Kanwal Khipple told me about how he moved from Google Apps and Gmail to Office 365. I thought that this would be a journey that others might be interested in as well and asked him to put t ogether a post to tell you how he did it. The post below is in his own words.

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Whether we love life, gadgets, productivity tools or all of the above - change is the only constant. I believe it and am certain you believe it as well. We love what we have in our life but only until whatever we love doesn’t meet our needs anymore.

Google Apps (GMail) was Fantastic

Google did a phenomenal job of providing features and solutions at a time when the IT industry was pretty dormant. Compared to Yahoo Mail and Hotmail, Google Apps (GMail specifically) provided a fresh take on email that I, and I’m sure many of you, fell in love with Google’s offering. For the last 4 years, I was fairly content with using Google Apps for Business to host my email, calendar and contacts. However, as my wants have changed so has the lure of hosting my email, contacts and calendar in Google Apps diminished. If your needs are purely to have the ability to send and receive email, store contacts and calendar functionality then GMail serves your needs. It served mine until I wanted more.

What I Want 365 Days out of the Year

Here’s a list of what I want, above and beyond what I need, to be productive:

  • Ability to synchronize calendar & contact details without purchasing additional software
  • Ability to view and update the documents I create on my desktop
  • Ability for my Windows Phone to work seamlessly
  • Ability to communicate with others via IM, audio and video without using a 3rd party service
  • Ability to conduct meetings with a group of people (PowerPoint and whiteboard)
  • Ability to create separate work spaces for me and my wife on different projects

The Elephant in the Room

Surprisingly enough, I wasn’t the only one looking to have this synergy between all the different services. The same way that Google had leaped in front of it’s competitors in 2006 to offer Google Apps for Business, I am betting that Microsoft Office 365 has the integration story that I have been waiting for and that I’m willing to pay for. Listen up Google, the Elephant in the Room that you’ve been ignoring is what Microsoft offers Office 365 – Office Professional Plus, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Office Web Apps.

My Migration Story

Making the leap, thankfully wasn’t that difficult. I was able to migrate my email, contacts and calendar pretty easily. The process took approximately 8 hours for me with 6 gigs of email data. I continued to receive email to both my Office 365 account as well as my old GMail account. I am fairly happy with the migration and knowing full well that I’m not the only person who feels the same way, I have decided to document my migration story from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 series:

  1. My Migration Story - Migrating from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 Series
  2. Office 365 Overview - Migrating from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 Series
  3. Office 365 Sign Up Walkthrough - Migrating from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 Series
  4. Before you Start your Migration - Migrating from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 Series
  5. Add your Custom Domain - Migrating from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 Series
  6. Create a new user - Migrating from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 Series
  7. Migrate Filters - Migrating from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 Series
  8. Migrate Contacts - Migrating from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 Series
  9. Migrate Calendar - Migrating from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 Series
  10. Migrate Email - Migrating from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 Series

This being a blog post, I’d love it if you shared your wants (above and beyond the basic email, contact and calendar functionality) are. If you have any questions regarding my migration from Google Apps (GMail) to Office 365 or any questions related to Office 365, please feel free to comment below.


Kanwal Khipple, is a SharePoint Server MVP & Principal SharePoint Architect with BrightStarr, a Microsoft Gold Partner who has developed some of the best user experiences on SharePoint. Kanwal focuses on cloud technologies, ECM, WCM and designing solutions using SharePoint. Kanwal is an author, SharePoint evangelist, speaker, and you can find him blogging on his personal blog and SharePoint Buzz. Kanwal is the co-founder of Toronto SharePoint Business User Group, loves to travel but calls Toronto home. Connect with him - @kkhipple, @sharepointbuzz and LinkedIn, Facebook