Cloud-First Strategy: Microsoft Exchange to Office 365 Migration

Client background and business context

Client profile: Global high-tech company, active in the lighting industry with €4 billion in revenue (2017).

Project: On-premises Microsoft Exchange infrastructure migration to a hybrid, Office 365-powered environment.


At the start of our collaboration, our client – global high-tech company and a major player in the lighting industry – was in the midst of reshaping its business processes in order to strengthen its position in the market. As its trusted IT partner, we were involved in rethinking and rebuilding the client’s communication infrastructure, which is vital to the company’s operations and success. 

The project’s challenges, and, subsequently, its success were strictly aligned with a few aspects:

Due to the project’s high impact on the company’s daily business operations, a highly secure and stable migration path to the new hybrid infrastructure had to be designed and followed

The global distribution of company stakeholders and the large number of dependencies between people impacted the design of the migration path as well

A hard deadline was set for the migration to the new, hybrid infrastructure

Our approach

Keeping the project’s main challenges in mind and aiming for a seamless switch to the new infrastructure, we worked with and provided a solid migration database. Updated daily, the migration database was used to automatically build migration divisions: peer groups and business units connected by different dependencies that would not be divided during the migration. The benefit of doing so was that the impact of working on different infrastructure environments during the migration was minimised as much as possible.

We opted for a follow-the-sun migration and a pre-sync of all mailboxes in the cloud in the background of the migration. This enabled the client’s worldwide business units to make a seamless switch to the new, hybrid communication infrastructure, with zero downtime and no negative impact on daily business operations.

Connected services:


Microsoft Exchange Server 2013

Microsoft Exchange

Microsoft Office 365


Working with us on this project resulted in a clear and significant digital upgrade of the client’s communication infrastructure, and, subsequently, its vital business processes. More precisely:

16,000 user and functional mailboxes were migrated to a new, hybrid environment at the end of a four-month period of close collaboration.

Having understood the client very well, we were able to construct a hybrid infrastructure that would successfully meet the client’s business needs and support desired business outcomes.

Additionally, we carefully designed and followed a stable and secure migration path that would in no way affect the client’s performance.

The migration to the new, hybrid infrastructure was completed by the hard deadline initially set by the client.

Having undergone this digital transformation – migrating from a Microsoft Exchange-powered data server to a hybrid, Office 365-supported environment – the client benefits from substantial reductions in operational costs, as well as a powerful boost in company-wide performance.

Other success stories:

Cloud Transformation: Lync 2013 to Skype for Business Migration
Lync 2013 to Skype for Business Online Migration