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This may be a simple question, but so far I've had trouble finding any help that corresponds well to my specific situation.

The very small business I work for is planning on "phasing out" the local server that primarily served as a file-share and email host (via MS Exchange). We've been migrating our files to the cloud which has been very straightforward, but I'm less sure how to proceed with migrating the few active email accounts on our Exchange server to a 3rd party.

Is it as simple as creating accounts with the same name (eg, jsmith@domain.com) with the 3rd party, then pointing an Outlook profile to that new 3rd party account? Would I also need to create an archive of the historic emails on each migratory account and then sync that archive with the new Outlook profile that's pointed at the 3rd party account? Would I need to delete the accounts on our local MS Exchange at any point?

Again, sorry if this is an overly-simplistic question. Any help, of course, is enormously appreciated!

  • how many email accounts are we talking? Just email (no shared contacts, GAL, resource mailboxes, etc.)? – TheCleaner May 27 '14 at 18:08
  • "Is it as simple as creating accounts with the same name (eg, jsmith@domain.com) with the 3rd party, then pointing an Outlook profile to that new 3rd party account" is a question for the 3rd party. We can't even begin to tell you how to migrate to a 3rd party system without at least knowing what it is (e.g. hosted exchange, etc). This is the sort of thing the 3rd party themselves should be providing you with support/guidance on. If they do not, then save yourself some heartache by ditching them right the hell now and going to someone who does. – Rob Moir May 27 '14 at 18:18
  • Thanks for the help- We're talking about 3 active accounts - ex-employee mailboxes have been backed up so we can access the contents if need be. I'll get the 3rd party to help us- I've been able to get their MX records information so far. We've been using Aplus for website hosting since far before I started here, so that's where we'd be moving the web hosting to. They've been reliable for the web hosting for us. Is there a generally recommended email host? – Ian Day May 27 '14 at 18:33
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It is a simple process:

  1. Create new mail accounts on third party server.
  2. Connect new accounts to your existing users outlook.
  3. change MX records for mail domain to point to new mail server. Once mail is coming in to your new server then:

  4. Drag and drop mail from old account to new account. you should be able to drag and drop calendar entries and contacts as well.

  5. disable old mail account.
  6. once all of the user accounts have been disabled and you have verified that everything is working properly on new server, you can uninstall exchange from your old server.

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