Featured image: Four things to consider before a mail migration - Part 1

Where do you start when thinking about Mail Migration? Planning followed by fidelity checking and throughput benchmarking are some of the most important tasks on a mail migration project. User education should be planned for as this will save you time and support desk tickets once the migration has occurred.

In this blog series we look at four things to consider before undertaking a mail migration project.


Content to be migrated - What are you going to migrate?

Mail messages, obviously! But how many? Do your company VIPs get more space? Are you going to limit the mail to the current mail file or are archives included too?

Mail archives - If you have already archived email content, are you going to move it along with the other content? Leave it behind? If so how are users going to access it?

Calendar  - Appointments and any repeating entries, but how far back do you go? 90 days, 180, a year .. or more?

Task/ToDos  - Does anyone in your company use them or have they migrated already to another external tool for that?

Local Contacts - Finally if you’re migrating from IBM Notes then you will want to make sure you have the local contacts synchronised with the mail file or they risk not getting migrated.


What are the options available to you?

Take everything – From a user perspective this is the most desired option. All of the content is migrated in a similar structure to what they are used to.

  • Pro: Minimal disruption, users are familiar with the content. Supporting the status quo reduced support desk tickets.
  • Con: Technically the most difficult to get right, takes the most amount of time and planning, content housekeeping is non-existent – unless users can take responsibility for tidying their own content and let’s be honest that hardly ever happens

Take selected content – How do you select what content to take? That can be folder based, time based or user defined (if placed in a specific folder).

  • Pro: Less data to migrate potentially, takes less time, chance to clean up content
  • Con: Takes planning time, relies on users to sort their content

Take a date range subset and archive the rest – Select a given amount of time (90, 120 days or the past year for instance), migrate that date range and archive the rest. If migrating to Office 365 it has an unlimited online mail archive – so no worries about space.

  • Pro: Users still have access to all of their content, less planning time
  • Con: Takes longer to run the data migration as all content is migrated, Users have to understand where their content has ended up

Archive the current content and start afresh – Take the existing content and place it in an online archive. All new mail will be received in the new mail system.

  • Pro: No data selection, just migrate data to the selected archive, no co-existence worries, move the data over any time period required
  • Con: Mail is split out, users have to be prepared to look in different places for mail, same amount of time as migrating everything

Different levels of service for different users –If users have different requirements based on their role or any other legal, regulatory, or data retention requirements, it is possible to mix and match any of the above scenarios. For example, VIP users get all mail, HR take the last 7 years and everyone else takes 90 or 180 days.

  • Pro: Give users what they need without an all or nothing approach, highly flexible
  • Con: Takes extreme amount of planning, data migration process can be lengthy compared to the other scenarios.


In our experiences customers rarely choose one of these scenarios in isolation, the most option is to take a hybrid approach to mix and match the options.

In part two of the series we will be talking decryption and encryption options. The what, why and how.

Thinking about migrating your email to a new platform?

Let's Talk!



Back to all news
Open newsletter modal