Office 365 Upgrade and Outlook: Microsoft Issues Warning
Memo to Office 365 partners and customers: Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT) has offered a warning to Outlook users that are upgrading to the new Office 365 cloud suite. Although the upgrade process was supposed to be seamless, some Office 365/Outlook users and administrators are experiencing problems. Here's the background and the fix.
According to 365 Command, which offers management tools for Office 365: "The Service Upgrade for existing customers to the New Office 365 platform has been marketed by Microsoft as a non-disruptive update. However, as mentioned at the recent Cloud Champ Summits, over the past month we’ve been hearing from partners/customers that in some cases, the update has required the reconfiguration of EVERY users Outlook profile which can be a cumbersome process."
In response Microsoft now offers this guidance: "In an effort to keep your service upgrade experience as seamless as possible, we suggest that you take a few minutes to validate that your current environment is configured properly. Prior to upgrade it is important that you verify your Autodiscover and MX records in DNS, as well as ensuring that your clients are up-to-date with the versions listed below. Failure to do so could result in your Outlook clients being unable to connect to their mailboxes after the Service Upgrade occurs." The Microsoft guidance goes on to offer specific safeguards partners and customers can take during the upgrade process.
The Bigger Picture
Despite this specific hiccup, it sounds like the recent Office 365 upgrade launch, delivered in February 2013, has gone pretty well. Microsoft continues to celebrate more and more Office 365 wins — particularly in the education market — and a new Office 365 Open licensing model allows partners to manage end-customer cloud licensing and billing in some scenarios (though not all scenarios).
Microsoft Corporate VP Frank Shaw says Office 365 last quarter tripled the number of paid seats year over year.