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Switching Hosted Exchange providers

Posted on 2014-09-17
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When moving hosted exchange email accounts from one provider to another, I tend to do it in this order:

(1) backup the old account (export it from within Outlook to a .pst file)
(2) update the MX records
(3) wait for the change to propagate
(4) once propagation is complete, re-export the old account in Outlook (to capture any new emails received/sent during propagation)
(5) import it into the new account set up in a new Outlook profile.

My question is this: can I omit point (1)?

This means I am reliant on the second export of emails which is carried out AFTER the MX records have been changed. My worry is that before I've had a chance to go round all users and export their emails, the auto-complete function with Outlook/Exchange could automatically connect Outlook users to the NEW provider and sync with an empty email account, deleting all emails from within Outlook!
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Question by:tiptopcomputers
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Andy M earned 500 total points
ID: 40328393
To be honest there's no point exporting the old accounts until you are sure there's no email flowing back into them.
It depends on the setup of the email systems on how best to proceed but in the event of two hosted systems controlled by third parties (i.e. not two exchange servers within your control) we tend to do the following:

1. Setup the new account on user systems (as a separate profile on Outlook) - this is so users can access both accounts during the migration.
2. Change the MX record
3. Wait until no email is coming into the old accounts
4. Export mail from old account and reimport into new account
5. Remove old account from Outlook.
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by:tiptopcomputers
ID: 40328795
To sum up my question in one line:

Could the Autodiscover record update the old Outlook settings to the new Outlook settings, kicking off a sync and potentially wiping out all the old emails?
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by:Andy M
Andy M earned 500 total points
ID: 40332437
To my knowledge and previous experience with this no it wouldn't.
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by:tiptopcomputers
ID: 40332445
Thanks Morty500UK - I agree but I'm hoping for a 100% definitive answer...anyone?
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