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Webinar: Upgrading to SharePoint 2016 or SharePoint Online


​Wednesday, March 30, 2016

11 AM – 12 PM EST


Thinking about upgrading to SharePoint 2016 or SharePoint Online? Not sure about cloud or on-premises? Maybe you're considering both in a hybrid implementation? Proper planning as well as communication are both key to any successful upgrade, and we'll take you through the decision points in this webinar. On March 14, the SharePoint server 2016 was released to manufacturing (RTM). This is an important release with exciting new capabilities for users, IT pros, and administrators, as well as the next generation of hybrid capabilities for SharePoint.​ Search will now be able to access both on premise and Office 365 content in one search result. Check out this blog article​ from Microsoft to learn more about this release.

When upgrading it begins with understanding what you currently have in your environment. The first step is to do an ​assessment. The common steps taken in a pre-upgrade assessment include:
  • Create an inventory of your sites contents using PowerShell (lists, libraries, pages, etc.)
  • Run SPDocKit​ on your farm to index the farm infrastructure
  • Review all custom and vendor solutions to determine the impact of the upgrade and identify necessary remediation tasks
  • Consult with you to determine the best upgrade approach for your SharePoint site, either to SharePoint 2016, Office 365, or both (hybrid)

Once the assessment is complete and the direction is deter​mined, then the planning and building begins.

  • Is it a synonymous upgrade, or are you looking to reorganize and cleanup into a new information architecture
  • How are you dealing with customizations?
    • Branding for the new site(s)
    • Full trust solutions that may need to be replaced
    • Third-party product support
  • What are you keeping versus archiving / deleting?
    • Engaging the business in this process
  • Building the new infrastructure
    • New SharePoint 2016 farm
    • Identity management for Office 365 (cloud-based, AD FS)

​​Next we move into the testing phase. It's critical to do pilot migrations, and potentially even complete migrations to determine what problems may come up and what the migration timings are like. Depending on the size of the content, you may be able to do the entire migration at once (typically over a weekend), or it may need to be split into multiple runs (over weeks or months). This is particularly true with Office 365, where pushing that data into the cloud can be a bottleneck - even with big improvements from Microsoft and the migration vendors. Be prepared to do this multiple times until you get it right.

Lastly, it's time to do the migration for real. By now there shouldn't be any surprises left, and if you've done your job from a communications and change management perspective, everyone knows what to expect. Lock out access to the old system, do the migration, run Quality Assurance on it, get some real users in to do acceptance testing, and you've got the green light to roll forward with the new system. Of course any change management includes a plan B, so make sure you've got the right checkpoints, and can roll back if required.​


​About ​the Pre​​senter

Peter Carson, President of Envision IT and an Office 365 MVP, is a recognized expert in Office 365 and SharePoint strategies. Click here to see his full bio. Learn more and follow Peter's blog at blog.petercarson.ca.​

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