Education's Top 5 Best Practices for Office 365 and OneDrive for Business

Education's Top 5 Best Practices for Office 365 and OneDrive for Business

Education's Top 5 Best Practices for Office 365 and OneDrive for Business

By Steve Marsh | July 21, 2016

With Microsoft’s generous offers of making Office 365 more available to students, many IT administrators expect easier management responsibilities with user licenses and their data. Yet after implementing Office 365 within an educational environment, IT pros need to rethink the way they manage student or faculty data. This is especially important if you’re migrating data and documents from a non-Microsoft system to OneDrive for Business.

Any migration from one system to another can be a painful process. And an understanding of both the environment your institution is moving from and the environment the institution is moving to is a key ingredient to make any migration successful.

To get started, keep these top five best practices in mind:

  1. DON’T MIGRATE YOUR MESS
    Take an inventory of users, permissions and content to ensure that what is being migrated to OneDrive for Business is necessary and safe. Don’t bring over students or teachers who are no longer part of the system. Trim off old and irrelevant folders and files.

  2. CREATE A NEW TAXONOMY
    Make user permissions, file structure, and other infrastructure decisions in advance of migration. Doing so will save time after the migration is complete. Capture your organization’s needs and teaching staff’s requirements. Then build a taxonomy that clearly aligns with their thinking to decrease the need for additional support during the school year.

  3. SIMPLIFY FILE NAMES
    Document names provide a good example; take time to ensure that names are in a format compatible with the target environment. With OneDrive for Business, the full path of a file name must be fewer than 442 characters and cannot contain these characters: / \ < > : * “ ? |. An analysis on current data with a filter searching for those limitations is a required pre-migration activity. If documents exceed those limits, you’ll still need a way to inform users when document name have changed.

  4. OUTLINE BUSINESS PROCESSES
    Determine which processes you’re using today that can – and should – be moved over to Office 365. Not everything can be migrated. Knowing this in advance will save you time (and headaches) during the migration. For organizations that do map out those processes, they might find more advanced processes that adhere to Office.

  5. ENSURE SECURITY REQUIREMENTS
    From FISMA to HIPAA to Sarbanes- Oxley to individual state and local regulations, there are numerous security requirements that must be followed. You need to ensure that these requirements will continue to be satisfied both pre- and post-migration. Listen to An insider’s look into protecting data in Office 365 for more security insights.

When educational institutions move to Office 365, they need to ensure that their investment remains managed, secured and optimized for the needs of both students and faculty. Watch the webinar Office 365 101: Education in Microsoft’s Cloud to learn how to track all user accounts, create better onboarding/offboarding for incoming/outgoing users, rightsizing the security for students and faculty, manage backups and more. 


Dr. Steve Marsh

Dr. Marsh is the Vice President of Product Management with Metalogix and is an expert in SharePoint migration and management technologies. Prior to Metalogix, Dr. Marsh spent over five years working at Microsoft UK Ltd where he held a number of roles, including SharePoint Server Product Manager, in which he was responsible for business and marketing strategy, as well as awareness of Microsoft's SharePoint technologies. He holds a PhD in Microelectronics and Physics from the University of Dundee where he worked on the research and development of novel semiconductor memory and flat-panel display technology.

Written By: Dr. Steve Marsh

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