Welcome to the MessageOps BPOS to Office 365 transition checklist.

Using this checklist, you’ll be able to quickly prepare your environment for an Office 365 migration. If MessageOps is your CSP partner, you can also contact us directly with any questions.

If MessageOps isn’t your partner, you can easily get started and set us as your CSP today. When you do this, you’ll be eligible for free BPOS to Office 365 migration assistance services.

High level overview of the required tasks

Here’s a quick overview of the main tasks you need to take care of ahead of your transition. These items are discussed in more detail in this checklist.

  • Outlook 2003 clients must be updated to Outlook 2007 or 2010
  • Software updates must be installed to the end user workstations. This can be done by instructing users to run the desktop setup assistant, or by pushing the necessary files through a GPO or other software distribution method
  • Users must change passwords before the transition weekend if their passwords have been set to never expire
  • Users must reconfigure their mobile devices after the transition

Update your contact details in the Microsoft Online customer portal

Microsoft will be send important details about your migration to Office 365 to the technical contact on your BPOS Subscription. You need to ensure the contact details are up to date.

How do you update your contact details?

Option 1 – Account owner:

  • Sign in to the Microsoft Online services customer portal
  • On the homepage, in the actions pane, click edit profile
  • In the my profile wizard, on the contact information page, verify and update the information

Note: The account owner’s email address is the address associated with their windows live ID and cannot be changed.

Option 2 – Account owner:

  • Sign in to the Microsoft Online services customer portal
  • On the subscriptions page, locate the subscription you want to update
  • In the actions list, select edit service details, and click go
  • In the service activation wizard, on the service administrator page, update the contact information

Update the software running on your client computers

The biggest changes in supported software are:

  • Microsoft Outlook 2003 is not supported
  • Internet Explorer 6 is not supported

If you are still running this software, updating it should be among your top priorities.

For a complete list of software requirements, visit Software Requirements for Office 365.

What service packs are required for legacy operating systems and Office software?

Operating systems service pack requirements

  • XP Service Pack 3
  • Vista Service Pack 2

Office service pack requirements

  • Office 2007 SP2
  • Office for Mac 2011 with Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac version 12.2.9

How can I get an inventory of the software currently in use in my environment?

The Microsoft assessment and planning Toolkit can be used to get an inventory of your current IT infrastructure.

Determine how you want to deploy Office 365 specific software and updates?

Once you have Office and the client operating systems up to the appropriate version and service pack level you must decide how to get the Office 365 specific software and patches deployed. The items that need to be deployed are:

  • Lync 2010 Client (if you are using Communicator in BPOS)
  • The updates listed on the Manually Install Office 365 Desktop Updates Wiki Page

If you can deploy software to the end user workstations, you could deploy these updates using that software. If you don’t have the ability to deploy software, the users will have to manually download and install Lync and run the Office 365 Desktop setup. The Office 365 desktop setup will automatically download and install the updates listed in the manually install Office 365 desktop updates article.

One benefit of having the end users update their own systems is it verifies they can actually sign into the portal prior to the migration.

For end users to run the Office 365 Desktop setup application, they must have local Administrator rights on their PC.

I will instruct the end users how to install the required software

If your users have administrator access on their local PCs, they can quickly install the updates on their own. The next section of this checklist provides instructions on how to download and install these.

I will centrally deploy the required updates to client computers

The updates required are listed on the manually install Office 365 desktop updates wiki page.

The updates listed on this page can be installed prior to your migration to Office 365, and won’t have an impact on your user’s ability to work with BPOS.

How do I deploy Lync using group policy?

Below you’ll find a small vbscript, which first checks to see if Lync is already installed on a PC. If it isn’t, the script determines whether the PC is 32 or 64-bit. When you download the Lync installers from the Office 365 portal, you’ll probably want to give each a unique name, since they’re named LyncSetup.exe by default. To use the script, you’ll just need to modify lines nine and eleven to reflect the correct path to the .exe files. Then, place the script in a group policy startup or login script.

Mac setup and downloads

Identify users who haven’t changed their password

One of the most critical steps in the transition is to ensure that all users change their password prior to transition. You can run the following command to see when a user last changed their password.

  • get-msonlineuser -enabled -resultsize 10000
  • select-object Identity,PasswordLastSetDate,PasswordExpirationDate
  • export-csv passwordexport.csv

Users need to change their passwords 60 days prior to the transition date.

Note that you need to download and install the most recent version of the BPOS Migration Tools to get this to work.

Identify users with an incorrect SIP address (Communicator clients only)

As part of the transition process, the SIP addresses on user accounts will be migrated from BPOS to Office 365. If the SIP address does not match the Primary SMTP address, you will run into issues. The SIP address not matching the Primary SMTP address is very common if someone changed their name in BPOS. Therefore, it is important that you identity these accounts prior to transition. To fix them, you will need to contact support and have them change the SIP addresses in BPOS.

Instruct your end users to sign into the Office 365 portal

As part of the migration process, Microsoft has pre-synchronized your BPOS user information to Office 365. You should instruct your users to sign into the Office 365 portal prior to the transition, to make sure their accounts have been created in Office 365.

There are a couple considerations that need to be taken into account:

  • If you have set your passwords to never expire in BPOS, users must change their BPOS password before they can sign into Office 365.
  • If you are planning on having your end users install Lync (if applicable) and the required updates on their own, this can be accomplished at the same time as they test the initial sign in to Office 365.

Update your firewall/proxy for use with Office 365

The following page contains information on the IP Address and URLs you will need to allow access to:

Have your users started using Lync? (Optional)

If you would like your users to start using Lync at this point, they can. This might help you with the transition, since it would be one less thing to worry about when everything else gets migrated. It will also allow them to start phasing out their LiveMeeting meetings.

If you would like your users to start using Lync, you should create a DNS SRV record and 2 CNAME Record to make it easier for them to connect. The DNS entries you need to make are shown in the table below, just replace the value in the name column (messageops.com), with your domain name.

ms lync online screenshot

Communicate the upcoming changes to users

While most of the changes will occur behind the scenes, there are a few things the users will need to be aware of. Outlook should automatically reconfigure itself to use the new users, but users will also have to know how to access the new web application, as well as how to reconfigure their mobile devices.

Reconfigure mobile devices

If your users are currently using a mobile device to connect to BPOS, they will need to update those settings to have it connect to Office 365 after the migration. The following page provides instructions for various device types.

Connecting mobile devices to Office 365

In our experience most ActiveSync devices can simply be configured to connect to Outlook Online.

Accessing Outlook Web App

Follow this link.

At the sign in screen, enter your Microsoft Online services ID and password. Your services ID will typically be your email address.

office 365 new customer screens

Once signed in, click on the Outlook link on the top of the screen.

office 365 outlook screenshot

You will be taken to your mailbox

office 365 outlook inbox screenshot

What else should I Know?

The migration of data will start on Friday at 3 PM PST, and will be complete sometime over the weekend. In some cases, it may complete on Friday night. In other cases, it will take until Sunday. You will not have administrator access to Office 365 until the transition is complete. You will receive an email when the transition is complete.

Night or weekend of your migration

If you have completed all the prep steps, the night of the migration should be simple.

Here’s a look through what to expect

Thursday 3pm PST – lock
(Set time for 24 hours)

  • Customer gets the ‘you are starting transition email’
  • Admin is locked from making changes
  • No other changes are made, and no other users are impacted

Friday 3PM – DataUpgrade begins
(Set complete in no more than 48 hours but could complete earlier)

  • Mailboxes start to moved
  • SharePoint becomes read only and will remain read only until upgrade process is done
  • NOTE: This phase can take up to 48 hours. However, for customers with only Exchange, this can actually take just a couple of hours.

(After Data Upgrade starts sometime between Friday ~5pm and Sunday 3pm)
(Set to complete in no more than 12 hours but could complete earlier)

  • O365 admin is unlocked
  • Email goes out saying migration is completed.
  • This phase is usually quick, so in most cases this is done in a few min to a few hours

If you need to change a user password or disable a user account when the administration center is locked, you can contact technical support. You can view items on Microsoft SharePoint online, but you cannot edit them.

You and your users can send and receive email messages in Outlook and in Microsoft Office OWA. If you or your users see an error message when you sign in to OWA, that means that your email has been transitioned to Office 365.

Update your DNS entries

The night before your scheduled migration date you’ll need to create a few entries in your Internet facing DNS, so your client systems will be able to automatically connect to the Office 365 services when they are migrated.

The DNS settings can be obtained by logging into the Office 365 Portal, using your administrator credentials.

Once signed into the portal click on admin in the top menu.

office 365 outlook admin screenshot

Under management click domains

ms domains screenshot

In the domains area, select your domain and click view properties

domains view properties screenshot

In the domain properties for your domain, click DNS settings

domains dns settings screenshot

Here you will see the DNS entries you need to create / modify

dns settings screenshot

Prepare for Blackberry transition

The following document provides details on the procedure to be used to move the Blackberry devices to the new server.

Migrating user accounts from the hosted BlackBerry for Microsoft Exchange Online to the BlackBerry Business cloud services

If you have a lot of Blackberry users, you’ll want to export them from BPOS and import them into the Blackberry Business Cloud Services.

Post transition activities

1. What the end users should experience

Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2011 for the Mac should automatically reconfigure itself to connect to Office 365. Upon first login, the user will be prompted for their credentials, which should be the same as their BPOS credentials. They can then check a box to have Outlook remember their credentials.

Users with ActiveSync devices should reconfigure them to point to Outlook Online.

Blackberry devices will need to be re-added to the Office 365 BES. Note, you won’t be able to do this until your transition is complete. The user’s device will then need to wipe and reactivate their devices on the new server.

OWA users should now connect to the Office 365 mailbox or online portal.

2. Issues to expect


  • Rules quotas

If you had your Outlook rules quota increased on any users in BPOS, that quota increase will go away when you transition to Office 365.

  • Send on behalf of

You will have to reset after the migration.

  • Mailbox Quotas

You will have to reset after the migration.


  • Unlicensed SharePoint admin can no longer access site collections
  • Portal links to new Office 365 Team Site that users cannot access
  • Users cannot see a List of site collections on the portal page
  • Login to SharePoint sites fail due to old cookies
  • Deprecated SharePoint components that do not exist in Office365
  • SharePoint controls/ web parts that are blocked after transition to Office365


  • Sip Addresses are incorrect

3. Removing old software

If you need to remove the sign in client, LiveMeeting, and/or the Conferencing Addin from many computers, your best bet is going to be to use group policy or some other software package which lets you execute remote commands.

You can push these scripts out through a group policy computer startup script to automate the process. You don’t want to remove the Sign in Client on day 1, instead you should wait at least 2 weeks before removing it.


How can I postpone my transition?

You must contact Microsoft technical support to postpone your transition. You can only postpone your transition once. If you postpone, your transition will be pushed back 60 days.

When will I get Admin Access to Office 365?

You will have admin access to Office 365 once the transition is complete. When the transition is complete the administrators will receive an email.

Will OST files have to be re-downloaded after the transition?

No. After the transition, the existing OST file will continue to be used.

Lync is hanging during the installation

If the Lync installer just hangs during installation, you need to download Lync from these addresses:

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