Pre Office 365 migration and Office Suite 2013 sync

Hello all,

I would appreciate your insights to the following recommendation that my church received for Pre-Office 365 migration implementation (Email 1st), in particular if you believe the recommendation is correct and or necessary. Our current Office Suite is 2010. It is our intent to select Office 365 E3, with full desktop Office Suite.
Recommendation - " Upgrade to Office Suite 2013 before moving email or setting up OneDrive for Business or SharePoint in order for the file synchronization to work properly".

Thanks in advance,

While Outlook 2010 will technically connect to Office 365 for email, there ARE limitations. And on the OneDrive sync side, yes, I would highly recommend upgrading Office (but to latest Office 365 ProPlus version which is currently based on Office 2016) before trying to do OneDrive sync.

With that said, unless you need other features of E3, I’d recommend getting the free (to non-profits) E1 licenses and just adding the Office 365 ProPlus add-on for $2/user/month. Saves you $2.50/user/month compared to E3 licensing. And gives you full office suite and all E1 apps online.

But since you’re getting new office licensing via Office 365 anyway, I see no reason to NOT upgrade office version on desktop either at same time as email migration or even BEFORE migration. Many of our Office 365 email migrations have included doing Office desktop upgrades at the same time for these same reasons.

The standard go-to for most businesses/orgs I’ve worked with is “Office 365 Nonprofit Business Premium” for $2 per user, includes email, Office licenses, Sharepoint, OneDrive, Teams. Not sure that would be any different from combining E1 and ProPlus as Travis mentioned?

As far as that recommendation – I’m confused why 2013 is mentioned rather than 2016. Maybe they meant 2016? Anyways, I think that the process should be (prettty much what Travis said):

  1. Buy subscription
  2. Allocate user accounts
  3. Install Office 2016 on test workstation, check Outlook functionality
  4. Uninstall Office 2010 and install Office 2016 for all end users, train them on the new subscription model. End users can start using 2016 right away.
  5. Migrate email (via cloud if possible, not via local Outlook profiles), and do the service cutover.
    5.5. Configure end user devices
  6. OneDrive and Sharepoint configuration

Thanks Adam,
To install Office 2013 or 2016, do you really have to 1st uninstall 2010, and not simply allow 2013 to recognize the existing 2010 Suite, and install over 2010??


Can I add an item to Adam’s list: 7. Fight with multi-functoin copiers to get scan-to-email to work. (Some of our copiers worked fine. Some we had to battle. All were Toshiba brand copiers.

I would install 2016 not 2013. When we migrated, we jumped from 2010 to 2016 without much training required. At the time I compared ribbons and created a quick video illustrating the differences. That seemed to be all that was needed to get people comfortable.

If you are in an RDS environment, you MUST purchase E3 accounts for users who work in a shared computing environment…once known as Terminal Server. Business Premium $2/mo would have been enough for us but Microsoft requires E3 for RDS users.

I installed 2016 over 2010. I did not uninstall.

Yes, there are indeed some tricks for the scan-to-email function. That took a while on our Xerox!

I’d overwrite 2010 as opposed to uninstalling, yes. When I installed 2016, it was very new and could be installed alongside earlier versions. In my head I guess I thought you were considering leaving the old version installed, which I try to avoid (eliminate clutter)

Just curious, where is your email hosted currently? Are you doing the migration yourself or is the person giving the recommendation? I see no reason at all to use 2013 unless there’s something I’m missing. Just sounds like more work.

Thanks K,

Very insightful thanks for sharing!!

So I do a lot of these migrations and there are a couple of questions you need to answer to have a happy life during and after the migration is over.

  1. Are you planning to keep your exchange server?

  2. Do you want to have AD sync passwords to Office 365?

  3. How much pain can your users take during a migration?

If you answered No to the first two questions and your users can handle a fair amount of Pain then a cutover migration will be ok.

If you answered Yes to both questions 1 and 2 then you can keep your connectors in Exchange on prem and you don’t need to do any fancy setup for printers.

If you answered No to question 1 and Yes to question 2 you’re moving into the realm of manually editing your AD to get Email addresses configured and a grey area where Microsoft may not help support you on user Identity issues.

Hi Ed,

Our overall desire is to retire the MS Server.

We do want AD capability to primarily address a need to quickly lock out a dismissed staff member.

So the thought is that we can accomplish this AD requirement through Azure.

Our staff head count is small, but we still desire the safety of addressing a dismissal.

In regards to Pain, so far the staff has tolerated well the upgrade of their desktops to Win 10.

So here are some things to consider:

  1. if you have Active Directory onsite and you want to leverage AD password sync you really need to keep an Exchange server on prem. Microsoft is so certain about this they will even give you a free key for a Hybrid server.
    1a. If you have Exchange 2010 you can hybrid that now - maybe you will always be able to but I don’t know.
    1b. The reason for the hybrid server is that there are “Exchange” attributes in Active Directory you need to be able to modify and at this point Exchange is the only supported way you can do that. - sad maybe - true definitely.

  2. Properly doing a hybrid server config will allow you to move your users to Office 365 with pretty much the same experience as moving them to another database so there is limited pain and you can do it at your leisure.

  3. Azure AD isn’t really the same as AD - you need to make some assessments to what you’re doing with AD today and what Azure AD can do for you.

IF you still want to move forward migrating without a hybrid server the recommendations from Microsoft is to do this without Azure AD Connect. This really isn’t a big deal but you will need to do double duty making changes to both AD and Office 365.

If you decide to use Azure AD connect and decommission your Exchange server you will find you are moving outside of the realm of what Microsoft says they will support - however if you do find yourself in a support situation you should keep pressing them to make their best effort - you’d be surprised at how far that will get you.

Just know that going this route will certainly be an adventure.

Ed is giving some awesome advice on the email migration and AD side of things. But I wanted to chime back in on the office suite upgrade.
Actually you WILL need to uninstall Office 2010 as the installation model for that edition is very different from the installation model for office 365 ProPlus. The o365 version is built on the new click-to-run platform and because of this, installing the o365 proplus version of office will NOT perform an in-place upgrade of office as you’re hoping. It will instead perform a side-by-side installation meaning you’ll have two versions of office on the same machine. You will NOT love the user experience of that.

Regarding licensing versions: While the business premium edition will most likely give you the features you want today, we believe going the route of E1 + ProPlus add-on for the same price better positions you for the future. We prefer to get the more advanced product offering for the same price.
This direction also solves the RDP challenge K Papalia mentioned as well. The ‘business premium’ edition of office won’t run on an rdp server. But the ProPlus edition will. And yes, the ProPlus is the same whether you do E3 or just do E1 + ProPlus add-on. In other words, E3 isn’t technically required.

I hope all of that helps clarify a bit more for you.

There are limits to each license type - 300 for E1 and Business Premium. While E3 is unlimited.

Are ther limitations on the pro plus add-on? Where can we learn more about the add-on. I’ve never seen it when researching licensing in the non profit model.

I’m glad they finally added Access to the Business Premium license.

Actually E1 is unlimited user count as well. All of the Enterprise (E) plans are unlimited. We have some clients with over 600 nonprofit E1 licenses today.
And you’re right on the ‘business’ plans that there’s a 300 user max limit.

The ProPlus add-on license is just like any other item which you should see on the ‘purchase services’ page of your o365 admin portal. The only catch is you have to already have an E1 or other subscription ‘purchased’ and allocated to your account since the ProPlus SKU has to be added on and can’t be assigned a la carte.

As usual Travis is right!

If you visit this site and click the “More Details” link at the bottom, there is a 300-count limitation on the two listed plans. Indeed, my own interface shows a 300 count limitation for and Business Premium and Business Essential. The difference may be in our organizations. When we applied for our non-profit status, we were not granted E1 licenses - only Business Essentials, Business Premium and E3.

So, without the E1 licenses, perhaps I can’t purchase the add-on hence my needing to purchase E3 licenses for my RDP users.

I am, however, going to look for the add-on in my available options.

Yeah; the Business Premium & Essentials products are designed for smallish organizations, the E plans are designed for the larger organizations primarily due to the more complex configuration possibilities.

So this issue probably goes back to the Tenant itself.
If you start a trial with the Wrong Tenant type - then you’re limited to the constraints of that tenant.
NOW you’re supposed to be able to mix and match licenses in the new Tenants AND your Tenant should have been updated by now (of course you still have to be in Not-For-Profit, Government or EDU to apply those licenses - those types of Tenants are Special).
So if you have the right Licenses you should be able to add versions of that license beyond what the business tenant would allow when created.
With all that being said it is still possible that your tenant could cause you some goofy restrictions - If you can document them and reproduce them a ticket with Microsoft should help resolve them (as long as they aren’t issues where you’re in or need to be in a Special tenant).
Hope that helps - or that it didn’t muddy the waters more…

Oh yeah, because for example there used to be a legacy non-profit tenant you ended up in if you created your account via a specific link at TechSoup where you were stuck with E2 licenses. Lots of funky issues with tenancies, so if you’re encountering odd licensing errors you don’t think are right it’s generally best to start the ball rolling with Support to dig into it.

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I am not sure about your use of the word “wrong.” Microsoft has two free donated plans. One of which is granted upon evaluation of your application.

Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials
Office 365 Nonprofit E1

BTW, according to TechSoup, E1 now has a limit of 2000. But 2000 is way better than 300. :slight_smile:

Tenant type determines the licenses available and their pricing. As far as I’m aware the Small Business and E1 are both available on the normal TechSoup tenant (which isn’t exactly the same as the regular non profit tenant).