To migrate SharePoint from one tenant to another, organizations need to maintain a clear plan of action. The end goal should be to keep workflows undisturbed and have zero issues come up post-migration. With ShareGate’s easy-to-use migration tool, you can proactively migrate data by leveraging automation.
Organizational restructuring comes with a caveat: you need to ensure you account for all changes and have an action plan in place to smooth out the transition process. Migrating SharePoint from one tenant to another is a prime example of this.
There could be multiple reasons for why you’re migrating: a merger, acquisition, rebranding, etc. Whatever the case, from pre- to post-migration, tenant migrations should be broken down and mapped out well in advance.
A plan well thought out in advance will ensure a safe migration of your SharePoint data. It’ll also help avoid unnecessary bumps along the way and keep workflows straightened out.
Here, we break down the entire SharePoint migration process, and highlight best practices to ensure a smooth transition. Let’s begin!
In this article:
What is a SharePoint tenant migration?
SharePoint tenant migrations involve moving your SharePoint items from a ‘source tenant’ to a ‘target tenant.’ The process includes accounting for all users, resources, and data in your current environment.
When planning for a tenant migration, you need to create a roadmap that outlines the entire content restructuring process before the actual migration project starts. Ideally, the migration process should be followed by a post-migration report to check that your migration was executed successfully.
A third-party SharePoint migration tool such as ShareGate can help validate the migration process through automated reports.
How to efficiently plan and execute migrations for mergers & acquisitions or a reorganization.
5 Steps for a SharePoint tenant to tenant migration
Here, we break down the SharePoint tenant migration process into five simple steps to make the transition process a breeze. Let’s get started!
Pre-migration is the planning stage. Here, you need to make sure you account for everything. This includes:
What needs migrating: Before you begin migrating data, identify elements at the source site that you need to move to the destination site. Consider everything from content, metadata, site collection, Teams channels, messages, etc.
Estimating resources required: Account for human resources, tools, or other related resources needed to execute an effective migration.
Estimate effort and time required: Estimate in advance how much effort and time will be and should be consumed in the tenant migration process.
Create a checklist: A checklist will help everyone involved keep track of executed vs. pending actionable steps throughout the process. Wondering what that would look like? We’ve got you covered.
Our SharePoint migration checklist covers everything to take note of. From pre- to post-migration, we’ve highlighted crucial checkpoints and presented practical advice to help you deploy faster.
Migration projects made easy
A thorough SharePoint migration checklist
Reduce downtime. Deploy faster. Crucial checkpoints, practical advices, and pro tips to help you master your migration.
2. Inventory and clean up
Inventory existing content: In the pre-migration stage, you identify what needs migrating. Here, you determine the size and total number of what will be migrated to quantify the process further. Elements such as the number of site collections, workflows, files and folders, file shares, etc. should be taken into account.
Inventorying existing content helps make sure nothing gets left behind. Be sure to take note of everything in your current environment with a detailed audit.
Fix warnings and errors pre migration: Cleaning up the existing environment by fixing errors and warnings is important. Correcting existing issues before migration starts helps ensure problems don’t arise during live migration.
3. Get ready and prep users
Schedule your migration: Set a time and date for the migration event. Ensure you start the process when it least impacts end users.
Communicate to all users: Ensure all concerned end users are updated about the migration beforehand.
Enable read-only mode: Ensure all resources that are part of the migration are in read-only mode.
4. Migrate SharePoint Online
Finally, migration begins. You’ve already planned everything. But, keep in mind that issues can arise when migration has finally started. Common SharePoint migration issues include invalid source folder errors, invalid folder name errors, duplicate task errors, etc.
If you have the right tools, you can easily tackle these issues instead of going for a hands-on approach which might not be ideal. ShareGate is built for this very purpose. You can sit back and relax by automating the migration process while ShareGate solves this for you.
Test and validate: Make sure you test out your new SharePoint environment and validate it to avoid any post-migration errors that could arise. ShareGate’s automated reporting helps validate the process by providing details of what migrated successfully vs. which items had warnings or issues come up.
Check with users: Ask every user impacted by the migration to check on their end if all of their content has moved successfully.
Stay on top of the source data: Even after migration, it’s wise to keep the source data with you for a few months. In the worst-case scenario, where some data is later identified to be missing, the source data can help.
Best practices for SharePoint tenant migrations
Keep workflows undisturbed
60% of M365 groups have a team attached. This means that when you’re migrating a SharePoint tenant, you’ll probably be taking content stored in Teams along with content stored in SharePoint.
This will ensure employee workflows aren’t disturbed. And everyone has what they need to continue with their workflows post-migration.
Leverage ShareGate’s incremental copy feature
Leveraging ShareGate’s incremental copy feature can speed up the entire process and help avoid overwriting newer files at the destination site. With this feature, ShareGate looks at both the file at the source and destination to see if it needs to be updated.
If the file at the destination does not exist (but does at the source) or has an older date modified field than at the source, it will only then update the data.
This isn’t an exact syncing feature, which is a good thing. If you delete a file at the source, it won’t get deleted at the destination.
Leverage unlimited content management and data
You want to have a structure in place to manage your SharePoint site content post-migration. With a SharePoint migration tool such as ShareGate, you can take everything with you and manage it easily. The SharePoint content management feature organizes your SharePoint site content according to internal requirements.
Some key features include:
Drag and drop: You can move content anytime and anywhere. ShareGate’s interface has a drag and drop feature that lets you move lists, libraries, workflows, sites, and more without any hassle.
Bulk editing: You can edit document permissions, metadata, and file structures in bulk. This helps save time when you’re restructuring or organizing content according to specific user needs.
Unlimited migrations: Unlimited migrations help you stay in control of content management by moving as much data as you want whenever you want it. The best part is that there’s no additional pricing involved!
What’s the best tool for migrating SharePoint to another tenant?
The truth is, you’ll face issues trying to migrate a SharePoint site from one tenant to another with traditional routes such as Microsoft PowerShell. Especially when multiple site collections are involved, tenant migrations can be a hassle.
But with a SharePoint migration tool such as ShareGate, migrating a SharePoint site to another tenant is a piece of cake.
You can migrate from an on-premises server or from the cloud to any supported destination site (SharePoint Online, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive for Business, etc.). And, both single and multiple-site collections are easy to move to another tenant.
We’ve written a lot on this subject; here’s a popular article that covers two ways to migrate from one tenant to another. It should help.