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End of support for Exchange 2007 may affect your Office 365 ProPlus users

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Chris Hopkins
Microsoft

If your organization is still using Exchange Server 2007 you should be aware that the end of support for Exchange 2007 is coming up on April 11, 2017.

Support Lifecycle and Products you need to consider upgrading

 

In addition, as of February 28th, 2017, the 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus will no longer be supported. Users running the 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus are encouraged to update to the 2016 version prior to this date. 2013 users will still receive critical security updates, but they will no longer receive product updates for new features that are added to the service.

 

If you have users that are currently using the 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus connecting to Exchange Server 2007 for mail and calendar you will need to provide an Exchange environment that is supported by the 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus.

 

Exchange environments supported by the 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus include:

  1. Exchange Online in Office 365
  2. Exchange Server version 2010 or later

Here are five recommendations to help support your migration and upgrade:

 

1 - Get to know the Office channel release model.

 

Office 2016 is shipping in multiple channels. These different release channels allow you to control who in your organization gets the latest release, based on your needs.

Overview of update channels for Office 365

 

The DC is made available only a few times a year (instead of every month) and is best for organizations that don't want to deploy the latest features of Office right away or that have a significant number of LOB applications, add-ins, or macros that need to be tested. This approach helps to avoid compatibility issues that can potentially stall deployments.

 

The First Release for Deferred Channel (FRDC) enables you to configure (per user) a group of early adopters. This group will get the latest and greatest features four months in advance of a Deferred Channel (DC) release. Premier Support escalates any cases related to the FRDC build directly to the Office engineering team, so that issues can be addressed prior to the DC release.

 

2 - Determine which Exchange Server configuration is needed for your organization.

 

Option 1 - Migrate to Exchange Online in Office 365 Office 365 ProPlus is built to support Exchange Online and the other Office 365 workloads. Customers deployed on Office 365 will always be up to date with no worry of end of support deadlines.The Microsoft FastTrack Center is ready to help and will provide onboarding guidance and data migration services to all eligible Office 365 customers.

 

Option 2 - Upgrade to the latest version of Exchange Server The 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus does not support connections to Exchange Server 2007 or older. The supported versions of Exchange Server include: Microsoft Exchange Server 2016, Exchange Server 2013, Exchange Server 2010.

System requirements for Office

 

3 - Determine which users are running the 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus.

 

Upgrading from the 2013 version to the 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus is not an automated process. If you are an Office 365 admin, you need to determine which of your users are still running the 2013 version. Once you have identified these users, you will need to uninstall the 2013 version and reinstall the 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus for each of them.

 

4 - We recommend you start a group of users on the First Release builds.

 

This group could include the IT team or early adopters, and will give them an opportunity to get comfortable with the new capabilities and test any LOB integrations that are critical to your business. If your users find any potential issues, they can open a CSS support incident. We actively monitor First Release tickets to more quickly escalate issues to the product engineering team.

 

5 - Contact the FastTrack Center to get assistance for your Office 365 ProPlus deployment.

 

Our FastTrack engineers will provide assistance to help you upgrade 2013 clients to 2016 and ensure you are on the latest service managed client. The FastTrack Center can also assist you with your migration to Exchange Online.

 

You can review the FastTrack Benefit Overview to learn more about how to work remotely with Microsoft specialists to get your Office 365 environment ready for use, as well as to plan rollout and usage within your organization.

 

The FastTrack Center can provide you with assistance in testing, repackaging, and distributing the 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus or help you to validate your deployment approach with a Microsoft engineer. To request assistance, go to the FastTrack site, select the Services tab, and submit the Request Office 2016 ProPlus Upgrade Assistance form.

 

Additionally, you can contact your Microsoft sales representative or Technical Account Manager for assistance.

 

Thank you, and we look forward to working with you soon to migrate your users to Exchange Online and the 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus.

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