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Deployment phases of Office 365


Applies to: Office 365 Enterprise

Topic Last Modified: 2015-02-06

When you plan to deploy Office 365 in a large organization, it's recommended that you plan the project according to the following phases. These are the phases we use with customers who are deployed by the Office 365 Onboarding Center.


Project Kickoff

The deployment project officially begins and the project team members begin work. From this date, the project owner coordinates activities and provides the project sponsor with regular status updates.

Assess Phase

During this phase, the project team determines any areas of the existing environment that should be updated or modified to ensure that Office 365 integrates with existing systems and meets user requirements. The outcome of this phase is a readiness checklist identifying any detailed risks and issues.

Remediate Phase

Any risks or issues identified in the assess phase mitigated by the project team to ensure smooth deployment. At the completion of this phase, the project owner confirms that core enablement tasks are ready to begin.

Enable Phase

Identity management integration takes place and users are provisioned so that they can begin production use of Office 365. Administrator roles are assigned to operations staff and initial workloads are configured for first use.

Migrate Phase

Mailbox data including email, calendar and contact information are migrated to Office 365. In this phase, a migration schedule should be prepared and the order and timing of mailboxes should be determined.

Project Completion

The deployment project is considered complete when all identified users have access to Office 365 and all in-scope mailboxes have been migrated to Office 365. The project sponsor confirm that the project is complete.

User Acceptance Testing

Users confirm acceptance of the deployment.

Before deploying Office 365, an assessment of your current environment is needed.

With any project, building a strong foundation is paramount to the success of the project. Knowing what the current environment looks like aids in determining how strong of a foundation is currently present before any project builds or migrations happen.

The table below is an example of what it looks like for you to summarize the state of IT infrastructure relevant to the Office 365 deployment.


Mail Environment

Exchange 2010

Number of Mailboxes:


SharePoint Environment

SharePoint 2010

Number of GB of storage:


Client Environment

Office 2010

Windows Version:

Windows 7

Active Directory:

2008 R2

Number of AD Objects


Use the following tools to help you gather information:

Health, Readiness and Connectivity Checks. Use this tool to validate configuration for clients Outlook, Lync, Office 365 ProPlus and One Drive. The tools also checks on-premises Exchange Servers and Directory Synchronization Servers and surfaces any configuration conflicts that may cause issues when using Office 365.

IdFix. Use this tool to perform discovery and remediation of identity objects and their attributes in an on-premises Active Directory environment in preparation for migration to Office 365. Learn more about the Office 365 IdFix tool

For the best experience using Office 365, we recommend that you always use the latest browsers, Office clients, and mobile client apps. We also recommend that you install software updates when they become available. Learn more about Office 365 System Requirements.

Office 365 supports the use of mobile devices such as Windows Phone, iPhone, iPads and Android. The user experience and supported features vary per device type. Learn more about mobile devices.

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