Microsoft Migration from BPOS to Office 365

If you are an existing Microsoft BPOS customer, you should have now received an email from Microsoft informing you about the required migration to their new Office 365 service. Microsoft’s email was very generic and we wanted to make you aware of how these changes will affect your company over the coming year. The information below is very important and should be read carefully, however this information only applies to existing BPOS customers.

As you are aware Microsoft BPOS is a cloud based service offering Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Live Meeting. BPOS is based on Microsoft’s 2007 family of server products, however they have just released a new set of cloud based services called Office 365 which is based on their 2010 family of products.

Office 365 has a number of benefits over Microsoft BPOS:

  • Reduced cost of £4 per user, compared to £6.71.
  • There are no lower limits on the number of users. Even a one person business can benefit from Office 365.
  • Office 365 includes Office Web Apps. An online version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
  • Outlook Web Access now fully supports Firefox and Chrome.
  • If you are using SharePoint you automatically receive 10GB of storage, plus 500GB of personal storage, per user.
  • Updated versions of Exchange, SharePoint and Live Meeting, offering more functionality.
  • Options to rent the latest Microsoft Office as part of your subscription (fees apply).

Going forward, new customers will only be able to sign up for office 365 and existing customers must migrate their services within the next 12 months ( by September 2012).

At present migrations are not possible, but Microsoft will be contacting customers in September 2011 to arrange a migration period. The migration process itself is relatively painless; most of the tasks will be carried out by Microsoft. There are however some issues that Source Support or LightPath will need to carry out. The key items are listed below:

Users connecting to the service via Outlook will need to be using Outlook 2007 or later. Outlook 2003 is NOT supported and will not connect.

  • Mobile devices will need to be reconfigured manually to connect to the new service.
  • Internet Explorer 6 is not supported.
  • Prior to the change you must ensure your passwords meet the new complexity requirements:
    • Passwords must be between 8 and 16 characters
    • Passwords cannot contain characters from different language sets, e.g. Arabic or Greek or German. Only basic, English-language letters and symbols, called ASCII characters, are allowed. ASCII characters include:
    • A-Z, a-z, 0-9, ! @ # $ % ^ & * – _ + = [ ] { } | \ : ‘ , . ? / ` ~ “ < > ( ) ;
    • Passwords cannot contain the username alias (part before @ symbol.
  • When requested by Microsoft, changes must be made to the website’s DNS servers.
  • Users will be emailed and prompted to download the replacement to the Sign-In Tool, the Microsoft Online Desktop Setup tool and must do so by the transition date.

If you require more information on the migration or Microsoft’s Office 365 offering, please do not hesitate to contact us.



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