System Migration Part 2 – Common Migration Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them

Megan Bozman
  • 7 min read

Having successfully completed over 1,000 deployments has given Wursta extensive knowledge of migration watchpoints to look out for when migrating to Google Workspace. (Hey, we said they were successfully completed, that doesn’t mean there weren’t occasional bumps in the road.)

We’ve compiled the top 4 pitfalls and our best tips for avoiding them.

1. Lack of Communication

Many organizations migrate to take advantage of the modern functionality of newer systems. They might move away from

Some vendors take your list of users and you’ll never hear from them again until your migration is over.That’s not Wursta. Our approach to migrating your collaboration tools is, well, collaborative!  We approach our managed migrations as a white-glove experience for everyone.

To avoid this pitfall, ask your prospective vendor:

  • How do you manage communication?
  • How frequently do you hold check-in meetings?
  • If you encounter a problem, do you reach out immediately or wait for a pre-scheduled check-in?

2. Unreasonable Timelines

Sure, we could throw everything into the system and hope for the best, but that’s not the approach that drives optimal outcomes. Migrations can be as short as 1 week and up to several months depending on users and total data.

Migration speed is limited to Google API quotas. 

Yes, Google controls how much data can be pumped into it at any given time. While you may have 10TB of data you would like in Google Drive by next week, even if we threw 1,000 servers at the project, it’s not feasible. The ability to move data into these systems is tightly controlled and bottle-necked. Limitations also exist for other tools, such as Dropbox.

To test for this pitfall, I recommend simply asking, “How fast can you get it done?” If the response is essentially, “If you pay a lot, we can get it done as fast as you want!” then you might end up stumbling into this pit.

3. Rigid Approach

As we wrote in part 1, there’s very little need for Google Workspace customers to have other 3rd party storage or collaboration tools. But if your organization still prefers to maintain document storage on Dropbox while migrating to Gmail, we’ll support you.

Wursta adapts to meet our clients’ needs, so yes that occasionally means connecting with you via Microsoft Teams. No tech is verboten. (We do, however, reserve the right to make some snarky remarks.)

To gauge the waters for this riptide, ask your prospective vendor:

  • How would you maintain our storage on Dropbox? (Even if you’re not certain you plan to do so.)
  • Conduct a little test drive and invite them to a meeting via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Do they clutch their pearls?

4. Unwillingness to Acknowledge Challenges

It might be nice to think like a dog and believe a problem isn’t there if we don’t look directly at it. But ignoring problems doesn’t generally result in their resolution. Instead, we acknowledge challenges such as the fact that Google to Google migrations are difficult. The difficult is due mostly to the complexity and granularity of file permissions in Google Drive.

As much as we would like to say, “No problem, that’s great!” the reality is that Google to Google migrations are a comparatively difficult process. We don’t serve our clients or our own staff by pretending otherwise. Of course, that isn’t to say we can’t or we don’t offer the service, and no one should attempt it. It simply requires more time and effort to properly set expectations up front. 

For example, files you own and have shared with external users will need be re-shared with them. They will see duplicate files and folders (one owned by your account and one by your new account). Google also has a Domain Transfer service for larger organizations.

To avoid this pitfall, ask your prospective vendor:

  • What are some common challenges you see with our specific migration?
  • How do you mitigate those risks?

Travel on the Smoothest Road Possible

Consistent with our focus on delivering value for clients, Wursta always makes sure to communicate these watchpoints. After all, the only thing worse than bad news is bad news late.

We can migrate from almost any source platform, including Microsoft 365, Microsoft Exchange, and legacy systems like Rackspace or IMAP. Contact us to discuss how we can apply our expertise to optimize your migration.