Essentials 2012R2 and Office 365 integration - any gotchas? Advice?

I walked through integration of Essentials 2012R2 and a new office 365 account.  Now what? <g>

the users want to move from a mix of OEM office 2007. 2010, 2013 to  office 365 apps.  From what I am reading, I need to uninstall office on each machine then install office 365 apps.  

Do I need to do all that at each desktop?

At this point they don't want to start using office 365 exchange / the MX record still points to a POP hosting service.

Any problems with that?

When they do cut over to office 365 exchange, they want to create some accounts for people to use via OWA.  They will never be in the office / don't need SBS accounts for logging into machines.  Where can / should you create those accounts?  In the o365 admin web pages? Or on the SBS box?  At first, I thought on the o365 web pages, but then users on the PCs in the office won't have those users / emails in their GAL, right?  

What about signing up for apps now, then adding exchange in a couple months?  Those types of things have to be done on the o365 web pages, right?

any advice / rules of thumbs / things to know?!
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
Hello,

If you want a clean installation of the Office 365 software then yes you're best off un-installing your existing Office version and installing Office 365 on each machine - Note this will not retain any existing office profile settings so you will need to take a copy of the server settings so that you can re-setup your POP accounts in Office (If you're not moving to Office 365 straight away).

If you have a lot of Desktop PC's then you can use the Office Deployment Tool.  If you only have a handful of clients then you can download the software from Office 365 web portal.

See here for Office 365 Deployment Methods:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg998766.aspx

Do I need to do all that at each desktop?

Yes, you would need to do this for all machines.

At this point they don't want to start using office 365 exchange / the MX record still points to a POP hosting service.
You can use the Office 365 Software using your existing provider yes.  As per the above, make sure you have the POP Server details and the users POP logon details.  Make sure you know where their PST files are as well.



When they do cut over to office 365 exchange, they want to create some accounts for people to use via OWA.  They will never be in the office / don't need SBS accounts for logging into machines.  Where can / should you create those accounts?  In the o365 admin web pages? Or on the SBS box?  At first, I thought on the o365 web pages, but then users on the PCs in the office won't have those users / emails in their GAL, right?  
I'm presuming when you say SBS you mean the Essentials Server?  If so, providing that you've linked your essentials box up with Office 365 via the wizards then it shouldn't matter where you create the User Account.  If you create it on the Essentials box you will get an option to create a 365 account as well.  

The GAL is managed by Office 365 and not your Essentials Box.

What about signing up for apps now, then adding exchange in a couple months?  Those types of things have to be done on the o365 web pages, right?
If you mean changing a licence from just the Exchange online to the version with the Office Software as well then yes, this must be done via the Office 365 Admin portal.

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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
Thanks David!!  Please see a bunch of other questions I am posting now!
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