Office 365 Migration: Our top 5 commonly asked questions

Office 365 migration commonly asked questions

Microsoft Office 365 can give you increased security, easy collaboration tools and make your workplace more efficient. And that’s just the start of the reasons to consider an Office 365 migration.

We’ve consulted with many organisations about moving to the cloud-based Office 365 environment and the same questions come up time and time again. Here we answer our five most commonly asked questions.


Office 365 Migration – what you need to know


1. Is Office 365 secure, particularly compared to having a server in our own office?


Using the cloud-based Office 365 is much safer than storing your data on your on-premise server, both physically and in regards to attack.

With Office 365, your data is stored in a secure, fully redundant data centre based in Australia.

With your on-premise server, it’s likely stored in the corner of your office and is vulnerable to break-in and theft. It’s also unlikely to be built with as much redundancy as the servers in Microsoft’s data centres, so is more vulnerable to hardware failure.

In terms of cyber-attack, most small businesses use entry-level routers and firewalls that offer minimal protection. Microsoft’s data centres use state-of-the-art hardware that is fully updated with patches to keep your data safe.

Office 365 also has many security features that can be switched on, like two-factor authentication and Advanced Threat Protection. These features will help mitigate against malicious attacks.

It also comes with Secure Score – a feature that recommends actions you can take on your setup to improve security. It enhances security from the default settings.


2. How much storage do I get with Office 365? Will I have enough space?


There are several types of storage with Office 365, each with their own limits.

Mailbox storage

The Office 365 Business Premium & Microsoft 365 Business licences include 50Gb storage per user.

Enterprise licences E3 and E5 have 100Gb included. They also include access to an unlimited online archive, which in effect means you have unlimited email storage with those subscriptions.

File storage

With OneDrive for Business, each user is allocated 1TB of storage for personal files. For team files, Sharepoint offers 1TB of storage per organisation plus 10Gb of storage per licence.


3. How can I access my files if they are in the cloud?


Before you can access your files, you need firstly to be authenticated. After that, there are a few different ways you can access your cloud-based files.

Web browser

You can access your files via the web browser from any computer with web access.

Synchronise your files to your computer

Synchronising your files allows you to access them from your local hard drive. They’re synchronised on the fly so they only get downloaded when you access them. This saves on save hard drive space and bandwidth.


4. Will my employees have to do anything differently when we move to Office 365?


For email, there will be no difference for your users between using an on-premise or a cloud server.

For file access, there will be some difference in the way they access files. If they choose to access files via the web, the process will be different. If they use synchronised files, the process will be similar to using a networked drive of the normal on-premise server.


5. Which subscription should I choose and what is included in each one?


The type of subscription will depend on the size of your organisation and what features you need.

Small business plans

Small business plans are capped at 300 users.

  • Office 365 Business

The Office 365 Business plan gives you access to the Microsoft Office desktop software e.g. Word, Excel, and Outlook. The software can be installed on your local computers. You don’t get access to online services like Exchange Online or Sharepoint Online.

  • Office 365 Business Essentials

The Office 365 Business Essentials plan gives you all of the online services but no desktop software. So that gives you access to software such as Exchange Online, SharePoint, One Drive for Business, and Microsoft Teams.

  • Office 365 Business Premium

Office 365 Business Premium gives you a combination of Business and Essentials. It gives you both the desktop software and online services.

  • Microsoft 365 Business

Microsoft 365 Business gives you all the inclusions of Business Premium along with additional security features like Advanced Threat Protection and Simplified Management Console to help manage PCs. It also includes Windows 10 Pro so it’s a great option if you want to upgrade an existing Windows 7 Pro PC.

Enterprise plans

Office 365 Enterprise Plans are available for organisations bigger than 300 users or for those looking for a stronger solution. You can choose from Office 365 E1, E3 and E5 licenses depending on your needs.

They can include increased mailbox storage along with additional compliance features. The E5 plan also includes telephone conferencing capabilities.


What are the benefits of implementing Office 365?


Office 365 has many advantages for small to medium businesses. Some of the major advantages include:

  • Mobility – with the cloud-based Office 365, you and your employees have the ability to work from anywhere
  • Security and redundancy – By using Office 365’s secure and dedicated data servers, there’s no need to worry about hardware failures or security issues impacting on your business.
  • Collaboration – The team-based software of Office 365 makes it much more efficient for teams and individual users to collaborate, thus increasing productivity.
  • Price – It’s much more cost-effective to purchase an Office 365 subscription for each user at $17.20 each month, than spend $15,000 on an on-premise server that needs maintaining.


Our Office 365 implementation tips


Office 365 implementation and migration requires careful planning and consideration. It pays to talk to an expert before you start the process.

Of particular concern for small business is security. It’s important to make sure you have the right settings switched on to make sure your data is secure. You also need to make sure any computers you use are fully patched and up-to-date.


How can IT Smart Solutions help you implement Office 365?


We’re the experts in end-to-end IT services for small to medium enterprises. We’ve migrated over a thousand users to Office 365. We can ensure your path to the cloud is smooth.

We can help from consulting on your project, through to implementation and ongoing support. Our helpdesk is able to assist you with any help you may need post-migration.

To see how Office 365 can help your business, take our Small Business Modern Workplace Assessment.

Knowledge is power, so it’s time to take control. Protect your small business against social engineering.

Data or system breaches are potentially the number one risk for many businesses. The threat is just as real for small business owners as it is for enterprise leaders – whether it be from theft, disruption or damage, malicious or accidental.  Some threats are easier to manage than others – but there is one source of potential malice that is notoriously difficult to stay ahead of: Social Engineering, otherwise known as CEO Fraud.

The cybercrime networks are getting more advanced and sophisticated by the day and one of the ways they may attack your business is by targeting the most senior people in organisations. By using social media to thoroughly research an organisation, often with automated bots and crawlers, criminals can find out company directors, suppliers and other information and then use these insights to successfully fool unsuspecting (smart!) people. Some of the possible outcomes? Virus infection, lost or frozen data or lost money.

As the owner of your business, it’s vital that you stay informed, this is the first step in retaining control.


Social engineering: a big threat to your small business


Social engineering is an ever-evolving concept. And while it’s tempting to think, ‘That would never happen to me’, the truth is it can. No business is immune. We dealt with an established professional services firm whose finance department transferred funds to a hacker, thanks to a well-crafted email that correctly referenced a particular project, staff and customer details. Scary stuff.

As step one in keeping you informed, here is a brief overview of the terminology you may have seen referenced – sometimes interchangeably. While there are some differences, the terms are all related, and all refer to scams that try to access data and steal information or money.

  • Phishing
    Criminals send a large number of fraudulent emails out in the hope that a small percentage of business owners or individuals will click on a link or provide sought-after information.
  • Whaling or CEO FraudThis is a targeted attack on a high-profile user (such as a C-level executive). A simple, well-crafted email is sent to a specific person who has the authority to transfer money. The social engineering efforts are usually quite advanced and the email is likely to look highly legitimate. As the email appears to come from someone of influence, such as a CEO or CFO – or may even be sent from their actual email address – this provides a possible ‘in’ for the attacker.

Here are the facts you can’t ignore


  • CEO data fraud is big business. FBI data reveals that CEO fraud has shot up by 2,370% since January 2015, with reported exposed losses of over USD$5.3 billion globally.
  • CEO data fraud is more common than you may think. In fact, it’s the most prevalent type of attack after ransomware. Socially engineered attacks are favoured by perpetrators because the risk-to-reward ratio is huge. The most common victims? Those with financial authority.
  • You can’t afford CEO data fraud. FBI data reports that the average financial loss to individuals is USD$6,000 and an organisation, USD$130,000. These are some big numbers.


It can happen to anyone. Some real-life examples.


Before you think ‘I or my team wouldn’t fall for that’, think again. No business is immune to fraudulent attacks. Even technology giants Google and Facebook fell victim to social engineering.

Facebook and Google were hacked by a perpetrator impersonating a large Asian-based computer manufacturer – a regular supplier to both companies. Using social engineering, the hacker generated fake email addresses, invoices and corporate stamps. The result? Over a two-year period, USD$100 million was siphoned to various Eastern European bank accounts.

In one of the largest data breaches ever seen, Equifax admitted that hackers stole personal information from up to 143 million US consumers. Following the public announcement in September 2017, company shares plummeted and several C-level executives exited and were later investigated by the Federal Trade Commission.

Closer to home, we worked with a law firm that was compromised when a well-crafted email reached the finance department. By referencing the right customer and project details, the finance team were fooled into transferring funds to another account. It can and does happen.


Act now. Get informed and take the first steps.


The good news is that when it comes to IT security, small steps can make a real difference. And we can help. Our simple, actionable checklist highlights the top security-related priorities for a business running on Office 365 and is a valuable first step in helping you take control. Download the checklist here or get in touch today.