Importance of planning before a Microsoft 365 Tenant-to-Tenant Migration

Why is Planning Vital Before A Microsoft 365 Tenant-to-Tenant Migration

By Sridhar Chalapathy  •  August 12, 2022  •  1753 Views

Why is Planning Vital Before A Microsoft 365 Tenant-to-Tenant Migration


More and more cross-tenant migrations are being performed due to changes in business conditions such as mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, and in some cases, for the need to clean up, decrease administrative overhead and consolidate IT infrastructure to help enable business processes.

Why is it vital to plan?

Proper planning is necessary to make sure your Microsoft tenant-to-tenant migration is successful. The major reason why planning is invaluable before a migration project is because it-

Helps you choose the right type of Microsoft 365 tenant-to-tenant migration for your environment

A critical decision for any tenant migration project is choosing between phased and big-bang migrations. A phased migration is migrating the tenant in several batches over a prolonged time period. The users are grouped by departments, business units, or geographical locations, and are migrated one at a time. A big-bang migration is when the entire tenant is migrated at one go, like over a weekend. Details to be considered are organization size, migration size, workloads to be moved and organizational bandwidth to communicate and collaborate during the project.

Simplifies the migration tool selection and helps in evaluating the actual TCO for tooling

Either native or 3rd party tools & services can be leveraged to conduct a tenant-to-tenant migration. Below is a summary of the migration capabilities available for various workloads:

Microsoft Tenant to tenant workload migration capabilities
ServiceMigration possibleNote
Microsoft 365 appsYesRefer ‘Reset Microsoft 3565 apps for Enterprise activation state
Exchange mailboxesYes
Exchange public foldersYes
SharePoint sitesYes
OneDrive foldersYes
Microsoft 365 groupsYes
TeamsPartialContent migration needs 3rd part tool and scripts to recreate Teams structure and permissions
YammerPartialRequires service ticket with MS Support, limited scenarios supported
Azure Information ProtectionPartialLimited scenarios supported, requires service ticket with MS Support. Labels cannot be migrated across tenants
Stream, Flow, Power Apps & Power BIPartial
IntuneYesUsers must un-enroll their devices and then re-enroll in the target tenant

Native tools, though effective in some cases, can be quite expensive and are still in preview, offering limited support. Paid tools with automated procedures may come with licensing costs, but they save a significant amount of time, reducing the risk of migration failures and business disruptions.

Helps plan your staffing needs for the project

Due to the complexities involved in migrations, it is necessary to know the various initiatives being implemented across the organization. Planning helps you identify use cases that administrators may not be aware of. You can look for other migration projects that may be happening, like desktop, server, firewall, or other infrastructure changes. You can align with those teams on the migration strategies, minimizing effort and risk. Collaboration helps you bring all the teams on the same page with the migration strategy and have adequate resources at your disposal.

A complete picture of projects around the organization is even more important if you choose a phased migration. It is time-consuming and effort-intensive to maintain two environments and ensure seamless coexistence between them, so you need to make sure you have sufficient staff. An effective option is to employ migration experts like Netwoven to help you with a seamless migration.

Helps you build a robust program plan

It is necessary to have a program plan for large and complex tenant-to-tenant migration projects. Migrating SharePoint, Teams, or Exchange workloads can each be considered its own project, and a program plan that coordinates all of them is important. An experienced migration consultant can coordinate and run the program smoothly, making sure the program is successfully managed.

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Helps you leverage user interviews to the maximum

Make sure to get the views of users when planning your tenant-to-tenant migration. The more you understand how they use the services, the better you are poised to deliver an ideal target environment. Though user interviews can be challenging to perform, especially at scale, you will find the information you derive from them is invaluable during the migration process. Segregating the interviews between the teams will ease the workload resulting in everyone being laser-focused on user needs during the planning and implementation of the migration.

Allows you to communicate the migration strategy to users

The importance of communicating to users about the impact of the migration project on their operations cannot be overlooked. Users must be informed about which of their content will be available in the new environment and when, what the overall migration experience will be like, and who they will be able to see in the post-migration environment. Whether you are taking users out of a larger environment or consolidating two groups of users and their content, it has a considerable impact than you expect. The users also need to know who to contact in the event of unforeseen consequences from the migration, which is likely to happen. Precise communication on steps to contact support, creating and sharing quick start guides, or other documentation is important.


Tenant-to-tenant migration can be quite complex, with numerous workloads to plan for. Planning well in advance for the migration project helps you realistically understand whether you have the manpower, and your team has the bandwidth to handle various unrelated native tools and manual processes along with the complexities of the migration itself. A key benefit of a migration service partner is the convenience of having an expert team handling the nitty gritty and intricacies of the migration. Relying on a migration partner who can offer the optimal tools can significantly reduce the risk of migration delays, expensive errors, and sometimes even outright failure.

We hope you found this blog useful in understanding the significance of planning in a tenant-to-tenant migration project. Please reach out to us so that we can put our decades of experience and expertise in tenant migration services and Microsoft technologies to help you in your organization’s Digital Transformation journey.

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