Monday, June 24, 2013

Office 365 Wave 15 upgrades are starting down under

I am beginning to see more and more Australian Office 365 tenants being upgraded to Wave 15.

Because many of the Office 365 tenants are provided through Telstra most customers will only receive a notification of an upgrade if they login to the admin console of Office 365. It is my understanding that no direct emails will be sent to administrators and the like.

This could mean that you wake up one morning and find everything has turned a shade of blue. The impact for emails should be minimal but with SharePoint the story is different.

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Users will see a banner appear at the top of their SharePoint sites prompting that the interface should be upgraded to SharePoint 2013.

You need to beware of the fact that:

1. Eventually all Office 365 tenants will have to upgrade to the SharePoint 2013 interface. So you can’t stay on the old look and feel indefinitely.

2. When you do it will mean a completely different look and feel.

3. Some custom SharePoint items may ‘break’.

4. You need to upgrade all your site collections.

5. The upgrade process time will depend on how large your existing SharePoint sites are.

6. Once you upgrade the interface to SharePoint 2013 you can’t roll back to SharePoint 2010 look and feel.

So if you have (or support) an Australian Office 365 Wave 14 tenant and you want to know when it is schedule to be upgraded make sure you login to the administration portal on a regular basis. Also, don’t forget that some of the biggest changes you and end users will see is with SharePoint, so the advice here is to be proactive and be ready.