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Migration can be daunting, too many times the easy approach of ‘just bring it all across’ is carried out and the new environment is now just as clogged up and messy as the old one. Migration is an excellent time to clear out the redundant data and fine tune the data that is required. We believe in a ruthless but considered approach; this doesn’t mean you can’t keep certain data, in fact, creating an area for ‘Archive’ is a clever idea if you do need to keep data or want to reference it down the line. It’s a review, collate and shift approach for the data, ensuring only the important and frequently used data is surfaced and available to your users.

Here at Silicon Reef we are big advocates of keeping migration simple and utilising the best tools on the market; Sharegate is such a tool we use and have valuable experience with. A clean and intuitive interface, Sharegate allows for a quick setup and configuration when copying content and all associated mappings. For our current migration project, we are utilising the ‘Copy Content’ feature of Sharegate; ideal for document libraries and lists in various sizes (largest list 1500 items); processing time can be minutes up to 10-20 minutes for the larger lists.

Here is how we approached the data migration on a past client project:

  1. Engage the client to review all content for migration. Sit with them, explain the process and how their data fits into the new environment.
  2. Review the ‘Migration File’ and start to prioritise the data into categories (Live, Archive).
  3. Setup and ensure the SharePoint O365 is ready to take the data (Columns, Content Types, Libraries, Lists).
  4. Use Copy Content features of Sharegate to bulk move data. Also, smaller amounts of data can be entered quickly in ‘Quick Edit’ mode in ‘Libraries and Lists’.
  5. Review migrated data in ‘Libraries and Lists’, checking for clean entries and no anomalies. Use the post-migration reports generated by Sharegate to ensure everything has mapped over.

Advancements in features, configuration of libraries and lists and retrieving data in SharePoint have come a long way since 2010 and 2013 versions, it makes sense to explore these before migrating entire configuration structures. It may seem an effortless way to migrate but can cause more headaches when reviewing the SharePoint O365.
Needless to say, each project is different, and our approach may differ subsequently; the key steps and laying the foundations however won’t change and that ensures consistency in any migration project big or small.