Google Groups to Office 365 Migration Guide

Important: The platform does not allow the migration of Google Groups with more than 60k topics.

Google Groups migration projects are complex, customized projects. They cannot be performed on-demand in the self-service portal. These projects require Cloudiway product licenses combined with Consulting Services. The minimum timeline to start a Google Groups migration project is two weeks. Please contact your Sales Manager for more details.

Overview:

  1. Google Groups to Office 365 migration with Cloudiway
  2. Security
  3. Performance
  4. Group migration scope
    1. What can be migrated
    2. Migration considerations
    3. Audience
  5. Pre-migration configuration
    1. Before you start
    2. Google Workspace — Set up migration account with manager access
    3. Office 365 — Set up an account with impersonation privileges
    4. Azure Active Directory Application
    5. Import or create your permissions Mapping Table
  6. Use the Cloudiway platform to migrate groups
    1. Create your Google Groups source and Office 365 target connectors
    2. Import groups, with the Get List command (Option 1) 
    3. Add a Google Group manually to Cloudiway (Option 2)
    4. Upload The Groups CSV (Option 3)
    5. Audit (optional)
    6. Assign Target Pool
    7. Target Recipient Type
    8. Pre-Processing
    9. Activate and monitor your migration
  7. Troubleshooting

1. Google Groups to Office 365 migration with Cloudiway

Google Groups can be migrated as part of your entire migration plan or as an independent project, depending on your business needs. You can choose to migrate each group to an Office 365 group, a shared mailbox, or to a Microsoft Teams.

By default, the Cloudiway platform migrates a group to an Office 365 group. An Office 365 group is used to communicate, collaborate, and schedule events from within a user’s inbox, in an area dedicated to groups. In comparison, an Office 365 shared mailbox is used when a group of people need to monitor and send emails from a common email address rather than from individuals.

You can override the default on a per-group basis with the Cloudiway group migration platform. As a result, you can achieve total flexibility during a Google Groups migration to Office 365.

The path to migration is straightforward. In five steps and with very little setup, your Google Groups will be migrated to your intended target. The steps are:

  1. You set up a migration account and tell the Cloudiway platform where to find your groups.
  2. Cloudiway retrieves a list of groups that the migration account has access to.
  3. You choose which groups to migrate and their target and activate migration.
  4. Cloudiway creates the target object (Office 365 group, MS Teams, or shared mailbox) and the memberships.
  5. Cloudiway creates the target contents.

2. Security

For more information about security, please refer to this article.

3. Performance

For more information about migration performance, please refer to this article.

4. Group migration scope

4.1. What can be migrated

When migrating from Google Groups, all of the following items can be migrated:

  • Conversation content, including:
    • Answers
    • Attachments
    • Metadata (author, date of creation)
  • Group memberships
  • Membership roles
  • Target O365 Group or Team is provisioned

During migration, Cloudiway creates the target objects (Office 365 group, MS Teams, or shared mailbox) and automatically adds its existing members and their roles.

4.2. Migration considerations

Some content from Google Groups can not be migrated:

  • Embedded Google files and folders in posts;
  • The Manager role (no equivalent in Office 365);
  • Tags/categories (no equivalent in Office 365); and,
  • Ratings and resolution status (no equivalent in Office 365).
  • Welcome page (no equivalent in Office 365).
  • Pinned topics are migrated, but not pinned (no equivalent in Office 365).
  • Announcements and Discussions are migrated as simple conversations (No equivalent in Office 365).

It’s important to distinguish between attachments and embedded files. When a file is attached to Google Groups content, it is migrated. However, embedded files and folders are not migrated during Google Groups migration. As a result, their links will continue to work after the migration is complete. If you choose to migrate Google Drive files separately, bear in mind that any embedded files in a migrated group will continue to be accessed from the source rather than the target.

The Cloudiway platform doesn’t use any Google APIs to access Google Groups. To perform the migration, you will need to create a new Google user to use during migration and manually give it manager permission to each source Google group that you wish to migrate.

If any of your users have created a group, they will also need to add the new Google user to the group with manager permission. It’s therefore important that you notify your users that any groups they have created cannot be migrated unless this new user is added.

Delta passes can be used with group migration to ensure all batch migrations are completed. The Cloudiway platform uses the URL of the source group as the unique ID during migration. This ensures a group is only migrated once. However, this also means that a new reply on a group that has already been migrated will never be migrated. Delta pass will only pick up new topics and push them to the target. New replies on already migrated topics will not be pushed during the Delta Pass.

4.3. Audience

This guide is aimed at experienced system administrators who are capable of connecting to remote systems and using a variety of administration tools.

Although we provide support for our own products, we do not provide support for third-party products such as PowerShell or server administration of Google or Exchange.

If you are concerned you might have any difficulty completing these steps, please consider a solution with our consulting team. This will ensure a fast, cost-effective, and stress-free implementation.

5. Pre-migration configuration

5.1. Before you start

Before you start, you will need to ensure you have the details outlined in the following table.

Name Description Location
Cloudiway login Stores details and provides communication between the systems you already use. https://portal.cloudiway.com
Help Center Our extensive help center is always accessible, with videos, troubleshooting tools, samples and more. https://help.cloudiway.com
Google account with group management rights This standard Google account must have group management rights to each Google group you wish to migrate. This way, the group will be listed under groups.google.com and Cloudiway will be able to pull them to the platform. It must also have its default language set to English for migration to work. We recommend you create a migration account especially for migration. After all migrations are complete, simply delete this account.
Office 365 account with exchange admin rights, Azure Active Directory Application and associated permissions. Used to create security groups and manage membership. This doesn’t have to be the tenant’s admin account. However, it must be an administrator account if you wish to migrate the permissions. The account must be able to bypass SSO and authenticate using username/password credentials with the format: user@tenant.onmicrosoft.com (with a password set to never expire). We recommend you create a migration account especially for migration. After all migrations are complete, simply delete this account. We provide steps below to help you set up an account if you don’t already have one.

Deactivate MFA On Your Office365 Migration Account (guide: https://help.cloudiway.com/article/deactivate-mfa-on-your-office365-migration-account/).

5.2. Google Workspace — Set up migration account with manager access

For the Cloudiway platform to connect to each of your Google Groups, it will use a standard user account that has been granted manager access to each of your groups. You will need to add the user’s credentials to the Cloudiway platform, so we recommend that you create a new Google Workspace user especially for migration, then delete the user when migration is complete.

  1. In your Google Workspace admin area, create a new standard user (eg, groupmigration@yourcompany.com), and make sure you set the default language to English.
  2. In each of your Google Groups to be migrated, grant the new user manager access (in a group, click on Manage on the right, then Roles from the list on the left, then Manager, and add the migration user).
  3. Verify that your group is listed under groups.google.com, when you login with the admin account.
  4. If there’s a chance that any of your end-users have created their own groups, notify them of the upcoming migration and ask them to add the migration user to their groups with the manager role assigned.
  5. Take note of the username and password: it will be used with the Cloudiway platform shortly.

5.3. Office 365 — Set up an account with impersonation privileges

An account with impersonation privileges can access up to 100 groups concurrently. Therefore, by default, Cloudiway allows you to migrate 100 groups concurrently.

Below are the steps to show you how to set up impersonation using the Office 365 Exchange Admin Center. If you don’t already have impersonation set up, please follow the steps below.

  1. Login with your administrator account to the Office 365 portal
  2. Go to the Exchange admin center, then click on Roles and the Admin roles, Add role group
    Exchange Admin Add Role Group
  3. Give your group a name, description and assign it the role of ApplicationImpersonation:
    Exchange admin add group permissions
  4. Then assign an admin user to the group Assign admin user

Review role group and finish Role group added

5.4. Azure Active Directory Application

Graph APIs calls are performed through an Azure Active Directory Application which is granted specific permissions.

You can either create an Azure Active Directory Application manually or let the platform create one for you.

Please consult our How To Create Azure Apps Registration page to create the Azure Active Directory Application and associated permissions (SharePoint and Teams for this migration).

5.5. Import or create your permissions Mapping Table

In order to migrate access rights for the list of users who have subscribed to the Google group, a mapping table of users must be defined. The mapping table will be used when running the preprocessing (process in the next chapter) that will migrate the memberships and will create the empty groups at the target.

If you have already migrated mailboxes or files using the same Cloudiway project, your users will already be added to the Mapping Table menu.

Mapping table entries are automatically added to the list when you create a user to migrate from the mail migration or file migration area.
You can also add mapping entries manually or import them through a CSV file.

Follow the steps in procedures indicated in this page:

What is the Mapping Table used for?

6. Use the Cloudiway platform to migrate groups

6.1. Create your Google Groups source and Office 365 target connectors

For Cloudiway to migrate your groups, it needs to be able to communicate with both your source and target domains. To do this, Cloudiway uses connectors, which are configured on apps.cloudiway.com. You will need to set up a connector for each source tenant you wish to migrate and each target tenant. Follow the steps from this page to configure your connectors.

Note: Each account with impersonation privileges can access up to 100 groups concurrently. Therefore, by default, each Cloudiway connector can migrate 100 concurrent users. If you wish to speed up your migration, you should set up additional Office 365 target connectors on the Cloudiway platform and associate different accounts with admin access to each one.

6.2. Import groups with the Get List command (Option 1)

The Cloudiway platform provides a tool called Get List which returns a list of all your groups. It will provide you with a complete picture of groups to be migrated. The engine will only pull the list of groups that are listed under groups.google.com.

You should therefore run this tool after an agreed deadline with your end-users, and prior to group migration. The output will be used as your default group migration list. This is by far the simplest and recommended method of listing the groups to be migrated because no other steps are required.

  1. Ensure you’re still in the Sites/Groups area of portal.cloudiway.com and go to Group List
    Groups List
  2. Click on the MIGRATION menu at the bottom and select Get List 
  3. Select your Google Source Pool from the dropdown list, select Group Google Group Get List from the following dropdown and click on the Get button

Get List Google Group

The tool will return a list of all groups. The list will appear in the List area. From this list, you can check what is due to be migrated prior to migration, edit target URLs, change target recipients and delete any groups that don’t need to be migrated.

You can also download the results in CSV format for your own records or to make editing changes, and then upload the updated CSV file to the Cloudiway platform as your final list of groups to be migrated.

Note: you cannot add new entries to the CSV file: they must exist on the Cloudiway platform already. If you need to add a new Google Group, either re-run the Get List command (which will add newly-available groups to the existing list) or add a site manually using the steps below.

6.3. Add a Google Group manually to Cloudiway (Option 2)

You can manually add the details of a Google Group to your list on the Cloudiway platform. Due to the lengthy URLs, we recommend you only use this option if it’s impossible to rerun the Get List command.

You might wish to test migration on a test group you’ve set up especially for that purpose. In this case, adding the group manually might be preferable to using Get List.

  1. Visit the Google Group you wish to add, making sure you’re logged in with at least manager access
  2. On the left, scroll down to and click on Group settings, then General
    Google Groups
  3. Take note of the Group email address. The URL is https://groups.google.com/g/group email prefix, in the above case: https://groups.google.com/g/CupcakesForum
  4. On the Cloudiway platform, go to the Group List of the Sites / Groups menu
  5. Click on MANAGE and select Create to display the following screen:
    Create Group
  6. Fill in all details for the group to be migrated, using the email address and URL from the Google Group details
  7. Click on the Create button. The new group will be added to the Group List screen.
  8. Repeat steps 1 to 7 for any more groups you’d like to add manually

6.4. Upload The Groups CSV (Option 3)

If you have a CSV file of all your groups, you can upload the file to Cloudiway. Detailed steps can be found on this page: How To Upload The Users/Groups CSV File?

If you perform more than one upload, any data already uploaded will not be overwritten by the following uploads. Therefore, duplicates can occur.

If you wish to edit any data that’s been uploaded, click on the Group from the Group list to display the editable list of fields.

6.5. Audit (optional)

To Audit a Google group, in Group List, select it and click on MIGRATIONAudit.

Google Groups Audit

This feature returns the number of topics and the last access date:

Google Groups Result

6.6. Assign Target Pool

Before starting the pre-processing, you need to assign a Target pool.

Select the group you want to migrate, go to MANAGE, click on Assign Target:

Assign Target

Choose your target pool:

Choose target pool

6.7. Target Recipient Type

You can either migrate to a shared mailbox, group (Unified Group), or Microsoft Teams. You can change the target recipient type manually by clicking on the group, then the Edit Group tab.

Click on the Target Recipient Type dropdown.

Target Recipient Type

Note: to change the target recipient type for multiple groups, check your groups, go to MANAGE, then Change Target Recipient.

6.8. Pre-Processing

The pre-processing tool creates the shared mailbox, group, or team at the target if it doesn’t already exist. The engine uses the domain provided in the assigned target connector. For example, it will create the target group with the email address (Cupcakes@targetdomain.com – targetdomain.com is the domain provided in your target connector):

Unified Group

What does the pre-processing tool do in detail?

At the target:

      • It creates the shared mailbox, group, or team.
      • It migrates permissions.

To pre-process a group, in Group List, select it and click on MIGRATIONPre-Processing.

The Google group is now ready to be migrated.

6.9. Activate and monitor your migration

Now that you have performed all the pre-migration steps within your tenants and within Cloudiway, you’re ready to migrate. We recommend you run a test migration on a single group first to check that your configuration produces the outcome you expect.

To start your migration, select the group(s) or batch you wish to migrate and click on the Start button from the MIGRATION menu. Your batch will be scheduled and will begin as soon as resources are available. By default, a hundred migrations can be run concurrently.

7. Troubleshooting

Cloudiway provides an extensive help center with many resources, including common error messages, video guides, and downloads.

Please visit the entire help center here (where you can search for keywords or read through topics): https://help.cloudiway.com/

The help center also contains information on how you can ask for further support, should you require it.

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