Process and Expectations

In this topic, we cover how to engage FastTrack for assistance, how that assistance is provided, suggest tips for a successful experience, and understand the key responsibilities of both FastTrack and your company.

Engaging FastTrack

Getting assistance from a FastTrack Specialist

There are two places you can request assistance from a FastTrack Specialist:

  • Through the Microsoft Admin Center – Your tenant admin signs into the Microsoft Admin Center and then clicks on the Need help? widget, which then walks them through the request process.
  • Through the FastTrack site – Either you or your Partner requests assistance for your company through the FastTrack site.

To request assistance directly through the FastTrack site:

  1. Sign in to the FastTrack site.
  2. Select Request assistance with Microsoft 365 from the quick actions on the top of your landing page.
  3. Complete the Request Assistance with Microsoft 365 form.

To have your partner request assistance on your behalf through the FastTrack site, have your Partner:

  1. Sign in to the FastTrack site.
  2. Select Request assistance with Microsoft 365 from the quick actions on the top of your landing page.
  3. Search for your customer by entering the customer name, domain, or TPID.
  4. Select your customer from the search results.
  5. Complete the Request Assistance with Microsoft 365 form.

To request assistance for App Assure, complete the App Assure service request.

FastTrack expectations

FastTrack provides end-to-end guidance about moving to and using Microsoft 365. You receive remote guidance and best practices on planning a successful rollout.

Meeting rhythms

You work remotely with FastTrack Specialists through technical talks, workshops, and checkpoint meetings, including:

  • Technical talks and workshops: These provide subject matter deep dives and best practices to accelerate your deployment of Microsoft 365 services. These meetings often provide an overview of available documentation, software tools, and admin consoles. Standard duration: 60 minutes.
  • Checkpoint meetings: Weekly or biweekly touchpoints to ensure your deployment is progressing. Standard duration: 30 minutes.
  • Microsoft 365 admin center advanced deployment guides: These provide step-by-step prescriptive guidance for configuring and enabling Microsoft 365 services in your environment. The FastTrack Specialist supports you through the process of using the guides with answers to your questions and explanations of the choices the guides present.

Expected outcomes and key milestones

FastTrack provides deployment best practices and remediation steps to follow in order to enable your organization’s use of Microsoft 365.

What you can expect from FastTrack:

  • We work with you to create a remediation plan that brings your source environment to the minimum requirements for successful onboarding and migration.
  • We provide guidance to establish a solid foundation for core onboarding, identity integration, and service enablement activities .

Typical engagement milestones include:

  • Kickoff meeting – Understanding of process, schedule, tools, and team activities.
  • Assessment – Develop a remediation checklist using Microsoft 365 admin center advanced deployment guides.
  • Security discussion – Plan the security strategy based on recommended Microsoft security best practices.
  • Remediation review – Reviewing any remediation items.
  • Success workshop – Tools, templates, and guides for creation of an action plan.
  • Checkpoint meetings – Meeting minutes and schedule.
  • Enable activities – Complete service enablement and, if appropriate, guided assistance with Microsoft 365 admin center advanced deployment guides.
  • Migration velocity workshop (optional-Microsoft 365 only) – Migration readiness.

For more information, see Microsoft 365 customer success stories.

Customer success tips

Your preparation for FastTrack’s assistance is vital to a smooth and successful process. Prior to engaging with FastTrack, be sure to establish:

  • A desired date (when you plan to deploy the services).
  • The intent (which services you plan to launch).
  • The business reason (why you plan to launch the service to users).
  • The success owners (who is responsible for the success of the project).

We also recommend you consider and identify the following:

  • Stakeholders – Recruitment and empowerment of executive sponsors and champions.
  • Scenarios – Prioritization and definition of success criteria.
  • Awareness – Implementation of communication campaign and planning the launch event.
  • Training – Educating end users and readying helpdesk resources.

FastTrack and customer responsibilities

Clear responsibilities for all parties are necessary for a smooth onboarding to Microsoft 365. This section outlines those responsibilities based on the various phases of a FastTrack engagement. FastTrack is responsible for providing ongoing access to a FastTrack Specialist throughout the length of your subscription to eligible Microsoft 365,Enterprise Mobility & Security (EMS), and Windows 10 services. These Specialists provide remote guided support during normal business hours where the FastTrack Center is located and perform supported email and file migration (500 seats or more). This guided support includes best practices, access to online resources, and self-serve tools. Customers, or Partners working on their behalf, are responsible for project management, performing remediation and hands-on configuration, implementing change management and process optimization, on-site readiness, and training. The following table provides a comprehensive list of these responsibilities.

Phases FastTrack responsibilities Customer responsibilities
  • Provide remote guidance with success planning development and implementation and required configuration activities.
  • Provide remote guidance in the form of available documentation, software tools, admin consoles, Microsoft 365 admin center advanced deployment guides, and scripts.
  • Schedule and run technical talks, workshops, and checkpoint meetings.
  • Develop and implement your success plan.
  • Provide any enhancements and integrations to your Office 365 tenant beyond the configurable options listed here.
  • Provide overall program and project management, including:
    • Assigning a project manager as the primary contact for the FastTrack Specialist.
    • Assigning a technical lead as the primary contact for the FastTrack Specialist.
    • Assigning technical resources to perform remediation, configuration, and enablement tasks as outlined by FastTrack and providing tenant admin permissions to use Microsoft 365 admin center advanced deployment guides.
  • Provide resources accountable for driving end user adoption of the service.
  • Provide end-user communications, documentation, training, and change management.
  • Identify and engage appropriate business sponsors.
  • Provide helpdesk documentation and training.
  • Produce any reports, presentations, or meeting minutes that are specific to your organization.
  • Create architectural and technical documentation specific to your organization.
  • Design, procure, install, and configure hardware and networking.
  • Procure, install, and configure software.
  • Configure, package, and distribute client software required for Office 365.
  • Manage, configure, and apply security policies.
  • Activate mobile devices.
  • Provide network configuration, analysis, bandwidth validation, testing, and monitoring.
  • Alter the network to provide necessary bandwidth for services that require it.
  • Manage a technical change management approval process and create supporting documentation.
  • Specify and define group policies for user, workstation, and server management.
  • Modify your operational model and operation guides.
  • Set up multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • Decommission and remove source environments (like messaging and collaboration). Note: Ensure that all wanted data is migrated prior to decommission and the removal of your source environment.
    • Construct and maintain your test environment.
    • Install Lync 2013 or Skype for Business Online 2015 admin tools and service packs to support split domain configuration.
    • Install service packs and other required updates on infrastructure servers.
    • Provide and configure any public Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates.
  • Work with you to understand your intent, organizational goals, and usage plans for the service.
  • Work with you using Office 365 collaboration services (like Microsoft Teams) to begin onboarding.
  • Define which eligible services you want to onboard.
  • Set up collaborative Microsoft Teams space for onboarding partnership and invite FastTrack team members.
  • Work with FastTrack Specialists to begin onboarding of eligible services.
  • Participate in the engagement kickoff meeting and manage and lead participants from your organization.
  • Provide your objectives for Office 365 services (for example, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Teams, and Microsoft 365 Apps) and organizational goals.
  • Hold a success planning call to provide guidance with you for successful user adoption.
  • Provide an administrative overview.
  • Provide guidance about:
    • Domain Name System (DNS), network, and infrastructure needs.
    • Client needs (internet browser, client operating system, mobile device, and services' needs).
    • User identity and provisioning.
    • Enabling eligible services that are purchased and defined as a part of onboarding.
    • Driving successful service adoption and value.
  • Establish the timeline for remediation activities.
  • Provide a remediation checklist.
  • Assess the existing SharePoint Server 2013 or SharePoint Server 2016 infrastructure including:
    • Prerequisites for SharePoint Online hybrid.
    • On-premises infrastructure readiness for SharePoint Online hybrid features.
    • Access to required SharePoint Online endpoints.
    • Audiences for OneDrive for Business hybrid.
  • Assess the existing Lync, Skype for Business Online, or Microsoft Teams infrastructure including:
    • Supported Skype for Business client or Teams client deployment strategy.
    • Access to endpoints.
    • Connection quality.
    • Bandwidth estimates.
    • Prerequisites to support split domain server configuration.
    • Readiness of identified users to move onto Skype for Business Online or Teams.
  • Assess the messaging infrastructure, including:
    • Overall mail flow and routing principles.
    • Client access (including existing published client-access endpoints).
    • Source messaging environment for integration needs.
  • Provide data migration if the FastTrack data migration service is used and if you meet eligibility.
  • Identify appropriate stakeholders (including a project manager and business owners) to complete the necessary assessment activities.
  • Participate in the meetings to create the remediation checklist, and contribute to the overall plan, including infrastructure, network, administration, directory synchronization preparation, network security, and federated identity topics.
  • Participate in the meetings to outline the user-provisioning approach.
  • Participate in the meetings to plan online service configuration.
  • Create support plan for migration readiness.
  • Participate in the success planning call to outline:
  • Invite the right stakeholders for the engagement.
  • Provide scenarios to fit the needs and goals across your organization.
  • Provide an organizational awareness and training plan.
  • Hold conference calls with you according to the agreed schedule to review the progress of the remediation activities and success planning.
  • Guide you through running assessment tools to identify and remediate issues and interpret the results.
  • Perform required steps to complete remediation activities identified in the Assess phase.
  • Participate in checkpoint meetings and:
    • Define business scenarios.
    • Define and engage stakeholders.
    • Build an awareness plan.
    • Build a training plan.
  • Evaluate progress on success planning and determining what further assistance you need.
  • Activate your Office 365 tenant.
  • Configure TCP/IP protocols and firewall ports.
  • Configure DNS for eligible services.
  • Validate connectivity to Office 365.
  • Connect your on-premises Active Directory with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD):
    • Install a directory synchronization server between your Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and Office 365 (if required).
    • Configure password synchronization (password hash) to Office 365 (Azure AD) with the Azure AD Connect tool (if required).
    • For single- and multiple-forest environments:
      • Configure Azure AD Pass-through Authentication (if required).
      • Configure Azure AD Seamless Single Sign-On (SSO) (if required).
  • Work with FastTrack Specialists to complete onboarding of all eligible services and:
    • Implement an awareness plan.
    • Implement a training plan.
    • Provide success planning progress and determine areas that require further guidance.
    • Provide FastTrack Specialists with access and permissions (if you choose to have Microsoft perform migration tasks).
    • Procure and provide administrative accounts to target environments as appropriate (if you choose to have Microsoft perform migration activities).
    • Manage resources as appropriate.
    • Configure network-related items per Microsoft guidance.
    • Configure DNS records based on domain validation requirements to include your MX records.
    • Perform directory readiness and configure directory synchronization per Microsoft guidance.
    • Populate on-premises Active Directory objects with mail-related attribute values from third-party directories.
    • Configure security-related infrastructure (like firewall ports) per Microsoft guidance.
    • Implement appropriate client infrastructure.
    • Implement a user-provisioning approach per Microsoft guidance.
    • Enable various services per Microsoft guidance.
Data migration
  • Provide a migration workshop covering the approach and process for your selected migration scenario.
  • Provide requirements for the source environment and Office 365 tenant access we require to provide data migration services.
  • Provide references to free tools and native source environment features that assess your source environments and create reports.
  • Provide guidance on configuring your source environments and Office 365 tenant to enable data migration services.
  • Configure FastTrack migration services to conduct your migrations.
  • Provide guidance on migration event scheduling.
  • Conduct migration events in accordance with the schedule you provide.
  • Provide status reports for active migration events.
  • Monitor migration events and remediate and resolve migration issues if possible.
  • Provide remediation and resolution options for migration issues that require customer action.
  • Provide final reports for completed migration events.
  • Provide post-migration assistance, limited to issues reported during the five (5)-day period following the completion of the migration event.
  • Provide project resources to conduct migration activities. Examples include:
    • Project management.
    • Source environment and Office 365 tenant administration.
    • Source environment content assessment and remediation.
    • Migration event planning and scheduling.
    • User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
  • Plan and implement change management and end user communications.
  • Provide the source environment and Office 365 tenant access we require to provide data migration services.
  • Use the recommended tools and native source environment features to assess your source environments and create reports.
  • Review and remediate issues discovered during assessment and pre-migration activities
  • Configure your source environments and Office 365 tenant to enable our data migration services.
  • Provide information necessary to configure our FastTrack migration services to conduct your migrations.
  • Plan, create, modify, and schedule your migration events using our templates and guidance, in accordance with stated deadlines.
  • Monitor migration event reports and resolve migration issues within your control.
  • Conduct migration event user acceptance testing and report issues within the 5-day period following the completion of the migration event.
  • Resolve post-migration issues within your control.
  • Perform post-migration operations according to your business requirements.