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Office 365 Tenant Migration: Divestiture Q&A

Jul 6, 2020 by Natalie Frith

Two clouds and various data types floating around, representing Office 365 tenant migration services.

We’ve had a surge in inquiries for our Office 365 tenant migration tools recently, and our recent webinars on the subject have attracted more than 1,500 registrants.

One of those sessions, Office 365 Tenant Divestitures: How to Manage Your Breakup, was particularly lively with many questions coming in. We had some questions submitted by attendees and have summarized them here in this blog post.

Q: How do you handle forwarding email when the users are moving but we’re keeping this domain?

So, what’s important to know is that the TSA should define that. And with divestitures you’ve got a few situations – one is they are taking that email domain with them to the new tenant, and they are taking ownership of that brand. This is common if you’ve got a product line that’s being spun off. On a Friday night, you eject the domain, give them the domain then they reassign it on the other side.

For organizations where they’re taking on the new company branding, and come Monday we’re all now part of this company, usually, you have to forward that mail and that depends on your configuration.

If you have a message hygiene project in front of Exchange Online protection, like Mimecast or Proofpoint then you can do forwarders there. There is some forwarding you can do in Office 365 as well to redirect that mail and the TSA will tell you for how long.

Q: What about phone numbers?

Phone is complicated depending on your configuration. If you’re doing a full E5 license it gets complicated because those exchanges are typically tied to the tenant those numbers are tied, so if you have a phone provider you can work with them to do forwarding which I know if pretty expensive in a lot of cases. Usually, it’s just forwarding to their new number for a period of time-based on the TSA. So a lot of those are situational based, but are certainly challenges.

Q: How do we cut a drive from Office 365 to ship?

There are a few options for this. The most common is if you’re going to do the discovery method there’s actually a plugin.  So you do the discovery, you produce it, then there’s a plugin that you actually load and download it, it’s inside the browser. And that’s how most of the time how that’s handled for those extracts.

There are third-party options as well, so each one kind of has a different piece. You do want to practice this if you are actually cutting the 365 data back to a drive, you certainly wanna practice it and ensure that the organization can accept it, I guess that’s the portion we didn’t include here is actually testing this plan is important so you ensure that they can read the format whatever you send to them particularly if they’re going through G-Suite or another product.

Q: How can we reconfigure the Outlook app on a personal phone?

On personal phones, that’s a challenge. And as we mentioned mobile devices are the number one piece and there’s really not a lot of control. Some organizations will if you’re using InTune or another mobile device management solution, like MobileIron or Good, you can kill the device or reset the device and actually that’s part of what you’ve got to decide for data security – what you’re going to do.

A lot of times you’ll remove those devices ahead of time so that they just re-enroll on the new system. Even if the users’ domain is moving, it’s important to keep in mind that identities don’t move, they just kind of look like what they used to be. So the user will log in with the same name, but that’s actually a new account so particularly in the mobile device space, the users are going to have to re set-up those accounts.

Q: Any solution to delete On-Premises Exchange Server for Hybrid Mode?

This issue is getting better and better. For years we had to keep one behind to keep things running, but this is not the case for a lot of companies anymore. Microsoft MVPs Sigi Jagott, Jeff Guillet and Michael van Horenbeeck had a great discussion about this for Practical 365 last year:

Microsoft also updated their guidance on this back in February, and it does a nice job with it as well.

Q: What advice can be offered with regards to sharing links for OneDrive and SPO?

The short answer is they break, and in many cases, they break in both directions (except for anonymous links inbound). As a result, there needs to be a communication plan in place before this happens. When I am planning these moves, I look at external users to see if these users are in another tenant I control, which is an important part of scoping.

You can learn more about this issue here: External Sharing Links in Tenant to Tenant Migrations

If you have other questions that aren’t covered here, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of migration experts.