02.10.2011

Thinking of migrating to Office 365 Online exchange email hosting solution, check this two part step by step guide

Thinking of migrating to Office 365 Online…

You are looking for exchange functionality but have only got between 1 and 15 users, want to give more than one person access to enquiry and sales emails without having to contend with ISP’s hard wired IMAP connection limits. With Office 365 you get that functionality built in through the use of distribution groups, distribution groups are in essence an email address such as enquiry@company.com that delivers any mail sent to it to as many individual or indeed other distribution groups as you have. On top of that you get all the other features such as sharepoint online, access the lync online to setup online meetings, not to mention being able to use office professional plus anywhere in the world with a broadband connection. Anyway to business, you have gotten your office 365 P1 licenses and now need to get your stuff transferred across. For clarity this guide is for business’s that meet the following criteria: Have between 1 and 15 users Have no on-site Active directory domain currently use a hosted Pop3 or imap email service one thing you should note is that the P1 version of the service requires that if you already have your own Internet domain name and do not intent to use the *.onmicrosoft.com domain, you have to fully re-delegate the domain rather than just re-point mx records to your new email server. Step 1 – pick your time make sure you pick your moment, fully re-delegating a domain can take from 15 minutes up-to 72 hours so don’t book an it engineer to come and change your outlook email account until you know it has transferred or you will have an expensive coffee drinker kicking his heels. i would also recommend starting the delegation process on a friday evening, this will minimise any disruption. Step 2 – Redelegate that domain Log in to your Office 365 portal at https://portal.microsoftonline.com and input your username and password Click the Admin section at the top of the page Then select domains, and click on add domain type your domain name, in my case it was access-it-systems.co.uk and click ok Follow the instructions, the first thing you have to do is verify your domain on office 365 This requires you to add a dns TXT record to your isp’s advanced dns section this is normally contained where you created your email addresses, or in Zens case in the customer portal. Once you have added this record it can take between 15 minutes and 72 hours to successfully verify your domain. Once you have verified you can then create users with your domain name, but you wont yet be getting email into them yet It would be a good idea here to write down the name server addresses office 365 gives you as you will need these later Next you need log into your isp’s control panel that gives you access to your dns settings for your domain I use fasthosts, log in click on registered domains, then your domain and click on name servers replace NS1, and NS2 with the addresses provided by microsoft in the domain setup wizard Please note that as soon as you change your name servers, your pop3 or imap email will stop working, plus any websites you have hosted will experience issues and in some cases not work at all once the name server change has propagated across the internet. Step 3 – Wait for it First you need to create a new A record in your Office 365 domain dns manager, host name would be www.company.com and Ip address would be the ip of the server that hosts your website, this ensures that once the name server has changed over there are no problems connecting to the website Use the site www.mxtoolbox.com and type your domain name in the NS search, keep doing this until you see that your name servers have changed over Now you need to make sure there is a cname record entered for autodiscover.company.com—-autodiscover.outlook.com Once you have followed the above instructions you are now ready to connect your outlook clients to office 365 but we will cover that in the next post If your interested in Office 365 P1 for only £4 per month per user then contact 0845 528 0773 or check out our website www.access-it-systems.co.uk

David is the owner of Access IT Systems, with 12 years in the IT industry working in various capacities from 1st line helpdesk to IT Director delivering strategic solutions and support to over 500…

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