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Montgomery County Maryland

Office 365 Transition

Department IT Contacts Site - Items Requiring Specific Attention

 

Items Requiring Specific Attention

The basic part of the migration is the movement of the staff Outlook mail stores from their current server based local environment to the Office 365 cloud services. Related to these mail store moves In the Office 365 transition there are a number of areas which require specific attention.

These items include:

 

Mailbox Cleanup

As the County is charged by the mailbox for Office 365 services it is important that there be an accurate count of mailboxes. In addtion, when that mail box data is moved into the Office 365 mail stores the fewer messages in the mailbox when this occurs the fast it will happen.  

With respect to the mailbox count all unused mailboxes should be deleted.  For the amount of message, all staff should be directed to empty their mailboxes prior to migration.

Reduction in mailbox allocation

The County is charged by the mailbox for Office 365 services. It is important that there be an accurate count of mailboxes. With respect to the mailbox count all unused mailboxes should be deleted. Mailboxes required for calendars used for scheduling conference rooms will be replaced with resource mailboxes that do not count against the total that the County pays for.

Cleaning up mailbox contents

In addition, when that mail box data is moved into the Office 365 mail stores the fewer messages in the mailbox when this occurs the fast it will happen. For the amount of message, all staff should be directed to empty their mailboxes prior to migration.

 

Personal Storage Table (PST) File Handling

PST files store emails offline.  Every mailbox will have at least one PST associated with it.  It may be known the staff as archive but wherever they move email messages to save them and reduce the amount of message storage in their mailbox will be a PST file. 

In a general sense PSTs are archives and the mail messages saved are used for reference back to prior communication on a given topic. Certain staff has multiple PST files containing their message archives which they attach and detach from their Outlook mailbox as required. 

Based upon the version of Microsoft Outlook staffs are using the specific PST access and migration approaches are different.

Office 2003

In the Office 2003 environment, staff will be migrated to the Outlook Web Application (OWA 2013) without any PSTs that they have in the Office 2003 environment.  Should staff which to access any messages in the old PST they would launch their desktop version of Outlook 2003 and view the data in read-only form.

Should any of these PST need to be migrated to Office 365, staff should contact the County help desk to have a ticket opened to have the PST file moved. 

NOTE: PSTs are moved one at a time and it takes a variable amount of time to move each one. There is no guarantee as to how soon after request is made for the PST to be moved.  Staff will be notified once the PST has been migrated.

 

Office 2007, 2010, 2013

In the Office 2007, 2010, 2013 or greater environments, Outlook mail stores (messages, contacts, calendar events, tasks), will move to Office 365. Staff will continue to use their current desktop software to access email. 

PST file(s) will be accessible as they were before the migration. Those PST that were attached to the desktop Outlook before the migration will remain attached. In addition these staff can continue to attach and close PST they use with their desktop Outlook version just as they did before migration.

Staff should move the PST information into the Office 365. There are a number of benefits such as global access that make this very attractive alternative and it’s easy! To move the data from a PST into Office 365 the staff person would drag and drop the files into their mailbox.  The files will move as they do when you move files today. 

NOTE:  This process can take some time based on the size of the PST and ties up Outlook while the files are moving. Try to schedule these moves at times when you do not need access to email such as you are going into a meeting to allow time for the process to complete.

 

Public Folders

Public Folders where created by Microsoft a number of years ago to augment the email system by enabling different kinds of information accessible in a folder.  This folder that was opened (by security) to other staff members.  Office 365

During the mid-2000 Public Folders became a popular method to hold certain types of information which are hard to manage in the conventional mailbox approach. Things such as calendars for conference rooms were put into Public Folders before the “resource” capability of Outlook became readily available.

The last inventory of Public Folders indicates a total of 3112 in the County. Of these hundreds are empty and thousands have not been used since November last year. There are roughly 120 folders in use today across a number of departments. Departments are encouraged to review the current set of Public Folder to determine which data needs to be preserved.

Given this information departments are requested to review all the Public Folders to ensure that they have not missed something that they want. We recommend that they move the Public Folders only after they have coordinated with their department staff and determined the best use of this particular kind of data.

Data from the current Public Folder structure will be migrated into one of three types of solutions

  1. Share Point
  2. Shared mailboxes
  3. Resource mailboxes
    1. Room mailboxes
    2. Resource mailboxes
Various data types from existing Public Folders will reconcile in various ways please refer to table.
 
Data Type Office 365 Solution
Calendar (Conference room) Resource - Room Mailbox
Projector Resource - Resource  Mailbox
Messages Shared Mailbox
Contacts Shared Mailbox
Tasks Shared Mailbox
Documents Share Point (MOSS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Once the data eradication activities begin any remaining un-migrated Public Folders will be permanently eliminated

 

VPN Specials

Virtual Private Networking (VPN) is technology that provides secure access across the internet. It is used by roughly 4,000 staff across the county.  In most cases when VPN is required for access staff they can still get to the Internet so that they can access Office 365 services and capabilities. 

There are some cases such as those staff that use the County Web CMS system tool for building web sites where special features of VPN are used.  To access this they use Network Connect feature of VPN this happens staff can no longer access the internet. 

As these situations are identified the Office 365 migration team will work with department IT staff to help to resolve them.

 

Feedback

Please send feedback to the O365 project team

 

 

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