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Responsibilities for customers who deploy Office 365


Applies to: Office 365 Enterprise

Topic Last Modified: 2013-08-22

Summary: Describes key tasks and prerequisite knowledge for IT Pros who deploy Office 365.

Office 365 for enterprises customers are required to assume specific responsibilities in the deployment process. Understanding these responsibilities at the start of the deployment is critical to achieving a successful deployment and migration.

Key tasks for organizations that are deploying Office 365 and Exchange Online in a hybrid deployment configuration include:

  • Assign a qualified project manager

    Your organization must assign a person to manage your Office 365 deployment project and lead your deployment team.

  • Develop a project plan

    Your deployment project plan is used to schedule and track Office 365 deployment workstream progress. The plan should include a migration schedule that shows when each user’s mailbox will be migrated to Office 365. A high-level planning template is available in Deployment planning checklist for Office 365 for organizations to use for deployment project planning.

  • Obtain hardware

    You organization must procure the necessary hardware for on-premises components of Office 365 —such as the hardware for a hybrid deployment and identity federation servers.

  • Evaluate network

    Ensure your on-premises network meets bandwidth requirement and implement firewall rules, changes or upgrades as needed.

  • Acquire SSL certificates

    Third-party SSL certificates must be obtained and installed in your infrastructure to provide enterprise-security for Office 365 service offerings.

  • Plan, install, and configure directory integration services

    Depending on the needs of your organization, you can choose to enable directory integration services such as single sign-on and directory synchronization.

    To enable single sign-on, your organization must set up Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0 federation servers and federation server proxies prior to the migration of the first production mailbox.

    To enable directory synchronization, your organization must set up a dedicated computer to keep your local Active Directory environment synchronized with your Microsoft Office 365 directory.

  • Install and configure Exchange hybrid servers

    For the Exchange Hybrid Deployment scenario in which some of your Exchange users have mailboxes on-premises and other mailboxes on Exchange Online, you must set up Exchange 2010 hybrid servers prior to the migration of the first production mailbox. You must also enable directory synchronization for all hybrid deployment configurations and prior to migration of your first production mailbox.

  • Ensure that each end user workstation meets Office 365 client prerequisites

    Each end user PC must meet the Office 365 client requirements.

  • Configure Outlook Anywhere

    You must configure Outlook clients to connect to Exchange Online over the Internet using the Outlook Anywhere connectivity (remote procedure call over HTTP) feature.

  • Plan and coordinate all end user support

    Before migration of first production mailboxes, you must plan for support of Office 365 users. This includes planning for escalation of support issues to Microsoft via a maximum of two points of contact (for example, the customer’s project manager and technical lead or Exchange Administrator).

  • Plan, develop, and execute training plans

    You will need to implement training for your Office 365 end users.

  • Plan, develop, and execute communication plans

    You will need to inform all end users about the transition to Office 365 service offerings and what is required of them.

  • Perform migration of client-side data

    Moving mailbox data and other client content to the Office 365 environment is the responsibility of the customer organization.

  • Assign resources to initiate, monitor, and complete migrations

    During migration windows, personnel in your organization must be available to manage migration activities, which often occur on evenings and weekends

Deployment of Office 365 is a multi-phased project that requires close communication and coordination of activities between your internal teams and any partners you engage. Although project personnel may have varied technical backgrounds, all should have project management, technical consulting, or technical support backgrounds.

For the technical areas of an Office 365 deployment, this guide assumes that your organization has personnel with Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certifications or equivalent skills. Your personnel should also have experience in deploying Microsoft Exchange Server, SharePoint Portal Server, Lync Server, the Windows Server operating system, and Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). The following is a detailed list of prerequisite technical knowledge.

  • Knowledge and proficiency in the following Microsoft server technologies:

    • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)

    • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0

    • Exchange 2010, Exchange Server 2007, or Exchange Server 2003

    • Lync Server 2010 or Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007

    • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

    • DNS and related technologies

    • Windows PowerShell 2.0

  • Knowledge and proficiency in the following Microsoft client technologies:

    • Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Office 2007

    • Windows Internet Explorer and other browser technologies

    • Windows Update and Microsoft Update

    • Windows Phone and mobility

  • Knowledge of the customer network topology:

    • Active Directory sites, trusts, and topology

    • Wide-area connectivity: on-premises networks and equipment

    • Wide-area connectivity: Internet bandwidth and latency

    • Firewall technologies

    • SSL certificates

  • Knowledge of legacy messaging systems, including the following and others:

    • Microsoft Exchange Server-based systems

    • POP3/IMAP4/SMTP-based mail systems

    • Lotus Notes Domino

    • Novell GroupWise

    • Archival systems

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