Migrating SharePoint Online?

The secure collaboration provided by the Microsoft Office 365 platform is invaluable for organisations looking to better support remote and hybrid working. After recent global events and considering Microsoft’s support end deadlines, many organisations are looking to migrate their file server to SharePoint Online.

The benefits are many:

Seamless access
to documents,
people and forms
Reduced server
& maintenance
Updates and
for process

We can help with your SharePoint Migration

The way we work has changed. The new, connected workplace needs modern infrastructure like SharePoint Online to support collaboration and mobile working.

Migrating environments is not anyone’s idea of a good time. The scope is broad and the potential for issues is significant. No one wants to stand in front of the CEO and explain a security breach, missing data or why staff cannot access the files they need. Ideally, everyone should log in after the migration and hardly realise there has been a change. But for this to be achieved, every element must be considered and planned in detail.

WebVine have over 50 years of combined SharePoint experience. Our proven method will ensure your SharePoint migration is successful.


Assessment and

Our experienced consultants will work with your team to create a clear picture of your current situation and what are you trying to achieve.

  • Which features are different in SharePoint Online and what impacts will this have? The features you have on-premises must still be available in your Office 365 license.
  • Customisations built on SharePoint on-premises will not necessarily translate seamlessly to SharePoint Online. Are all of your custom code and web parts still necessary? How will these requirements be accommodated in the new environment?
  • Do you have enough bandwidth? When transferring all your data from in-house servers to online, your capacity will need to be reviewed.
  • How accurate is your Active Directory set-up? Access to essential resources will now be managed through Groups and if these are not complete or up to date, users will have problems connecting. AD issues also have the potential to cause data breaches and security vulnerabilities.
  • IT Skills – does your IT team have the necessary knowledge to support the SharePoint online environment and assist users? Will you require further support?


Content Audit &

SharePoint migration is an excellent opportunity to review your files. In many cases, these can be deleted or archived rather than migrated across. For those that remain, now is the time to revisit Permissions, Managed Metadata structure and Content Types for effective search.

WebVine can facilitate workshops to review existing files and identify opportunities for content rationalisation. File structures should be reviewed for logic and efficiency. It is of course essential to ensure you have enough allocated space for the total file size of your data!

Once agreement has been reached on files to migrate, we will bring it all together into a clear roadmap, defining roles, actions, timings and outcomes.

Don’t forget to communicate what is happening to stakeholders such as site owners, admins, Helpdesk and your change management team



Now comes the actual migration! There are four main options.

  1. Manually copying files – with smaller environments this might be viable, and it is something we can manage for you or you could manage yourself.
  2. Using Microsoft’s SharePoint Migration Tool - good for simple file migrations from document libraries without document sets, lookups or custom metadata. Note this tool is only for moving content.
  3. Using a third party tool like Sharegate or AvePoint
  4. A hybrid approach

For all but the third party tool option, we will need to prepare the entire environment beforehand for it to receive the migration packages. WebVine will recreate your on- premises SharePoint structure in SharePoint Online, migrating all item types and permissions to the resources.


Data volume and complexity – does your migration method need to handle large sets of documents with special properties? Does it need to solve file duplication issues or move whole sites, libraries and folder structures? What about document templates? If necessary, custom scripts can be written to migrate content and retain metadata and versions.

Scheduling – do you need to migrate at once or should it be broken up into a rolling schedule?

Permissions: How will you maintain user access?

Metadata and existing hierarchies: The drag and drop feature of the M365 migration tool for example can compromise metadata.

Back up & recovery: Microsoft Office 365 does not have extensive backup & recovery capabilities, whereas tools like AvePoint do provide this. Ensure your migration plan includes a rollback failsafe for loss of data.


Manage the change

Before we crack the Champagne, there’s one more thing to consider… the users!

The way they access their documents will change – likely overnight or the weekend – and on Monday morning, business must carry on as usual. If people are not ready to use SharePoint Online, they may find dodgy workarounds.

As an experienced SharePoint consultant with years of migrations behind us, WebVine is the perfect partner to ensure your users are prepared and informed.

We will recommend a communication and training plan to drive user engagement and better adoption.

It’s also a great opportunity to conduct an education campaign around document management. With SharePoint’s sophisticated document history capabilities, there is no need to create multiple document versions when changes are made, users can simply go back to previous History versions if required.

“Communicate early, communicate often and provide visibility and transparency of how the migration is going.” AvePoint

Start realising the benefits now

While most organisations are motivated to migrate SharePoint online by cost savings and mobile accessibility, there are so many more potential benefits.

Modern design

Managing your migration effectively, using an experienced, technically knowledgeable partner will ensure not only a successful migration, but an enhanced working environment.

Start your SharePoint migration now

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