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Migrate Exchange Public Folders to Office 365 Groups Flawlessly

Public Folder is a much older technology, though they are available even in Office 365 and the latest versions of Exchange. Public Folders are popular with users, even though Microsoft is coming up with newer features, especially in Office 365. One such feature is Office 365 Groups. We will discuss more about Public Folders and Office 365 Groups now.

Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups is a collaboration feature introduced by Microsoft. It helps to share resources with a set of people easily. When you add a user to a Group, the user automatically gets access to the Group resources without any special permission.

Migrate Public folders to Office 365 Groups

If you have decided to migrate your data from Exchange Server Public Folders to Office 365 Groups, then this article is for you. This manual migration is quite an arduous task. Therefore, it is often recommended to use a professional migration tool for hassle-free migration.

Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups is a collaboration feature introduced by Microsoft. It helps to share resources with a set of people easily. When you add a user to a Group, the user automatically gets access to the Group resources without any special permission.

Migrate Public folders to Office 365 Groups

If you have decided to migrate your data from Exchange Server Public Folders to Office 365 Groups, then this article is for you. This manual migration is quite an arduous task. Therefore, it is often recommended to use a professional migration tool for hassle-free migration.

Why Should you Migrate Your Public Folders to Office 365 Groups?

Let us now weigh the pros and cons of the migration to Office 365 Groups.

Pros

  • Collaboration Groups in Outlook store all the emails and lets a group of users to collaborate over them. It helps to send information to a group of people. Also, it is easier to share and access files/documents in Office 365 Groups as a separate Files tab is available in them. So, you don’t have to search for them.
  • Group Calendar Using the calendar associated with the Group (shared calendar), any member of the Group can create events on the calendar. In addition to this, if you mark a Group as “Favorite,” then Group’s calendar gets displayed next to your personal calendar. Subscribing to Group’s events lets the Group’s events appear in your personal calendar, which is not possible with the Public Folders.
  • Automatic Permissions After adding users to a Group, they get all the permissions automatically; while in Public Folders, you need to manually assign the permissions.
  • Mobility There is a downside to Public Folders as they can’t be used through mobile devices. Also, they have limited functionality on the web. On the contrary, Office 365 Groups does not have this barrier and offer you more mobility just in case you are on the move and desperately need to access the content.
  • Numerous apps When you create a Group, you unlock all the apps of the Office 365 suite. Due to this, a lot can be achieved on the work front.

    Cons

    • Flat structure without hierarchy The significant difference between the two platforms is that Public folders use a hierarchy to organize content; but Groups have a flat structure. In-short all emails in a Group reside in the same space without any folders or subfolders, and all documents/ attachments can be found in the Files tab.
    • Limited permission roles Public Folders offers a variety of permission roles, but Groups only provides two: owner and member.

    How to Manually Migrate from Public Folders to Office 365 Groups?

    Manual migration of Exchange Server Public Folders to Office 365 groups is a time consuming and lengthy process and requires strong technical skills.  Just to give an idea of the sheer complexity of the migration process, the steps are given below:

    1. Download the Public Folder to Office 365 Group migration scripts. First, you need to download Public Folders to Office 365 Groups migration scripts and save them. Please note that there are 8 scripts for various purposes that you need to download.
    2. Prepare for the migration. You need to enlist your Public Folders and make them ready for migration to Office 365 Groups.
    3. Create a .csv file with migration information. Create a CSV file with the Public Folder path and the destination Office 365 Group.
    4. Start the migration request. In this step, you need to create a migration batch and run it.
    5. Add members to Office 365 Groups from Public Folders. You can do this manually as per your requirement or use a script.
    6. Lock down the Public Folders. This step involves downtime. It ensures that data is not added to Public Folders before the completion of the migration.
    7. Finalize the Public Folder to Office 365 Groups migration. Now, perform the migration to ensure that the complete data is migrated to Office 365 Groups.

    How to Migrate from Public Folders to Office 365 Groups with Ease?

    It is quite evident that manual migration from Public Folders to Office 365 Groups is not everyone’s cup of tea as requires technical skills. Moreover, if you miss any single detail in the migration steps, then the whole process is prone to fail. To avoid all these issues due to process complexity, one should look for a professional Office 365 migration tool. Kernel Office 365 Migration Tool is one such tool that can migrate Public Folders to Office 365 Groups.

    Conclusion

    In this blog post, we have discussed the main reasons why one should consider migrating from Exchange Server Public Folders to Office 365 Groups in great detail. We have discussed the pros and cons of this migration process. Also, we have briefly discussed the migration steps, just to give the user a gist of the sheer complexity of the whole process. In our opinion, the migration from Public Folders to Groups is a technical task and should be performed with caution. The user can avoid manual migration with the help of a professional migration tool. Kernel Office 365 Migration is one such tool that can simplify the migration experience. Due to numerous useful features we highly recommend Office 365 Migration tool.

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