O365 Migration consultant needed

Migrating from our on premises Exch2007 server, with 55 users, to Office365 using Basic licenses.  No features wanted (SharePoint later, maybe), and it has turned into a nightmare.  I'm looking for a consultant in the Los Angeles/LAX area to consult/assist us with this migration.
Thank you.
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btanExec ConsultantCommented:
One good means is to really find those MS partners - can try MS pinpoint to do a "google" like search by MS
in the past, it listed the channel partners from the beginning of O365 initiation, this may prove better confidence in those.
michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Thank you.  Pinpoint listed two, neither looked particularly promising.
Until you find a consultant, do you want to answer a few questions? Maybe the collected knowledge here can help.

"it has turned into a nightmare" - this sounds like you've already begun. Is this true? Where are you in the process? Are you trying to do it yourself or did you have a consultant already?

I've done many cutover migrations and never had any significant problems. so I'd like to hear why it's been a nightmare. I understand if you don't want to reply and just need a consultant.
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btanExec ConsultantCommented:
I am thinking of MSP instead which can provide consultancy as well, it is not going to a straightoff cherry pick and blind phone call as this migration can take more than cookie-cutter mindset to do it. I am looking at Kaseya http://www.kaseya.com/solutions/services/consulting/ but they are not really in LAX
michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Notacomputergeek, thank you for responding.  Our on premises Exch is currently hosted by our ISP, which, until two months ago, was two very competent brothers.  The brother who had just started the migration (and I do mean "just") died suddenly, after 20 years of providing services to our company.  His surviving brother has been trying to get the job going again.  Specifically, we have set up a couple of sample users (we are 2008 domain/win 7 environment) but are having difficulties finding coherent documentation on moving the stores over and even successfully running the MS Remote Access tests (our domain name tests successfully but no combination of users/account names/ passwords, all of which we documented, passes).  I can successfully log into the MS 365 user website as one of the sample users, but neither of us can figure out the credentials for the account holder for the various Remote tests despite having noted all credentials when the trial was set up.  Finally, we received a very nice welcome and offer of assistance from some MS 365 team tech; she since has not responded at all to voice or email messages solicited in her email.
michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Thank you, btan; yes, they are in northern California.
This test has to work before you go any further:
Choose the Outlook Connectivity test.

I always just use the domain administrator account for the test. You have to make sure it is "unhidden" before it will work. Many administrator accounts are hidden in the Exchange Address Book.

Also choose 'Manually specify server settings'.

Make sure port 443 is open to your Exchange server.

Run the test. If you don't get a green checkmark, expand all and check the errors. It is good about telling you exactly what went wrong.

If you get an SSL cert error, it's easier to purchase one from someone like GoDaddy, install it on the Exchange server and it should pass the SSL test after that.

One last thing RPC over HTTP needs to be enabled on the Exchange server. If your Exchange server is virtualized, you may need to enable it on the host server too.

If it's any consolation, this part can be the hardest part of the process.
michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
It isn't; we've already noticed that..

Thank you; we'll try it tomorrow.
michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
...although all the errors we are seeing relate to bad credentials, and us not know which credentials go where in the testexchangeconnectivity tests....
administrator@domain.com (this has to be a valid Exchange mailbox)
LAN domain\administrator (unhidden domain user)
<domain password for above account>
<domain password for above account>
Manually specify server settings
mail.domain.com (this would be how users currently access the Exchange server remotely)
server1 (Exchange server LAN name)
msstd:mail.domain.com (this should be auto-populated)
Ntlm (RPC Proxy method)

FYI: This step has nothing to do with your Office 365 account. It is just testing your server to see if O365 can connect to do the migration. Anyone can run it, even if they don't have an O365 account.

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michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  We would indeed like to verify connectivity before mucking with the users and mail stores.
michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Well, this is what we are getting:
Please wait while we verify your layellowcab settings.

layellowcab.com is set up correctly. No action is required.
Checking domain layellowcab.com
Add these DNS records for layellowcab.com at your DNS host.

MX records
Priority      Host name      Points to address or value      TTL       
0@layellowcab-com.mail.protection.outlook.com      3600      ‎
‎Change the following MX record at your DNS host.‎

Priority      Host name      Points to address or value      TTL
10@mail.layellowcab.com      0
 Change to:
CNAME records
Host name      Points to address or value      TTL       
autodiscover      autodiscover.outlook.com      3600       
msoid      clientconfig.microsoftonline-p.net      3600       
TXT records
TXT name      TXT value      TTL       
@      v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com -all      3600       

‎We still can't find all the required DNS records. Please check to make sure they've been added correctly, and then select Done, go check again.‎
What test was run? This doesn't look like results from the Outlook Connectivity test on the Exchange Server tab at www.testexchangeconnectivity.com.
btanExec ConsultantCommented:
If you want to test on TLS support for SMTP for secure email inclusively, may want to look for https://www.checktls.com/ which you can key in your email address. There other further email svc tests available
michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Hello.  This was DNS connectivity test on the 365 Tab.  I believe the ISP has resolved the MX record issue, tho, so we might be ready to move to the Outlook Connectivity test.  More soon...such fun.

Thank you, btan.  We have some confusion here exactly which email address to test against 365.  Are we using the new test/trial user's current domain (which all our users have) or the expanded domain name provided by 365, e.g., "@whatever.onmicrosoft.com," *or* the admin domain, also provided by 365, e.g., admin @ourcompany.office365.micosoft.com...?"
btanExec ConsultantCommented:
The online test is just a public email checking on the exchange or email server send and receive health and security posture. To the email to check, simple principle is to use those public official facing email for correspondence and exchanges with the cloud and avoid internal and exposing admin via the cloud. the latter administration will be vpn if possible to avoid exposure hence the online test cannot see it.

(fyi) in fact, MS has some tool worth exploring specific for 0365 (you may already know too) e.g.
- Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer (Client)
- Microsoft Office Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT) 2.0
- Office 365 Health, Readiness, and Connectivity Checks
btanExec ConsultantCommented:
also this
Tips for admins - fix email problems with the domain management tool

If multiple people are reporting that they're not getting email in Office 365, it could be due to a problem with your organization's domain. (An example of a domain is contoso.com.) Fortunately, there's a tool in the Office 365 admin center that can help you fix it.

##Sign in to Office 365 with your admin account
#In the Office 365 admin center, go to the Manage domains page.
##Under Status, check whether Office 365 has detected an issue with one of your domains. If so, click the corresponding link under Action to solve the problem

just a note, most common issue has been DNS records, specifically the MX record is not configured correctly.  This would be particularly true if other users within your domain that are using O365 are also unable to receive email. Use of more than one MX record with Office 365 is not recommended or supported by MS. Either MX record points to O365 only or MX record points to other email server which forwards some/all email to O365 (e.g. Hybrid or Simple Shared).  Multiple MX records can be used in this scenario, but only if one of the MX records is not pointing to O365.

Also O365 user may receive a NDR error message e.g. on-premises users aren't getting email messages from O365 users. This happens if the domain that's set up in the hybrid deployment isn't set as a shared domain in O365. To fix this issue, set up the domain as a shared domain - meaning in )365, have to include within the list of  "accepted domains"

Other testing 0365 account and run through has been useful ref this page as well as step by step troubleshooting https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2404385
michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Hello.  One of the issues we are having, tho, is that our email is run from Exchange on premises locally, but our websites are hosted in another state on the same domain.  I am not sure what kind of trickery enabled that to work, but now we have to absorb 365 into that mix as well.  If I have a question as this point, it would be:
Why can we not set O365 up as a separate, distinct email system independent of our on premises machine, say, exch.ourdomain.com here and o365.ourdomain.com on 365?  Separate DNS, etc.  Then slow move over to the 365 system a few users at a time?
ourdomain.com can only have 1 MX record. I believe you may be able to do this if you don't add ourdomain.com to Office 365 and use the default Microsoft domain (something like ourdomain.onmicrosoft.com. You should be able to add ourdomain.com later and then change all the email addresses to use the new domain.

If you want to try this, I would suggest contacting Microsoft support, since they should be able to provide free support for your account. 1-800-865-9408.

I've never done it this way, so I won't be much help with it.
michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Thank you!  I have contacted, but they seem to stuck in cookie-cutter mode.  However, if O365 permits Reply aliasing, that could work, e.g. using the MS default domain.  All our email is received and distributed by a SmarterMail systems that divides inbound email between Exchange recipients and non=Exchange recipients (copies, fax machines, people who just receive invoices, etc.)  Forwarding addresses from SM can be anything I want it to be.
michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
All helpful information and backgrounds.  The solution for our strange configuration lies in here somewhere, I am certain.
You could also purchase another domain name for testing. O365 allows adding multiple domains to an account. Just don't change your current MX record.
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