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Onboarding Process Communication Examples

To get you familliar with how we work. We're providing some examples for communications provided on past Office 365 migrations.

Sure, you could just copy these for your own migration, but we're not worried. Every migration is different and we have dozens of templates that apply to many diffeent situations.

All names are fictional and the links are non-functional.


Landing Page with Welcome Anouncement

This page is used to welcome new users to the cloud and make sure they have a reference to how the process works. The specific steps will likely be very different at each organization, depending on the specific migration plan used.

Get Ready for Office 365!
Microsoft and Liquid Mercury Solutions Welcome
Black Mesa Government Solutions' Staff to The Cloud

Coming soon, we're moving your e-mail to Office 365. This page contains everything you need to know about the process.


This section will contain important news and anouncements. Come back to this page to find out the latest information.

Task Checklist and Status

Click the box below and it will expand to show the task list.

Click here for Project Tasks and Latest Status Updates

Updated as of 3:00PM on Monday.

LMS = Liquid Mercury Solutions; ITHD = IT Help Desk; BMGS = Black Mesa GS staff/management

(T-2 indicates that change is planned for 2 days before cutover-day)

Users, Mailboxes, and Subscriptions

  • DONE - 8/30 ITHD : List all distribution groups and their members
  • DONE - 8/31 LMS : Create all user accounts in Office 365
  • DONE - 9/2 BMGS : Determine which users will get what 365 plans T-2
  • DONE - 9/5 LMS : Create distribution groups and shared mailboxes in 365 T-2
  • DONE - ITHD : Need a list of recipients for all distribution lists, members of shared mailboxes
  • DONE - 9/2 LMS : Order Office 365 licenses T-0
  • DONE - 9/2 LMS : Provision 365 licenses (connect to users) T-0
  • DONE - LMS : Check user mailboxes, add aliases if needed T-0
  • DONE - LMS+ITHD : Resolve all discrepancies between AD and e-mail
  • LMS : Reconcile actual licenses with BMGS list before 9/15

Other Technical Stuff

  • DONE - 8/29 ITHD : DNS setup
  • DONE - 8/31 LMS+ITHD : Configure AD Connect on Windows domain
  • DONE - 8/31 LMS : Modify UPN names to match email suffix
  • DONE - 8/31 LMS : Test connectivity for mail migration tools
  • DONE - 8/31 LMS : Set up the mail migration project
  • DONE - 9/1 LMS : Acquire needed migration tool licenses T-2
  • DONE - 9/1 LMS : Import users into migration project T-2

Move Existing Mail

  • CANCELLED - 8/29 DL : Admin account for old mail server
  • RESOLVED - 8/31 LMS : Assign a 365 license to the destination admin account
  • RESOLVED - 8/31 LMS+ITHD : Admin account access issue on source end
  • DONE - 8/31 ITHD : Provide password list for all user accounts
  • DONE - 9/2 LMS+ITHD : Resolve password discrepancies / missing passwords / AD Sync issues
  • DONE - 8/30 ITHD : List all existing email users
  • DONE - 8/31 BMGS : choose additional people who will go in the pilot group (first 5 including exec. management team and HR)
  • DONE - 9/1 LMS : First group of 25 users to start migrating mail T-2 (Wed)
  • DONE - 9/2 LMS : Start moving mail for all users T-0 (Fri)
  • DONE - LMS : Monitor mail migration (T-0 to T+3)
  • DONE - 9/1 ITHD : Inquiry from LMS regarding any email aliases T-2
  • DONE - LMS : Manual Outlook Configuration for users who require it
  • DONE - 9/2 LMS+DL : Resolve issues for users who need admin credentials to install the configuration agent

Communication Plan

  • DONE - 8/29 Contact information shared among all parties/stakeholders
  • CANCELLED BMGS : Please appoint a staff member to assist us with coordinating & communication (office admin, secretary, etc.) Looks like this will be ITHD
  • DONE - Designate a non-email backup communication method (e.g. web site, paper, phone#, etc.) Printed materials and public web site links have been provided; and will be distributed by office admin staff.
  • DONE - 9/2 LMS : Create public web page for communication and backup download method at
  • DONE - 8/31 LMS : Daily status update T-2 (Wed)
  • DONE - 9/1 LMS : Daily status update T-1 (Thr)
  • DONE - 9/2 LMS : Daily status update T-0 (Fri)
  • DONE - LMS : Interim update at 4pm T-0 (Fri)
  • CANCELLED - LMS : Daily status update T-0 (Sat)
  • CANCELLED - LMS : Daily status update T-0 (Sun)
  • DONE - LMS : Daily status update T-0 (Mon)
  • DONE - LMS : End of day update T+0 (Tue)
  • DONE - LMS : Daily status update T+1 (Wed)
  • DONE - 8/31 LMS : Draft communication to all staff regarding the timing and what to expect in the next few days T-2
  • DONE - 8/31 LMS : Communication to pilot group T-2
  • DONE - 9/1 BMGS+ITHD : Add help desk phone# and send the initial communication to all staff T-1
  • DONE - 9/1 LMS : Written instructions for users T-1
  • DONE - 9/5 LMS : Written FAQ for the tier 1 help desk T-1 (Public articles are now available in the LMS knowledgebase to share with IT staff.)
  • DONE - 9/1 LMS : Written instructions for users T-0
  • DONE - LMS : Lights out communication T-00
  • LMS : Welcome communication T+00
  • DONE - 9/1 LMS : Add LMS and IT help desk contact info to Exchange GAL T-0
  • DONE - BMGS+ITHD : List any email addresses that will need to be forwarded (e.g. helpdesk@) T-2

User Cutover Management

  • CANCELLED - 9/1 LMS : Give IT help desk a copy of the Outlook configuration tool to be deployed to all users T-2 (ITHD said that they can't deploy this way.)
  • CANCELLED - 9/1 ITHD : add config tool to group policy - push to desktops T-2
  • DONE - 9/2 LMS : Backup method send deployment tool notification email T-0
  • DONE - BMGS : Pilot group to test connectivity and ability to send mail T-1
  • WORKING - 9/2 LMS : Monitoring users' install config tool and ready to cutover T-1
  • DONE - LMS : one-on-one support for pilot group and others T-1
  • DONE - ITHD : make MX and other DNS changes for T+0 (Tue)
  • DONE - LMS : trigger Outlook configuration change T+0 (Tue)
  • WORKING - LMS : one-on-one support T+1 (Tue/Wed)

Legacy Mail Support

  • DONE - 8/29 ITHD : Agreed that IT help desk will keep relaying mail past the cutover date
  • DONE - ITHD : Identify all servers that need to send mail T-2
  • DONE - ITHD : Identify all multi-function printers that need to send mail T-2
  • DONE - LMS : Configure Exchange Online connections or secure tunnel as needed T-1

Next Steps

  1. Install the Outlook Configuration Agent

    The first step is to get everyone at Black Mesa to download and install this configuration tool. The tool will not make any changes to your PC right now. It will reconfigure your Outlook client so that you'll be properly connected when you sign in Monday morning.

    Click here to Download the Outlook Configuration Tool, "BootStrap.EXE". Once downloaded, choose to Run the tool and follow the prompt to enter the activation code that was e-mailed to you. Detailed instructions for installing DeploymentPro, including screen shots are now available in our Knowledge Base. (These were also e-mailed to everyone on Friday.)

    Update: Currently 21 out of 117 people have completed this vital step. Some people do not have Outlook or are using Mac and therefore do not need this tool.

  2. Configure Your Smart Phone and Other Mobile Devices

    Visit our knowledge base to review steps for connecting to Office 365 e-mail from your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple mobile device.

    If you don't have an Apple phone, please let us know and we'll provide instructions for Android.

  3. Test Access to Your New Account

    Test your login to Office 365 by visiting the Outlook Web Access site.

    Sign in using the login and password described in the e-mail that was sent to you recently. A copy of that e-mail has been included below for your convenience.

  4. Backup Your E-mail Signature, Mailbox Rules, Etc.

    Some settings in Outlook do not migrate naturally with the mail, calendar, and contacts you have stored on the mail server.

    To ensure these settings follow you into your new profile, please follow the steps in these KB articles to back up your Outlook rules and copy your signatures before switching to your new account.

  5. Download and Install the Latest Version of Office

    Depending on the subscription purchased for your account, some of you will continue using your current version of Office, while others will be upgrading to the latest version. Sometimes, it will be necessary to completely uninstall Office from your PC before installing the new version or you may need other help or support to complete the upgrade. In order to provide upgrades in an orderly fashion, please wait for us to tell you that it's OK to download and install Office on your PC.

Upcoming Cutover Message to Users

Here's an example of upcoming change anouncement for end-users.

Dear Black Mesa Government Solutions Staff,

This weekend, we'll be moving your e-mail account to Microsoft Office 365. We're excited to bring you this change, which offers faster e-mail service, connectivity from anywhere and any device, and more storage space.

  • Work on this begins today and will continue through early next week. Here's what you need to know.

  • Your new email box will be created on Friday morning. Once that's done, you will be able to connect to web mail at You'll receive additional instructions on Friday regarding changes to your PC.

  • Your new mailbox will be empty at first. We'll start copying your old mailbox into it beginning Friday, and this will likely be finished for most of you before the end of weekend. (Some very large mailboxes may take longer.) If you need to get to the old mail, you can sign in at

  • Your Office 365 login name will be similar to the one you have in Windows. So, if you normally login to your PC with "BLACKMESA\jsmith" you will sign into Office 365 as "".

  • Your Office 365 password is the same as your Windows password that you use when you log in to your PC. Going forward you won't have to remember two different passwords for your computer and e-mail.

  • Your existing e-mail account will continue to work, and any mail will be received in it until the official 'change of address' notice is given at the internet 'Post Office'. This will happen on Friday after business hours. After that, mail will arrive in the new mailbox, so if you need access to mail over the weekend, use the link above or your mobile phone.

  • If you use Outlook to check your email, very little should appear to change. When you come into work on Tuesday, everything will be ready for you - and we'll be there to help if anything goes wrong.

  • Our team will be on-site on Friday and Monday to help you with any problems, and we'll also be on standby and available remotely over the weekend. While we're on-site, we can help you set up any phones or other mobile devices that you have.

  • If you have any difficulty, please contact the help desk at; you can also email us at for assistance.


Your Liquid Mercury Solutions Office 365 Migration Team
and Black Mesa IT Support and Help Desk Staff

Post Cutover Anouncement

This example is an exerpted message that is sent to customer's IT staff after MX records are switched to Office 365.

Cut over has been completed. All DNS records have changed. Some users sending mail around 5-6pm may get bounce-back from the receiver for SPF (spam protection) or because of routing delays in DNS propogation. These are a temporary artifact of the cut-over process. If you receive an NDR, resend your mail later and it should be OK; if you lasting difficulty please let us know.

All users that we were previously unable to migrate have been reached by phone. Thank you for your cooperation in doing this. By tomorrow morning, we're confident that all your mail will be waiting for you at your new home in the cloud.

Our staff will return to your site Moday at 9am to help you in case you have any trouble configuring mail.

Instructions for how to connect to the new mail server by web mail and iPhone are below and Black Mesa' IT help desk has been alerted to them.

Pre-Cutover Anouncement

An example informal communication sent prior to cut-over to the new system.

We're coming close to zero hour, and it looks like enough problems have been resolved that we'll make the great leap forward today after 4pm. We're waiting on final confirmation from IT management to hit the big red button.

Our staff are on site to assist anyone needing to complete the steps below and plan to return Monday at 8am.

The up to date status list of everything and everyone is located online in your Office 365 SharePoint site. We are updating it as fast as possible.

Important Update: There are 5 people who still need to contact us ASAP. If your name is on the list below, please email or reach out to Black Mesa IT. Your accounts will be force-reset if we don't hear back by 4pm.

Thanks for your cooperation.