Plan your setup of Microsoft 365 for business
Check out Microsoft 365 small business help on YouTube.
This article is for people who have subscribed to a Microsoft 365 for business plan.
Before moving your organization to Microsoft 365, there are requirements you need to meet, info you need to have on hand, and decisions you have to make.
Overview of Microsoft 365 for business setup
Check out this video and others on our YouTube channel.
Congratulations on your decision to move your business to the cloud with Microsoft 365! Whether you have one person in your business or 20, doing a little planning will help you get the most out of Microsoft 365 for business.
Info to have on hand before you run the setup wizard
When you're ready to run the setup wizard and move your domain to Microsoft 365, here's the info you'll need to have on hand:
List of people you want to add to Microsoft 365. Even if you've already added them to Microsoft 365, if you're updating your domain information, you need to enter their names here.
How you're going to notify your employees of their user ID and password so they can sign in. Are you going to call them with the info? Or send it to their personal email address? They won't have access to their email, so you can't use that.
If you have a domain name for your organization (such as contoso.com) and you plan on using Microsoft email, you'll need to know where your domain is registered and have sign-in information.
What happens when you run the Microsoft 365 setup wizard
The setup wizard walks you through installing the Microsoft 365 apps on your computer, adding and verifying your domain, adding users and assigning licenses to them, and connecting your domain.
If you need to Assign admin roles in Microsoft 365 for business to the users you add in the wizard, you can do that later on the Users page.
If you don't complete the setup wizard, you can complete setup tasks at any time from admin center > Setup. From here you can migrate email and contacts from another email service, change the domain of your admin account, manage your billing information, add or remove users, reset passwords, and do other business functions. For more information about the differences between the setup wizard and the Setup page, see Differences between the Microsoft 365 setup wizard and the Setup page.
If you get stuck at any point, call us. We're here to help!.
When not to use the setup wizard: Active Directory synchronization and hybrid environments
There are a couple of scenarios that include either migrating data or users from on-premises environments or setting up a hybrid system that includes directory synchronization. If you're in either category, follow the instructions in these articles:
To set up directory synchronization with your on-premises Active Directory, see Set up directory synchronization for Microsoft 365, and to understand the different identity models in Microsoft 365, read Deploy your identity infrastructure for Microsoft 365.
To set up an Exchange hybrid, the full set of instructions that guide you through all the different ways of setting up a hybrid exchange (including setting up DNS records) can be found here: Exchange Server Deployment Assistant
To set up a SharePoint hybrid, particularly hybrid search and site features, see Hybrid Search in SharePoint.
Move to Microsoft 365 all at once or in stages
Do you want to move your organization to Microsoft 365 all at once? If so, then plan to move your domain to Microsoft 365 right away. Start by running the Microsoft 365 setup wizard; it will prompt you to set up your domain.
Do you want to move to Microsoft 365 gradually? If you want to move to Microsoft 365 in stages, then skip running the Microsoft 365 setup wizard and consider adopting Microsoft 365 features in the following order:
Add your employees to Microsoft 365 so they can download and install the Office apps.
Download and install the Office apps to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on your computer and devices.
Set up Microsoft Teams to use for your meetings.
Move your content to Microsoft 365 cloud storage (OneDrive or SharePoint team sites).
Check that your devices meet system requirements
Each person in your organization can install the Office 2016 suite of apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and so on) on up to five PCs and Macs. See the operating system and computer requirements for installing Office 2016 suites for business.
Mobile apps can be installed on iOS, Android, and Windows devices. You can find information on mobile device and browser support in System requirements for Office.
Plan for email
If you're planning to move from an existing email service to Microsoft 365, it usually takes two days to make the switch.
Plan for email downtime
If you're going to use Microsoft 365 for your email:
To move your business email address (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) from another email service to Microsoft 365, you need to direct your mail to be delivered to your new Microsoft 365 mailbox. You do this by selecting Migrate your users' data on the Setup page, where we guide you through the updates you need to make at your domain host, step by step.
After you update your domain host, the changes typically take effect in just an hour or two. But be aware that it can sometimes take up to 72 hours for the changes to update across the internet.
Because you might have email downtime, we recommend you plan to switch to Microsoft email during an evening or weekend when you receive fewer emails.
Plan to move your existing email, contacts, and calendar
If you're going to use Microsoft 365 for your email account, you can bring your existing email, contacts, and calendar with you. The Setup page helps you move your existing email and contacts for most scenarios. We also have step-by-step guides to move one or many mailboxes.
|How many mailboxes?||Recommendation|
|Just a few
||If you don't want to use the Setup page to migrate the mailboxes, you can let mailbox owners migrate their own email and contacts. See Migrate email and contacts to Microsoft 365 for business.
||If you're migrating from Gmail, see Migrate G Suite mailboxes to Microsoft 365.
If you're migrating from another email provider, including Exchange, see Ways to migrate multiple email accounts to Microsoft 365.
Plan for file storage and migration
Microsoft 365 provides cloud storage for individuals, small organizations, and enterprises. For guidance about what to store where, see Where you can store documents in Microsoft 365.
If you want to move several thousand files to Microsoft 365 storage, review the SharePoint Online Limits. We recommend that you use a migration tool or consider hiring a partner to help you with the migration. For information about how to migrate a large number of files, see SharePoint Online and OneDrive Migration User Guide.
Plan for Teams
You can use Microsoft Teams to make calls to other people in your organization who are on your subscription. For example, if your organization has 10 people, you can call and IM each other using Teams without any special setup. For more information, see Get started with Microsoft Teams.
For larger organizations or if you're starting from Skype for Business, on-premises, or hybrid deployments, see How to roll out Microsoft Teams.
Plan for integration with Active Directory or other software
Do you want to integrate with your on-premises Active Directory? You can integrate your on-premises Active Directory with Microsoft 365 by using Azure Active Directory Connect. For instructions, see Set up directory synchronization for Microsoft 365.
Do you want to integrate Microsoft 365 with software made by other companies? If you need to integrate Microsoft 365 with other software in your organization, we recommend you consider hiring a partner to help you with your deployment.
Do you want someone to help you set up Microsoft 365?
If you have fewer than 50 employees:
- Ask for help and we'll call you. After you buy Microsoft 365, you can access the admin center (you don't need to run setup to get to it). At the bottom of the admin center, select Need help? Describe your problem, and we'll call you.
- Call Microsoft 365 for Business Support with your questions. We're here to help!
- Consider hiring a Microsoft partner. If you're short on time, or have advanced requirements (like moving thousands of files to Microsoft 365 cloud storage or integrating with other software), an experienced partner can be a big help.
If you have more than 50 employees, the FastTrack Onboarding Center is available to help you with your deployment.
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