Getting started with Office/Exchange 365

agradmin
agradmin used Ask the Experts™
on
Our company will be performing a staged migration of our Exchange 2007 (Enterprise) server and I would like to migrate a (very) small pilot group of mailboxes to initially get our toes in the water. Once we are comfortable migrating a couple of test users the plan will be to migrate the rest of the company in batches.
My question at this point is how to get started - all documentation seems to infer that admin accounts have already been set up on the Office 365 portal, but I'm not sure how to go about this in an efficient manner.

Presently we have an Open license agreement with Microsoft, so I'd like any license purchases to be reflected. I'd also like the admin accounts set up so they are not overwritten etc when we do a DirSync.

Microsoft sales has been of little help, indicating that a Microsoft partner needs to be involved in this. We may involve a partner later on as we better discover the scope of the project but for now we do not have funds available to support this, and migration steps appear manageable once the admin (federation?) account has been set up.

I'd love some recommendations based on your expert experiences.

Thanks!
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Most Valuable Expert 2015
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
When you initially provision the O365 tenant, you will have to create an admin account. You can then create as many other administrative accounts as you need, directly in the cloud, so they are not tied in your on-prem AD (and dont depend on dirsync).

You might start having issues with overwriting them only if you configure custom domain aliases for them, in which case if there are matching primary SMTP addresses on-prem and in the cloud, the two objects will link together. This is the so-called soft-matching mechanism (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2641663), but it's not that hard to prevent this from happening. You can just set the admin accounts using the default @tenant.onmicrosoft.com suffix and you should be all set.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the prompt response Vasil.
Our hope is to start with migrating email for a few test users with Business Essentials subscriptions, with an end point of assigning appropriate licenses to users based on business need. My question is, can you mix business plans within the tenant?
How can we ensure that we are paying only for the plans we need (eg ranging from seasonal users who have a short term need for email only to power users who need Access/Project etc)?
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Yes, with the new tenants you can mix and match business and enterprise plans in the same tenant, so you should be OK. As for the rest, it really depends on which channel you will be getting the licenses from, and you should definitely discuss those with Microsoft (or a partner).

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the guidance!

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