Migrating Microsoft Teams from one tenant to another can prove quite complex. As with any migration project, file size and number of users impact migration difficulty. But the numerous content types and the structure of Teams introduces additional Microsoft Teams migration challenges. Careful planning and the right tools make the difference.

Data Sprawl

One major challenge with Teams migrations involves the many interconnected services and components that make up a Team. Teams acts as the front end to numerous Microsoft 365 services, including Exchange, SharePoint, chats, Teams meetings and more. Each of these services stores its data in a different location.

For example, chat messages live in hidden mailbox folders, while shared files live in SharePoint or OneDrive. Images and media shared in chats reside in Azure, while Stream stores meeting recordings. Users may also store additional files with third-party storage providers. Finding all this information requires a discovery process, and the migration process risks data loss.

Teams 1:1 and Group Chats

Migrating 1:1, group and meetings chats presents a particular challenge. Consider the volume of chats in a single day, then in a year. These chats fill an essential role in collaboration and communication. And they can include shared files and links, emojis and images.

Unfortunately, Microsoft does not provide native tools for migrating Teams chats from one tenant to another. Teams stores chat text and the associated files and images in multiple locations. And the sheer volume of data involved can prove staggering. Consequently, migrating Teams chats can take a very long time, with significant risk of losing data.

Microsoft Teams Migration Challenges

Organizations should carefully consider which chats and how much chat history to migrate. Ask whether the chats will prove necessary to business operations or whether regulatory compliance mandates their preservation. The company may choose, for example, to only move the most recent chats and archive the rest. Third-party migration tools can help streamline the process.

Shared Channels

Shared channels also present a migration challenge. These collaboration spaces bring together people from different teams or even outside the organization. While they are linked to a parent team, they have separate SharePoint sites and Exchange mailboxes. Preserving the permissions, content and conversations from these channels can prove complicated.

Dynamic Groups

Microsoft Teams supports the concept of dynamic group membership. Dynamic groups include a series of rules that automatically add or remove members based on user attributes such as department or title.

For instance, a hospital may create a team to broadcast messages to all surgical staff, including temporary employees. Using dynamic groups, the team membership will automatically update, ensuring that the right people receive critical information.

However, migrating dynamic groups to a new tenant can result in the dynamic groups converting to static groups. Thus, they will no longer automatically add or remove members according to established criteria. Instead, the organization will have to re-create the dynamic groups in the new tenant.

Microsoft Teams Migration Challenges

Third-Party Tools Offer Solutions to Microsoft Teams Migration Challenges

Given these challenges and the lack of out-of-the-box Teams migration solutions from Microsoft, organizations need to carefully consider their migration strategy. While companies may choose a manual migration process, this will not preserve critical metadata or permissions. It also will not support migrating chats or apps in shared channels.

Instead, Microsoft suggests working with a Microsoft partner to migrate Teams to a new tenant using third-party tools. Carefully consider what data and structure need to migrate and vet migration solutions to ensure they provide the features you need. Then, take time to review and follow Teams migration best practices.

The migration experts at Messaging Architects have helped hundreds of organizations conduct successful Microsoft 365 migrations, including Teams migrations. With proven migration solutions and deep Microsoft expertise, they will ensure a smooth transition to the new environment.

Download Article PDF