Based on questions regarding the upcoming transition from Business Productivity Online Suite to Office 365, Microsoft has made available a document which answers some of the most frequently asked question by customers. The document also includes information on billing, pricing, and licensing
Some Q&As regarding the transition:
Q. When I make the transition to Office 365, what do I have to do and what will Microsoft do?
Microsoft is responsible for any changes that happen in its datacenters. Customers will not have to migrate any data. Customers will be responsible for making sure that their client software is compliant with the system requirements discussed below. Customers will also be responsible for end-user training and configuring any new features and capabilities that will be delivered by Office 365.
Q. When can my company transition to Office 365?
Transition will begin September 2011. Please be aware that not all customers will be transitioned immediately; transitions will happen in phases between September 2011 and September 2012.
Customers who subscribe to the hosted Blackberry Enterprise Server service will not begin to transition until late 2011 or early 2012 depending on the availability of the hosted Blackberry Service from RIM.
Q. Will I have to pay more for Office 365?
No. Office 365 will not change anything related to your subscription pricing or renewal date, with three exceptions:
1. The SharePoint Online Deskless Worker offering will be phased out. Microsoft will contact all customers who are subscribed to the SharePoint Online Deskless Worker, offering them Office 365 Kiosk—which includes both SharePoint and Exchange—for the same price.
2. The Live Meeting Standalone service will be replaced with a Lync service including both conferencing and instant messaging.
3. The Extra Storage offerings will be offered for free to all customers.
Q. What has changed between the current BPOS system requirements and the new system requirements of Office 365?
The key changes in system requirements are:
– Office 2003 is not supported
– Office Communicator 2007 R2 with Office Communications Online will no longer be supported
– Internet Explorer 6 with the Microsoft Online Administration Center, My Company Portal or Outlook Web App will no longer be supported
Q. How do I prepare my users for the transition?
Customers should take the following steps:
1. For each subscription that a customer has, make sure that contact details for both the “Account Owner” and “Service Administrator” are up-to-date.
– “Account Owner” and “Service Administrator” can be checked at the Microsoft Online Customer Portal by clicking the “Subscriptions” tab and “View Subscription Details” in the “Actions” column
– Make sure that the email accounts specified for “Account Owner” and “Service Administrator” are monitored regularly.
– Make sure that the domain “@email.microsoftonline.com” is marked as safe, to prevent the possibility of communications from Microsoft Online Services being blocked or filtered.
2. Assess your current client environment and determine if you need to upgrade any client software.
– The free Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit can assist IT Professionals with complex environments in inventorying client software.
3. Understand the two different identity scenarios that Office 365 will offer: federated identity using ADFS (single sign-on for end users) or a managed identity scenario (end users have separate credentials for BPOS)
4. Consider upgrading clients to meet the new system requirements now
5. Stay tuned for email communications from Microsoft, as well as updates in the Transition Center, and the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog for more information and guidance.
You can download the Transition FAQs document (.docx) for more information.