Microsoft BPOS to Office 365 Transition

As the Office 365 boom is taking off, we are now starting to get many customers contact us who are receiving emails from Microsoft informing them that there BPOS account is going to be upgraded to Office 365.

This post will highlight some of the key changes and responsibilities required to ensure the transition goes smoothly.

Transition Roles and Responsibilities

Microsoft Responsibilities

· Inform the technical and administration contacts (as listed in your BPOS tenant) of the transition

· Schedule your transition for you

· Provide you with information and guidance about the transition

· Prevent any disruption to email flow during transition

· Migrate any and all customer data as required for a full transition

Your Responsibilities

· Update end-user computer software to meet the system requirements

· Configure end-user computer software if required

· Re-configure end-user Active Sync devices

· Inform and train your end-users as needed

· Optional: deploy an on-premise Active Directory Federation Services server if you choose to implement ADFS-based single sign-on. (see my previous posts on how to do this)

· Optional: deploy an on-premise Exchange Server 2010 CAS role if you have a hybrid on-premise/cloud Exchange deployment and want to share free/busy and other information across servers

Given these responsibilities you will see how difficult these changes will be when you see the snippet below from the emails customers are getting with regard to time scales as to when the changes will occur:


Company name



Company domain



Be ready for Transition by



Transition timeframe



If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to plan and prepare for your transition.
To ensure a smooth transition and allow for proper planning, please make sure that you are ready for the transition on or before 04/11/2011, as Microsoft intends to transition your service between 05/11/2011 and 01/03/2012.

Another area of concern is to what version of Microsoft Office your clients are currently using, as BPOS worked ok with Microsoft Office 2003, but now BPOS requires a minimum of Microsoft Office 2007. (see New System Requirements below)

Key Areas of Change

The table below summarizes key differences and areas of change:

Area of Change


The transition from Live Meeting to Lync Online will begin

With the transition to Office 365, you will begin the transition from Live Meeting and Office Communications Online to Lync Online, the next generation of Office Communications Online with unified conferencing features.

New System Requirements

You may need to make the following updates to end-user desktops:

· Office Client: Office 2007 SP2 or Office 2010 required

· Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or higher.

· Instant Messaging: Lync 2010 required
(Office Communicator is no longer supported and must be removed)

· Microsoft Online Desktop Setup

· BPOS Sign In applications no longer supported and must be uninstalled

New Portal Experiences

The Microsoft Online Customer Portal and the Microsoft Online Administration Center will be combined to become the Microsoft Online Portal with new user interface experiences.

URL changes for OWA and Portals

The URLs for Outlook Web App, the administration portal, and the end-user portal will change.

application replaced by Microsoft Online Desktop Setup

The Microsoft Online Desktop Setup is a run-once tool which will automatically configure and update end-user computers for Office 365.


Pricing, Licensing and Offerings

With the exception of SharePoint Online Deskless Worker, a full transition as described in this document will have no impact on a customer’s subscription status, billing status, licensing agreement or contract.

The following table summarizes how BPOS Subscriptions will translate to Microsoft Online Services offerings after transition.

Current BPOS Subscription

New Subscription

BPOS Standard Suite

Office 365 (Plan E1)

BPOS Deskless Worker Suite

Office 365 (Plan K1)

Exchange Online

Exchange Online (Plan 1)

Exchange Online Deskless Worker

Exchange Online Kiosk

SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online (Plan 1)

SharePoint Online Deskless Worker

SharePoint Kiosk (K1)

Live Meeting Standard

Lync Online (Plan 2)

Office Communications Online

Lync Online (Plan 1)


Understanding System Requirements

Office 365 has a number of important changes to the system requirements for BPOS. The most detailed list of software requirements can be found at

New Password Requirements

Office 365 has an updated strong-password policy that differs slightly from the BPOS password policy. When users reset their passwords via the normal password expiration process, new passwords must meet the following 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)


Live Meeting Transition to Lync Online

Microsoft Lync Online, part of Office 365, is the next-generation of instant messaging, web conferencing and audio/video telephone calling.

Lync Online will replace Office Communications Online and Live Meeting. You can begin the process of transitioning from LiveMeeting to Lync Online for conferencing once you have been notified that the Office Communications Online servers have been upgraded.

Customers are advised to:

· Deploy the Lync client which will deploy the Lync Outlook Add-in

· Remove the Live Meeting Outlook Add-in

· Instruct end users to reset recurring meetings to Lync Online with a single button click in the meeting to convert a Live Meeting to a Lync Online meeting

· Point end users to Lync Online web site for short videos on how to use the product

The LiveMeeting service will continue to operate before, during and after your transition. Meetings scheduled with Live Meeting prior to your transition do not need to be changed to Lync Online meetings: users will be able to join meetings previously scheduled on the Live Meeting service through at least 2013, though they will only be able to schedule new meetings with Lync Online. This will allow the end user experience for Live Meeting to move gradually and naturally to Lync Online, rather than a hard cut from one web conferencing service to another.

The Live Meeting client and Office Communicator 2007 client are not supported with Lync Online in Office 365. End users must use Lync to schedule all new meetings.

Useful Website Links:

BPOS to Office 365 Transition Centre – this site is all you need to know and will help you plan your Transition… well worth looking at Prior to your transition.

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