This post comes to us from the folks at Exinda, makers of great QX (Quality of Experience) products. I’ll put links at the bottom. But first, enjoy the post!

This is it! After careful consideration, you’ve opted for the big leap to the cloud (or perhaps a hybrid option), looking to take advantage of the benefits of one of the most notable collaboration and productivity tools, Microsoft Office 365.

And while you’re expecting big gains from your migration – like anytime anywhere access to critical information and applications, seamless coordination between Office 365 tools and of course what every organization wants, predictable and manageable costs – migrating to Office 365 doesn’t come risk-free. Unless of course, it’s planned carefully.

The transition to the cloud is not a project that should be taken lightly. The planning and processes involved in migrating from an established infrastructure to a cloud environment is a major undertaking. If the right steps aren’t taken during your Office 365 migration process, you may compromise application performance substantially. All of those benefits you were hoping for will go straight out the window.

So, how do you make a seamless transition to Office 365 and maintain exceptional performance? Glad you asked. Here are 3 things every Network Manager should know.

1. Your Network Might Not Be Ready for Office 365

The leadership team has spoken, the team is waiting, let’s just get this application up and running before people start using another app! Rushing your Office 365 migration might seem like an attractive option, given all of the other critical tasks on your plate, but in the long haul it will cause more harm than good.

Assessing the viability of your network and whether or not it can handle an Office 365 deployment should be your first step. Office 365 has specific network resource requirements needed to perform optimally. And while these specifications are clearly outlined by Microsoft, if you don’t have visibility into the current status of your network, these guidelines don’t really matter.

You need a full picture of your current network activity. What applications are using the most network resources? Do you have enough resources to allocate to Office 365 as well as your other key applications? Understanding your network as it resides today and how resources are used is essential prior to your deployment.

2. You Can’t Manage What You Can’t See

You’re passed the first hurdle, you’ve assessed your network, and you’ve followed Microsoft’s guidelines and allocated the network resources needed for your deployment. Your job is done right? Not quite.

It’s been a couple of weeks. How do you know if Office 365 is still performing well? With new users jumping on and off your network, the hottest new applications (or iOS updates) using up precious resources and old apps becoming obsolete – your network is in constant flux. Ongoing monitoring of your network activity is crucial.

You Can't Manage What You Can't See

You’ll need visibility into how well Office 365 is performing at any given time to ensure a seamless user experience and to avoid a dreaded flood of helpdesk tickets. You also need to be able to identify bandwidth hogs, unsanctioned applications (Shadow IT) and any other network activity that is or has the potential to impact performance.

3. With Great Deployment Comes Great Responsibility

After a few user complaints about lousy Office 365 performance, you’ve dived into your network to analyze activity. Lo and behold, various recreational and social applications are stealing network resources from Office 365! While knowing how users and applications are behaving on your network is enlightening, the information collected from monitoring is really only useful if you’re able to manage it.

With Great Deployment Comes Great Responsibility

You need the ability to control how your network resources are allocated and guarantee that there are always enough available for Office 365. To avoid a poor user experience, you also need to be able to set limits that will prevent non-critical traffic like recreational, social and media streaming from impacting performance.

Office 365 Needs Management to Deliver on Its Promises

A successful Office 365 migration is vital to your organization. To maximize the ROI of our investment, you need to ensure Office 365 delivers on its productivity and collaboration benefits. This requires exceptional application performance. With careful planning and the right tools, you can ensure every stage of your migration goes without a hitch and with a seamless user experience.

About Exinda

Exinda.comExinda’s application control solutions provide multi-dimensional visibility and control for end-to-end management of both the network and the cloud to help organizations guarantee the best possible quality of experience for business critical applications.

Exinda controls unsanctioned applications and ensures that sanctioned applications, like Skype for Business, Office 365 and SharePoint, perform reliably and consistently. Exinda has helped more than 4,000 organizations in over 80 countries worldwide improve quality of experience for business-critical applications in both public and private cloud.

Mark your calendars—Exinda and PlanetMagpie are teaming up for a webinar!  On February 9, our President Robert Douglas and Exinda’s Branko Miskov, VP Product Management, will host “How the Experts Optimize Skype for Business Performance.”

The webinar is free to attend.  You’ll learn about network preparation for Skype for Business, how to tackle key challenges, and more.

Sign up here: Exinda Webinar February 9 – “How the Experts Optimize Skype for Business Performance”

Migrating to Office 365? 3 Things Every Network Manager Should Know

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