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Microsoft Simplifies Onboarding Process for Office 365

In a short video on MSDN Channel 9, titled Get your Office Tenant on, FastTrack Deployment of the New Service, Microsoft® demonstrates how enterprise businesses looking to add Office 365 computing can plan on a short implementation process.

The video presentation is led by Jeremy Chapman (one of the Channel 9 hosts) and Keith Laborde, an Office 365 Principal Service Engineer at Microsoft. The reason for the video, though not directly stated in the video, appears to be a widespread experience, on the part of business customers, of a much more effort intensive onboarding experience for Office 365, than would otherwise appear to be the case. Laborde sets the stage for the 15 minute presentation: “What we’ve done is looked at some of the compexities and the difficulties its taken to move to the service and now we’ve really cut that back and made it much simpler”.

The new onboarding process looks like a “simple three step approach”: “Pilot, deploy and enhance”. The task of synchronizing Active Directory between on premise and public cloud computing for business users is moved to the deployment stage. By making this adjustment, Laborde and Chapman claim a pilot now takes a mere few hours to set up, in contrast to the massive effort required before this method became the recommended approach. Any set up for Exchange services is also moved to the deployment phase and not included in the pilot. The video predicts the deployment process will now take a few days.

The Enhance phase now includes any set up for Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS). Any migration for SharePoint data is also included in the Enhance phase. Lync services, if included are also migrated at the Enhance stage.

The video also includes a comparison of the amount of time it will take to set up a trial for an organization via the method presented, versus implementing a method built around an on premise Exhange implementation.

Of course, for any organization looking at simultaneously supporting an on premise Windows computing platform (including SharePoint on premise, Windows Server, Exchange, etc) along with a public cloud platform built on Office 365, may require a test of everything implemented, in this video, across this “simple three step approach” in the Trial stage. If your organization is considering either a migration from on premise SharePoint to SharePoint Online, or a hybrid implementation of both computing platforms, on premise, and Office 365, SharePoint-Videos offers consulting services you may want to consider. Please contact us for more information.

Ira Michael Blonder

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