Office 365, We are doing it!…Now What? – A Series: Support Plan

Welcome to the fourth and final post in our “O365…Now What?” blog series. The decision to move to Office 365 is a major milestone. However, the path to a successful migration encompasses a wide range of disciplines. In order to achieve your goals and realize successful results—along with a positive user experience—the project team must stay focused on defining four main elements: Migration, Communication, Training and Support Planning. Migration, Communication, and Training plans were discussed previously, but in this post, the End User Support Plan takes center stage.

Migrating to Office 365? Check out our other valuable resources in our Step By Step Guide to Migrating to Office 365

How to Build an Office 365 Support Plan

Developing an effective Support Plan is always a crucial element of any O365 deployment as it will ensure business continues to function seamlessly, without any loss in productivity. When developing a support plan, the first step is to identify all the teams in your organization that may be affected by a support or escalation call.

Below are some examples of what should be included in your support plan:

Onboarding Process

Developing an onboarding process and designating the responsible teams (post-migration) is a critical step. At some point, your organization will need to stop creating mailboxes via a legacy process and start creating them using Microsoft’s recommended method (the Microsoft Azure Active Directory Synchronization Tool or Microsoft Azure Active Directory Sync Services) in order to synchronize/create on-premises users in Office 365. After migrating mailboxes to Office 365, you’ll be able to manage user accounts on-premises via Active Directory, which would then synchronize with Office 365. For additional information on directory synchronization, refer to this Microsoft article on Directory integration.

Helpdesk Process

Ensure all helpdesk processes are in place at least one week prior to production migration. This will allow your team to be prepared for and focused on handling support calls, versus having to tidy up helpdesk scripts and processes at the last minute.

Escalation Support

Developing and implementing a well-designed escalation path for Level 1, 2 and 3 support prior to migration will reduce user frustration by ensuring your support staff is well aware and comfortable with handling high-priority issues and knows who and where to escalate them to.

Equip Support Teams

Ensure all support teams are informed on migration dates and on which users are being migrated. Provide them with adequate training and materials for troubleshooting.

Specific Call-Number Option

Enact a specific Call-Number Option for users experiencing migration-related issues. This will allow your helpdesk to handle migration-related calls more efficiently as they will be immediately directed to a support tech who will be immediately aware the user is inquiring specifically about an Office 365 or migration-related issue.

Ramp-Up Support Staff

To handle increased call volume and eliminate extended wait-times and walk-up visits, it’s beneficial to increase the number of support techs available during and after the migration.


Ensure proper daily analytics are collected, analyzed, and sent to requisite stakeholders. This allows the stakeholders and technical support staff to implement those processes, technical needs or helpdesk scripts that may be required to efficiently handle any issues that arise during and after the migration.


Many blogs around Office 365 focus on the technical side of things. And while this is extremely important, it’s only one aspect of a successful O365 migration. To ensure your own migration is successful, Anexinet offers an Office 365 Migration Kickstart that accelerates the process by equipping you with a readiness assessment, proof of concept, and roadmap.

And if you’re looking for something I haven’t mentioned here, know that Anexinet has the expertise, knowledge and skilled staff to achieve your goals and ensure your migration is successful. We’d love to help your organization on its journey through Office 365, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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