What do I need to prepare for prior to my Office 365 Service Upgrade for 2013?

I have several customers in education getting upgraded to the Office 365 Service Upgrade for 2013. Most have migrated smoothly but a few customers have seen some issues after upgrade so I decided to post some guidance/FAQ to help make it a better upgrade experience.


What does the Office 365 Service Upgrade for 2013 upgrade mean?

If you have been on Office 365 Education prior to February 27th 2013 this means you are you are on previous technology of cloud services (2010 technologies). We shipped a new Office 365 Education offering in February based on the 2013 technologies. We have been upgrading 2010 (wave14) customers to 2013 (wave15).

Where can I read more information on what new capabilities are in the Office 365 Service Upgrade for 2013?

Exchange Online here

Lync Online here

SharePoint Online here

Office 365 Pro Plus here

I also recommend you read and understand the new Office 365 service descriptions here as this is like the detailed functional specification of each service.


Is there end user or power user training available on these new capabilities?

Yes, it is available here.


Is there administrator training or guides on this new 2013 tenant?

Yes, great information available here and on my other blog post here.


Do I need to change anything on my side prior to this upgrade?

Potentially yes if you are not current on the latest service packs and cumulative patches for Office, XP or Exchange. This 2013 Service Upgrade has newer patch requirements that were not required in the 2010 version.

I have had customers experience Outlook client connectivity issues if they are not patched on the client or on the hybrid server for example. Please read here on the latest requirements for this upgrade. I strongly urge you to follow these requirements closely and not skip this step to keep your upgrade clean.

The other high priority item to remediate/evaluate prior to the 2013 upgrade is you also need to check your DNS, Outlook, and Autodiscover settings prior to the upgrade. Several other Outlook client connectivity issues may occur if you any of these are misconfigured prior to upgrade. See here.


Is there a 2013 upgrade step by step guide I can follow?

Yes, there a very useful Office 365 Service Upgrade 2013 guide here which I strongly recommend you follow closely to avoid issues.


How long does it take for me to get upgraded?

On average each tenant upgrades takes about 48 hours to complete. No loss of email connectivity or productivity will occur during this time. The end user will be asked to restart Outlook and assuming you followed the patching and configuration steps above there should be no further client touch required. SharePoint and Lync will not be interrupted either.


What do I have to do post upgrade?

You have still migrate all of your SharePoint 2010 site collections to SharePoint 2013 including your ‘My Site’ site collection to enable SkyDrive Pro for your end users. See here for site collection upgrade steps.


Do I need to install new clients?

No, there are no client upgrades are required. You can continue to use Outlook 2007, Office 2010, and Lync 2010 against the new 2013 upgrade provided you have patched them appropriately in the link provided above.


For more information on the upgrade please visit the Office 365 Service Upgrade Center for Enterprise here.