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Microsoft Exchange + Quest On Demand Migration

Completing an Exchange Online migration is no small task. To maintain your organization’s communication and collaboration during and after a Microsoft 365 tenant-to-tenant Exchange Online migration, it’s vital that end-users have continuous access to their email data. In addition, the ability to preserve migrate legacy data is essential to meeting compliance requirements.

Quest On Demand Migration (ODM) is a solution for Exchange Online migration that not only migrates mail to the primary mailbox or archive mailbox for each user, but also ensures uninterrupted access by migrating permissions and delegates. In addition, it also preserves public folders, shared mailbox and Exchange resource mailboxes to meet stringent compliance obligations.  

Ensure users never lose access to their email data during an Exchange Online migration.


Automate target mailbox provisioning

Migrate accounts to the target with ODM to prepare for your Exchange Online migration, or match to existing target accounts with defined matching attributes or with a mapping file. During the Exchange Online migration, you can choose to have ODM apply a license that automatically provisions the target mailbox using the available license plans in the target tenant.

Organize migration batches

Use ODM collections to organize mailboxes into logical batches for your Exchange Online migration.  ODM migrates user mailboxes, shared mailboxes, and resource mailboxes, so you could choose to group your baches by mailbox type, by planned migration date, or using any other categorization that fits your migration project.  

Customize mailbox migration options

Configure each Exchange Online migration task to include the exact content and settings that meets your project’s needs, whether you want to migrate all content as-is or if you need more granularity. Choose to only migrate certain folders, apply date filters, and choose whether to include recoverable items.  Customize whether to migrate inbox rules, permissions, litigation holds, and other settings.  Decide whether to include Online Archives and choose to migrate content to the Primary mailbox or Online Archive in the target, and even choose to migrate contents to a specific folder in the target mailbox. 

Keep users communicating

Enable calendar sharing between your tenants with ODM to display accurate free/busy information cross-tenant before, during, and after migrations.  Choose to have ODM automatically enable mailbox forwarding throughout the Exchange Online migration so that migrating users always receive email in their active mailbox.  Migrate mailbox permissions and delegates to ensure that users maintain access to other mailboxes and stay productive.

Update Outlook and Teams Meetings

Once the Exchange Online migration is complete, ODM can automatically update migrated meeting entries to ensure that Teams meeting links are hosted in the new tenant so meeting organizers have the correct permissions and meeting controls.  Additionally, deploy the ODM Desktop Update Agent (DUA) to help desktop users update their Outlook profiles and other Office applications to connect to their target account after their Exchange Online migration is complete.

Detailed log files

The ODM dashboard discovers mailbox statistics to help you plan your Exchange Online migration, including mailbox sizes, number of items, and whether mailboxes have Online Archives. During the migration event, you can view detailed event logs in the dashboard to monitor migration status and review any warnings or errors, and you can choose to receive notification emails each time a task completes. All tasks performed in ODM are also viewable in the Audit logs to help identify who performed migrations and when licenses were consumed.

Migrate public folders

In addition to migrating mailboxes, ODM also supports public folder migrations of all types, including appointments, contacts, journal, mail, and more. Discover the source contents and then choose whether to migrate just the root structure or include all subfolders, whether to include content, and whether to migrate Send As and Send on Behalf of permissions for mail-enabled public folders. 

Least privilege permissions

ODM utilizes Role Based Access Control (RBAC) for all workloads, including Exchange Online migration, which lets you control what activities each authorized migration administrator can perform.  Choose whether your users can create projects, discover mailboxes, match accounts, migrate mailboxes, manage collections, and more. Restrict mailbox discovery even further by only allowing discovery of mailboxes in a pre-defined group or CSV.

Integration with other On Demand products

Coordinate an Exchange Online migration with migrations for other workloads including OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams, including user’s individual Teams chats.  For advanced integration and consolidation, consider ODM Domain Rewrite, ODM Domain Move, ODM Directory Sync, and ODM for Active Directory, all of which support both cloud-only and hybrid environments.


The two methods for completing a cross-tenant Exchange Online migration are performing a mailbox copy or performing a native mailbox move. You should closely research the features and limitations of the two methods to ensure your Exchange Online migration is successful.

The mailbox copy method is popular with many Exchange Online migration solutions because it provides better flexibility by having both mailboxes accessible throughout the migration.  You can customize the migration scope, merge with existing mailboxes, migrate mailboxes with legal holds, compare source and target data, and perform phased migrations over time while retaining all mailbox permissions. Depending on the solution you use for your Exchange Online migration, you can also update Teams meeting links, provide automation to help end-users update their desktop Office applications, and easily coordinate with other workload migrations like OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint.

Microsoft does not have a native method for merging two mailboxes, so a common workaround is to configure one of the mailboxes as a Shared mailbox and grant full access to the owner of the other mailbox.  However, this requires the user to switch between the two mailboxes to view all the data and this option is only available if the mailboxes are stored in the same tenant since you cannot assign mailbox permissions cross-tenant.

If you want to merge two Exchange Online mailboxes, you can accomplish this by copying data from one mailbox to another using an Exchange Online migration solution.  Migration tools like On Demand Migration include options to copy the content as-is, copy the data to custom folders in the other mailbox, or even copy the data to the online archive of the other mailbox. Once you have all the content migrated into a single mailbox, you can delete the mailbox that is no longer required. When planning to merge mailboxes, it is important to review the settings and size limits of both mailboxes prior to the Exchange Online migration to ensure that the merged mailbox does not exceed its quota. 

Many Microsoft 365 subscriptions include features that enable data retention and backup functionality for workloads including Exchange Online.  If you just need to retain data for compliance purposes, you can configure retention policies and apply them tenant-wide or to specific mailboxes.  You can also enable Litigation Hold on an Exchange Online mailbox or create a custom eDiscovery Hold for the mailbox.  These holds will retain all mailbox data even after a user deletes it from their mailbox, and the eDiscovery hold also allows authorized administrators to perform searches against the saved data.

If you just need a one-time backup of a single Exchange Online mailbox to store outside of the tenant, you can consider options like exporting the content to a PST or copying the mailbox to another tenant using an Exchange Online migration solution.