Transitioning a legacy system to GSuite Apps can seem like a daunting task if you begin without a specific set of guidelines, schedules, and plans. When you are transitioning your system from legacy to Google, you are, in essence, transitioning the backbone of the company’s content, communications, and collaborative means.
The GSuite Apps Technical Transition Guide lays out a schedule by which a large transition (250+ employees) can be accomplished in approximately ninety days. The standard transition for a larger company is divided into three distinct phases of roughly similar length: Core IT, Early Adopters, and Global Go Live.
Each transitional phase lasts approximately one month, but varies along with your company’s size and the specific demands of your legacy system.
What Will You Do During Each of the Three Transitional Migration Phases?
- Transition more users to GSuite Apps
- Migrate, backup, and secure more data from the original legacy system
- Configure GSuite Apps features for your specific system
Facets of the Core IT Phase of a GSuite Apps Transition
- The only GSuite Apps users during the Core IT phase will be IT team members. During this phase, they should become familiar with GSuite Apps and prepare and plan for the next two phases.
- The IT team receives their mail in GSuite Apps.
- No legacy data migration occurs in the Core IT phase.
- The company is informed of the transition by communications sent by the change management coordinators.
- Between five and ten percent of company employees are chosen by the change management coordinators to serve as GSuite Apps early adopters (Note: This will not interrupt regular workflow or routine for the users.)
Facets of the Early Adopters Phase of a GSuite Apps Transition
- Five to ten percent of your total organization will use GSuite Apps during this phase.
- The early adopters should be a representative cross section of your organization that includes as many titles, departments, and locations as the IT team can organize.
- The process of migrating data from the existing legacy system begins. That will include calendar data, mail, and user accounts.
- In the Early Adopters phase, the IT team will complete a full transition to GSuite Apps for the chosen cross section of users. This will be your proof of concept for the justification of the full transition.
- Training sessions ran by the change management coordinators begin during the Early Adopters phase.
- User documentation will be sent to all potential users of the GSuite Apps system.
- If possible, all users should be familiar with GSuite Apps before beginning the Global Go Live phase.
Facets of the Global Go Live Phase of a GSuite Apps Transition
- The primary goal of the Global Go Live phase is to have every user engaged with GSuite Apps.
- During the Global Go Live phase transitional issues and problems will go through a troubleshooting process as everyone migrates to GSuite Apps.
- The IT team should be readily available during this phase. The early adopters can also now serve as transition leaders for their respective departments. Peer mentoring should be embedded and practiced widely in the Global Go Live phase.
- After the transition is completed, the IT team should continue educating all users on advanced features and updates.
Best Practices to Transition to Google Cloud's G Suite Apps
- First, your IT team must all be familiar with GSuite Apps. They can use the GSuite Apps Learning Center to gather quick-start guides for apps ranging from Calendar to Gmail.
- Your IT team can use Sites to create a workable, accessible learning center for your specific transition users. You may also send them to the GSuite Apps Learning Center if the time to create a more specific site does not exist.
- Always inform your users. Send regular e-mail announcements that are timely, accurate, and understandable. Remember that you are the IT team and that you work with technology as experts for a living and as a hobby. Most of your users, however, will not be experts in technology. Use language that works for them and helps them to understand the transition clearly.
- Gmail switch guides are wonderfully handy resources that can be distributed in company mailboxes or files at any time.
- Stay up to date on product tips and tricks. Steer your team toward the Google Learning Center Tips library where they can further specify their needs, find answers, and even write their own tips.
- Quickly distribute information on GSuite Apps updates.
Make your transition efficient and effective. Stay on course, stay the plan, and stay on schedule. Impress your colleagues by your willingness to help as an expert and they will follow you from legacy to tomorrow.