As you may know, Microsoft has announced in February the upgrade of his cloud service Office 365 to run the latest version of his products, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint.

As I’m running Office 365 for some of my need since the first version of Office 365, running on 2010 products version, this post is a feedback about the upgrade process which has been managed by the Office 365 team.

Globally, I’m happy with the way the upgrade was done but not completely done.

Detailed Feedbacks

The upgrade went smoothly and no reconfiguration on the client side was required (except of course, if required to deploy latest version to ensure best integration). This is due to the fact I’m mainly using Exchange and Lync – and thanks to the autodiscover Exchange feature which auto configure mail client devices (Outlook client or mobile devices).

However, I think the communication plan could be improved as since the announcement existing customers had no view on the planning. Off course customers received a notification before the migration will start (about 3 weeks before), allowing them to start a pilot or postpone for few weeks the migration, then another notification just before the migration starts and once it has been finalized. The pain point here is I was stuck on the planning for the migration for about 7 months. As I was involved in the early stage of Office 365 Wave 15 and Exchange 2013 beta programs, I (and other participants) were told we have been identified to be migrated at the early stage to allow us to take advantage of the new version (especially in Exchange hybrid mode, see later) and (maybe) to help Office 365 team to validate the migration process; but this was not the case. As partner I also see some of my customers being upgraded before my tenant which caused some issues because of the Partner integration and other stuffs.

Then once the migration has been finalized I have been notified about this BUT the migration was not completely finalized as I still have few components running on previous version, such as ForeFront Protection Online for Exchange – which is a blocker point if you want to implement hybrid mode with Exchange 2013 On Premises. So the migration was not really completed while being notified it is.

Conclusion

I can understand upgrading such platform like Office 365 is not a simple operation – as any other upgrade, but this one is more complex, I would really be happy if we could have more visibility on the schedule and also a way to start immediately the upgrade if already ready when notified. Technically, I’m very happy on the way the migration has been done.

Summary

Positive Negative
Notification sent few week before the migration, just before and once finalized Migration completed operation notification while it is not fully the case (example: FOPE is not upgraded)
Being able to run a pilot or postpone for few weeks No way to notify Office 365 team we are ready and would be happy to be migrated ASAP
No issue during the migration itself No visibility for months in the migration planning