Credit unions need the latest technologies to compete in today’s financial world. After all, it’s never good to be the last holdout when adopting new tools. But it’s not always easy. Here are a few things that might affect a credit union’s migration to Office 365.
Before we dive too deep, we should note that this is just an overview. A more comprehensive look at migration requirements would require an individualized approach. Each credit union is different, so each would need a slightly different approach. Nevertheless, here’s what you can look out for during migration to Office 365.
Office 365 comes in a variety of versions for different applications. If you’re just looking for an upgrade to your office suite, that can be as straightforward as a simple licensing change. However, Office 365 also offers various business and enterprise grade licenses, which can drastically increase the complexity of the migration for your credit union.
Don’t Call it a Comeback SIP Migration
Any move that includes phone systems, mailboxes, or related services will take more care.
The process of switching communication services to Office 365 can be daunting. You need to identify who’s using which services, how much space they need for mail, which aliases are set up, as well as how resource calendars and public folders are used.
All of this requires a lot of expert legwork on the part of a credit union’s IT department. After taking stock of what all is required to move to a new license, it could still take a day or two for servers or mailboxes to migrate to Office 365. Hosted solutions can reduce that downtime to a couple hours, so if you have the resources to pursue that path, finding a managed Office 365 host could help.
We’ve discussed security concerns in past blogs, but it bears repeating that there is no such thing as a completely secure, hack-proof computer system. It may be a little unsettling most of the time, but what takes that risk to the next level is when you undertake migration to Office 365.
Microsoft’s cloud-based service is actually an upgrade over its former iterations because they’ve built so much security into the platform now. Not only that, but cloud security can be increased by fine-tuning settings on a bespoke basis. However, moving data from internal servers to the cloud exposes the system to a lot more risk.
When your credit union moves to Office 365, you’ll need to learn and implement new practices to keep your data safe during transfer. If you want to maximize security after migration, that will take more time and research.
Time and Energy
We don’t want to sugarcoat anything for you. The reality of the situation is that soon, Microsoft will stop renewing older Office licenses so that they can move everybody to the cloud. What’s more, migration to Office 365 is not a cut-and-dry task. It’s not as easy as a simple snap of the fingers.
Most of the heavy lifting for a credit union’s migration to Office 365 is in understanding and defining how the current environment works and how it’s being used. The actual migration process takes only a few days to complete.
However, the legwork needed to move a credit union to the new platform usually takes several months, all in all. The research and the resources are considerable, and the larger the credit union, the more time-intensive the migration process.
If you’d like to move to Office 365, but you’re reticent due to the strain in would put on your resources, don’t worry! You have options. Just by reading about it, you’ve already taken the best first step. The best second step would be to talk to your IT department and, if you’d like to bypass a couple months of work, consider an externally-managed solution to help your credit union with Office 365 migration.