Beware the rocky road from BPOS to Office 365

If you think it's going to be easy migrating yourself from Microsoft's old BPOS to its new Office 365, guess again

Those of you who are waiting patiently for Microsoft to move you from its old hosted server setup, BPOS, to its new and improved Office 365, still have a way to go -- perhaps a very long way.

And if you're thinking about making the transition by yourself, be aware of the fact that the minute you throw the switch, all of your email goes bye-bye.

I guess Microsoft really didn't think that one through too well.

A notice went up on the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog on Sunday, warning people that taking the move into their own hands may not be as straightforward as it looks, even if you have a savvy, battle-hardened Exchange Server guru at your beck and call. Why is that? Microsoft has to make some changes that only the company can perform:

We have received a number of Support calls from customers and partners who have tried to migrate their data from BPOS to Office 365 by themselves. Please be aware that if you attempt a manual migration, emails sent to your domains will be returned to sender as undeliverable until Support can delete your domain from BPOS and you can re-create in Office 365. This email outage could last as long as 24 hours (possibly longer if many customers are asking Support to delete their domains at the same time as you).

The note goes on to give a 10-step process for migrating yourself from BPOS to Office 365, if you don't want to "wait a couple of months." But even if you set up Office 365 on all of your machines, back up your clients' mail to .PST files, get rid of all of the production email account addresses (which means email sent to the normal addresses won't get delivered), notify Microsoft that you want to change over to BPOS, and ...

You'll still wait a day. Or more. During that day (or more), you won't get any email; email sent to the correct address will get bounced; and your users will lose all Exchange Hosted Archiving data. That's if things go right. If they go wrong, heaven only knows what to expect.

Kinda makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about paying Microsoft for cloud support, doesn't it?

This story, "Beware the rocky road from BPOS to Office 365," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.