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IT Tips & Tricks

Top-Rated SharePoint Migration Tools — Plus
a Bonus

Published 16 February 2024

Feeling apprehensive about an upcoming SharePoint migration? Want it to go smoothly and without tarnishing your professional reputation? Whether you’re migrating from one version of SharePoint to another, or from SharePoint on-prem to SharePoint online, a data migration can be nerve-wracking.

SharePoint migration tools are specifically designed to streamline this process, reduce human error, and ensure efficient migration, but we believe that choosing your migration tool shouldn’t be almost as stressful as the migration itself. So, we’ve done some of the legwork for you.

What if something could be deployed ahead of time to protect all your good links, preventing that missing data and all the mayhem that accompanies it?

In this article, we’ll review a handful of popular SharePoint migration tools and provide you with a list of pros and cons for each. Armed with this information, your quest for what’s best for you should be easier, helping you to zero in on the tool that’s right for your organization.

As a bonus, this article contains information mentioned on no other SharePoint migration tool website, but which addresses a key data migration issue, so stick with us. Our goal? To make your next SharePoint migration as stress-free as possible for you.

SharePoint Migration Tools: A Bird’s
Eye View

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Choosing the right digital tool is a game-changer.

A Google search for “SharePoint migration tools” results in an overwhelming torrent of options and opinions that threaten to drown one in data overload. Consider this article the equivalent of a life vest or — even better — a comfortable lounger with an umbrella drink at your elbow while you peruse your options. We’ll take a look at ShareGate first.

ShareGate

The following comments regarding ShareGate’s benefits and features come largely from ShareGate users, so any bias — either positive or negative — comes entirely from users like yourself.

On several forums, users pointed out that by centralizing SharePoint and Teams reporting with pre-built and custom reports, ShareGate’s reporting tool enables admins to accurately monitor usage. The benefit is that admins know exactly what’s occurring, and can quickly customize or course-correct before things go haywire.

Several users mentioned, as a benefit, that ShareGate can be used to easily remove orphaned users. ShareGate also makes migrations from one Microsoft 365 tenant to another easy.

Mainstream support for SharePoint 2019 On-Prem ended in January 2024. Extended support is set to end in July 2026. If, for some reason, you’re still using SharePoint 2019 and need to get out of Dodge, users report that ShareGate is great for large SharePoint 2019 on-prem to SharePoint online migrations. If that’s an option you’re considering, ShareGate may be right for you.

Choosing your migration tool shouldn’t be almost as stressful as the migration itself.

User Consensus ShareGate Pros:

  • User-Friendly Interface: ShareGate has an intuitive and user-friendly interface. This makes it easier for both IT professionals and non-technical users to navigate and perform tasks.
  • Migration Capabilities: ShareGate simplifies the migration process by allowing users to easily move content, sites, and data between SharePoint environments, including from on-premises to the Cloud.
Guess-who-achieved-a-successful-migration-Final

Guess who achieved a
successful migration?

  • Reporting and Monitoring: ShareGate provides robust reporting and monitoring tools. Users can track the progress of migrations, monitor SharePoint usage, and generate detailed reports for compliance and auditing purposes.
  • Security and Permissions Management: ShareGate allows users to manage SharePoint security and permissions efficiently, including the ability to audit and clean up permissions.
  • Automation: ShareGate offers automation capabilities such as scheduled migration and conditional migrations, plus the automation of post-migration tasks. These features save time and reduce the risk of errors.
  • Customer Support: ShareGate’s customer support hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. US Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. They offer a comprehensive documentation library that is available 24/7, plus the option of scheduling a live call with a tech support agent for one-on-one assistance at your convenience.

User Consensus ShareGate Cons:

  • Limited to SharePoint and Microsoft 365: ShareGate primarily focuses on SharePoint and Microsoft 365. If you require migration or management solutions for other platforms, you may need to use additional tools.
  • Cost: While ShareGate may be cost-effective for larger organizations, user consensus is that small and mid-sized companies may find its price prohibitive. Compared to the three other tools covered here, it is in the high range cost-wise.
  • Learning Curve: Although ShareGate is user-friendly, many users new to migration report that they felt hampered by an initially tough learning curve, especially when dealing with complex migrations and configurations. Overall, however, users felt that the learning curve with ShareGate was comparable to migration tools such as AvePoint or Metalogix.
  • Limited Support for Complex Scenarios: ShareGate may not be the best choice for highly complex migration or management scenarios that require advanced customizations or scripting. In this situation, AvePoint or Metalogix may be better options.
  • Lack of Some Advanced Features: ShareGate may not have all the advanced features and capabilities that some larger enterprises require, particularly when dealing with intricate governance and compliance needs. Again, investigate the offerings from AvePoint and Metalogix.

This article contains information mentioned on no other SharePoint migration tool website, but which addresses a key data
migration issue.

  • Performance Impact: Large-scale migrations and operations in ShareGate can potentially have a performance impact on your SharePoint environment, so it’s essential to plan and schedule tasks carefully. One way around this is the use of ShareGate’s Insane Mode which will load documents two to three times faster, but when setting up structure, there’s little benefit over Normal Mode. One user mentioned overcoming the performance impact issue by relying on eight CPU cores instead of the four recommended by ShareGate.
  • Backup and Recovery: Although ShareGate provides a good restore capability, the trade-off is that the backup is slow and requires more manual input.

In summary, ShareGate appears to be a popular and user-friendly tool for SharePoint and Microsoft 365 management and migration. Its pros include ease of use, migration capabilities, and its feature set. Cons include cost, limitations to specific platforms, and potentially less support for highly complex scenarios. Next, let’s take a look at one of ShareGate’s closest competitors, AvePoint.

AvePoint’s DocAve/Fly Migration

One feature that distinguishes AvePoint from ShareGate is the fact that AvePoint’s migration tools are not limited to SharePoint only, meaning there’s greater versatility.

User Consensus AvePoint Pros:

  • Comprehensive SharePoint Support: AvePoint provides support for SharePoint migrations, management, and backup, covering a wide range of SharePoint versions, including SharePoint Online and SharePoint on-premises — such as SharePoint Server Subscription Edition (SPSE). Like ShareGate, AvePoint can migrate term stores, site settings, and customized views and forms.
  • Migration Flexibility: AvePoint offers a range of migration options, including granular migration, bulk migration, and migration scheduling, allowing organizations to tailor their migration strategy to their specific needs. AvePoint can also migrate non-SharePoint data into SharePoint from sources like Lotus Notes and Livelink.
  • Advanced Features: AvePoint provides advanced features for data transformation, mapping, and reorganization during migrations. This can be especially valuable for organizations with complex SharePoint environments. As with ShareGate, site navigation is preserved with no volume limit.
  • Security and Compliance: AvePoint places a strong emphasis on security and compliance, providing features for data encryption, access control, and compliance reporting to help organizations meet their regulatory requirements.

Most data migrations are followed by a period of frantic “find & fix” to restore the data that’s gone missing as a result of broken links.

  • Backup and Recovery: Like ShareGate, AvePoint offers comprehensive backup and recovery solutions for SharePoint, allowing organizations to protect against data loss, corruption, or
    accidental deletion.
  • Automation: AvePoint includes the same automation capabilities as ShareGate plus the addition of workflow integrations for platforms such as SharePoint Designer and Nintex Workflow. This reduces the manual effort required for SharePoint management
    and maintenance.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Much like ShareGate, AvePoint provides detailed reporting and analytics tools, giving organizations insights into their SharePoint environment’s connections, usage, performance, and compliance.
  • Customer Support: AvePoint’s customer support includes 24/7 phone support for premier maintenance customers. For non-premier customers, see their website for a list of phone numbers by country. They also offer documentation, training, and access to a support team for troubleshooting and assistance.

User Consensus AvePoint Cons:

  • Cost: AvePoint’s solutions can be relatively expensive, especially for smaller organizations or those with limited budgets. Licensing costs can add up, depending on the complexity and feature set of the tool.
  • Complexity: While AvePoint offers advanced features, this can also introduce complexity, making it challenging for novice users to set up and configure the tool effectively. For example, some users had difficulty understanding AvePoint’s best practices for platform versus granular backup, while others were frustrated by the lack of access to the backend to resolve issues.
  • Learning Curve: Users may need some time to become proficient in using AvePoint’s various features, particularly when dealing with complex migration scenarios or intricate SharePoint configurations. However, many users noted that coming to grips with AvePoint was slightly easier than mastering ShareGate.
  • Vendor Lock-In: Organizations that heavily rely on AvePoint for SharePoint management and migration may face vendor lock-in, making it challenging to switch to other solutions in the future.

Overall, AvePoint is a robust and feature-rich solution for SharePoint migration, management, and backup. Its strengths include comprehensive support for SharePoint, advanced features, and a strong emphasis on security and compliance. However, possible downsides include cost, complexity, and a potentially steep learning curve, especially for less experienced users.

The next migration tool on this list is Metalogix Content Matrix, which was acquired by Quest Software in mid-2018. Quest, in turn, was purchased by Clearlake Capital in 2021. Metalogix migration software is still available on the Quest Software website and continues to garner positive reviews.

Metalogix Content Matrix

Notwithstanding changes in ownership, current users report that Metalogix Content Matrix remains a great tool for SharePoint migrations and that the vendor is responsive and supportive during both the sales and implementation phases.

User Consensus Metalogix Content Matrix Pros:

  • Comprehensive Content Migration: Content Matrix handles comprehensive content migrations, including documents, lists, libraries, metadata, permissions, and version history. It allows for complex, large-scale migrations.
  • Granular Control: Just as with ShareGate and AvePoint, Metalogix users have granular control over migration processes, with the ability to customize mappings, transformations, and other migration settings. This flexibility is particularly valuable for organizations with specific migration requirements.
  • Pre-Migration Assessment: Content Matrix provides pre-migration assessment capabilities similar to ShareGate and AvePoint, helping organizations identify potential issues and areas that need attention before starting the migration. In addition, Content Matrix also offers extra features such as a migration readiness assessment, a risk assessment and cost estimation.

Any bias — whether positive or negative — comes entirely from users like yourself.

  • Incremental and Delta Migrations: Just like ShareGate and AvePoint, Content Matrix supports both incremental and delta migrations, allowing organizations to migrate only new or changed content after the initial migration, reducing downtime and minimizing disruption. Content Matrix additionally offers migration impact analysis, which is useful for planning and executing a successful migration.
  • Security and Compliance: While ShareGate, AvePoint, and the Metalogix Content Matrix tool all offer features for managing security settings and ensuring compliance with data governance policies during and after migration, Metalogix Content Matrix additionally offers IRM (Information Rights Management), which ensures that migrated content remains protected following the migration. This is essential for organizations with strict security and
    compliance requirements.
  • Automation: Content Matrix includes similar automation features to ShareGate and AvePoint, but adds migration scripting that allows you to automate complex migration tasks with a
    scripting language.
  • Scalability: Designed to handle migrations for organizations of various sizes — from small businesses to large enterprises — Metalogix Content Matrix is a hybrid tool that provides scalability either on-premises or in the Cloud, similar to AvePoint. (ShareGate is a cloud-based tool only.) For some users, the fact that Content Matrix licensing permits the installation of their software on as many servers as required is highly desirable.

User Consensus Metalogix Content Matrix Cons:

  • Complexity: The tool is powerful but can be complex, particularly for users who are new to SharePoint migrations. Content Matrix is more complex than AvePoint, which is more complex than ShareGate. Extensive training or expertise might be required to use it effectively.
  • Learning Curve: Some users find ShareGate and AvePoint easier to learn than Metalogix Content Matrix. However, Metalogix offers a variety of resources to help users learn how to use the tool, such as online documentation, video tutorials, and training courses.

It’s important to acknowledge the potential for changes and updates to the tool since its most recent change of ownership. Please check the Quest website for the most up-to-date information.

SkyKick

According to user feedback, if you’re a Microsoft partner with a focus on the MS Cloud, SkyKick — a hybrid tool like AvePoint and Content Matrix — may be ideal for you. It may, however, be less appropriate for other vendors. User consensus is that the SkyKick migration suite is excellent for Microsoft 365 migrations.

User Consensus SkyKick Pros:

  • Cost: User feedback is that SkyKick is the most affordable of the four SharePoint migration tools we’ve covered, with no charge until the migration is complete.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Out of all the migration tools we’ve covered here, users report that SkyKick has the most user-friendly interface — making it easily accessible to IT professionals and non-technical users alike.

Wouldn’t it be better to avoid the whole data loss fiasco in the first place?

  • Microsoft 365 Migration: SkyKick offers comprehensive Microsoft 365 migration capabilities, similar to the above-mentioned tools. If you need a powerful SharePoint migration tool, SkyKick may not be your best choice, but if you need a super user-friendly tool — while offering automated SharePoint migration features — SkyKick checks those boxes.
  • Automation: Of the four tools we cover in this article, SkyKick offers some of the best automation features. While ShareGate, AvePoint and Metalogix offer a broader range of features and customization, SkyKick outperforms them all in the
    automation arena.
  • Data Backup and Recovery: SkyKick includes data backup and recovery solutions for SharePoint data at site, list, and library levels. ShareGate and AvePoint add item levels to that list, and Metalogix adds version levels.
  • Security and Compliance: SkyKick places a strong emphasis on security and compliance, with features for data encryption at rest and in transit, audit logging, and role-based access control.
  • Reporting and Analytics: SkyKick provides robust pre-migration, migration, and post-migration reports. (If you need compliance reports, only ShareGate, AvePoint, and Metalogix provide those, with Metalogix additionally offering eDiscovery reports.)
  • Ease of Scaling: SkyKick is designed to scale with your organization’s needs, making it suitable for both small businesses and larger enterprises. In fact, it scales more easily than the other three tools covered here.
  • Customer Support: SkyKick currently offers 24-hour phone support, Monday through Friday. See their website for the 21 supported countries and phone numbers.

User Consensus SkyKick Cons:

  • Limited Feature Set: SkyKick does not have as comprehensive a feature set as ShareGate, AvePoint’s DocAve, or Metalogix Content Matrix, and doesn’t offer support for migrating SharePoint content to other platforms.
  • Customization: SkyKick is not as customizable as ShareGate, AvePoint’s DocAve, or Metalogix Content Matrix. For example, SkyKick does not allow you to create custom migration scripts.

Only You Know What’s Right for You

We hope this information has been helpful and informative. As always, remember that the software landscape constantly evolves, and new features and improvements can significantly impact the pros and cons of any platform. When considering a migration tool, it’s essential to conduct a thorough evaluation to ensure that the software aligns with your organization’s specific requirements and budget constraints.

Now, let’s talk about that bonus information we promised you.

The Insurance You Need — Regardless of Your Migration Tool

One thing that isn’t specifically promoted on the websites of any of the above SharePoint migration tools is whether they protect links — specifically the links contained in your data that break during a migration, SharePoint or otherwise.

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Who wants to spend their weekend finding and fixing broken links? Not these guys!

Most data migrations are followed by a period of frantic “find & fix” to restore the data that’s gone missing as a result of broken links. And of course, missing data translates to downtime, upset end-users, disruption to the organization, potential loss of revenue, and your evenings and weekends being chewed up until you’ve got it all squared away.

Sure, you may have some success using various search and replace scripts or tools, but wouldn’t it be better to avoid the whole data loss fiasco in the first place? Wouldn’t you appreciate not having to spend your evenings and weekends at the office dealing with this, this ... well, we’ll call it “nonsense” to be polite.

What if you could get through a data migration without data loss due to broken links? What if there was nothing to trigger the inevitable avalanche of service tickets from end-users with missing data? What if you could drastically reduce downtime?

LinkFixer Advanced

LinkFixer Advanced™ offers you all of the above. How? Well, if you’ve already got broken links, LinkFixer Advanced can repair them and restore your missing data faster than just about anything you can think of.

Easily migrate non-SharePoint data into SharePoint.

Much more importantly, if you’ve not yet started your data migration, LinkFixer Advanced can be deployed ahead of time to protect all your good links, which prevents data loss due to broken links in the first place — and all the mayhem that accompanies it.

Prefer to save your evenings and weekends for your own pursuits? Visit LinkTek.com or call 727-442-1822 for more information on how to maintain data integrity via smart link management. Our knowledgeable Service Consultants are ready to answer your questions.

And if one bonus isn’t enough for you, check out Link Reporter, a free tool that’ll save you so much time, you’ll be tempted to send us a thank-you bouquet. But please, don’t send us flowers. Send them to a loved one or save them for yourself. If, however, you’re feeling generous with gifts of coffee or chocolate …