Manually migrating from BPOS to Office 365

UPDATE on September 21: Microsoft has begun transitioning customers to Office 365 through its internal process. Before attempting the below process, we suggest that you change your password in BPOS and try logging in to https://portal.microsoftonline.com. If you can – then the user account has already been copied across to the new tenant and therefore manual migration is not possible.

Original post:
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Recently we (Paradyne) performed a manual  migration  from BPOS to Office 365 to start using the amazing new features and functionality it brings.

The team over at MigrationWiz have written a great step-by-step instruction list, over at http://migrationwiz.zendesk.com/entries/20049337-how-do-i-perform-a-bpos-to-office-365-migration

We followed this to the letter and had no dramas at all.

The only slight difference was that we added an extra level of mail retention to ensure that nothing was lost during the transition or while waiting for FOPE to update.

Our difference was to use mail store & forwarding services from RollerNet. The service only costs $5 per month and is a month-to-month subscription, so you can cancel the service when you’re done.

Effectively what we did before following the MigrationWiz instructions was to change our MX record to point to the RollerNet mail hosts which were in turn configured to accept our domain and to forward it on to ‘mail.global.frontbridge.com’. Before removing our domain from BPOS we set the RollerNet service to simply hold our mail instead of forward it on.

Once we completed the steps listed in the MigrationWiz article we then pointed the RollerNet service to forward to the custom MX record provided to us by Office 365.

After we re-established mail flow and that everything was 100% functional we then changed our MX record to point directly at Office 365 – and happy times ahead!

Before entering into this process I must caution you to wait at least 90 minutes between steps 10 & 11, otherwise you may end up with a duplicate domain in FOPE which requires some PowerShell magic to clean up.

Note: attempting the above is not a supported practice by Microsoft and puts the onus of mail flow and uptime onto yourself. Please be a) careful, and b) extremely careful!