How to migrate data from Office 365 to G Suite

Learn how to make moving mail, calendar items, contacts, and files from Office 365 to G Suite easier with Google's Data Migration Service or CloudMigrator.

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Once you decide to move from Office 365 to G Suite, you will need to determine how to move your data. If you've used Office 365, you probably have email, contacts, and calendar data you want to keep. You likely also have all sorts of Office-format files, such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations, along with various PDFs, images, video files, and more.

SEE: Cost comparison calculator: G Suite vs. Office 365 (Tech Pro Research)

One possibility, of course, is to begin anew: Start to use G Suite and don't move any data over. For most organizations, that won't be a viable option. But for an individual or a micro-organization, a clean start might be feasible in some circumstances. If that's the case, sign up for G Suite, adjust settings, add accounts and then start using G Suite.

More often, you'll want to move your existing email, contacts, calendars, and files from Office 365 to G Suite. Google's support pages provide guides that cover a wide range of migration environments and options. But for an Office 365 to G Suite move, either of the following methods may be appropriate for different organizations with different needs.

G Suite data migration

The G Suite Data Migration Service allows you to migrate email, calendar, and contacts for your organization. You can use the tool to pull over each set of data at a time, not all at once. In other words, you'll run it once to move email, another time to move contacts, and again to move calendar data (Figure A).

Figure A

Screenshot of initial Data Migration Service import screen

Access the Data Migration Service from the G Suite admin console. The service can move mail, contacts, and calendar items into G Suite accounts.

To start a migration, sign in to the G Suite admin console as a super administrator at admin.google.com in desktop Chrome, then choose Data Migration. You'll also need administrative access to your Office 365 environment in order to create a role account with impersonation rights in your source Office 365 setup (Figure B). You'll also need to have already configured G Suite accounts—the source and destinations accounts both need to exist. Note: The Data Migration Service won't create accounts—it just moves data from one account to another.

Figure B

Screenshot of Email migration import example

Choose Office 365 as the migration source. You'll need to add your Office 365 role account, with impersonation credentials, before you can begin an import.

How to migrate files

While the Data Migration Service moves email, calendar items, and files, as of December 2018, it doesn't migrate your files. Files in each account that were in OneDrive will still be in OneDrive—you'll need to move those files manually.

SEE: G Suite: Tips and tricks for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

For each person's account, you'll want to move files either to their Google Drive My Drive or to various shared Team Drives. In general, you'll likely want to create a Team Drive for each team in your organization for shared files. Remember: Every member of a Team Drive will have access to files on that Team Drive; other files may be moved to the person's My Drive. Read my article "How to move files from an on-site server to Google Drive" for more details. This manual move process is much the same, although with OneDrive instead of a local server.

Third-party migration service

A simpler migration option may be to use a third-party service, such as CloudMigrator. The company offers two options: CloudMigrator, which is a downloadable product for complex migrations, or CloudMigrator Go, for simpler migrations. If you're moving from a standard Office 365 setup, with files at OneDrive for Business, then CloudMigrator Go will likely be a solid choice (Figure C).

Figure C

Screenshot of CloudMigrator Go pricing ($15 per account)

Alternatively, a third-party service, such as CloudMigrator Go, may move mail, calendar, contacts, and files.

The main benefit of CloudMigrator Go over Google's Data Migration Service is that it will move email, calendar items, contacts, and files. It also saves you time because you don't have to run the service three times like you would with Google's Data Migration Service. But the convenience of CloudMigrator Go comes at a cost of a one-time fee of $15 per migrated account.

Your experience?

If you've moved data from Office 365 to G Suite, what migration method did you use to move mail, contacts, and calendar items? And what method did you use to move files to Google Drive? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@awolber).

Also see

Office 365 in text (left); G Suite in text (right); arrow between, with small mail, calendar, contact, and file icons around arc of arrow from O365 to G Suite
Illustration: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic