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:

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

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. 

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Dr. Steve Marsh
Written By: Dr. Steve Marsh