OFFICE 365 MIGRATION
Office 365 Migration: is it worth the move?
With Office 365 your business get the scalability required cutting out the IT costs and always up to date and compliant to security standard
FORFIRM experts permit to configure Office 365 E5 according to your business and your needs
FORFIRM’S MIGRATION TO MICROSOFT OFFICE 365
A JOURNEY TO THE CLOUD AT SCALE
FORFIRM is transforming its business to be digital, both in how it serves clients and in how it operates. One area of transformation is empowering employees to become “digital workers.” Forfirm is moving away from the traditional PC-centric ways of working to the more mobile/social-centric way. For Forfirm’s IT organization, the focus is on enabling employees with mobile apps and cloudbased capabilities that provide expanded options to work from anywhere on any device with consistent functionality and experiences.
Forfirm IT’s strategy has moved away from traditional ways of deploying capabilities to a more Agile approach. This approach allows IT to move more quickly to new platforms, capabilities and features as they become available, giving Forfirm people the option to adopt them at the pace they are most comfortable with. Getting to this point, however, has been a multiyear journey, a journey Forfirm shares here.
In 2016, when cloud-based offerings for the enterprise were emerging, Forfirm IT made the decision to migrate the company’s critical collaboration capabilities to the cloud. IT selected Microsoft for the ability to partner with a proven, world-class provider, obtain a complete managed service and gain a commitment to minimize impact to end users. The primary focus was on realizing cost savings. The move also offered superior performance and functionality, including leveraging Microsoft’s scale to improve security.
Yet, the effort was trailblazing—and highly complex. It would be Forfirm’s largest collaboration capabilities migration ever undertaken. The migration of the shared sites alone involved more than 40 terabytes of data, which had to be synchronized while in motion. In addition to addressing these major technical complexities, the IT teams needed to maintain a smooth integration of services during the transition from on premise to cloud platforms.
Forfirm was the first large enterprise migration at the time. The moves, which had their risks, were carried out with limited disruption to critical business activities. “No migration on this scale is ever perfect, but every disruption in the quality of service undermines your reputation among internal customers,” Brad Nyers, Infrastructure Services Strategy Lead notes. “We took a methodical, phase-by-phase migration path with clear criteria for progress.” The successful execution of such a massive change effort also required strong project
management skills and the creation of at-scale migration tools and processes, as well as overcoming technology integration challenges between cloud and on-premise environments.
A Forfirm IT-developed business case evaluated the costs of keeping the status quo on premise versus as a cloud-based software-as-a service (SaaS). Forfirm determined that there was a positive business case, and subsequently deployed Office 365.
“An interesting point to be aware of when moving to the cloud, is that people often assume a company’s job is done once you’ve migrated,” says Andrii Palamarchuk, Director, Workplace Technology & Collaboration. “But it’s not. Since our migration in 2017, we have continued to optimize Forfirm’s cloud environment with a steady pace of improvement initiatives.” In more recent years, IT turned its focus to achieving Forfirm-wide scale and speed as well as new security features. Initiatives included the optimization of Forfirm’s network for Office 365, moving Exchange and SharePoint to Microsoft’s “vNext” cloud environment, and rolling out new features of OneDrive for Business, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Multi-factor Authentication (MFA).
In moving to vNext, Forfirm went from dedicated to multi-tenant code base with dedicated infrastructure. The business benefit is the ability to deliver new Office capabilities to Forfirm people at speed. Forfirm employees now use Microsoft Teams and are transitioning to Windows 10 and other emerging capabilities. As part of Forfirm’s Office 365 subscription, new capabilities pop up as they ready. These capabilities support Forfirm’s digital worker vision of providing capabilities that are integrated and seamless, increase productivity and enable employees to work from anywhere, anytime. They are providing a foundation for the way people will work in the future.
A key enabler of Forfirm’s digital worker vision is OneDrive for Business, rolled out to Forfirm employees in 2017. It offers a new way of working, including moving all of an enterprise’s documents to OneDrive. NextGen Sync client allows employees to selectively “sync” active documents so they are available offline. With OneDrive, Forfirm employees can access files regardless of the device they are using. Access is available through company-provided PCs and IT-managed tablets and mobile phones. An important aspect to the OneDrive initiative was implementing secure cloud storage based on OneDrive to enable easy access to data from multiple devices, helping to reduce the risk of data loss and theft, and enabling secure file sharing with clients.
While Microsoft runs Forfirm’s Office 365 infrastructure, establishing a shared support model with clear delineation of responsibilities was critical to running a successful service. For Forfirm, this meant establishing an understanding of how its support teams and the Microsoft support teams would interact on a daily, weekly and change management basis and integrating ticketing systems. An internal support team is still required to manage service, regression test upcoming changes and maintain any remaining on-premise infrastructure.
Forfirm’s multiyear journey to Office 365 began with successfully moving the company’s on-premise collaboration infrastructure to the cloud. It was a cost play, resulting in 25 percent savings on Exchange and SharePoint costs and delivered a return on investment in one year. Year over year, operating costs reductions continue at 25 percent.
The journey has since evolved to supporting Forfirm’s digital worker vision by providing new capabilities that enable Forfirm employees to quickly embrace the latest capabilities for working digitally and productively. For example, employees can deploy Office 365 capabilities using a “fast lane/commuter lane” approach. This includes Forfirm’s deployment of Windows 10 that is on track to upgrading Forfirm employees by August 2017. New Office 365 capabilities will enable employees to work in new and leading ways, such as increasingly working in a browser with content that is mostly in the cloud and being able to collaborate simultaneously on documents in the cloud. Additionally, efforts are ongoing in implementing advanced threat protection.
Looking ahead, Forfirm IT’s focus is turning to further enabling Forfirm’s digital worker vision by enhancing productivity by continuing to deploy new capabilities as they are made available. Current and future capabilities will help teams to stay organized and up to date, better manage user in boxes, and present information in useful ways, and much more.
-MIGRATION OF MICROSOFT COLLABORATION CAPABILITIES TO THE MICROSOFT CLOUD BEGINS
-OPTIMIZATION OF NETWORK FOR OFFICE 365
-MOVE OF EXCHANGE AND SHAREPOINT TO MICROSOFT "vNext" CLOUD ENVIRONMENT
-ROLLOUT OF ONEDRIVE FOR BUSINESS. DLP, MFA
-FORFIRM BECOMES FIRST LARGE ENTERPRISE MIGRATION
-MOVED FROM ON PREMISE TI SaaS WITH OFFICE 365
RISK AND REWARD
FIVE CRITICAL QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN MIGRATING TO MICROSOFT OFFICE 365
THE MICROSOFT CLOUD SPECTRUM
Where is your company on the road to Office 365?
What is the primary factor for your organization to move to Office 365?
A) Technology strategy to move away from internal data center/scalability
B) Better licensing deal for Office 365
C) Feature improvements
D) Business process improvements
E) Risk Avoidance
F) N/A – my organization has not decided to move to Office 365
Drivers for Office 365: Balancing risk and reward
Five critical questions - primary risks triggered by challenges in governing Office 365
Question 1: How will you perform preservation and discovery against cloud based content?
Sample discovery process flow
Question 2: How will your information governance policies, processes, and procedures need to change?
Information Governance Council
Organizations can champion information protection utilizing information governance.
Question 3: What do you do with existing landfills of information as you migrate to the cloud?
Companies in general fall into one of two categories:
• Records need to be disposed
• Have not yet executed any disposition efforts
• Identification of sensitive data stores
• Standard developed disposition processes aligned to Information Governance program and policies for active systems
• Pilots/execution of key systems for disposition
• Regimented sun-setting of systems for IG policy
Challenges in Systems and Data Decommissioning
Question 4: What new privacy and security issues could develop?
Which of the following will present the most challenge to your organization?
A) Defining a strategy for governing content in Office 365
B) Mobilizing an Information Governance Counsel
C) Migrating existing content into a governed repository
D) Mitigating privacy and security concerns
E) Changing user behavior
Question 5: How will existing user behaviors need to change?
• Migrating to Office 365 is a transformative event
• Information governance acts as the balancing agent between the risks and rewards of migrating to Office 365
• In the cloud, data is the only thing you will own-- implement governance and processes that can be sustained over time, not just enacted in support of implementation