July 13, 2024
CloudTweaks | Migrating Microsoft Workplace 2013

As of April 11, 2023, Microsoft will cease supporting blackboxprovisions Workplace 2013. The choice to finish help for Workplace 2013 ought to come as no shock. Over the previous a number of years, Microsoft has been slowly ending support for its one-time buy merchandise to encourage adoption of subscription-based alternate options. With all that’s altering, IT groups have so much to think about as they determine the best way to proceed.

For a lot of organizations, transitioning to Microsoft 365—the cloud-based productiveness suite that may really feel most acquainted to Workplace 2013 customers—makes probably the most sense. Nevertheless, no matter which suite corporations change to, migrating to a brand new resolution requires cautious planning and consideration. To tell their choice, IT leaders ought to establish the alternatives and challenges forward and perceive the very best practices to observe for profitable migrations.

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Advantages of switching to a contemporary productiveness

Although end-of-life transitions could be disruptive for companies and finish customers, the shift will profit some enterprises. Since instruments like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are cloud-based, customers get all of the bells and whistles from the most recent model of the software program as an alternative of being caught with the options accessible from the one-time funding. IT groups that change to a cloud-based possibility received’t should pay for periodic upgrades of bodily software program or miss out on the latest-and-greatest options since they’ll get the newest model mechanically with their subscription.

Past having probably the most up-to-date instruments at their fingertips, corporations will profit from enhanced safety protocols. With Microsoft 365, corporations can reap the benefits of the most recent options Microsoft presents. As IT leaders know, safety is advanced and doubtlessly costly from a value and administration standpoint. Having the ability to leverage Microsoft’s appreciable assets and experience—quite than managing safety internally—is a big benefit.

Challenges of transitioning from Workplace 2013

Switching to an entire new productiveness suite isn’t with out its potential issues. Software program end-of-life deadlines usually pressure corporations to make an unplanned transfer as an alternative of a proactive change—which might imply the migration course of is lower than very best. Enterprises may also must expend price range to entry Microsoft 365 or one other enterprise productiveness software program. They’ll additionally should steadiness the price of coaching workers on the brand new system and diminished productiveness as employees regulate to the brand new platform.

Regardless of the disruption that comes with transitioning to a brand new productiveness suite, the dangers of continuous to make use of Workplace 2013 past its finish of help are far larger. Utilizing a product that’s not being up to date or supported could appear to be a great way to keep away from added expense and headache, however it will probably really trigger larger issues down the road. Going with out software program updates and help means bugs received’t get fastened, which implies potential publicity to safety points. If one thing doesn’t work correctly in Workplace 2013 after help ends, Microsoft received’t be capable of assist.

Given some great benefits of Microsoft 365 and different cloud-based choices, migrating to a brand new productiveness suite is a great long-term funding. However migrations aren’t all the time straightforward or easy. Implementing a change that requires an enormous adjustment in the best way folks work might trigger extra resistance and end in frustration, points finishing duties and diminished adoption charges. Understanding what to anticipate forward of time might help counter these points.

What to anticipate earlier than migrating

First, perceive that transferring from Workplace 2013 to Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace means a shift from a software program buy mannequin to a subscription-based mannequin. A shift in fee strategy might have an effect on firm money movement and price range, so the enterprise could must flag this for his or her accounting division.

One other necessary consideration earlier than starting a migration is how different inner programs might be impacted by the transition. Contemplate if and the way essential plug-ins and important instruments will work with the brand new resolution. For instance, corporations that leverage a software like Salesforce will need to understand how the combination might be impacted by a brand new software.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the worth of preparation and coaching. Taking the time to arrange for the migration and develop a sensible coaching strategy is important to success. Earlier than getting began, IT leaders ought to search for locations the answer might have issues in the course of the improve, to allow them to tackle them upfront. If wanted, IT groups can put alternate instruments in place that may both change particular functionalities or function an alternate resolution.

As soon as the brand new productiveness suite has been chosen, IT employees can use the next steering to make sure the migration course of is easy.

Plan forward

Planning is vital to seamlessly migrate from one ecosystem to a different, since no two ecosystems are utterly similar. Prematurely of the migration, IT professionals ought to achieve a agency understanding of the variations between Workplace 2013 and the brand new resolution. This data might be helpful for creating coaching packages and life like, complete migration timelines. It additionally offers IT leaders time to resolve any compatibility points that might come up between the brand new software and current integrations the corporate depends on.

By creating a plan, IT employees can gauge how a lot knowledge must be moved, the place it must be moved and what timeframe it must be moved in. “Finally, corporations can depend on the the channel to help finish customers throughout this course of—serving to them to extra precisely plan their knowledge migration, so no issues come up,” mentioned Lon Clark, world channel gross sales director at BitTitan. “With correct planning and procedures in place, finish customers can mitigate dangers and setbacks that may happen with migrations, serving to to make sure each day operations don’t get disrupted and permit them the chance to plan for the change forward.

Pilot with completely different teams

Planning forward additionally permits time to pilot the brand new software program with inner customers to see what hiccups emerge and regulate accordingly. IT leads can conduct pilots with completely different teams throughout the group—akin to HR, accounting, gross sales, and many others.—and compile findings to uncover widespread ache factors. Outcomes needs to be shared extensively, in order that persons are conscious of challenges they could encounter and really feel like they’re a part of the method of selecting the brand new resolution.

Predict surprises

If the pilot part reveals that almost all of the corporate shouldn’t be pleased with the brand new suite, IT leaders can think about an alternate possibility. As an example, some corporations could uncover that shifting to a browser-based resolution merely doesn’t work for the group and impedes workers from being productive. Choosing the proper resolution from the get-go prevents potential roadblocks and can save corporations cash in the long term.

Procure the best instruments

Migration instruments can function lifelines to make sure the transition is profitable and minimally disruptive for finish customers. The good thing about utilizing a migration resolution is that IT groups received’t must expend extra time and power studying the best way to carry out the migration. Migration options are additionally designed by consultants, leaving much less room for error within the course of.

Put together workers

Accessible, company-wide coaching is among the most necessary components of a migration. As soon as the corporate has migrated to the brand new resolution, IT groups ought to supply trainings to workers who aren’t aware of it. This can guarantee everyone seems to be on the identical web page and conscious of what’s altering. It additionally creates a deeper understanding of what it means to modify platforms and the way workflows could change with the brand new software. Coaching also needs to embody assets and ongoing help that workers can use as wanted in the course of the transition.

Laying the groundwork now

With help for Workplace 2013 ending in only a couple months, IT groups can start laying the groundwork to transition to a different productiveness suite. Cloud-based choices supply extra safety and simpler cross-team collaboration, along with giving enterprises entry to the latest-and-greatest model of the platform. Making ready upfront and following greatest practices will defend corporations from widespread challenges that might hinder the success of their migration.

By Frank Suglia, VP of technical providers at BitTitan