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Planning considerations for Office 365


Applies to: Office 365 Enterprise

Topic Last Modified: 2013-09-18

Summary: Describes how to avoid deployment delays by reviewing items with long lead times, software requirements, and email migration support.

The deployment process requires that you address several key items early in your deployment work to ensure timely completion of workstreams and avoid unnecessary deployment delays.

When deploying Office 365, you need to be aware of long lead time items. These items are tasks or milestones that have typically required a significant lead time to complete and have a higher risk of delaying the completion of the project if not addressed early in the implementation.

The following items are known to require significant evaluation and planning time:

  • Tools and testing for mailbox migration.

  • Tools and testing for SharePoint remediation.

  • Procurement and deployment of any necessary on-premises hardware and software.

  • Internet and customer network capacity.

  • Policies related to mobility solutions.

  • Tools for provisioning and de-provisioning objects in your Active Directory.

  • Preparation of your on-premises Active Directory for the initial directory synchronization with Office 365.

  • Setting up the primary Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) namespaces to be used for Office 365 and Exchange hybrid deployment.

  • Encryption and encrypted email.

  • Third-party contract such as RIM’s BlackBerry® Business Cloud Services or Audio Conferencing Provider (ACP) for Lync.

Office 365 for enterprises solutions allow your organization to choose either the rich experience or web experience for your users.

The rich experience requires that a user’s PC have recent versions of operating systems, desktop Office applications, and Internet browsers installed. It also requires installation of the Office 365 desktop setup, which automatically configures PCs with the required updates and service components. The web experience requires user access to a PC with a recent version of mainstream web browsers.

It is important that your organization assess the requirements highlighted in the Plan for client computers and mobile devices that connect to Office 365 section of this document.

Your organization should be aware that Office 365 supports mailbox migration from the following environments:

  • On-premises Exchange Server environments

  • Hosted Exchange environments

  • IMAP4 servers

  • Certain third-party platforms

If you have an on-premises Exchange Server environment deployed that runs Exchange Server 2010, Exchange Server 2007, or Exchange Server 2003, you can configure a hybrid Exchange deployment and then migrate your organization’s mailboxes over time.

Mail migrations from other platforms will require the use of non-Microsoft tools and processes. Each customer environment will have different requirements and the migration toolsets should be evaluated to determine if they meet the organization’s requirements. For more information on available tools, see the Exchange Online section of the Office 365 Marketplace.

For detailed information about migration methods, see the Help topic Migrate Users and Get Them Connected.

Also see the section on third party migrations in this guide, Plan to migrate from a non-Microsoft messaging system to Exchange Online.

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