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Plan for Office 365

Congratulations on your decision to move your business to the cloud! Whether you have 1 person in your business or 10, doing a little planning will help you get the most out of Office 365.

For starters, let's review what you're getting:

  • Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

  • A personalized email address for your and your employees, such as

  • Document storage in the cloud (OneDrive and team sites), and more.

You're not getting apps for accounting, payroll, CRM, or a public website.

Move checklist

Here are some things you need to do and decide to make your move to the cloud a smooth one.

1. Choose your Office 365 plan

Choose a plan.
Choose a plan

  • Do you need Office installed on your computers? If yes, choose Office 365 Business Premium.

  • Do you also need email encryption? Or are you in medical, finance, law or another industry that requires security compliance tools and archiving? If yes, choose E3 instead.

  • Do you have some employees who only need email, and others who need Office apps installed?

    You can mix and match plans! For example, you can buy the Premium plan and licenses only for those employees who are going to use it. After that's done, you can add a different plan to your subscription and buy licenses for the remaining employees. This will keep things tidy so you have one subscription, with multiple plans and licenses.

2. Decide on a domain name, if you don't already have one

Decide on a domain name
Decide on a domain name

  • A domain provides your organization with a professional and easy to remember online identity, such as If you already have one, you can bring it with you to Office 365 – we’ll help with the transition.

  • Don’t have a domain? It's easy to get one at the same time you sign up for Office 365!

3. Schedule when you are going to move your existing email and contacts to Office 365

Plan for email.
Move email and contacts

  • If you're planning to move from an existing email service to Office 365, it usually takes 2 days to make the switch. We recommend you schedule the switch to Office 365 email during an evening or weekend when you receive fewer emails.

4. Identify which files you want to store in the cloud

Plan to move your files to the cloud.
Identify files to store

  • Most businesses want to store all their files in the cloud because there's less risk of losing them. And, you can access them from anywhere! When you sync your computer to the cloud, a copy of the file will be downloaded for you to work on it locally, in case you don't have internet access. When you save and close the file, and connect to the internet, it's stored again in the cloud.

5. Assign roles

Plan roles.
Assign roles

  • Were you the person who signed up for Office 365 and purchased the subscription? Then you're the global admin for your organization!

    That means you’re responsible for getting things set up, solving problems, and helping other users. But you can assign admin roles to trusted users, too.

  • Only one or two people in your business should be assigned to the global admin role. People in this role can do anything, such as delete ALL your documents, so it's a security risk to have several people in the role.

  • Some businesses hire a consultant to manage their computers and software for them. You can create an account for your IT consultant, but you don't have to assign a license to him so it doesn't cost you anything from the Office 365 side. He'll still be able to do most tasks in the global admin role.

6. Get the word out

Communicate plan to your team.
Let people know

  • Let the people in your business know you're going to the cloud! They can start cleaning up old email and files or take advantage of free online training.

  • Decide how you’ll get sign in and passwords to users when you’re ready to roll.

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