Migrating to Office 365 using Outlook?
July 15, 2014 1:51 PM   Subscribe

I'm considering moving our small business to Office 365 Small Business Premium primarily because its email and sharing capabilities kick ass. Our current email provider runs Exchange (we mostly use Outlook Web App). Is using Outlook the easiest way to migrate email and contacts to Office 365 SBP?

We only have two email accounts, info@ and boss@. Together they have 3GB worth of email.

I'm thinking that adding our current email accounts and their Office 365 equivalents to Outlook allows me to migrate email and contacts fairly easy.
posted by Foci for Analysis to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Assuming you have a decent internet connection, dragging and dropping between folders is going to be pretty painless - I used it to migrate a dozen or so accounts.

Office 365 does have serverside import capabilities, but for two accounts, it's probably not worth it for you to dive into them.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:31 PM on July 15, 2014

I can't endorse a specific service, but there are a number of industrial strength providers who will help you move your email. Migrationwiz is a service that I think we partner with, but I bet there are a bunch of 'em.
posted by ph00dz at 3:02 PM on July 15, 2014

How would I keep the accounts in sync during the transition period?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:13 PM on July 15, 2014

You just need to leave both accounts running during the switch over. There are a few caveats with DNS records in that you want both services to be accessible (so don't assign them both to exchange.example.com), but generally this is the process.

1. Set up the Office 365 accounts. It'll want you to use their DNS service, but you don't need to and probably don't want to do that. You can also add the accounts into Outlook at this time to use for outgoing mail only.

2. Switch the SMTP records to the new host. I did this at the end of a Friday, so the new records could propagate over the weekend.

3. On Monday, we dragged all the email within Outlook from the folder in the old account to the folder in the new account. Literally drag and drop.

By this time, practically all new mail should be coming to the new account, but maybe leave the old account for a full week just in case.

4. Cancel the old email service and remove the accounts from Outlook.

Let me know if you need a simpler breakdown or any of the terms explained.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 3:24 PM on July 15, 2014

Ah, looking at your profile, it looks like you'll generally know the drill with switching providers. The real trick is simply keeping both accounts running for a few days after the DNS changes to catch any stragglers.

Pro Tip: Lower your DNS TTL a week (or at least several days) before you actually change the SMTP records.

posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 3:29 PM on July 15, 2014

Thank's for the breakdown! It seems pretty straightforward and much easier than the migration guides I've been reading.

I just need to figure out a way to export the current contacts/address book from Outlook Web App (not a deal-breaker, though).
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:34 PM on July 15, 2014

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