1st Quarter 2020 – Office 365 Update
December 2019 – Office 365 Update
O365 – AGENCY Migration progress
Office 365 Phase One encompasses staff enrollment to Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), migration to Exchange Online (EXO), deployment of Office 365 ProPlus (OPP – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc), and voicemail transfer for employees that use Cisco Voicemail. The deployment timeframe for each Agency, once started, depends on the number of employees at an agency and any blackout dates they may establish. A complete deployment can range from 8 weeks to 4 months. To-date, 17 agencies have completed their migration and 9 agencies have migration tasks scheduled. Remaining agencies are in the process of being scheduled for migration tasks or kick-off meetings.
The O365 project team continues to work on the Phase 1 roll-out schedule and tasks. O365 Phase 1 began back in February 2019 and we are working towards having this phase completed by May 2020.
September 2019 – Office 365 Update: One Drive for Business is Coming
OneDrive for Business is Coming
Check out this Video link… What is One Drive for Business and why do you need it? Simply put, OneDrive is a secure storage area for your files in the cloud. It is a simple way to store, sync, share, and collaborate on files with others. At this early stage, access to OneDrive will be limited to State users within the confines of the State of Delaware network. Instead of sending a file via email or egress; OneDrive allows you to quickly share your file by creating a secure link that provides access to the file. To learn more about OneDrive, review the OneDrive downloadable guide.
Why is this happening sooner than anticipated? OneDrive for Business was initially slated for release later in the project but now will become available for migrated O365 agency users in early Q4 2019. The project received the green light to enable SharePoint Online (SPO) ahead of schedule. OneDrive is one of the Office 365 applications that has a dependency on SharePoint Online; since SPO was being enabled, an earlier rollout of OneDrive became possible. At this early stage, access to OneDrive will be limited to State users within the confines of the State of Delaware network.
SharePoint 2010 is going away. Microsoft will end support of SharePoint 2010 in October 2020. As a potential path forward for agencies, the project needed to enable the use of SharePoint Online as an option for migration from SP2010. Again, as with OneDrive, initially SharePoint Online will be accessible only from within the State’s own network.
REMINDER: Early Adopter Group Gets Office 365 Pro Plus Updates in September. Delaware Early Adopter Group (EAG) members receive new feature updates in March and September. So, what happens when Microsoft pushes out an update? The first time you launch the application, after an update, Microsoft notifies you, usually via a pop-up message of the new feature. You can visit Microsoft’s Release notes for Semi-Annual Channel Targeted releases in 2019 webpage to learn more.
The Project Office 365 Team is always available if you have questions not already addressed in the website FAQ. Simple email Project_O365@delaware.gov.
July 2019: Office 365 ProPlus Feature Updates and News about Outlook on the Web
Office 365 ProPlus – All About Updates
Office 365 ProPlus (OPP) is a subscription-based Microsoft Office product. All OPP subscribers regularly receive new feature updates, as well as security- and non-security-related updates. Microsoft releases new feature updates to State of Delaware OPP users who are subscribed to one of two semi-annual update channels. Microsoft releases security patches and non-security updates (hotfixes) monthly for both update channels.
Delaware Early Adopter Group (EAG) members are subscribed to the Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) and receive new feature updates in March and September. EAG members spend about four months using the new features, providing feedback to the Project O365 team (via the email below) before the rest of Delaware employees receive the updated software. The rest of the State of Delaware OPP subscribers receive new feature updates via the Semi-Annual Channel in January and July. So, for a few months of the year, EAG members have newer OPP applications than the rest of Delaware employees.
So, what happens when Microsoft pushes out an OPP update? Microsoft notifies you of some of the new features the first time you launch an OPP application after it is updated. Here’s an example: If you have already migrated to OPP, you may have opened Outlook this week and gotten a simple pop-up message, informing you of a few new features and inviting you to view more information. These include the ability to use “Read Aloud” to listen to your email and “Dictate” to have Outlook type your email for you, as well as the ability to prevent attendees from forwarding your meeting to others, and more. You can visit Microsoft’s Release Notes for Semi-Annual Channel Releases in 2019 to learn more.
Outlook on the Web – New Features Coming
You should also know that Outlook on the Web (aka OWA) will roll out many new features to Early Adopters, starting in late July. Broad deployment will finish by the end of September 2019. Outlook on the Web does not follow the same update cadence as OPP does. However, the Project Office 365 team will communicate new feature updates as they are introduced into the product roadmap. You can read more on the newest Outlook on the Web features here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Outlook-Blog/Faster-with-a-modern-design-and-new-features-the-new-Outlook-on/ba-p/735222
April 2019: Office 365 Enterprise Implementation Update
Phase 1: Pilot Completed, Wave Migration Begins
The first quarter of 2019 saw the completion of DTI’s pilot migration of all DTI staff to Office 365 ProPlus and Exchange Online. This process which ran over the course of several months allowed the Project Team to tweak its plans and procedures to assure that agency rollouts and migrations go smoothly.
Agency Change Liaisons completed February readiness tasks. Among these was a major one: identify up to ten percent of their agency staff to become part of the State’s Early Adopters Group. There are still a few agencies who haven’t completed this work.
A key component to a successful O365 implementation within agencies is the identification of the organization’s Early Adopters Group (EAG). The EAG will be the first to receive updates and new features before deployment to the broader scope of agency users. This should not be a huge time commitment, but it requires a willingness to be helpful and an eagerness to try new things, as well as the ability to communicate and give feedback on experiences. Upon engagement with each agency, the EAG will be the first to experience Exchange Online (EXO) and Office 365 ProPlus (OPP).
- April 2019 – Organzational Change Management is scheduling Wave 1 Agency meetings to discuss implementation readiness and specific schedules. At these face-to-face meetings, the Office 365 project team engages agencies to determine Office 365 implementation readiness for Office 365 ProPlus (OPP) and Exchange Online (EXO) deployments. The team works with each Agency Change Liaison, the agency Customer Engagement Specialist, agency IRM and IT staff. They discuss the current status of projects, evaluate an agency’s equipment and software, and determine strategies for communications, timing and what will work best for an agency’s business cycle.
- The O365 project team has developed an initial implementation roadmap outlining three (3) wave sets for agency deployments of OPP and EXO (see below). The goal is to complete OPP and EXO migrations by the Summer 2020, however active involvement from each agency will define the actual timelines.
- February Checklist – Network Address Translation (NAT) updating successfully took place on February 18. Some rules and exceptions were put in place to accommodate individual agency needs.
- Early Adopters Group Checklist Task (DUE MARCH 15 86% complete)– Agency Change Liaisons were tasked to identify approximately 10% of their end users to participate in an Early Adopters Group (EAG).
- A Milestone Completed – All DTI staff (approx. 350) have been migrated to Exchange Online and Office 365 ProPlus has been deployed. The DTI Early Adopters were first to migrate and then the approach was three separate “waves”, all completed by March 27th. With each deployment, lessons learned were documented and course corrections introduced into the next deployment.
- April 2nd – Office 365 Enterprise Governance/Center of Excellence (COE) held an initial meeting with DTI staff. The COE will enable efficient consumption of O365 Cloud Services within the State of Delaware. Its first task: develop a foundational governance to rollout services across different agencies.
Office 365 Website Updates
The Office 365 website, https://office365.delaware.gov continues to be updated as we develop new resources. Office 365 Resources now include documents needed for migration, as well as Office 365 Applications training links and links to Office 365 training references such as Quick Starts and Cheat Sheets.
We appreciate your help in planning, preparing, and COMMUNICATING about this enterprise project. We depend on all State employees to ensure the success of this project for your agency. Please spread the word about the Office 365 Project and direct people to the website if they have questions.
Please send any questions or concerns regarding the Office 365 project to us.
November 2018: Office 365 Enterprise Implementation Update
Project O365 is Underway
October and November were busy with project start-up tasks. Agency IRMs completed the first Readiness Checklist associated with the project that was due on October 1st. They identified Agency Change Liaisons for their agencies and back-up coordinator(s). These Agency Change Liaisons are on the front line to:
- Work with DTI’s Organizational Change Management Coaches to complete Readiness tasks;
- Be the first point of contact for project communications between the agency and Project O365 staff;
- Assist in identifying agency impacts, including researching and documenting application/desktop data;
- Communicating, promoting and educating with/to/about the project to staff to whom they have a defined responsibility; and
- Participate in end user testing.
Email Migration Plan Testing Begins
On November 2nd, as a pre-pilot, 48 DTI staff volunteered to undergo an email address change. They agreed to have their email address changed to the new domain, @delaware.gov. They also switched to the new Cisco Unity voicemail system. These volunteers are putting the email domain change plan through its paces to smooth the way for the rest of us. After the pre-pilot identifies any problems to fix, a larger pilot will begin. This next pilot will involve more than 200 DTI staff to fine-tune the plan before the email domain change rolls out to other state agencies.
November Readiness Checklist Tasks
Agency Change Liaisons are working on their next set of Readiness tasks. The November Readiness Checklist has three tasks:
- identifying any applications agencies have that use an email address (email@example.com);
- identifying applications/servers that use static IP addresses to make calls external to the state network; and
- identifying applications/servers that use Exchange Web Services.
Some agencies will have little or no work to do to complete these tasks which are due by the end of the year. But for others, it may involve a bit of digging. Some agency business processes have existed for long time—well before staff who currently use or maintain them. It is important to consider these details early in this project. This allows ample time to identify impacts. Agencies can then make changes that may be needed before migration.
Stay tuned as we keep you up to date on Delaware’s move to Office 365!
September 2018: Office 365 Enterprise Implementation Update
Were you unable to attend the Office 365 Enterprise Implementation Kick-off meeting held on September 18, 2018?
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