My name is Alan Long and I am a Programme Manager within our Microsoft Premier Deployment practice.  In this BPOS/Office 365 article, I will describe migration options and describe the role of Microsoft Premier Deployment.  Specifically I will cover:

  • Migration choices: Self-Serve; Partner Lead; Microsoft Premier Deployment
  • Microsoft Premier Deployment – who we are, why you need MPD, what we do
  • Useful resources

Migration Choices:

Self Service

  • Migration tools and capabilities available from Microsoft and 3rd party vendors 
  • Office 365 offers standard and rich-coexistence capabilities 
  •  3rd party tools available for Exchange and SharePoint (including from other platforms)
  •  Customer controls migration velocity and executes the end-to-end migration
  •  Support from Microsoft Online is limited to the support included in the service (service operation and troubleshooting

 Partner Lead

  • Microsoft Online Partner Community has numerous partners that provide service for migrations to Microsoft Online
  •  Partner range from migration tool vendors like Binary Tree and Quest to full service consulting services like Avanade, Accenture, and HP.  Complete list available at 
  •  Partners can offer end-to-end service including: environment preparation, communications, training, desktop preparation, migration, project management, etc.
  •  Support from Microsoft Online is limited to the supported included in the service for service operation and troubleshooting
  •  Customer initiates and maintains the relationship with the partners

Microsoft Premier Deployment

  • Available for Office 365 and BPOS-Dedicated/Federal
  •  Mandatory for BPOS-Dedicated/Federal
  •  Leverages the Microsoft Online deployment methodology and process (2+ million deployed seats to date)
  •  Microsoft Online Migration Service Descriptions provide scope and approach to “standard” offering
  •  Microsoft Online Migration Rate Card for pricing; includes service provisioning for Exchange, SharePoint Online, and Lync. 
  •  Service Descriptions and rate cards apply to Exchange Online migrations only
  •  Additional services beyond those noted in the Service Descriptions can be contracted as well (i.e. SharePoint migrations to Online) but require a custom quote

Introducing Microsoft Premier Deployment

We are not part of Microsoft Services Premier Support!   MPD is a Program that focuses on infrastructure preparedness and mailbox migration to the cloud for BPOS/Office 365 Customers of > 2,400 seats.   MPD is also a team comprised of experienced Microsoft Online (MSO) and Microsoft Enterprise Services resources focussed on fast, predictable, successful and low-cost deployment and migration of customers to BPOS/Office365 services.  MPD delivers services based on a published “rate card” model that is a fixed cost per seat.

Our core teams ( BPOS/Office 365 Centre of Excellence and Deployment Solutions Group) work together to provide knowledge and stability for deployment projects based on experience working on BPOS deployments for the last 18 months.  In addition to these core teams we use experienced resources from Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS), Microsoft Global services India (MGSI) and Microsoft Premier Services to provide targeted services to customers (often as Deployment Project Managers and Deployment Consultants).
Our skills and knowledge encompass specific product knowledge (SPO, EXO, OCS) and deployment management experience.

Why do we need MPD?

It is critical to both Microsoft and our customers that customers have a good experience when deploying BPOS/Office 365 and are able to migrate to Microsoft Online services quickly and without problems. 

The MPD team has experience of the common scenarios we encounter when delivering Online deployment/migration projects, and has the relationships with the MSO Services teams in Redmond, which enables MPD to drive a smoother process.  Despite my own wide-ranging experience of complex projects, when I started working on BPOS projects I discovered a new range of situations which I had not encountered before but which I was able successfully to overcome with the support of the other experienced MPD resources.

Jason Heyes mentioned in an earlier posting the 8 principles across the cloud that always hold true and these are part of the challenge we face when deploying our on-line services.  For example, many of our customers, and especially the larger ones, will be used to having either existing on-premises or outsourced solutions, and they often retain an expectation of in-depth control of the solution with the ability to customise the solution to their requirements.  With Online services it is important to understand that we provide a standard service with scope for configuration.  We also set clear expectations with our customers so that they understand the scope of the service and the impact which trying to implement significant changes has on the time and ease of deployment

MPD services can include preparation for BPOS directory, messaging coexistence, messaging data migration (mail, calendar, contacts), and onsite and offsite deployment consultant (as appropriate). 

MPD was created with one goal in mind:  to enable an accelerated, efficient, high-quality and predictable adoption of BPOS at the lowest cost.

The MPD services do not include migrating applications to SharePoint Online, custom development, AD federation/synch with MS Online, client software deployment, or change management.  MPD services will not include pre-sales activities.  Pre-sales will be covered by a Technology Solutions Professional (TSP). 

MPD also provides training and deployment engagement support to Partners to enable them to become recommended.

What do we do?

Microsoft Premier Deployment (MPD) supports Customers through the life-cycle of BPOS/Office 365 deployments based on our experience and provides the convenience of having a single vendor for Office 365.  We implement a three-phase approach to migration (Plan, Prepare, and Migrate) that will transition Customers from their current legacy environments into a fully integrated Office 365 environment.
Specifically, Microsoft Premier Deployment is capable of provisioning the Office 365 Services:

  • Exchange Online
  • SharePoint Online
  • Office Communications
  • OnlineLive Meeting

MPD can also provision user accounts, and manage the migration of Lotus Notes mailbox data and legacy Exchange mailbox data to the new environment, working with customers up front to conduct the inventory and site readiness assessment necessary to streamline and meet customer timelines.
Where contracted Microsoft will assign a Deployment Project Manager to provide overall project governance, structure, process and tools to coordinate the scheduling and deployment activities for each BPOS/Office 365 work stream.
To date, the Microsoft Premier Deployment team has provided end-to-end consulting to Microsoft’s largest and most complex enterprise BPOS customers supporting the transition of over 1.5M users to BPOS.
MPD has experience in managing large-scale deployments and migrations for global customers.  We have successfully enabled and migrated numerous 100k+ user environments to the Microsoft Exchange and to BPOS. We have successfully migrated the largest financial institutions’ 200,000 mail users to BPOS.

Useful Resources


Are you a partner working on a deployment of over 500 seats? Request deployment support. 
For large deployments (over 2,400 seats) hire Microsoft. View the Microsoft Premier Deployment rate card


Alan Long
Programme Manager
Microsoft Premier Deployment