FAQ: SharePoint Online Customizations

FAQ: SharePoint Online Customizations

FAQ: SharePoint Online Customizations

By Adam Levithan | October 14, 2015

The second leg of the U.S. Microsoft Services and Metalogix Roadshow rolled into the NYC Technology Center on October 13th. Fighting above average traffic, IT Managers, Architects and several CIOs joined the presenters to discuss transforming their business by moving from on-premises to SharePoint Online.

MVP Eric Riz kicked us off with a discussion on cloud strategy in his “Getting Cloud Right” Keynote which focused on some key areas to consider when moving to the cloud. Eric answered a number of questions about planning and engagement of end-users and IT.

We were also joined by Microsoft Program Manager Simon Bourdages and Microsoft Services Architect Joe Newell. As promised in our Roadshow Announcement, these two presenters followed Eric’s lead and provided guidance on all the steps needed to migrate successfully to SharePoint Online. Without getting into the details of the presentations (you may still have time to join us!) I wanted to share a sneak peek with some of the main questions that the Boston and New York crowds asked… and some answers that were provided.

What are best practices before migrating to Office 365.

How do you handle web part customizations.

What do we expect when migrating to the cloud.

Plan, Analyze, Then Migrate

A clear common theme of the day and throughout Simon and Joe’s presentations was the importance of preparing before the act of migrating.

Step one: Understand the business goals of the migration and coordinate with IT to set end-user expectations. Microsoft Services has a proven methodology of performing a Proof of Concept – migrating a small set of content – to Office 365.

Additional step to consider: A recommended best practice that comes after that initial analysis and testing is a pre-migration clean-up of your content.

Customizations are, by Definition, Never the Same. Understanding what will be Easy, Medium, Difficult

Regarding customizations, the consulting answer is – it depends - on the specific web part, what it does and how it connects to other pieces of the SharePoint puzzle.

On a scale of migration difficulty, the presenters described how content is the easiest, branding can be done with a moderate amount of effort, and custom web parts need to be rebuilt because of the different deployment methodologies Office 365 and Azure utilize.

Let us Give you a Hand with That

Attendees were surprised to learn the level of effort Microsoft Services and Metalogix have put forth to optimize the migration experience. With the new API that is available and large amounts of data that organizations would like to move to the cloud, we discussed how an additional level of planning is needed.

The basics start with math:
Bandwidth availability + the amount of content that you have + the resources you are able to simultaneously migrate = actual speed of your project

Have more questions before you start your cloud migration? We’ll be speaking and providing more answers throughout the remainder of our Roadshow series this Fall. Register Here and come join us in one of the 16 cities we’re visiting.

In the meantime, have Migration Expert analyze your current SharePoint deployment as a part of the recommended pre-migration analysis.


Adam Levithan

Adam is a Director of Product Management at Metalogix and a Microsoft MVP advocating for collaboration by connecting business needs with the right technology. Prior to Metalogix, Adam was a Practice Lead for Office 365 in a cutting edge Microsoft Consulting firm where he was responsible for moving customers to the cloud, designing and implementing information architecture (SharePoint Farm and content) and increasing user adoption. Adam is an ongoing member of the SharePoint Saturday DC coordinating committee and active speaker at various events.

Written By: Adam Levithan

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