SharePoint Online and Office 365 Tenant Migration

Posted on 10 November 2020

Company mergers and acquisitions are often very challenging from the information technology perspective. Migrating user accounts, content, and cloud services, all while continuing to support the environment is often where the rapid learning starts!

Our team has recently migrated a large SharePoint Online environment to a new tenant as part of a global business acquisition. The job involved moving several terabytes of content stored in SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams and a collection of Power Automate Workflows and PowerApps.

The existing environment had a classic SharePoint site structure that had started life on SharePoint 2010 before eventually moving to SharePoint Online with the original structure. We decided this was the best time to modernise the SharePoint environment, with a flat structure and Hub sites.

The destination tenant was configured with Multi-geo Office 365 licensing, allowing us to keep the content for antipodean users on our side of the world, while European and North American user content would be hosted in their respective continents.

Our team worked with our client’s internal IT Team and their IT services providers to migrate everything over a weekend.

There were many areas of complexity to consider, including:

  • Co-ordinating our migration tasks with other service providers
  • Matching identities between tenants
  • Differences in configuration between the source and destination tenants
  • Bandwidth limitations and Office 365 performance throttling
  • Moving from a standard tenant to a multi-geo tenant
  • Our users were almost entirely New Zealand and Australia based
  • Cutting over all services in one weekend

To move large volumes of content between Office 365 tenants we made extensive use of PowerShell scripting and Sharegate (a SharePoint administration and migration tool). There was simply too much content to move in a weekend, so we pre-migrated the content and built the new environment over the course of 6 weeks. The final content migration occurred on the migration weekend itself, ensuring all content was migrated and up to date.

PowerShell scripting was critical for ensuring both a timely migration of content but also ensuring consistent configuration of hundreds of SharePoint sites and multiple Hub Sites. Those sites contained thousands of document libraries, with a large percentage having customised permissions that needed to be applied by script.

Once the content was migrated, we turned our attention to PowerApps and Power Automate workflows. This was a manual process, exporting and importing the various apps and workflows and resolving issues with data sources and permissions.

The existing environment had been in use for more than 10 years and had many ‘unique features’ and areas that had moved away from the original site build standards. Migrations are a sure-fire way to identify things that need to be addressed on the spot! Having an experienced team and agreed site build standards, meant we could make decisions quickly and get on with the work.

All of this would not have been possible without a team effort from everyone involved in the project. A client who gave us the thing we needed to be successful, other vendors who worked as one team, a project manager who kept us all on track and a great internal team that had all our backs.

Walking into the clients office on Monday morning and seeing people working through instructions calmly was the result of good planning, a great team and excellent communication.


Are you planning to move to the cloud? Our team are experts at migrations to SharePoint Online from older SharePoint environments, file servers and other cloud services. Contact us today to learn more.

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