Checklist For Making The Switch To Google Apps


I have managed multiple projects migrating clients from one e-mail platform to another and preparation is key to a successful migration. Here are a list of the steps used to help clients move from a system such as a hosted POP3 server (through hosting companies like DreamHost, BlueHost or HostGator) or Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps. Keep in mind that each organization has a different mix of devices, data and integrations with third-party systems, so each project will be unique. This post addresses steps that are generally applicable to moving an organization’s email to Google Apps and is limited to the migration of email, calendar and contacts.

1. Designate a company point of contact. This will be the champion of this project, the person who is responsible for knowing the status of the migration and someone who can be trained to train other users.

2. Designate the official date to begin using the new system and cease usage of the existing mail service (Important Note: This date does not refer to the termination of the existing service. You should plan to run the services side-by-side for at least 30 days to verify that communications are properly flowing into the new system).

3. Create a list of people who will be using the new email system and determine whether they will be a user or an administrator (someone who can make changes to the system).

4. Create a list of email accounts, distribution lists (such as info@yourcompany.com) and what users are assigned to each.

5. Create a list of all devices and systems that will need access to email; computers, phones, tablets, websites, order systems, email clients etc..

6. Determine where the calendar and contacts for each user are stored.

7. Create matching Google Apps accounts for each user.

8. Create matching distribution lists.

9. Add Google Apps account to devices and systems recorded in Step 5.

10. Change DNS records for your domain to use Google Apps for mail servers.

11. Backup data once email is no longer flowing to old system.

12. Restore backup data to Google Apps system.

13. Verify data migration.

If you are considering Google Apps and would like to evaluate it for your organization, a free 30 Day trial is available at the following link: http://goo.gl/7iT2EC

About Paul Luckett

Paul Luckett is the founder of TechnoJudo.com, a resource dedicated to helping people get more done with less effort. The time he saves by leveraging technology is invested toward becoming a better husband, father and entrepreneur. Paul enjoys creating new things. You can read about his latest project here.

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