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Montgomery County, Maryland

Office 365 - Information Site

Using Office 365

Excel, Word, PowerPoint Online, OneDrive

SharePoint Online, Skype for Business 


Office 365 G3 Upgrade Under Way (Go to that Web Site)



Montgomery County continues its move to universal use of the Microsoft Office 365 cloud based software and services suite.  This is a major change in both the software being used and the way it will be used going forward. Due to the size, scope, and the impact to the staff, the project Phase I (Outlook migration) took roughly six months. The rest will be rolled out in over the next 18-24 months. Staff currently using only Office 2003 will need to completely move to the new cloud-based online applications which include Microsoft Office 365 Outlook, Word online, Excel online and PowerPoint online. Once those moves are completed the Office 2003 products will be removed.

Click here for: Office 365 - A new way of doing business (the story continues)

The move to Office 365 represents a paradigm shift in the way business will be conducted going forward.  Over the next months other services will be introduced for general use by staff. You may experience some of the new features and notice differences that accompany the online versions of the Office 365 Products,(Outlook, OneDrive, Word Online, Excel Online,Skype for Business). Now it is the time to focus on learning these Office 365 products and how to best use them in our work activities.

This is link to the new OWA 2013.   It should replace all other references or favorites to OWA


This Site

This site is designed to provide staff with useful information to help them through the Phase II and III transitions and to provide various training and reference documents to help them use the Office 365 capabilities most effectively.

The general layout of this site is:



Staff Briefings / Events Schedule

This display provides key information regarding the training and briefing sessions available for staff This will be updated on a regular basis. In most cases these will allow staff to self enroll.


Support Material

Many Office 365 transition support documents have been collected on this site to provide staff with useful information to help them get the most from their Office 365 capabilities.  There are two major groups of staff in the County that are transitioning. First are those who currently use the Office 2003 (roughly 40% of the staff) the others who are using Office 2007, 2010 or 2013 (roughly 60% of the staff). Those who are currently using Office 2003 desktop based applications will need to move the the Office 365 online equivalents as their desktop applications will be removed.  All others will continue to use their existing desktop versions or should their departments choose to they can be upgraded to the Office 365 G3 lisence level

The following tabbed interface allows us to focus materials in specific areas to ease the finding of answers.


Excel online has a more limited set of features than the desktop versions,  For most staff the transition to the online version will provide everything they need, there will be some exceptions where, due to work requirements, all staff need to be using desktop versions. In these cases upgrading to the G3 license level is the recommended solution.


  Training - Excel Online - Overview - (Storyboard)
Reference -  Excel 2016 Quick Start Guide - (Microsoft)(New)
  Reference -  Tips for staff migrating from Office 2003 to Office 2010 - (Microsoft)
  Reference - Password protecting documents (G3) - (Microsoft)


OneDrive is Microsoft cloud based storage for staff working data.  Each OneDrive currently has 1 Terabyte of storage which should be more than enough to hold a staff persons local files. This will replace the 'C' and 'U' drives and contain items that are works in progress.  Final documents will be placed in their usual repositories.

  Training - OneDrive - Overview - (Storyboard)
  Training - OneDrive Training Tutorials (Microsoft)
  Training - OneDrive for Business (Microsoft)
  Reference - OneDrive - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
  Reference - OneDrive - FAQ (2-6-15)
  Reference - OneDrive - Help - (Microsoft)
  Reference - OneDrive 2013 - Quick Start Guide - University of Iowa
  Reference - Setting up OneDrive for Business to OneDrive Cloud connection
  Reference - OneDrive for Business limitations/ restrictions


The Outlook migration was conducted during the summer and fall of 2014. 11,500 mailboxes were moved and all staff was provided access to the other Office 365 applications and tools. Although the migration is over the training materials are contained in the Phase I site (link to Phase 1 site),

  Training - Outlook Training - (Microsoft)
Video Training - QuickSteps - Creating encrytion ready messages (DTS)
  Reference - OWA Web App - (Microsoft)
  Reference - Exchange online - Service Description - (Microsoft)


PowerPoint online has a more restricted set of features than the desktop version,  For many staff the transition to the online version will provide everything they need.  There will be some exceptions where, due to work requirements, all staff need to be using desktop versions. In these cases upgrading to the G3 license level is the recommended solution.

  Training - General Overview - (Video)
  Reference - Powerpoint 2016 - Quick Start Guide - (Microsoft)(New)
  Reference - Phase II - Powerpoint - Track Changes alternative(New)
  Reference - Phase II - The Microsoft model
Reference - Password protecting documents (G3) (Microsoft)


Word online has a more limited set of features than the desktop version. For many staff the transition to the online version will provide everything they need.  There will be some exceptions where due to work requirements all staff will need to be using desktop versions. In these cases upgrading to the G3 license level is the recommended solution.

  Training - Word Online - Overview - (Storyboard)
  Training - Word Online - Selected Functions - (Storyboard)
  Reference - Word 2016 - Quick Start Guide - (Microsoft)(New)
  Reference - Word Online Help (Microsoft)
  Reference - Tips for staff migrating from Office 2003 to Office 2010 (Microsoft)
Reference - Password protecting documents (G3) (Microsoft)


The SharePoint 2013 project is referred to as the Phase III and is focused on two major areas.  First, is the replacement of the existing intranets, Second, is the replacement of existing SharePoint department team sites. As those activities complete the SharePoint capabilties will be rolled out to other departments as required. 

Training - Microsoft Videos for Government
Training - SharePoint  - Additional items - Microsoft
  Training - SharePoint  - Configuring site to hold 'S' drive data - DTS
Accessability - Build an accessable SharePoint site - Microsoft
Accessability - 508 compabaility checklist - WebAIM
Accessability - WebAIM - Accessability information web site - WebAIM
  Accessability - Accessable Web Confrences and Webinars - FDA
  Reference - Accessing SharePoint team sites from Sites Tile - DTS  (New) 
  Reference - Team Site Setup Checklist - DTS 
Reference - Data Migration Planning - DTS
  Reference - Software Boundaries and limits - Microsoft   (New) 
  Reference - Whats new in SharePoint Online - Microsoft
  Reference - Getting started with SharePoint - Microsoft
  Reference - SharePoint Online Planning Guide - Microsoft
Reference - SharePoint Composite Solutions - Microsoft 
  Reference - Introduction to SharePoint Libraries - Microsoft
  Reference - Upload groups of files and folders to SharePoint Online - Microsoft
  Reference - Blog Sites in SharePoint Online  - External
  Reference - Picture Libraries in SharePoint Online - Microsoft

  Skype for Business

The Skype for Business product which provides video conferencing, instant messaging and other useful capabilities. These capabilites provide a powerful, integrated, alternative to other methods.

  Training - Lync - Overview - (Storyboard)
  Reference - Skype for Business - FAQ's (Microsoft)
  Reference - Skype for Business - System Requirements (Microsoft)
  Reference - Lync - Setting up Lync - (Microsoft)
  Reference - Lync - Help Topics - (Microsoft)


New Features

Those staff who have had their license upgraded from the G1 to G3 have been provided Office 2013 on their desktops.  Those staff have very different user experience from the online user and thus the Reference materials located here are specifically for those G3 situations.

  Training - G3 Transition - Password Protect Document (New) 
Training - Microsoft Videos for Government
Training - Groups Webinar - Microsoft
Reference - Microsoft Office 365 - Office 2013 Items
Reference - Groups - Additional Information
Reference - Groups Capability - Microsoft
Reference - Groups Write-Up - Western Washington Uinversity
Reference - Clutter Feature (Microsoft)
  Update - OneDrive 'share with eveyone' folder (Microsoft)






Project Descriptions

As Montgomery County continues its move to universal use of the Microsoft Office 365 cloud based software and services suite the rollout is being done in a series of projects.  There are three phases which are currently discribed in this site. They are referred to as Phases 2 a & b and Phase 3.  The following tabbed areas provide more information regarding each project.  


Project 1 - Transition Preparation - March 2016 thru June 2016

The Office 365 transition project consists of preparing the staff machines and staff for the transtion by deploying certain software to the desktops, having the staff determine the data files they need to move, and performing some set-up steps so that the environement is ready for the transtion.

During this phase there will be cases where excess old Office software will be removed from desktops having newer versions of Office products. This will be managed using the SCCM software tools and will happen in close coordination with the departmetns where this occurs.

The plan is as follows;


  • Updated during the July TOMG session
  • Secured SCCM inventory tools all machines with all Microsoft office versions identified
  • Modify and test the SCCM script so that removes all older versions of office
  • Develop set of tools for all desktops and deploy. Tools include: Viewers, Conversion utilities, OneDrive tools



The Office 365 support tools these will be installed on all desktops.  These tools consist of viewers, convertes, OneDrive tools and Skype for Business.  Once deployed the staff will be able to link the OneDrive for Business with the OneDrive cloud to faclitiate data file migration program. These tools will lay dormant until the transtion activities occur. 


Constraint Removal

In some cases department have addtional constraints some of which can be corrected by upgrading the software (ie Ms Access) and in other cases by upgrading to the G3 lisence.  In either case those departments with constraints need to be worked with to assist them in removing them,

At the completion of the Phase 2 a project all desktops will have the tools they need to assist with the transtion and the team will have clear direction as to how many and where the reamining Office 2003 licenses are located.


Project 2  - SharePoint online - Team Sites  - Ongoing until completion

The Phase 2b portion of this project is the actual removal of the remaining Office 2003 software from the desktops and providing the online versions of Office 365 for those staff.. A key ingredient of this particular portion of the transition is the fact that certain pre-work needs to be completed prior to doing any of these migrations. Where possible the perfered migration will be from Office 2003 to G3.



In order for the online versions to be able to access data it has to be in an online repository. To ensure that this happens, certain things need to occur

  • Downloading OneDrive for Business desktop agent to all county machines
  • The conversion of the old file formats used Office 2003 files such they can be read by the online versions.
  • Providing access Office 365 online only users to data currently on the V and/or S drives by moving it to SharePoint online

The approach is being taken for S drives is that as part of the team site creation in SharePoint online a portion of that area will be reserved for ‘S’ drive type files. As the Phase 3 project completes team sites for departments then the migration can take place and people can be transitioned off of the 2003 desktop software to the online versions or G3 (if the departments but the liscences).



The migration activities will be coordinated with the departments. Migrations will occur in three general ways;

  1. Scheduled transitions
  2. In conjunction with machine replacements (where able)
  3. Post constraint removal



One of the things that will prevent the completion of phase 2b are those special constraint driven situations. Larger departments have things such as Microsoft Access installations that need to be converted or rewritten.  Until that happens if the current the software is removed it will disable their ability to use those systems.


Project 3 - SharePoint Online - Intranets  - Until July 2016

The Phase 3 portion of this particular project has to do with implementation of SharePoint online capabilities. SharePoint online capabilities will address three areas. One, the replacement of the current intranet implementations, Two, replacing the current team site implementations, and Three configuring SharePoint online as repositories to hold the current server based files such as the 'S'  This is critical for those who were using Office 365 online only versions.



For the Internet portion of this a standard template has been created in SharePoint online to be used to create a the basic intranet page enabling staff to navigate the other links. This will retire a series of old software and other capabilities used to maintain the current intranet environment and allow those staff to use the common SharePoint tools.


Team sites

The team site implementations will first consist every implementing the existing team sites using SharePoint online. To this end the DTS team is creating the appropriate governance and also working on site templates and site setups such as they can provide consistency and supportability by using more of a configuration approach rather than a customization approach.

The DTS team will work with the existing team site owners to provide in the capabilities so they can go forward and implement their sites. In addition one of the outcomes of this particular project is the ability to create team sites as necessary for new departments who wish to have them.



Announcements / Tips & Updates

The announcements section is designed to provide staff with general progress information regarding the migrations.  It will be updated on a periodic basis.

Activity Status 

  • SharePoint 2013 project making great progress!
    • Intranet being rolled out,
    • All exisiting Team Site teams briefed
    • SharePoint 'S' drive alternative completed (see link) (New) 

Tips & Updates


Take me to OWA 2013

This is link to the new OWA 2013 should be bookmarked. It should replace all other references or favorites pointing to the old OWA.

Additional OWA training

This is link to the Office 365 Phase I web site is provided as that location continues to have useful reference material. 

Additional OWA training


Please send feedback to the O365 project team

To request an accommodation for employees with disabilities, please contact Change Management at or 240-773-3337



Accessability Guidance