Plan an Office 365 deployment
Applies to: Office 365 Enterprise
Topic Last Modified: 2013-08-23
Summary: Describes the key activities for planning an Office 365 deployment.
During the Plan phase, your organization’s deployment team begins gathering information and developing strategies for deploying Office 365 service offerings.
The following tasks represent the significant work items that your organization will carry out in the Plan phase:
Hold project kickoff meeting
Your kickoff meeting launches the Office 365 deployment project and includes review of how the Office 365 solution aligns with your organization’s business requirements.
Build risk and issue tracking system
You will need a process for tracking deployment project risks and issues and generating project status reports.
Develop migration strategy
Your mailbox migration strategy should include evaluating and, if necessary, purchasing third-party email migration toolsets and identifying hardware requirements.
Identify mailbox size and item counts
You need to know the size of mailboxes and number of items in mailboxes that will be migrated to Office 365. Along with available bandwidth to the Internet, mailbox size and item number will affect migration velocity.
Plan for mail-enabled applications
If you have mail-enabled applications, your organization should determine whether they could be modified to work with Exchange Online using Exchange Web Services (EWS).
Identify options for user identity and account provisioning
The services provided by Office 365 for enterprises solution require that user accounts or “identities” be created in the Office 365 environment for each Office 365 user.
Identify your email coexistence strategy
You need to develop your strategy for configuring an Exchange hybrid deployment between your on-premises environment and the Office 365 environment.
Identify available Internet bandwidth testing tools
You should have bandwidth-testing tools available to calculate migration velocity for mailbox data.
Identify on-premises infrastructure server requirements
Directory synchronization, single sign-on, and Exchange hybrid deployments will require deployment of on-premises hardware.
Identify the operating systems and client applications
You must inventory the applications that are currently used in your environment to see if they meet the requirements for Office 365.
Identify the mobile platform that your organization will use
You must plan for any changes required to your organization’s mobile platform with the move to Office 365. Exchange ActiveSync enables users to synchronize their mobile phones with their Exchange Online mailboxes.
Develop an end user and administrator training schedule and delivery mechanism
Training administrators and users how to work with Office 365 service offerings must be included in your deployment planning.
Develop end-user communications strategy
You will need to create and schedule a series of communications to end users that notifies them about their transition to Office 365 service offerings and provides instructions regarding what is required of them.
Your organization should schedule a kickoff meeting to launch its Office 365 deployment project. The kickoff meeting can serve a number of purposes. You can use it to familiarize your project team members with the overall business perspective of the project. You can also review the solution alignment evaluation conducted prior to moving forward with your deployment.
Another objective of the kickoff meeting is to help your team identify and prepare for deployment tasks or milestones that typically require a significant lead time to complete. See Planning considerations for Office 365 for more details.