SharePoint Server Team Sites Migration Guide

This guide will help you prepare to migrate from SharePoint Server teams sites to SharePoint Online in Office 365.

Most migrations fall into regular phases as described below. Proven success factors for migration include planning, assessing and remediating, preparing your target environment, migrating and onboarding your users.

Note:
The SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) is a Microsoft developed migration tool available at no cost. To download: SharePoint Migration Tool .

Migration process

Planning Assess and remediate Prepare your SharePoint environment Migrate User onboarding
What to expect before and after
Migration and network performance considerations

Change management and communications

Plan for Modern team sites
Run SMAT
Assess key areas

Remediate issues

Workflows

User creation
Site creation

Tenant settings

Hybrid

Migration service providers
Let users know how they are impacted

Send regular emails to users
Provide training

Provide documentation for making the switch

Planning

Before beginning your migration, it is important that you plan your outcome by performing an assessment of your current source environment.

Plan your User Onboarding efforts to prepare your users for change and how it will impact them. See "User Onboarding" section.

We highly recommend that you consider setting up a hybrid environment at the beginning. Learn more at: SharePoint Hybrid Configuration Roadmaps.

What you discover will influence your overall strategy and timing, including:

Understanding the modern architecture

New features and enhancements are continually being rolled in SharePoint Online before being included in SharePoint Server. As a result, features and functionality that are available in SharePoint Server may be different than those in SharePoint Online.

As you plan your migration strategy, it is important to understand the modern architecture. Begin by reading:

Planning a modern framework before you migrate

Modern team sites, pages and hubs

When moving your team site, we recommend that you create team sites in SharePoint Online that are "modern". While this does not automatically make them group or Microsoft Teams connected, you will be able to connect them in the future. You can either create them using the user interface, PowerShell, or by using a migration tool such as the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) that can create these sites for you.

As you plan your migration, we recommend that a hub site the best way to create relationships between sites. We highly recommend taking this opportunity to bring those subsites to be their own site collections in order to connect them through a hub.

Decide how your team sites map to a modern hub architecture. It isn't necessary to group connect every site you are moving, but strategize your site plan to optimize the structure to be flexible for continuous change.

More guidance on modernization

Workflows and planning for the future

In Office 365, Microsoft Flow is the product that allows you to easily create and manage workflow. If you are currently using SharePoint workflows, we recommend that you consider "future-proofing" your environment by identifying the workflows you want to keep and recreate them using Microsoft Flow to allow for better platform integration.

To learn more:

Note

Classic workflow will be supported and available until 2026. We recommend taking this into consideration as you plan for your workflow lifetime.

Assess and remediate your content

Before beginning your migration, it is important that you perform an analysis of your current environment. Only you know your data and how and who uses it. Think about how and what My Sites features you use in production.

An initial assessment can begin with working with your users in two main areas:

  • Identify older content
  • Determine if content is obsolete or redundant and can be deleted.

Using the SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool (SMAT)

The SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool (SMAT) is a simple command line executable that scans the contents of your SharePoint Server 2013 farm to help identify any issues before you migrate your content.

After the scan is complete, SMAT generates summary and detailed reports showing the areas that could impact your migration. Not everything in the report needs to be remediated; but the important scans for your business needs should be looked at.

Also included is the SharePoint Migration Identity Management Tool, that does identity mapping by scanning SharePoint, Active Directory, and Azure Active Directory.

Prepare your SharePoint environment

Before migrating your team site content, you must first pre-provision your users in Office 365.

For guidance on pre-provisioning see:

Create modern hub sites based on how you have mapped your sites to a system of hub site.

Migration process

Below is a typical migration process that follows Microsoft’s best practices guidance.

  1. Select a small set of sites for a pilot migration. The goal of the pilot is to validate the process, including performance, user communication, and to get a sample of user feedback.
  2. Perform the pilot migration. This should use an incremental migration method, in which migration happens in the background with no user impact, followed by a cutover event in which SharePoint Server team sites are disabled and they are directed to use the SharePoint Online environment. This method is preferred as it reduces user impact.
  3. Understand the data from the pilot migration to determine the remainder of your migration schedule and make any changes. For example, you may update your user communication template to address a question you received from a pilot user.
  4. Perform the remainder of the migration. This should also follow an incremental migration method, just like the pilot. Microsoft recommends a single cutover event for all users to switch to using their SharePoint sites. This helps eliminate users from updating duplicate copies of content.

Migration offerings

Currently, there are a variety of migration offerings available to you. Which one is right for you?

Self service

The benefit for self-service migration is that you have full control over your process and timing, and you determine the pace of migration. Microsoft provides the SharePoint Migration Tool free of charge and you will be able to leverage your own IT resources rather than having to invest in outside expertise.

Migration service providers

You may decide that your organization has specific business needs that require you to use third-party services or applications to help you execute your migration. Explore the professional services and applications available from partners in the Microsoft Partner Center. There you can find experts to help you in your enterprise content migration to Office 365. For more information see: Microsoft Partner Center.

User Onboarding

Develop a plan to prepare your users for the upcoming change. Consideration factors to include in your plan:

  • Evangelize the move. Underscore the benefits, the collaborative capabilities, and the reasons for making the move.
  • End user training. Provide training to your users on the features in SharePoint.
  • Train your helpdesk. Before the cutover, train your helpdesk in key features and common user questions.
  • Prepare for any possible downtime the migration may incur.

Develop a plan for sending communications to your user base, providing clear statements of timing, expectations and impact to the individual. Include:

  • The migration timeline and how it will impact them. Include any end user calls to action.
  • Assure them that if they have content already in SharePoint, that their content is safe and won’t be overwritten.
  • Let them know whether individuals can opt-out of the migration process

User onboarding

The SharePoint adoption resource center serves as a one stop shop for all adoption and change management related content. The Success Factors detailed on the SharePoint Adoption Resource website will help make sure you’re set up for a successful roll-out of SharePoint.

SharePoint Adoption