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Cloud Services Thread, Migrating staff email to office 365 in Technical; Hi We are currently using a council based email system but find it slow, unreliable and the 20gb limit for ...
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    Migrating staff email to office 365

    Hi

    We are currently using a council based email system but find it slow, unreliable and the 20gb limit for the whole school too small. I have been investigating moving our staff to office 365 the free education version as we already use edu.live for our students and have upgraded that to office 365.

    Just a few questions have popped up.

    Has anyone migrate to office 365 for all their staff email? If yes how have you found the migration and usage now?
    Is there a way to keep the emails off the old system? A hosted desknow?
    When upgraded edu.live for students there is an option at the top of the screen to make new documents, I can't see this on our demo of office 365 is there something you have to enable for it or is this jut available via Sharepoint?

    And any other advice Or tips that you discovered along the way.

    Cheers

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    I have moved staff as in EduGeek staff from google apps which was a little pain thanks to google making it hard to move out since but once you knew the *rules* it was easy enough.
    Take a look at Microsoft Office 365 - Getting up to speed with the cloud especially the *Next* stuff thats in preview right now, I would try setting up a preview using MS's own subdomain to have a play as its very nice over current 365.
    How do you currently access your email? web page or do you have pop3/imap/mapi access?
    With 365 you can import your mail from your existing system as long as its not only a website very easily (esp if your not google based) and I actually did this several times to make sure everything went well.
    The documents part is inside the sharepoint area/teamsite section but ideally you dont want to start with that until the Preview goes live as it drastically cleans up the UI to match more with outlook.com
    If your already cloud your staff wont mind the fact they are limited by your net speed rather then those who move from an internal exchange which is naturally faster then most net connections.

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    tj2419 (30th September 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroHour View Post
    I have moved staff as in EduGeek staff from google apps which was a little pain thanks to google making it hard to move out since but once you knew the *rules* it was easy enough.
    Take a look at Microsoft Office 365 - Getting up to speed with the cloud especially the *Next* stuff thats in preview right now, I would try setting up a preview using MS's own subdomain to have a play as its very nice over current 365.
    How do you currently access your email? web page or do you have pop3/imap/mapi access?
    With 365 you can import your mail from your existing system as long as its not only a website very easily (esp if your not google based) and I actually did this several times to make sure everything went well.
    The documents part is inside the sharepoint area/teamsite section but ideally you dont want to start with that until the Preview goes live as it drastically cleans up the UI to match more with outlook.com
    If your already cloud your staff wont mind the fact they are limited by your net speed rather then those who move from an internal exchange which is naturally faster then most net connections.
    Thanks for the advice. We are just accessing our current desknow email system via a URL which is hosted by the council. When you register for the trial it asks you to verify you are an education establishment. If I enter in our current domain that won't affect our current email system will it?

    Would staff need to have downloaded their email to some sort of client e.g. Outlook or apple calendar to re upload it?

    I'll have a look at that link now.

    How long did it take you to switch the email over from start to finish? How much downtime?

    Thanks again.

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. We are just accessing our current desknow email system via a URL which is hosted by the council. When you register for the trial it asks you to verify you are an education establishment. If I enter in our current domain that won't affect our current email system will it?

    Would staff need to have downloaded their email to some sort of client e.g. Outlook or apple calendar to re upload it?

    I'll have a look at that link now.

    How long did it take you to switch the email over from start to finish? How much downtime?

    Thanks again.
    Sadly my migration advice will be of minimal use as I used it for us (EduGeek, not a school) but it was easy to do. Basically you can safely test migration as many times as you want without moving across but if your web based only (aka no outlook/client) then migration may not be possible. When I imported mail it imported a 20gb mailbox very quickly but this was Google Datacenter->MS data center.
    If you have outlook you should be able to migrate using the same settings for each mailbox but that requires knowing each password. The other migration method is like you said, download via Outlook then drag/drop to the new *exchange* mailbox in outlook and it will upload it although I have not done that myself.
    When you enter your domain it wont do anything to your current system but you should be aware you will have to change DNS records on your schools domain before things can go live so if you dont have access to do that you need to sort that before you can go live. You can either get MS to host DNS or you can use a 3rd party (we use third party for EduGeek) and enter the relevant records, only when you change the MX records would mail effectively start flowing into o365.

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    tj2419 (30th September 2012)

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    DeskNow - Mail and collaboration server

    This is what we currently have available to us. I'll have a play around this week to see if migration is possible.

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    Even though Microsoft sat that you can only migrate 1000 milboxes using a cutover migration, can you do more or is this the limit? I've got 1250 mailboxes to migrate, and would prefer to do it in one go!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    Hi

    We are currently using a council based email system but find it slow, unreliable and the 20gb limit for the whole school too small. I have been investigating moving our staff to office 365 the free education version as we already use edu.live for our students and have upgraded that to office 365.

    Just a few questions have popped up.

    Has anyone migrate to office 365 for all their staff email? If yes how have you found the migration and usage now?
    Is there a way to keep the emails off the old system? A hosted desknow?
    When upgraded edu.live for students there is an option at the top of the screen to make new documents, I can't see this on our demo of office 365 is there something you have to enable for it or is this jut available via Sharepoint?

    And any other advice Or tips that you discovered along the way.

    Cheers
    I helped with a migration not too long ago and from the IT / Admin side, it was not too bad at all. The 365 system itself is quite reliable and mail delivery / receipt is fast, especially on mobile devices. Included FOSE filtering / gateway is nice. Plus the huge benefit of no longer having to maintain exchange servers and related gateways. From the end user side, sure there are "migration instructions" provided by MS, but we found the steps to be lacking and not entirely accurate. I would stronly suggest walking through a test migration scenario as a normal end user and writing out the exact steps to make a usable guide you can distribute. If users will only access 365 via OWA, then it's quite simple as the new 365 logon portal is very easy to access / use. I'm not sure about the MOSS portion as we've not looked at that piece of it much. Good luck!

    PS do not use the suggested Office 365 SPF reference of "outlook.com" provided by Microsoft (if you will be using SPF in your DNS). It will cause your SPF checks to fail on ourbound sent mail- MS set up the outlook.com SPF record with too many lookups in itself, they are aware of the issue but over a year now they still have not fixed it. I don't have it offhand, but use the old "BPOS" SPF record reference as that works fine. Should be findable in Google.

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    Hi

    Just wanted to check that on the verify your domain it asks you to insert a new TXT or MX record with our DNS provider. Does this affect our current email system? If I verify and add this record would it affect our current email going to our webmail?

    Just want to make sure I wouldn't affect the current email system and start sending mail to office 365 yet.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    Hi

    Just wanted to check that on the verify your domain it asks you to insert a new TXT or MX record with our DNS provider. Does this affect our current email system? If I verify and add this record would it affect our current email going to our webmail?

    Just want to make sure I wouldn't affect the current email system and start sending mail to office 365 yet.

    Cheers
    No, The record is just for verification purposes if your worried about adding an MX Record then the TXT on it's own is sufficiant.

    Regards,
    James.

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    If i set up everything on the trial login e.g. contact groups, sharepoint sites, email accounts will they all still be there when we redirect our email and add the domain?

    Thanks

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    What do you mean the trial login?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesbmarshall View Post
    What do you mean the trial login?
    Hi Sorry i meant on the 30 day trial.

    I have now verified our domain and got the education pricing. We are adding the licenses to our account and going for the free A2 Faculty licenses. How many licenses have people chosen? Just enough to cover staff or have you gone a couple of hundred more? We have about 190 staff email accounts. Is there any difference if i chose 500 licenses seem as though they are free?

    Can you add more at any point?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    How many licenses have people chosen? Just enough to cover staff or have you gone a couple of hundred more? We have about 190 staff email accounts. Is there any difference if i chose 500 licenses seem as though they are free?

    Can you add more at any point?
    While the licences, for the most part, are free you should still be accurate and honest. You can scale up and down as you need. There is no benefit to you in having 500 licences when you only need 200 - and if you need more it takes seconds via the admin portal to get them.

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    Thanks jus wanted to check we could add more if needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    Thanks jus wanted to check we could add more if needed.
    Yes the idea is that you can add them as and when they are required, it only takes a few seconds to add the licences and they will be available straight away. Don't add more than you need to start with otherwise you will get billed for them and then you spending money that you don't need to be! :-)

    James.

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