Home > Giles Hamson, Work > The #Office365 Upgrade Experience

The #Office365 Upgrade Experience

So the magic email finally arrived recently.  Microsoft have finished upgrading my Office 365 (2010 version) to the new 2013 (Wave 15) version (both the E1 and P1 plans that I have).


Now as some of you know already, I have created a new Office 365 tenant for my partner who has recently entered the world of HR consulting.  It is just a small endeavour at the moment whilst we sort out other personal to do’s like weddings etc…

Anyway, we needed a good email system, Lync is useful and a site for document collaboration.  Office 365 fits the bill perfectly.

I also created a very basic public website and sorted out all the DNS entries etc…

Anyway, enough of the background stuff – lets talk about the upgrade went?

Well Exchange & Lync is all done for you behind the scenes.  This worked perfectly for us and the new Outlook Web App interface is great (very similar to Outlook.com) and now includes Lync presence information with the ability to control your online status.



Lync is of course changed in look and feel and the user interface is certainly a lot nicer than Lync 2010 and Office Communicator 2007 R2.

It is nice to see this all working together.  More on this in a minute!

Now for the interesting bit – The SharePoint Online upgrade:

So logging into any of your site collections you will see the following message on the top of the site:


Clicking on Start now takes you to this…


And given that I have a pretty much blank sites at this point (a few document libraries here and there), I went straight for the upgrade.


Even after this warning, you still get the chance to stop the process:


In my case, for the main site collection, there seemed to be a warning around task lists, which presumably is not upgraded from the 2010 version, since they are all new in 2013 with great integration with Microsoft Project 2013.

Now after all that, go back to the root of the site collection and you are done!

A few things to note

This needs to be done on every site collection.  By every site collection, they mean every one – including:

  • Team Site
  • My Site (each individual)
    • My photo had to be re-uploaded but otherwise details stayed the same.  The photo also took quite sometime to propogate to Lync and Exchange, however this is a huge improvement.  One picture to fit them all!
  • My Site Host
    • Interesting this had to be upgraded separately to the My Site Content
      • Although technically this makes sense, I know that some of the non-technical business using Office 365 won’t understand this.
  • Search
    • Upgraded without issue but left old search symbol in place.
      • Interestingly, search box is no longer centred but the page layout could be updated as required.

That is about it, so nothing major to an experienced SharePoint and Office 365 techy like myself but I know that a number of my friends who use their Office 365 for their small business will be giving me a call when the time comes.

Anyway…  lets start talking about some of the new unexpected features that come with the upgrade:

New Features

We now have new Mobile Apps

  • Lync 2013
    • Works as per Lync 2010 but contains the new style and options about video / voice over 3G connections etc…
  • SharePoint Newsfeed
    • A new mobile app that relies upon My Sites being used.  Here are some screenshots…

photo 0

photo 2

photo 4

photo 3

And last but not least…Outlook Web Access

New look and feel but mostly the same but some new capabilities that caught my eye:

  • Lync presence capability is built in
  • Offline Access – which works a treat in IE and Chrome
image image


That’s it for now, but expect more as I come across it!

Categories: Giles Hamson, Work Tags: , ,

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