Google Groups to Office 365 Migration Guide

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. G Suite — Set up migration account with manager access
    3. Office 365 — Set up an account with impersonation privileges
  6. Use the Cloudiway platform to migrate groups
    1. Create your Google Groups source connector
    2. Create your Office 365 target connector
    3. Import groups with the Get Groups command
    4. Add a Google Group manually to Cloudiway
    5. Import or create your user details
      1. Option 1: CSV import
      2. Option 2: Create a single user
    6. 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 or to a shared mailbox.

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 email 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 or shared mailbox).
  5. Cloudiway creates the target content and adds members and permissions

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

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

4.2. Migration considerations

Some content from Google Groups cannot 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.

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, contactable via presales@cloudiway.com. 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.

NameDescriptionLocation
Cloudiway loginStores details and provides communication between the systems you already use.https://apps.cloudiway.com
Knowledge base accessOur extensive knowledge base is always accessible, with videos, troubleshooting tools, samples and more.https://kb.cloudiway.com
Google account with group management rightsThis standard Google account must have group management rights to each Google group you wish to migrate. 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 rightsUsed 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://kb.cloudiway.com/article/deactivate-mfa-on-your-office365-migration-account/).

5.2. G Suite — 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 which 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 G Suite user especially for migration, then delete the user when migration is complete.

  1. In your G Suite 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. 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.
  4. 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 (only if you migrate to Shared Mailboxes)

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 permissions and the admin roles
  3. Click on the plus sign (+) to create a new role
  4. Give your group a name and assign it the roll of ApplicationImpersonation, then add a user to the group:
  5. Click on the Save button to save your group

6. Use the Cloudiway platform to migrate groups

6.1. Create your Google Groups source connector

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 below to configure a Google Groups source connector.

  1. From your browser, go to https://apps.cloudiway.com and login
  2. Click on Group Migration on the left, then Sources

    You can choose to manually set up your connectors, or you can use the simpler process of the wizard. The steps below will walk you through the manual process.
  3. Click on the + New option at the bottom of the screen
  4. Click on Google Groups and type a meaningful name in Connector name

  5. Click on the Create button
  6. Fill in the remaining details (domain name, migration user email and password and Google security)
  7. Click the Save button at the bottom of the screen
    Your source connector has now been created. Next up is the target connector.

6.2. Create your Office 365 target connector

With the source connector now configured on the Cloudiway platform, it’s time to create and configure the target connector. Follow the steps below to configure an Office 365 target connector.

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.

  1. From the Source Migration area of apps.cloudiway.com, click on Targets
  2. Click on the + New option at the bottom of the screen and click on Office 365
  3. Type a meaningful name in Connector name and click on the Create button
  4. Type your target domain name in Domain
  5. Type your Office 365 migration account credentials (with administrator and impersonation rights) in the remaining fields
  6. AppId & AppSecret: Not needed when migrate from Google Groups. You can leave those fields empty.
  7. Click the Save button at the bottom of the screen

6.3. Import groups with the Get Groups command

The Cloudiway platform provides a tool called Get Groups which returns a list of all your groups that have had the Google migration user added. This is a useful tool to run after your end-users have had time to add the Google migration user to their own groups as it will provide you with a complete picture of groups to be migrated.

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 method of listing the groups to be migrated because no other steps are required.

  1. Ensure you’re still in the Group Migration area of apps.cloudiway.com and go to Group List

  2. Click on the Migration menu at the bottom and select Get Groups to display the following dialog box:
  3. Select your source from the dropdown list and click on the Get button

The tool will return a list of all groups that the ‘migration’ user has been added to with manager access. The list will appear in the Group List area of the Cloudiway platform. 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 Groups command (which will add newly-available groups to the existing list) or add a site manually using the steps below.

6.4. Add a Google Group manually to Cloudiway

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 Groups 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 Groups.

  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 Information, then General information

  3. Take note of the Group email address as well as the URL beneath the field in bold (or leave the screen open to copy and paste later in these steps)
  4. On the Cloudiway platform, go to the Group List of the Group Migration menu
  5. Click on Edit in the bottom left corner and select Create Single to display the following screen:
  6. Fill in all details for the group to be migrated, using the email address and URL from the Google Group details in step 3
  7. Click on the Create button
    The new group will be added to the Group Migration / Group List screen:
  8. Repeat steps 1 to 7 for any more groups you’d like to add manually

6.5. Import or create your user details

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. A list of mail users is used as a mapping table as it defines who has access to the different groups.

If you have already migrated mail via Cloudiway, your users will already be available on the Mapping Table menu of Cloudiway’s group migration. If not, you can upload a user list via CSV, or manually add each user on the Cloudiway platform.

You can add a user to the mapping table without assigning a migration license. Each user will, however, need to be assigned a license type — Standard or No License (used for adding users to your mapping table regardless of migration plans).

6.5.1. Option 1: CSV import

If you have a CSV file of all your groups, you can upload the file to Cloudiway. The file must have the following fields in the header row:

FirstName;LastName;SourceEmail;TargetEmail

A sample CSV file is available for download during the steps outlined below. If you perform more than one upload, any user data already uploaded will not be overwritten by following uploads. Therefore, duplicates can occur.

  1. Ensure you’re still in the Group Migration area of apps.cloudiway.com and go to Mapping Table
  2. Click on User on the action bar and select Upload CSV
  3. If required, click on Download sample CSV and add your users to the CSV file using the sample headers (FirstName;LastName;SourceEmail;TargetEmail)
  4. When you have a complete CSV file with the correct headers, click on the Upload button
  5. Locate your CSV file within your own file system, and double-click on it to select it
    If the CSV file format is not correct, you will see an error message on your screen:
  6. If you see any error messages, check your CSV file to ensure it has six columns, each with a separator (including the last) and try uploading againOnce the CSV file format is correct, you will see a confirmation message at the top of your screen:
  7. Check your email for confirmation that the upload has been completed. You can refresh the Cloudiway platform to display your imported users
  8. If you wish to edit any user that’s been uploaded, click on the user from the user list to display the editable list of fields

6.5.2. Option 2: Create a single user

Many of our first-time customers create a single user for testing purposes. This provides a means of watching the migration process without affecting all users. Single users can also be created for migrations affecting just a few users.

  1. Go to the Mapping Table area of the Group Migration menu
  2. Click on User on the action bar at the bottom of the screen and select Create Single to display the following screen:
  3. Fill in all details for a new user
  4. Click on the Create button
    The new user will be added to the Group Migration / Mapping Users screen:
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 for any more users you’d like to create

6.6. 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 on the Migration menu at the bottom. 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 knowledge base with many resources, including common error messages, video guides and downloads.

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

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


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