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Long-reigning monarch Microsoft was thrown off-kilter with Google’s entry into the Office suite domain. With an impressive average global market share of 55.2% as of April 2020, Google’s G Suite seems to be the choice of the decade among millennial companies who yearn for transparent collaborations. Microsoft’s market share is a close second at 42.06%.

The simplicity that G Suite offers can’t be denied, especially for start-ups and small businesses. However, problems started to surface when the question of scalability came up. Microsoft released migration tools in Q2 2019 to cater to the growing inclination towards Office from organizations of all sizes. The release was aimed to make the transition smooth and seamless. Since its release office, 365 migrations has become a trend. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

G Suite Vs. Office 365 Broken Down: The tidal shift towards Office 365 Setup

Office Suite technologies are essential productivity software. Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations form the repository of knowledge to maintain smooth functioning. This software empowered organizations to take a leap from the clunky floppy and CD days. It promoted process transparency, data democratization, and cross team collaboration on a common platform.

G Suite plays well to the millennial mindset with its cloud-first modus operandi, rather than Microsoft’s Desktop-first approach. Now, more than ever, remote work is becoming the norm rather than an option. This would make the videoconferencing and collaboration tools become the deciding factor, rather than the extra-toppings.

It is often cited that the feature-heaviness of Microsoft tools makes those sluggish and cumbersome for cloud collaborations. However, a latency period of 5-30 seconds from Microsoft compared to the 1-2 seconds in Google will most likely go unnoticed within most organizations! This is also precisely the reason why most businesses eventually migrate from G Suite to o365. While this addresses the main difference between the two suites, key questions still remain.

  • Pricing

Getting the big question out of the way, the price range for G Suite is from $6 to $25 per month per user. Basic, Business, and Enterprise are the three different subscription plans.

On the other hand, Office 365 has a more complicated pricing plan. You can choose from home, business, enterprise, and education solutions with each offering pricing tiers within.

Pricing plans for business and enterprises range from $5 to $35 per user per month.

Compared to Google’s pricing plans, Microsoft’s office 365 subscription plan allows you to pay according to your needs. This kind of flexibility is ideal for businesses that are scale-as-you-grow-centric.

  • Storage

The Basic plan on G Suite offers a measly 30GB per user, while the comparable Business Essentials plan gives you 1TB.This is one critical reason why enterprises migrate from G Suite to o365.

However, the 1TB limit is retained for most of Microsoft 365’s plans. On the other hand, Google offers unlimited storage for Business and Enterprise plans.  In this regard, graphics and video-heavy firms would burn through the 1TB limit in no time, The same is more than adequate for most other small and medium-sized enterprises.
It should be noted here that the 1TB limit applies to G Suite as well if you plan to engage less than five users. Solopreneurs and budding startups may find this slightly challenging.

  • Email

Gmail is missing the sort and filter functionality that Outlook offers. This feature is critical if  your organization relies heavily on extensive networking (which is likely the case for digital-first organizations), this feature is unmissable. It is especially so in the case of mixed-vendor environments. This is a factor attributed to enterprises who migrate email from G Suite to Office 365.

  • Apps

Both Office 365 and G Suite offer desktop and web applications. Almost all apps are available on both sides. G Suite is missing the equivalent of Microsoft Stream, The latter allows for secure video-sharing, an essential for training and educational purposes. This feature is aligned well towards making collaborative efforts more hands-on.

However, you may find significant differences within similar apps, though, you may find significant differences. Given that Microsoft is desktop-based, most Office apps are packed with astounding features that give users full autonomy. You may need to purchase third-party tools to perform some essential functions with G Suite.

The Game-Changing Facts That Impact Enterprises’ Decision to Migrate from Office 365 to G suite or Vice Versa

Here’s a list of key takeaways that might make or break your decision to initiate office 365 migration:

  • Office 365 requires an annual commitment, while G Suite offers month-to-month purchases.
  • All Microsoft Business plans are limited to 300 users.
  • Both G Suite and Microsoft offer storage upgrades. Prices may be negotiable based on the number of users.
  • G Suite is all about the convenience of collaboration while Microsoft is all about advanced Desktop-oriented functionality with cloud capabilities. Too many third-party integrations with G Suite opens security risks and makes it quite clunky.
  • Larger familiarity with Microsoft often translates to higher productivity.
  • Microsoft 365 offers primary and premium security features, while the same is lacking in G Suite (available only in Enterprise).

Checklist To Ensure Seamless Process to Migrate from Office 365 to G Suite or The Other Way Round

Migration is neither simple nor easy whether conducted offline or online. Here are a few things you need to check before you initiate the process of migration:

Have an office 365 migration plan ready before you execute it. Migrations can be quite messy as there are quite a few variables to consider – source, destination, size, capacity, and so on. It is recommended that you prepare Knowledge Base articles so that everyone has easy access to relevant information during the transition period.

One of the most critical aspects of successful migrations is communication. Have a pre, pending, post, and final migration email set up so that all users are informed about the timings.

Make a migration map of users, source and destination environments, data distribution, movements, points of contact, and stakeholder licensing if your enterprise is quite large.

Be ready for downtime. Do not conduct migrations during work-heavy quarters. Migrations affect productivity significantly in the initial days as it takes time to get used to new environments.

Getting Down to Business

Migrations can be tricky. This all-you-need-to-know guide breaks down the migration process into more digestible chunks so that your data isn’t lost in translation.

Read Also – How to Choose a Partner for Outsourcing Office 365 Migration

Office 365 Setup

This process is carried out by the business owner or the designated global admin. It usually takes about an hour.

To add user accounts, you can choose from several methods.

  • Manual: Add users one at a time, recommended if you have small number of users.
  • PowerShell: If you are comfortable using Powershell cmdlets, than you can use this method to bulk upload users.
  • ActiveDirectory: Azure Active Directory Connect tool allows you to replicate AD user accounts.

Note that you may need to set up user licenses individually depending on the method of adding users you use.

You should take note that you will need to verify ownership of your domain during set up. Remember to choose “Use a domain name you already own” when prompted while creating your account. To verify the ownership, an email will be sent to an address from this domain.

Install Office Apps

Given that Microsoft office is desktop-first, you would have all users set up Office 365 apps like Word, Powerpoint and Excel onto their individual systems.

Configure Mail Delivery

This is the stage when you migrate G Suite to Microsoft office 365. At this stage, you are starting the actual migration process. The most straightforward method to have Outlook receive your emails is to set up dual delivery. Here you won’t have to do any tinkering behind the screens. Both your Exchange Server and G Suite account will receive all your newest emails. For this step you will have to use the G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook tool.

Setting up dual delivery is a crucial step if you plan to move accounts in phases rather than all at once.

Migrate G Suite to Office 365

Google sets the transfer threshold to 2 GB per day. Here are the elements that will be migrated to the new platform:

  • Inbox emails
  • Default and Custom Folders/ Labels
  • Email details and configuration
  • Muted Emails (displayed in regular email inbox)
  • Contacts from the email account
  • Calendars connected to an email account (including links for Google Hangouts) along with notifications

On the other hand, the process will not migrate calendar reminders, appointments, attachments from chats and calendars, tasks, chat history, groups, category flags, email attachment links, etc.

G Suite to Office 365 Migration Checklist

  • Know your DNS access
  • Enter Name, Username, Password, and Mobile Number for G-Suite admin owner details
  • Include personal details of all users 
  • Identify the admin user on G Suite.
  • Turn off Google MFA for the admin user 
  • Turn on Less secure app access 

The entire migration process is expected to take nearly 90 minutes.

Office 365 Migration Steps from G Suite

Step 1: Preparation

Turn off Baseline Security on tenant credentials on Azure through AAD properties. Click on Manage Security Defaults and disable them. Save the changes.

Step 2: Connect to Customer Gmail Admin 

Get customers’ multi-factor authentication code to connect to their Gmail account

Step 3: Validate the checklist performance.

Validate the checklist completion from above. 

  • Click on Account and select the right Google Account and access Security. Select “Use your phone to sign in” and turn off the 2-Step Verification 
  • Ensure “Less secure app access is turned On.” 

Step 4: Add users in Office 365

Add users and create user mailboxes applying for Exchange Online licenses from subscriptions or standalone plans. Connect G Suite mailboxes to Office 365 mailboxes to transfer data.

Step 5: Secure Google API permission

  • Open https://console.cloud.google.com in incognito mode using G Suite admin credentials. 
  • Select Google Cloud Platform project and click on New. 
  • Name the project 
  • create email migration enabling APIs like Google Calendar and Gmail, Contacts, Admin SDK, Tasks, etc.

Step 6: Create a Google Service Account 

  • Create a Google service account on the hamburger menu by accessing IAM and Admin and Service Accounts Cloud Platform within its hierarchy. 
  • Create a Service Account and name it. 
  • Click on done when you are done—Grant Owner role to the account and Continued Grant Access. 

Step 7: Create a Key

  • Select the checkbox account and then the three dots to access ‘Manage Keys’. 
  • Add Key within the tab and Create a new Key and select JSON. 
  • Copy the private Key when accessing files downloaded to your computer. 

Step 8: Make a Copy of the UniqueID

  • Open your Email Account and copy UniqueID in your notepad. 
  • Access SHOW DOMAIN-WIDE DELEGATION 
  • Choose to enable G Suite Domain-wide Delegation and Save the details. 

Step 9: Enable Google Accounts Delegation

  • Access Security Google Admin -> API Control -> MANAGE DOMAIN WIDE DELEGATION API controls
  • Use the client ID noted down earlier. Copy links within the Oauth scopes textbox mentioned in them. 
  • Now you can start BitTitan migration through the portal and create new mailbox projects and customer names. 
  • Use G Suite as the endpoint. 
  • Choose the JSON file downloaded earlier for creating a Service Account. 
  • Enter account details and Add Google Workspace to the same.
  • Set a Destination Endpoint as Office 365 with an admin username and password. Save the project.

Step 11: Add the Account to be Migrated

Add each account on the portal for migration. View the list of accounts you have.

Step 12: Credential verification

Verify each of your email accounts. Validate them and complete Verification. 

Step 13: Migration

  • Select all users for migrating accounts. Select Full Migration (purchase the licenses beforehand)
  • Start Migration.
  • Based on mailbox size, it could take some days or weeks (average of 2 GB daily)

Step 14: Cutover Steps: Domain Verification and DNS Update

Add Domain on Microsoft account and go through validation and DNS update processes. 

Step15: Flip Domains

Click Active Users in the Users tab and get the domain flipped. Select the domain under usernames or create a username through Add/ Manage Username. 

Change the email to primary email and save changes. 

Step 16: Perform “Delta” Synchronization

Run another sync to catch any emails received by G Suite during DNS cutover of 90 minutes during the migration process. Access the BitTitan portal, select users interested in migration to Office 365. 

Select full migration, and you are done!

Note: You should enable SSPR, Azure Baseline Security, DKIM and DMARC to keep the account secure.

Moving Data from Google Team and Google Drive

Moving data from Google Drive to OneDrive is quite straightforward. Simply download all your G Drive files as a .zip folder and upload onto your OneDrive business account. You might want to do this in batches, depending on the amount of data your wish to transfer.

To have your team start collaborations you’ll have to set up a SharePoint site. Create designated team sites and upload the respective documents. For files that fall under broadcast-purpose, a communication site would be more feasible.

Connect your domain to Office 365 Setup

At this point, you are ready to have your Microsoft account solely receive all your mails.

Steps: Admin app -> Setup -> Connect your Domain -> I’ll manage my own DNS records -> Click Next and select the online services you’ll need. Once you click on Add DNS records, you’ll be taken through a step-by-step process to add Mail Exchange (MX) records.

Setting up O365 email in Outlook

When you migrate email to office 365, you need to bring all your old emails to Outlook, everyone in the organization will have to individually use the Import and Export Wizard present in Outlook. The steps here are quite long. Make sure you do this at night or off-duty hours as it will use up a lot of internet bandwidth.

Installing Apps

You will need to install them on your devices to access your files on the go, you will need to install them on your devices. You can also set up email on BYOD and CYOD tabs and mobile-phones, if you have chosen to include Mobile management. Each user may or may not want to do this.

The final countdown

Microsoft recommends that you cancel your G Suite account only after a month of transition. This way if you’ve missed any files, you can easily access them before the cloud bursts.

Lastly, it’s important that you understand the scope of undertaking the migration process:

  • DIY or partner? What’s best: If you have many users or many levels of access, Microsoft recommends that you employ the services of Microsoft Partner like FlatworldEDGE to help you through the migration process.
  • Timeline: Unless you can count the number of users at your fingertips, it will not be a sound decision pursuit to do it all at once. It is recommended that you do a pilot wave of 10% of users first. Understand the kinks and quirks (typically the IT and support team would form part of the pilot wave), and then proceed towards migrating the rest of the users in batches.
  • Know what you can’t migrate: Although the two SaaS suites are comparable at surface levels, the underlying fabric of their working is quite different. Some things that you might have difficulty migrating include:
  • Any Google Site developed before 2012 and after 2016.
  • There is no equivalent to auto-generated Google Hangout links in Google Calendar.
  • You get 24 + custom colours for tagging events in Google Calendar. But Outlook is limited to Make sure the IT team is aware of this before transition.
  • You will have to manually recreate SharePoint or Excel Survey for every Google Form.
  • “Muted” Gmail conversations will start appearing in your inbox again.
  • Maximum file size supported on G Drive is 5TB while it is 15GB in OneDrive. Make alternate arrangements to store large multimedia files.
  • While users are familiar with Excel, Powerpoint and Excel will require no getting used to, you may still want to have users get familiarized with tools like OneDrive and Teams and more. Make use of guides on the Microsoft website to help users prepare for the transition.
  • Lastly, migrations present an opportunity for fresh, clean new beginnings. If your cloud looked like the online equivalent of a dusty old trunk that fits well into the zombie universe, you can choose to only import and organize data that is business critical and leave out all the rest. But it is recommended that you create a backup first.

Conclusion

G Suite follows the minimalist philosophy, stripping users to the bare bones of working online in this new era. On the other hand, Microsoft is like the Mona Lisa – a feature-packed antique that is hard to break down to its many layers and components, but one that is truly timeless!

What makes Microsoft so enticing is the unlimited opportunity that it offers for businesses that constantly find themselves at the knife’s edge of scaling up or down (as is happening with most organizations in the jubilus revolution IT 4.0). Yet another big feature of office 365 is unwavering round the clock Microsoft office 365 support. You can bank on the support to make your office 365 setup go easy.

Who We Are and Why Our Expertise Matters?

This article is brought to you by FlatworldEDGE. We are an IT infrastructure solutions provider specializing in mobile app development, infrastructure management, custom software development and software testing services. We also specialize in Office 365 migration services. We execute migrations in very short period of time with the help of extensive planning. Our innovative and effective solutions have delivered benefits to our clients in many ways.

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