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Microsoft Virtual Academy Presents the Office 365 Fast Track Deployment Process

Approximately 25 minutes into the first module of Microsoft Virtual Academy’s detailed introduction to Office 365, which is titled Managing Office 365 Identities and Services, Anthony Steven introduces the Office 365 Fast Track Deployment Process. The objective of this method is, as Mr. Steven states, “to get the customer (meaning an organization using the Office 365 Enterprise Client) on to Office 365 within a matter of hours”.

Mr. Steven presents the key feature driving the rapid deployment benefit. With no need for server installation on premises, larger organizations can dispense with an otherwise mandatory risk assessment. The entire Office 365 supporting infrastructure is provided by Windows Azure. He goes on to highlight how availing of the fast track option enables organizations to also dispense with the need to modify Active Director, or mail components, etc. The entire computing environment is served from the cloud, with no impact, whatsoever, on local servers, an related architecture. The rapid deployment benefit, in turn, provides Office 365 stakeholders with an immediate opportunity to make their case before management to gain their support of an Office 365 E3 computing plan.

There are 3 phase to the process:

  1. Pilot
  2. Deploy
  3. and Enhance

The Pilot phase can be used for up to 250 users. Once the pilot phase has been accepted, then the actual production service is deployed. Mr. Steven cited Exchange mailbox migration or even implementing hybrid exchange as part of the deploy phase. The “Enhance” phase can include implementing hybrid SharePoint, or Lync, or even Activity Directory Federated Services (ADFS).

As Mr. Steven’s colleague, in this video, Martin Coetzer notes, with the process, an organization can get going with really “low stakes”, which will get higher as their implementation progresses from a pilot to deployment and enhancement.

SharePoint-Videos offers a bucket of 20 hours of consulting services, which can add to the “low stakes” aspect of building a proof of concept for an Office 365, Enterprise Subscription for your organization. If you are considering the pros and cons of implementing this cloud, IaaS/SaaS offer for your organization’s SharePoint needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us, if you think we can help.

Ira Michael Blonder

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