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Office 365/Microsoft 365 tenant-to-tenant migration with ShareGate Desktop

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How do I transfer Microsoft 365 content after a merger or acquisition? ShareGate Desktop helps move SharePoint and OneDrive content in a Microsoft 365 tenant-to-tenant migration. Here’s how:

You did it! You made the move to Microsoft 365! You’re ready to settle down and stay awhile. Until one day, your boss knocks on your door and says the company is merging domains following a recent acquisition. Luckily, the other company’s intranet is also hosted in Microsoft 365. But what happens next?

As explored in our new benchmark report, State of Microsoft 365: Migration, Modernization, and Security in 2021, the past year has seen a marked rise in cloud-to-cloud (i.e., tenant-to-tenant) migrations. As the cloud became the de facto solution for businesses in 2020, we saw a corresponding 67.7% rise in cloud-to-cloud migrations amongst ShareGate users.

The thought of a second migration might be daunting—but there’s no need for fear with ShareGate Desktop here! Our best-in-class migration tool can also help you easily move content from one Microsoft 365 tenant to another—something that’s especially useful in the context of a business merger or acquisition.

In this article, we walk you through the process step-by-step!

Preparing for your Microsoft 365 tenant-to-tenant migration

Like any other migration, the first thing you should do is prepare accordingly. Our ultimate Microsoft migration checklist is an invaluable resource when it comes to avoiding costly mistakes and ensuring everything runs smoothly from start to finish.

Features in the Plan section of the ShareGate Desktop app can also help you stay on top of things:

  • Use the Source analysis report to get an overview of everything in your source environment. Knowing exactly what you have—and where it’s located—will help you assess what should and shouldn’t be moved.
  • Our Permissions matrix report uncovers the access permissions your users and groups have for a given site—quickly telling you who has access to what and the various users who may be inside.
ShareGate Desktop's Plan section in-app.

You can also take advantage of these other built-in reports to help you plan your migration:

  • Site reportView crucial information (e.g. owner, size, date created, date last modified) about the sites in your source environment to help organize and streamline your migration plan.
  • Site collection reportAssess your environment with insights on your top-level site (e.g. site collection admin, size, date created, date last modified).
  • Checked out documents reportFind all checked-out files and files with no checked-in versions, and check them in before copying them so no data is left behind.
  • Sites with custom permissions reportView all sites which do not inherit permissions from their parent.
  • Unused site reportGet a list of sites which were not modified in the last 6 months that you may want to exclude from your migration, then download their content and delete them if necessary.
  • Documents with migration limitations report: Find all documents that will slow down your migration to Microsoft 365 by making it fall back to normal mode.
  • Workflow reportView all your list and site workflows.
  • Lists with workflows reportView all lists with workflows to avoid losing progress while a list is being copied.

Once you’re ready to begin setting up your migration, head to the Copy section of the ShareGate Desktop app:

Copy screen in ShareGate Desktop app.

Select the type of migration you want to run and follow the prompts to connect to your source and destination environments…

Run pre-check button in ShareGate Desktop migration setup.

… then click on Run pre-check in the bottom right corner. Our pre-check report lets you simulate your migration before running it for real—so you can see and address potential issues without impacting your actual live environment.

What to expect during your Microsoft 365 tenant-to-tenant migration

You already know ShareGate Desktop can seamlessly handle a SharePoint to SharePoint migration. But what should you expect when it comes to other Microsoft 365 applications?

Related: Learn how to use SharePoint online, best practices, tips & tricks

OneDrive for Business to OneDrive for Business

ShareGate Desktop can also help move your users’ content from one OneDrive for Business to another.

To complete a OneDrive for Business migration:

  1. Create a CSV guide for your migration by following the step-by-step guide in our ShareGate Desktop support documentation.
  2. Copy and paste the following script in the PowerShell application of your choice:
Import-Module Sharegate
$csvFile = "C:\CSV\CopyContent.csv"
$table = Import-Csv $csvFile -Delimiter ","

$srcUsername = "sourceusername"
$srcPassword = ConvertTo-SecureString "sourcepassword" -AsPlainText -Force

$dstUsername = "destinationusername"
$dstPassword = ConvertTo-SecureString "destinationpassword" -AsPlainText -Force

Set-Variable srcSite, dstSite, srcList, dstList
foreach ($row in $table) {
    Clear-Variable $srcSite
    Clear-Variable $dstSite
    Clear-Variable $srcList
    Clear-Variable $dstList
    $srcSite = Connect-Site -Url $row.SourceSite -Username $srcUsername -Password $srcPassword
    Add-SiteCollectionAdministrator -Site $srcSite
    $dstSite = Connect-Site -Url $row.DestinationSite -Username $srcUsername -Password $srcPassword
    Add-SiteCollectionAdministrator -Site $dstSite
    $srcList = Get-List -Site $srcSite -Name "Documents"
    $dstList = Get-List -Site $dstSite -Name "Documents"
    Copy-Content -SourceList $srcList -DestinationList $dstList
    Remove-SiteCollectionAdministrator -Site $srcSite 
    Remove-SiteCollectionAdministrator -Site $dstSite 

Paste this script in whatever PowerShell application you prefer.
Source: ShareGate Desktop help: Migrating OneDrive for Business to OneDrive for Business with PowerShell

Note that:

Migrate Microsoft Teams from one tenant to another

As explored in our new benchmark report, State of Microsoft 365: Migration, Modernization, and Security in 2021, productivity tools like Microsoft Teams have become integral to how we work. 

That’s why, in the context of a business merger or acquisition, migrating this data over to the new location is no longer a nice-to-have. We need to be able to bring our existing Teams resources with us.

Luckily, it’s easy to migrate your Microsoft Teams to another tenant with ShareGate Desktop!

To copy teams and their channels as part of a Microsoft Teams migration:

  1. Click Copy in the menu at the left (the same screen you start at for a SharePoint migration), then select Copy teams.
  2. Decide whether you want to copy an entire team(s) with all the channels. Or, you can choose to only migrate specific channels.
  3. Follow the prompts to connect to your source and destination tenants. Then, select Copy as a new team next to a team to migrate that team and channels as a new team in the destination. Or, select Copy channels in an existing team to migrate your channels to a team in the destination.
Screenshot of Copy teams option in ShareGate Desktop Copy screen.

With our most recent ShareGate Desktop release, you can also now migrate private channels!

Head to our support documentation for more details and a step-by step walkthrough of the Copy Teams feature.

What about speed?

There’s no sugar coating it—moving between two Microsoft 365 environments will be slower. Much slower.

When migrating from one Microsoft 365 tenant to another, the biggest bottleneck is caused by the way we fetch structure and content information from your source tenant.

At this time, the migration API is only available when writing to a destination environment; all information extraction from your source has to go through the more traditional client-side object model.

ShareGate does have mechanisms in place to avoid being throttled by Microsoft 365—but we still have to limit the number of simultaneous requests we send your source environment’s CSOM to prevent additional slowdown. That’s why an import from a file share, or a copy from on-prem to Microsoft 365 is much faster than a copy between two Microsoft 365 tenants.

Knowing all this, what can you do to avoid unnecessary grey hairs?

  • Migrate during off hours. This is your best chance to gain as much speed as possible.
  • Make sure your bandwidth is at its strongest. The operations are all done online, so having strong bandwidth is crucial.
  • Follow the tips in our curated guide. Download a copy of How to Optimize Your Migration Speed When Using ShareGate to learn how ShareGate interacts with the different components of your migration—as well as what bottlenecks to look out for that could negatively impact its speed.

When everything is finished, run a migration report to make sure everything was transferred over to your destination.

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