that. Maybe things of that [inaudible 00:12:36]. I’m not saying that this is the [end 00:12:39] way of doing this manually. There maybe other even better ways. Again, [inaudible 00:12:43]. If folks have better ways of doing this stuff, I’d definitely love to learn about it. It’s really more of that collaborative kind of [inaudible 00:12:52].
Danny Ryan: Awesome. Getting this … This is sort of a [inaudible 00:12:58] question, which is, what should we migrate? Let’s start with that.
Chris Edwards: Okay. One of the things that … I talked a little about this earlier is the whole planing concept. You really want to kind of understand what is in your source environment before you kind of go through over the migration. If you don’t know what’s in your source environment, your current environment, how are you going to know if you are successful in the end if you can consider the migration done and completed it successfully? I’ve kind of emphasized that in some of these blog posts.
What do you migrate? Things like SharePoint sites, SharePoint document libraries, things like that. It’s important to make an inventory of those, and I think most of that stuff most likely will come along … Will be migrated, but I think it’s important when you are going through this inventorying process is to figure out what sites do I just not care about anymore? What sites are just not used anymore? I really like kind of have taken a step back. I really think it’s an opportunity when you are migrating on 365 to clean things out.
Danny Ryan: To clean house.
Chris Edwards: The lesser you have to migrate, the faster this is going to get done too. Right?
Danny Ryan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris Edwards: If you can keep things that you know you don’t use anymore. [Take 00:14:16] an inventory, figure out what other inventory you don’t need anymore, and really focus on the highest [priority 00:14:22] items and work on them first. I think that’s definitely a good step in the right direction. Again, it’s trying to make you successful. You don’t want to be doing this forever. You want to get this done. You really want to start taking advantage of the opportunity that Microsoft 365 presents to users. There’s some great stuff out there. Let’s get this done and get it in their hands, and really take the opportunity to do it right. I kind of lay out some things.
We’ve done some migrations from Jive in this case. The thing is actually are one of the things [as references 00:14:58] in the blog where we go through more of a content type mapping exercise. Something in Jive might be a binary file or a specific collaborative document in Jive. We’ve figured out, what is that going to leave in SharePoint or in Microsoft 365? I think it’s important from a content type or a type like type perceptive to go through and [inaudible 00:15:22] those mappings. That’s kind of an addition to what I just said where you figure out, [“What 00:15:25] is this not going to go?” I have an inventory of what is going, what’s not going, and then this is really kind of from a content type by type perspective, taking a look at it and say, “What do I really want to move over here?”
Danny Ryan: Next is the other question, so we’re talking about what should you, what should you not migrate?
Chris Edwards: It’s kind of the inverse of that. I can say it’s an opportunity. Do you want to move over or still content. Stuff that’s just not …
Danny Ryan: Here is a picture of [inaudible 00:16:01] walking away. So sad. Move on.
Chris Edwards: Bye-bye.
Danny Ryan: You’re not coming with us to Microsoft 365.
Chris Edwards: Exactly.
Danny Ryan: You’re not coming to the cloud.
Chris Edwards: See you later. I mean that is the things that really kind of bug you down, maybe in your current environment. Things like, some of the customizations. Maybe you’ve made some specific customizations that really just don’t … That can’t be migrated to Microsoft 365. If you’ve got a lot of specific SharePoint firm-based solutions, maybe you’ve got a lot custom code that’s in there. Some of that stuff want to kind of come over, so it’s identifying that stuff and figuring out, “It’s not coming over. What are my alternatives? How do I … Does this particular piece a functionalities of all the problems that I need to deal with.
This is that … Again an opportunity of how do I do this in a proper way in a could-based environment. This is really making me to think to do that. Again, it kind of emphasizes the whole planning comes up. Where is this content going to go? Another thing I really think it’s really kind of tough to migrate is the, “What? The social pieces?” Look at how you go.
Danny Ryan: Sorry. I clicked this problem. [I’ve little clicked 00:17:20] this problem here. It’s like [inaudible 00:17:22]. It’s [probably 00:17:24] [my 00:17:24] [inaudible 00:17:24] [here 00:17:24]. Go ahead.
Chris Edwards: It’s something … What I’m saying is something … This social piece is like in SharePoint … I’m really focusing on more of the SharePoint conversation here, but things like “likes,” and “following,” and more of the social cues, and commenting, and ratings. Things like that are great, but I would be careful if they are a hindrance or if they are complicated to migrating your situation. I would avoid them, it’s really … Unless there’s something irrelevant in the conversation or in the content moving forward, let that evolve in the new environment. Let that show up in the new environment.
Really, I would use that information; that metadata; likes, following, what are people … How are people really looking at this information, how they are using it. Use that information when you are doing your inventory and say, “Okay. How should I restructure this? How should organize my content? People are interested in this, so therefore, maybe I should organize it in a slightly different way.” It’s an opportunity to be able to do that, but just purely moving that content over, I would say that’s kind of a lost thinking in some cases.
Danny Ryan: It’s amazing how much content that’s out there that’s time sensitive, so then over time, maybe just having an archive of it on a PDF is more appropriate, and trying to move it over so that it can become a Yammer threat or whatever.
Chris Edwards: I’ve heard folks say, “I just want to move all my social stuff into a [distant 00:18:51] … I want to go ahead and create a bunch of yammer of content, and a bunch of posts in Yammer.” I was like, “Do you really want to that?” [inaudible 00:18:59] stuff is time sensitive detail. You may want to, it may be certain reasons why you would, but all times, it’s, “Who’s going to loo at it?” Are you just going to clutter up your system?
Danny Ryan: I just have a visual on my mind like seeing … Opening up Yammer and seeing like 8,362 messages and …
Chris Edwards: Exactly. What do you do with all that information?
Danny Ryan: I don’t want that. I do not want that, and I think I’ve got a email box that can deal with that. That’s enough.
Chris Edwards: One other thing I was just going to drop you. [crosstalk 00:19:33]. It’s okay. It’s all right. I think one thing I want to touch on is I think it’s easy to think, “I just want to go ahead and migrate all of my users off My Sites. Maybe there’s these people who have SharePoint on My Sites and they are used to using that. People have thousands of desktops. It’s easy to think, “There is this new fantastic thing called “OneDrive for Business” out there. They can just go ahead and dump everything in the OneDrive for Business.
I really think that there is an opportunity there as well for users. It’s really a training opportunity. Why not make people aware of what OneDrive for Business is. It’s a great new thing in Microsoft 365; great new service. Let people … Train them how to use it, and teach them how to actually lower their content. Let them migrate their own content that’s appropriate, let them share it appropriately, and actually use that as an opportunity to learn the platform. That would be my suggestion. It doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s appropriate for every situation, every organization, but I think it’s a good opportunity to invest in some folks and get some training out there.
Danny Ryan: Nice. I’m [calling 00:20:38].
Chris Edwards: You do it. Do it.
Danny Ryan: Okay. Do it. What do I need to know about user management and authentication?
Chris Edwards: One thing … Kind of jumping down to the details here, is that in order for users to use Microsoft 365, everyone of the users has to have a cloud-based identity of some sort in order to assign a license in order give them actual service functionality. One of the things I do on the blog posts is associated to this. I kind of shared some information about kind of what we did wrong with regards to this. How do we jump the [inaudible 00:21:16] a little bit. I kind of [inaudible 00:21:18] second to describe that.
One of the things we did is that we said, “Let’s go ahead and try using Microsoft 365.” Let’s not worry about all the users. This is going to tier users up and running, set up a tenant and actually begin working with it. When you do that and you set it up on Microsoft 365, it automatically sets you up with users that are in the on Microsoft domain, and it allows you … [Signed 00:21:46] licenses allows you to use the product. Whenever you come back, and let’s sway you wanted to make your domain, your company, your actual company’s domain, and their domain email address as part of that structure, one of the things we ran into is that users had already created this on Microsoft set of accounts … Separate accounts, and we brought in users … In this case, email accounts instead of duplicate accounts.
That was kind of a painful thing to have to go back and clean up, and just reassign licenses. Again, it goes back to that planning. It’s like, if you are going to jump into Microsoft 365, it’s fine to go ahead and setup maybe a Jive or test tenant, keep the tiers a little bit that way, but if you are going to do it for your organization, then take a step back and make sure before you add users, go ahead and make sure you understand what is the process of adding my domain, adding my email accounts, and make sure you do the job with the users first before you really allow people to start getting in there. It’s just lessons learned. Again, it wasn’t really a big deal for us to clean up, but it’s just one of those things you were trying to get in there, and …
Danny Ryan: If you are an organization of 10,000 people or something like that …
Chris Edwards: You wouldn’t want to do that. You are going to want to [inaudible 00:22:59] and have to go back and, “Oh, we made a mistake,” and then revoke and move things around it. That would seriously frustrate people, so I would avoid that. I kind of dag in dipper. That’s kind of a story related to authentication and kind of just setting up users. I’ll kind of read a little bit from the blog post itself there is that; there is really three different kinds … From an authentication perspective, there’s three different kinds of identity. There’s cloud identity which you have to have, and then building on top of that, you’ve got the synchronized identity which is really, if you wanted to have your company’s active directory or company’s directory service, all the user accounts synchronized into Microsoft 365, and then be [a vice-versa because 00:23:40], because I’m [inaudible 00:23:41] my hands by the way.
Danny Ryan: It’s very entertaining.
Chris Edwards: [inaudible 00:23:44] is like, “What is he doing?”
Danny Ryan: It’s very entertaining. You know they can’t see us.
Chris Edwards: I know. I know. Probably a good thing. It’s a good thing. If you wanted to kind of keep your identity details, in this case, maybe even your password and your profile, and things like that synchronized between Microsoft 365, and how it’s being used there as well as your current active directory directory that’s in your organization, synchronized identity might be the appropriate tool to use there. The one thing is that with synchronized identity, you don’t really get the SSO, the single sign-on experience, in order to truly get more of that single sign-on experience. There’s another level of complexity you have to introduce, which is more like around a proxy service that federates and gets into more of authentication for a particular user.
If I were to sign in to Microsoft site as email@example.com, what it might do is it might hit Microsoft and then bounce back to ThreeWill to say … [Basically an 00:24:51] active directory federation service proxy would come back to us and say, “Who is this user? Is he valid,” and able go back. Kind of that whole, a handshake and that exchange, kind of back and forth, and actually have the ability for Microsoft Microsoft 365 to pull back into ThreeWill, in this case, to find out who the user is. Some companies may not want that level of direction. They may not want redirects into their organization. With that in place, you can have more of a single sign-on experience. You sign in once, and you can go all over the place.
It’s really making sure you understand what those are. Cloud identity is the simplest synchronized identities. They’re the next level up, and it provides [inaudible 00:25:32] which you want to synchronize profile properties, and email, and pictures, and things like that between what’s available in Microsoft 365 and your active directory, then you can do that. Federated is that next level of [what should 00:25:44] allows you to do the single sign-on experience. That’s the gist of it there. I’ve got some links in one of the points we talked about earlier. I’m going to get deeper into this and describe, “How do you set up these types of authentication? How do you set up these identities? How do you set up the trust between Microsoft and your domain to get into those details?”
Danny Ryan: Here is what I had to say about that answer.
Recording: [inaudible 00:26:15].
Chris Edwards: Nice. You’ve to be, a little bit. [crosstalk 00:26:21].
Danny Ryan: I got about maybe 10% to 15% of what you just said.
Chris Edwards: Okay. That’s good.
Danny Ryan: I’m sure folks on the line have a lot more than I did. It looks like there are some options here, which is good.
Chris Edwards: There are definitely some options, and it’s worth understanding, really, what do you need? Do you need to be able to synchronize identities and [crosstalk 00:26:43]. I’ll stop talking.
Danny Ryan: All right, next up; where to host things. What are my options?
Chris Edwards: I just laid out three different options. I think there’s probably more out here, a different kind of variation …
Danny Ryan: This, by the way, is where we ended. I was moving the blog post up. I have this, so I’m not going to pull it out. Maybe you need to talk more with your hands.
Chris Edwards: Okay, that will be helpful. You’ve established how helpful that is.
Danny Ryan: Sorry, [go ahead 00:27:16].
Chris Edwards: That’s cool. I would say, for the big three options … Really, there’s another variation to … I’ve kind of mentioned “hybrid” before, but a single tenant where with a single tenant, you can establish your own domain. Kind of what we talked about earlier with the authentication. You can add your domain as a valid domain to be [inaudible 00:27:37] with an environment. Single tenant allows you to do that. The complexity is pretty low. The cost is fairly low as well. If you need to step it up, you can go to what’s called a “multi-tenant scenario.” Some reasons you might want to do that is if your company has very specific regionalization requirements where maybe they have a tenant who lives in Europe or the U.S., the data cannot leave that particular country [inaudible 00:28:08]. Maybe you have to have a multi-tenant scenario in that sense. Problem though is the complexities introduced.
There’s users that are in those multi-tenants, users that are in the U.S., and users that are in Europe in this case. They’re really external users too [inaudible 00:28:26]. You kind of lose functionality. Some of the things like Dell or some of the other products that are out there in these tenants, you kind of lose some of these things. It kind of falls off a little bit. You solve the problem by the regionalization piece and maybe some other things around governance, but you do lose things as well. That’s an option. The other option is …
Danny Ryan: There’s no special relationship that you can create between the tenants. At least at this point, there isn’t.
Chris Edwards: I have not seen that. The tenants can actually refer to each other, but the users are quite external as they interact with each other. It may be useful. One thing too is another option is [inaudible 00:29:11] are dedicated, and [other ones have00:29:13] a really whole lot of experience with this. My understanding is that it’s Microsoft’s way of saying, “If you wanted to be in the cloud or in your own hardware, in kind of your own environment, there is that ability to do it; more of a dedicated cloud-based Microsoft 365.” There’s more of that [white gloss 00:29:33] service, if you will. You’ve got different levels of support. You’ve got more dedicated resources to work with, but [inaudible 00:29:43] some of the same issues are with multi-tenant.
Overall, I think from what I’ve seen … This is my experience. The single tenant seems to be the best option for folks, as long as they can deal with some of the realization or some of the things related to that.
Danny Ryan: We may be getting some real time help here from Kirk [crosstalk 00:30:07].
Chris Edwards: Okay. What does Kirk have to say?
Danny Ryan: Kirk, I sent you a chat message. If you want … Actually, I can probably just … If you have something to add here, I can unmute you here.
Chris Edwards: Kirk, did you have something to add?
Kirk: I was just confirming there is no special relationship when you have two tenants. If you are in a multi-tenant environment, but you have multiple tenants, if you have two of them, they don’t have a special relationship between each other. [crosstalk 00:30:39] does not consider a very relationship there.
Chris Edwards: Awesome! Thanks Kirk.
Danny Ryan: Thanks Kirk.
Chris Edwards: Cool.
Danny Ryan: There’s our [first checker 00:30:47].
Chris Edwards: It’s okay.
Danny Ryan: [We’ve got a 00:30:49] [first checker 00:30:50] in the crowd. Thank you, Kirk. You are awesome.
Chris Edwards: That’s good. One thing that I don’t really lay out, I think, in the post too much is the hybrid. We talked about that a little but earlier. You can have SharePoint in your own premises environment that works alongside of SharePoint that’s in the cloud, or maybe you have hybrid exchange. You may have some email exchange services in the cloud in Microsoft 365, and also in your local exchange [link the same 00:31:23] [thing 00:31:23]. There’s [certain 00:31:24] things you can have really in both places. That’s really where you start getting into the federated identity, and is that really needed? Folks are moving from an on-premise resource to Microsoft 365 resource. You really don’t want them to have to sign in and authenticate it every time they move around.
You want that to be a singles experience. That goes hand in hand a little bit with the choice of whether you’re going to do a federated identity or a synchronized identity. These things kind of go together, if you will.
Danny Ryan: [Yeah, sure 00:31:55]. Next, is there a process for migration? We have a nice [three-letter acronym 00:32:07] here. It’s [IMM 00:32:10]. Talk about IMM.
Chris Edwards: This is my thing. I found this useful … Really thought more seriously about this when we were doing the Jive to [shift to 00:32:23] Microsoft 365; some of the migrations with that. The whole concept is IMM is: inventory, map, and migrate. The thought here is that … I talked about this, and I’ve said it many times; the planning, inventory is more of that planning. What are some simple ways that you can go after your target environment? Maybe it’s Jive. Maybe it’s your [inaudible 00:32:42]. Get a list of all your buckets, a list of all your sites; all your site collections, all your sites, all your webinar applications. Produce a list to get your hands around, what are you really looking at? What is your intent to migrate? Within that you can say [inaudible 00:33:02], “I want to be able to clear off …” There are simple tools. I referenced one in the links earlier of how to go off and get maybe a SharePoint sale sites.
I’ve actually written a tool inside of … Folks, if you’re interested more about that, I can share that. If you want to go off to Jive and find out what that inventory looks like in, say Jive, I’ve got a tool that actually goes and produces that. It produces a database that lists all these different content; what is actually out there? Where do I intend to migrate? The idea is that that information could be fed into this mapping exercise. Map is the piece where you say, “I want to hand this off. I’ve got a collection of data,” so that from more of a team perspective, I could hand this off to a team of folks that really understand their content, [inaudible 00:33:52] companies that understand their company much better that say I would.
I’m working with a company that deal with migration. I can hand this spreadsheet .. Maybe it’s a spreadsheet, maybe it’s a database. The inventory can be in different blogs … Whatever is appropriate to whatever the customer needs. Maybe it’s a spreadsheet. I hand off that to a team, and they go through it, and they decide, “Of these individual things, what is actually going to be migrated?” Maybe there are some questions. The blog that’s going to be related to this is going to have some questions. Should a particular item be migrated to Microsoft 365? Do you really care about migrating this? If “yes,” where is it going to be migrated to? You need answer that question. If “no,” do you want to archive this content? It may be something you want to keep, [somewhere maybe this 00:34:36] later on. You want to have some decision point around this particular piece of content. Maybe you don’t care about it at all.
Then also, who is the owner of the content? If the content can be migrated successfully, who can verify that it’s been done? This is this mapping exercise; [any 00:34:53] special notes about a content, capture that. It’s being able to, at the mapping level, being able to, site by site, content by piece of content, being able to make a valid decision of where it’s going to go. That’s actually going to help if you bought a tool. It’s going to help you be able to divide and conquer on your migration software tool or even if you’re doing a major migration. It will help you … Actually before you migrate them. The “migrate” step is the last one. This is based on their decisions from the mapping piece? What are you going to do? You’re going to execute them. You’re going to get your staff to migrate them. That’s really what’s happening here.
Danny Ryan: Got you. I just pulled up … I know it’s not up in the blog yet, but the content that you went through this [inaudible 00:35:41].
Chris Edwards: One of the things that’s worked out pretty well is that when you’re going through this inventory process and the mapping exercise, folks can usually list out maybe a top ten. Let’s say from a mapping perspective [with 00:35:56] a list, maybe you’ve got a thousand sites you want to migrate, I would encourage someone when they’re doing the mapping exercise to figure out, what is your top ten …? What’s complex, or sites, or pieces of content there are going to exhibit the most complexity? Go ahead and identify those, so that when you’re doing your migration piece … Migration piece might be [inaudible 00:36:18]. You might go through these ten sites or these ten pieces of content multiple times.
You want to have something that you can chew on and work through the issues. You don’t want to have to go through and learn as you go with a large, say a thousand sites, and never know if you’re going to get through everything. You want to have some predictability. You want to say, “Let’s pick a top ten,” or a “top 20,” or whatever makes sense for your organization. Identify and pick those. Work through the issues in migrating those. Make sure that there are owners that can verify the content. Make sure that the stuff is going to end up in Microsoft 365 in a way that makes sense, and be able to re-do it over and over again. Don’t be afraid to blow it away and restart again. You really want to be able to do that.
It’s kind of that developer model where you [inaudible 00:37:07], I want to be able to work and prove out something before I really pass it on to QA or pass it on to more of a user-acceptance kind of environment; that same approach with [more of a 00:37:18] migration.
Danny Ryan: Good stuff. Next question I’m sure that everybody has which is, how do I know my content is secure?
Chris Edwards: This is my opinion. I think that Microsoft is going to do a good job. If they don’t, they’re going to be blasted for it. [Isn’t that so 00:37:37]? I would say that they they’ve got … I’ve got a reference in the content [inaudible 00:37:43] …
Danny Ryan: I’ll pull that up right now [inaudible 00:37:44] show it to folks.
Chris Edwards: They’re very transparent about where [data lives 00:37:50]. The data is yours. That’s my understanding is that the data belong … When you migrate to Microsoft 365, the data is still yours. They’re probably going to put there best practices around getting to that data and more of the redundancy, and the resiliency, and distributive nature of the data. They’re going to put best practices around those types of things; making sure that your content is available. I think they’re going to do a pretty good job on that. It’s unlikely that someone is going to walk in to Microsoft and grab a hard drive and walk away with it. That’s probably unlikely going to happen. From that sense, from a company perspective or on-premise perspective, that happens all the time. It would be very easy for someone to walk into their data center, and grab something, and …
Danny Ryan: [I’d go back 00:38:33] to our server [inaudible 00:38:34] [crosstalk 00:38:37] make sure everything is okay, and we’ve got the appropriate measures put in place.
Chris Edwards: Exactly. That’s awesome. That’s just my opinion. I think Microsoft has got this covered. It’s like anything else. Security is always kind of open to an interpretation in terms of at what level we’re talking about. I think one of the things that I [inaudible 00:39:04] in the blog is that you’ve got to be careful with the external user access. If you are in SharePoint, and you’d invited an external user to look at your content, something to be aware of is that there are certain scenarios where those external users can invite other external users. Based on how things are set up and the defaults, that can happen. From that perspective, I think you just have to really understand the platform and understand what that external sharing is. That’s another opportunity to educate your users.
We talked about the OneDrive Business earlier is an opportunity to educate users as well. As you share with the external users, I think really understanding what your organization needs and [whether 00:39:51] this is the best practice with that, I think you need to walk through some scenarios with that and make sure that you’re not exposing data that you don’t really want to.
Danny Ryan: Kirk, I saw you had your hand raised. I’m going to unmute you here. It looks like you had another comment that you’d like to make. Hold on one second. Go ahead. You are on, Kirk.
Kirk: Yeah. I don’t want to go too deep in this area, but I believe that there is shredded storage and maybe other techniques in place to prevent even your data from really existing on a single drive. If someone makes off with hardware, of course there’s going to be encryption as well. It’s going to be really hard for them to get access to your data. It’s likely that it’s saved across several drives. Of course, that doesn’t mean no one can get access whatsoever in certain ways. I’m sure some administrators can, and that they’ve got some controls around that, but there’s other controls in place, like shredded storage that I think are making it harder for anyone to get access to it. That’s all.
Danny Ryan: Thanks, Kirk. [inaudible 00:40:58]. Next up, what we have is about customization. Can you customize it/tailor it [crosstalk 00:41:13]?
Chris Edwards: [inaudible 00:41:16].
Danny Ryan: “I would like to tailor my Microsoft 365.”
Chris Edwards: [inaudible 00:41:22].
Danny Ryan: [inaudible 00:41:23].
Chris Edwards: [inaudible 00:41:24].
Danny Ryan: I’m sorry, go ahead.
Chris Edwards: it’s all right. My initial reaction would be, “Absolutely.” You can definitely customize things. However … I put this in the upcoming blog post as well is that, I would caution how far you want to take that. Yes, you can customize it, but really, I would emphasize or encourage folks to really learn and understand the platform, and how it’s organized. You’ve got a lot of tools and a lot of pieces … A lot of services coming together here in Microsoft 365. You’ve got OneDrive, you’ve got SharePoint, you’ve got email potentially, we’ve got link, you’ve got, [I also should 00:42:06] say, Skype for business now, which has just been rolled out. You’ve got lots of things that are all coming together, kind of in one potential user interface.
I would explore that first before I would just say go ahead [inaudible 00:42:19] and customize it and change it. This is general comment there. One of the common things .. I’ve got more links in the tools section that we talked about earlier. One of the common things people like to customize [would be look 00:42:34] and view, “I want my SharePoint, but I don’t want to look like SharePoint.” That’s the common thing here. There are some good practices for how you do that in Microsoft 365. One of the things you’ve got to be aware of is that Microsoft can pretty much at any point and time … There are certain things they have to go through and [QA and prove 00:42:58] out before they can roll or [change is up 00:43:00], but they can pretty much change things as they’d like.
This is a good and a bad thing. You get the latest [bits 00:43:05]. You get their latest good stuff, but at the same time, if you made customizations, they may roll something out that can break that. You have to be aware and you really have to pay attention to what their release schedule is. There actually is a true release schedule. I believe it’s like blogs. [inaudible 00:43:26] actually has the release schedule for what’s coming out on Microsoft 365. Pay attention to that.
Danny Ryan: That was one of the links up on the blog post that you referenced my blog post on one of your blog posts.
Chris Edwards: Exactly. Top ten, right? [inaudible 00:43:42]. You can do things like custom branding, may be the example; you want to make your Microsoft 365 look a little bit different or you want to make it look totally different. There are ways of doing that, but since Microsoft can push that stuff at any point and time, I would lean on some of the links that I’ve put out there. One of the guidance items is to not actually make customizations to the master page. You may have a …
Danny Ryan: No.
Chris Edwards: Exactly. Don’t touch the master page.
Danny Ryan: No!
Chris Edwards: No. You change it … It very likely that Microsoft is [inaudible 00:44:22] to change that, and then your stuff is either broken, or gone, or just in a weird place on the screen. Who knows? I would advice, if you’re doing custom branding is to look some of the [inaudible 00:44:31]; these built in themes that you can change. You can actually go out and buy themes now for Microsoft 365. If that’s just not enough for you, if you get in there and it’s like, “This is okay. This changes an image and changes the color, so that doesn’t really suit my company,” I can understand companies want their brand to follow through and shine through. It totally makes sense. There are some other options where you can apply and build custom CSS, and I give an example of that.
There’s a [Heather Solomon 00:44:59] post that’s out there that’s really cool. [You guys 00:45:03], you have to take a look at it. This was CSS, and not master page. Just changing CSS, she has made SharePoint Microsoft 365 [look like 00:45:09] something totally different. Very cool. [inaudible 00:45:13] available. Some of the other things like building custom apps and extending Microsoft 365 to do different things, that’s something we specialize at ThreeWill. We do that kind of stuff. If folks are interested in learning more about that or even maybe talking about that more, I would encourage them to talk to maybe yourself, Danny, or one of us to dig in deeper. Definitely possible. Like I said, I always encourage folks to really learn the platform first before really changing it around.
Danny Ryan: Great stuff. Out of these ten, what do you have your say you want one thing that folks want to take away from this entire conversation?
Chris Edwards: The whole concept of the IMM; the inventory, mapping, migrate, and the planning that goes into that. Making sure you’ve got a plan, you’ve got the right resources involved, you’ve identified your tool if you choose to do that, and you have the team in place that’s going to do this. Actually for larger migrations, you really want to use this [as 00:46:19] an opportunity. It’s going to be a fun exercise. Migrations can be a painful exercise if you have to re-do stuff. I shared some stories a little earlier where we made some changes. We started using Microsoft 365, and we had to re-do stuff. Those things don’t make people happy, because they, “Why are you moving around the place?” They’re just not pleasant. Planning, [doing 00:46:43] the right job of … Doing the planning exercising is definitely an important thing. That’s really it.
The essence of this is some bumps in the road. We found some bumps in the road. I shared some of these in the blogs. Danny is going to put up some more of the blog posts that describe some of these things we’ve read into. Hopefully that will help you maybe avoid maybe some of those things and make migration be smoother, if you decide to go down that road.
Danny Ryan: Awesome. Thank you for taking the time for doing this, Chris. I appreciate it.
Chris Edwards: Absolutely.
Danny Ryan: We actually were recording this entire webinar, so it will be available later on. I’ll send a link out so you can share it with your colleagues. In the meantime if there’s any questions that you have, we do monitor the blog. Feel free to leave a comment out there, and we’ll respond back to you on that. I really appreciate everybody taking the time today to listen in. Chris, I appreciate the time that you’ve taken to write this up and to share some of your experiences about migrating to Microsoft 365.
Chris Edwards: If the folks have comments, as I said, I definitely welcome all that. If I missed anything, let me know. We’d like to talk through it and figure out where we can do better.
Danny Ryan: Awesome. With that, we’ll go ahead and wrap things up. Thank you so much for joining this webinar. Have a wonderful weekend. Take care.
Chris Edwards: Bye.
Danny Ryan: Bye-bye.