Phase 1. Account Creation

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Proceed to Phase 2. Data Migration

Proceed to Phase 3. Delivery and End-User Cutover

Step 1: Deciding on the Microsoft licenses options and choosing Smarsh Hosted Services add-ons for Office 365 if needed

First, contact Smarsh Hosted Services Sales Department to discuss the terms of the Office 365 account creation. You may be asked to confirm between several Office 365 license types. The following types of licenses with email are available:

  • Business Essentials
  • Business Premium
  • Exchange Online
  • Enterprise E1
  • Enterprise E3

Read the Knowledge Base article on Office 365 Licenses: Overview for more information. 

There are a couple of useful additional services provided by Smarsh Hosted Services which can be enabled for your O365 account during the onboarding process:

Step 2: Migration planning

Once the first step is complete and the terms are agreed upon, one of the specialists from our Cloud Concierge team will contact you to discuss the migration process.

Step 3: Providing information on Microsoft tenant account

To connect to Office 365, the information on the target Microsoft tenant will be needed:

  • If you already have an existing account, link it to CONTROL PANEL and make Smarsh Hosted Services your delegated admin. Our Cloud Concierge Specialist can assist you with this process.
  • If you do not have an Office 365 tenancy yet, a new account can be set up through CONTROL PANEL

Note: in order to start the migration, you will be asked to provide the Global Office 365 admin credentials. These credentials are emailed to the account owner once the tenancy is created.

Step 4: Going through domain verification in the Office 365 Control Panel

Microsoft requires every Office 365 domain to be verified through the Office 365 Control Panel. Read the Microsoft Knowledge Base article on Verify your Office 365 domain to prove ownership, nonprofit or education status, or to activate Yammer for more information.
Note: there is no need to change the MX records at this point yet.

Step 5: Initiating migration and choosing on how the upcoming migration will be handled for end-users 

To initiate the migration, we will create a mailbox on your current Hosted Exchange account for use during the migration. Using our migration tools, we will extract your current email configuration from the source Exchange server and replicate that to the new Office 365 account. Our Cloud Concierge representative will work with you to make any needed changes and ensure that the Office 365 account is configured correctly.

Note: instead of creating a mailbox on your current Hosted Exchange account, in some cases, we might ask you to provide the credentials for any user on the source account.

Also, at this point, you will need to choose how the upcoming migration will be handled for end-users. There are three paths which are available based on your environment:

  • Use of Outlook Assistant: end-users will provide email credentials for migration and download the Outlook Assistant application via simple automated communications and secure URL web form. Once the migration is completed, this will help them reconfigure their Outlook clients.
    Note: the Outlook Assistant can be downloaded on Windows XP SP3, Vista, Win7, and Win8 only, Mac clients are not supported. The Outlook Assistant works with Outlook 2007+, 32-bit, and 64-bit.
  • Hands-Free Migration: no end-user action required. Access to source mailboxes is facilitated by administration credentials and the Outlook Assistant is deployed via centralized MSI deployment technology such as Group Policy or Windows Intune.
    Note: this is only for environments that meet the specific requirements, our Cloud Concierge team will let you know what they are if needed.
  • Manual configuration: if the first two options do not work for you, it is also possible to configure all devices manually. We will provide the configuration settings.

Step 6: Reviewing created Office 365 Tenant Objects

At this step, you will need to confirm that the objects (including Exchange Mailboxes and aliases, Resource Mailboxes and aliases, Company Contacts, Distribution Groups and Public Folders) are created correctly and fully in the Office 365 tenancy. Also, you can assign licenses to the users. Our Cloud Concierge representative will ask you to choose the potential cutover date when you would like to switch your end-users to connect to the new account.

Proceed to Phase 2. Data Migration

Proceed to Phase 3. Delivery and End-User Cutover

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