Microsoft Office 365 Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 10/21/16 -- Download Adobe Version of Frequently Asked Questions (with table of contents)

User Impact
  Email  Questions
  Post Migration Questions
  Microsoft Access Database Application Questions
   SharePoint Functionality
   Office Online Applications Functionality
Migration Information
Licensing Information (G1 vs. G3)
   Desktop Application Questions
Cost Information
Technical Questions for IT

Office 365: General

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is a set of applications that includes email, document and file creation, and collaboration tools. The good news is you have been using these tools for years.  What will be different for many of us is the introduction of new versions of your old favorites.  This includes the Outlook application for accessing email; Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access); OneNote, a note-taking function; and SharePoint, a storage and application platform that permits file storage, application development, and collaboration.

Office 365 is referred to as a cloud-based service, and access to many of the tools is over the internet.  For the majority, the Microsoft Office application you utilize regularly will continue to be accessed through your computer; however once you have migrated to Office 365, those applications will also be accessible over the internet and accessible from anywhere.

Why did the State select Office 365?

Office 365 will provide the ability to work together more effectively, as more advanced systems permit better creation, storage, and sharing of information.

Office 365 provides the most recent versions of email, Office, and SharePoint. Our implementation will provide us with regular updates of these programs without incurring additional costs, so staff will always be using the newest tools.

Is Mobile Device Management (MDM) part of the Office 365 migration project?

Right now MDM is out of scope of this project. The project team has not looked into the business impact, documenting a policy or testing the capabilities. After the migration is complete, the operational team will look into it.

Office 365: User Impact

How will migrating to Office 365 change things for me?

For those of you on the State of Vermont's Email system, today to access your email, you click on Outlook and it retrieves your email from an Exchange server in the State Data Center.  When you move to Office 365, you will still click on Outlook and it will now retrieve your email from an Exchange server in the cloud – or more specifically, in a Microsoft data center.

If you access your email through Outlook Web Access (OWA), it will also function generally the same. The most recent version of OWA in Office 365 actually has functionality that comes close to the full Outlook client experience.

How will this migration impact Citrix?

At this time we do not anticipate making significant changes to Citrix and will continue to provide the same service.  Citrix will still be required for accessing some files and applications remotely.

Is the Microsoft Home Use Program still offered?

No.  Microsoft no longer offers the Home Use Program.

I am an email distribution list owner.  Will I still be able to make changes to my distribution list after migration?

Not at this time.  Microsoft changed the ability to allow Distribution List Owners to make changes to their list.

  • Until further notice, submit a LANDesk Request to make the required changes --
  • We are researching alternatives and will keep you updated once we have more information.

Email Questions:

Will My Email Address Be Changing?

Yes.  As part of the Office 365 migration project, the State will be changing all state email addresses currently ending in to  This affects both state and partner accounts.  Partner accounts will be changed to

Will I still receive mail to my current email address – and for how long?

Yes. Your current email address will still work until January 17, 2017. 
For more information – click on the Communication that was sent out on 4/27/2015.

Why are we changing our email addresses?

The reason for changing the email address is due to the owner of the “@us” domain has decided to make the domain accessible to the public. Therefore that email domain will no longer be dedicated to federal and state government entities.  This allows the general public to buy up subdomains in the “@us” top level domain. For example, I could purchase the “” domain and start sending email to people and attempt to convince them that I was a representative of the State of VT.  Even though is not the same as “”, it is similar enough that some people may misread it and decide to trust any communication from that email domain.

The “@gov” domain and all subdomains (,, etc.) are still controlled by the federal and state governments, so there is no chance of similar subdomains being purchased and used by the general public.  Part of the reason we are doing this is to protect the authenticity of our email domain and all associated communications from the State.

Will ADS be setting up auto replies informing people the State of Vermont email addresses have changed to

No.  Users are recommended to update their email signature to remind people to reflect the name in email address.

(EXAMPLE:  My email address has changed.  Please update your address book to my new email address:

When can I start using my new email address?

This change was made effective July 27th, 2015.  You should start using it from that date forward.   See our communication regarding the email address change on this page:

When will webmail (Outlook Web Access) change to from

We do not plan on changing the address for Outlook Web Access at this time.  As users are migrated to the Office 365 webmail, they will receive the new URL (web address) at that time.  The current address of will eventually no longer be needed once all mail has been moved.

My name on my email address is wrong now.  How can I get it changed?

Any name changes to email addresses should follow the ADS standard ticketing process. The designated representative within your office will need to submit a User Account Request in the LANDesk ticketing system. If you need assistance, please call the Service Desk at 828-6620, option 1, and someone will direct you to a requestor in your department.

Will all our distribution lists and shared mailboxes automatically change to the new format?

Yes.  Distribution Lists and Shared Mailboxes (as an example: ADS - O365 Project - will be changed automatically to the new alias (  This is part of the migration.  Users will not need to submit individual requests (or one large request) to have them changed.

Will all users who access the State’s email system on their State-owned mobile phones need to change their email settings in the phones to reflect the new email address?

  No, there is a tool that provides an automatic discovery of changes and will correct the email address.

Will we need to change the settings on our mobile devices?

 Yes.  To update your mobile work phone:

In addition to the standard email addresses, all of my employees have a different email address alias (example: Will those addresses will still be allowed after the standard email addresses change to

The accepted email domains will not change and we will continue to accept mail for them.

I manage a list serve distribution list.  Will the address be changing on that as well?  (Example

List serve email addresses are not affected at this time.  However, we will create an FAQ and instructions on any steps that may need to be taken in the future.

(One known change would be any subscribed users that have an email address will need to be updated to before January 17, 2017.)

Will the Legislative and Executive mail systems be able to share address books and calendars?

This will be available when the migration for all state users has been completed.

OneDrive Questions:

What is happening with our current file storage (in home directories and shared drives)?

Over the course of this project, users’ home directories and shared drives will be migrated to the cloud, specifically Office 365 OneDrive. The plan is to start migrating users’ individual data and move to migrating shared drive data.

What is the OneDrive for Business file storage limit?

In the State of Vermont O365 tenant, G3 users have a 5TB limit, and G1 users have a 1TB limit.  This is according to the most recent Microsoft service description for OneDrive for Business.


How is OneDrive for Business different from OneDrive?

Microsoft offers another storage service called OneDrive. You may already be using OneDrive to store documents and other content in the cloud. This service is different from OneDrive for Business:

  • OneDrive for Business is online storage intended for business purposes. Your OneDrive for Business is managed by your organization and lets you share and collaborate on work documents with co-workers. Site collection administrators in your organization control what you can do in the library.
    • NOTE:  OneDrive for Business is currently only enabled for a small group of pilot users to test its functionality.  Use cases are being developed, and policies will be forthcoming on its use.  More information will be provided in the future.
  • OneDrive is free online personal storage that you get with either a personal Microsoft account or Use OneDrive to save personal (non-work related) documents, photos, and other files in the cloud.

Post-Migration Questions:

If I have access to a shared mailbox that hasn’t been migrated yet, will I be able to access it?

Yes, if you have full access to the mailbox.  You need to go to the web browser and put in (your mailbox/calendar name) , then log in with your credentials.

How-To - Add a shared mailbox to Outlook.

How can I send an email out of a shared mailbox if is not migrated yet?

 If you need to send an email out of the shared mailbox, then you have to log into OWA to send it (see the example above).

How can I access a shared resource that is not migrated yet?

You will only see free/busy information.  This will be the case until the shared resource is also migrated.

Will I be able to schedule rooms and resources that are not yet migrated?

You will be able to see meeting rooms and resources (examples are conference rooms, training rooms, projectors, fleet vehicles, etc.) that are not migrated yet. They will show as free/busy.  However, you will not be able to book the resource.  You will need to have someone who has not been migrated do this for you.

Office 365: Functionality

What are the mailbox sizes?

  • A User* mailbox is 50 GB with unlimited archive size.
  • A Shared** mailbox is 10 GB with no archive
  • A Resource, Equipment, etc.* mailbox is 10 GB with no archive

*50 GB for users. Yes, you read that right:  each mailbox is 50 GB, quite an increase from the current 1 GB standard mailbox provided in our current email environment.
**There is no charge for a shared mailbox or resource account mailbox.

What is the size limitation for attachments?

There is an attachment size limit of 40 MB.

What file attachment extensions are blocked?

Refer to the following webpage for a list of blocked file extensions:  Microsoft Outlook Blocked Extensions.

Can a user send to more than 500 recipients in Office 365?

No, not to individual recipients.  To discourage the delivery of unsolicited bulk messages, Exchange Online has recipient limits that prevent users and applications from sending large volumes of email. These limits are applied per-user to all outbound and internal messages.  (This limit does not apply to distribution lists created in our Global Address List that contain more than 500 recipients)

Recipient limit = This is the maximum number of recipients allowed in the To:, Cc:, and Bcc: fields for a single email message.

Note:   Exchange Online customers who need to send legitimate bulk commercial email (for example, customer newsletters or press releases) should use third-party providers that specialize in these services.

A example of a third party would be

Recipient limit information is located on the Microsoft website:

Can I reset my password from the Office 365 Online Portal?

This feature is now available for G3 licensed users through the Office 365 Online Portal.  In addition, G3 users have access to a self-service password recovery feature.  Instructions are located here:

For all other users, you can still change your password on a computer connected to the network by pressing CTRL ALT DEL.  (See instructions on this page:

If you are not connected to the network, please call your IT Helpdesk to reset your password when prompted

Will the Outlook Web Access link change?

Yes, we will be changing to the new naming convention.  (example: from  to )  Instructions will be sent out and websites updated with the new links.

Will vendor/partner accounts be able to use the full functionality of Office 365 (Word Online / Excel online, etc.)?

See Licensing Information section below for details.

Does Office 365 come with an email archive (currently known as Enterprise Vault)?

Yes. It works differently than the current Enterprise Vault that we currently use.  In effect, every user has two mailboxes in Office 365; the second ‘mailbox’ is labeled ‘archive’ and generally functions in the same manner as the first mailbox.  The ‘archive mailbox has no space limitation.  You should follow your department/agency public record retention policies for archiving email.

Microsoft Access Database application questions:

How will Access database users update their databases from older versions to the new version?

This should be coordinated with your Agency/Department IT Staff who manage the Access databases.  If you are supported by ADS for Desktop Support, you can coordinate the installation/upgrade of the desktop version of Access with Desktop Support to ensure a smooth transition (G3 licensed users only).  The online version will be at the latest version (G1 users).

Who will help with the Access database conversions when new versions are pushed out?

Individual agencies/departments will be responsible for Access upgrades, as they are applications developed within your agency/department and not managed by ADS.

If Microsoft Access is offered as a web application, why can’t I see it like Word or Excel?

Office 365 offers the Access web app using the browser without the Access client.  It's a little different than the others.  Each database must be published and made available to the users .

SharePoint Functionality:

What is the file storage quota for SharePoint Online?

The tenant SharePoint storage capacity is based on number of users in the State’s O365 tenant.   The calculation listed in this support article lists it as 10GB+500MB * # of users.

There is a threshold or limit of 5,000 in a library list.  Additionally, you can set thresholds or limits within the library to view less the 5000 items limit.

Site collection storage limit is 1TB per collection.  Here is a great chart that breakdown all the capacity totals in SharePoint Online.

For specific questions, please contact ADS, or submit a LANDesk ticket.

What is the difference between a SharePoint site contributor and a SharePoint site administrator?

A site contributor has access to contribute to a SharePoint environment, meaning they can add content to existing document libraries and lists.

A site administrator has full control over the site.  They can participate as a site contributor, as well as create new sites, define site owners, customize sites, etc.

Will vendor/partner accounts still be able to act as site owners?


Can I use External Sharing for SharePoint Online for my vendor/partner account?

Yes.  Please see documents below to request External Sharing for your SharePoint Online Site Collection.  (This will utilize the vendor/partner's personal WindowsLive ID, and is a no cost option to share information from your SharePoint Online site with your partners.)

Will the site creation in Office 365 still be limited to the Site Collection Owner? Or will it give permission to any Office 365-G3 user to create his own site within a site collection?

You have to be a G3 user to be able to administer a site but even if you are a G3 user, you still have to be granted those rights BEFORE you can create sites.

Will ADS have these rights when Office 365 is deployes? Or, if not, will ADS be able to request depolyments to the WFE from Microsoft admins?

                We are looking into ways to provide in-context immediate help with an app for SharePoint online.

Can ADS please deploy this software to the Office 365 test server for us to test?

We have no access to any servers in our Cloud tenant, test or production.  

Has Microsoft made a policy change that it will no longer host anonymous SharePoint sites?

Microsoft has made a policy change and no longer supports anonymous access (public) SharePoint sites. This does not mean your site is going away! This just means that these sites cannot be migrated to SharePoint Online as part of the overall Office 365 migration project.

We have a plan for an alternate solution.  We will be building a public SharePoint farm, and it will be hosted in Microsoft’s Azure environment.  This will allow sites to support anonymous access.

Is State of Vermont branding required for the use of SharePoint online?

No. Per ADS Commissioner the use of the State of Vermont branding is not required for the use of SharePoint online.

It will however be a requirement for any public facing sites when we migrate those sites.

Office Online Applications Functionality:

Will there be macro abilities with online applications?

Yes.  You cannot create macros, but you can edit existing macros in documents.  (You cannot create macros with VBA in Excel Online, but you can open and edit VBA-enabled spreadsheets without removing (or corrupting) the VBA contained in the file).

Office 365: Migration Information

What is the migration schedule?

Proposed Timeline for State Email move to Office 365 -- Updated 5/27/16
SharePoint Online Migration Info

Is there any chance to request a specific window for the migration of my department?

We will work with the migration vendor to identify the exact plan of “who goes when” but will certainly try to meet your request.

Will all my current email be migrated to the new mailbox in Office 365?

Yes.   All email will be migrated from the State’s current email environment to the new Microsoft Office 365 environment.  (This also includes a user’s email stored in Enterprise Vault).

Will vaulted items be migrated to the new mailbox in Office 365?

The project team is working to unvault (i.e. Un-archive) mail and move it back to the user’s mailbox.  This may not occur prior to moving your mailbox to Office 365; however, all items will still be accessible should you have remaining vaulted items.

Will this include my calendar entries, contacts, and tasks?

Yes.  However there is a known issue regarding migration of recurring meetings -- a recurring meeting over a long period of time may not migrate as expected. The duration of time appears to be around a 24-month period. Once your mailbox is migrated, the calendar item will need to be reset.

Will I still have access to the same distribution lists?

Yes, all distribution lists will be migrated.

What about shared resources, such as conference rooms and meeting spaces?

Yes, all shared resources will be migrated.

Office 365: Security

How is antivirus/anti-malware handled?

Antivirus, anti-spam, and anti-malware are all part of the Office 365 package. All email is scanned for these functions with Exchange Online Protection (EOP). It was formerly done in our on-premise Symantec Brightmail Gateways.

Are there new spam reporting instructions?

Yes.  Effective 9/10/15, they have been added to our ADS “How To “ Webpage: .  They are specifically located here:

Can email be encrypted?

Email is encrypted at rest and in transit in Office 365.  All mailboxes will comply with State of Vermont requirements and policy regarding encryption.

 Instructions on how to use Office 365 encryption located here:


Can an external (non-State of Vermont) user initiate an encrypted message to an internal (State of Vermont) user in Office 365?

No, this is not possible with Office 365.  The solution to this problem is to have an internal user send an encrypted email message to the external recipient.  If the external user replies, the message will then be encrypted.

Is our information secure in the cloud?

The State made security a major priority during the negotiations with Microsoft for Office 365. We are confident that the security provisions that cover all information, whether generated in email, SharePoint, OneNote, or in Office-created files stored in Office 365 storage, meet all the necessary security provisions.  This includes stringent security requirements surrounding the use of health data (HIPAA) and criminal justice information (CJIS).

Office 365: Licensing Information

What is the Difference between G1 and G3 licensing?

As part of our migration to Office 365, we are negotiating two licensing bands in our Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.  They are called G1 and G3 Government.  The table below highlights the differences between the two bands.

Below is a table of items in scope for our O365 migration project.

What the State of Vermont is licensed for:



Online versions of Office including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and more



Email Online -- includes calendar, tasks, and contacts with a 50 GB inbox



Email Archiving



Email Encryption



Active Sync (for Mobile Devices (smartphones & tablets)



Full, installed Office applications Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, and Access on up to 5 PCs or Macs



Office on tablets and phones for the full, installed Office experience on up to 5 tablets and 5 phones per user



File storage and sharing with 1 TB storage/user (OneDrive) (For personal drives on OneDrive only – not shared drives)



Compliance and information protection - Legal hold for email and files Checkmark Checkmark

SharePoint Online -- Site Contributor



SharePoint Online -- Site Administrator



NOTE: Vendor/partner accounts (both Email and SharePoint) will be eligible for both G1 and G3 licensing.  The cost for those accounts are not included in the allocation, and departments/agencies will be assessed a fee per account per year (as forecasted during FY2015 SLA discussions).  This will be billed as part of the Service Level Agreement Demand Services billing annually.  (See Office 365: Cost Information below)

How will licenses be managed?

Through the ADS Service Level Agreements (SLA).

If we make a determination for a specific user and it needs to be changed later, we can adjust up from G1 to G3, correct?

Yes, at any time you can change from G1 to G3.

What version Office suite is included with the G3 license?

Office Professional Plus, currently at version 2016.

Is Microsoft Access included in both versions  -- G1 and G3?

Yes.  As described in the table above, Access is included in both the G1 (Online only) and G3 (online and full desktop Installation) versions.

Is there an option to participate only in the email portion of Office 365?

No.  The State of Vermont Enterprise Agreement is limited to G1 and G3 plans provided by Microsoft.

Is there an option to participate only in the SharePoint contributor portion of Office 365?

No.  The State of Vermont Enterprise Agreement is limited to G1 and G3 plans provided by Microsoft.

NOTE:  If the reason this is being asked is to lower the cost of your vendor/partner SharePoint only accounts, please see information below regarding the use of External Sharing for SharePoint Online.

Will InfoPath be available to AHS users with the Office 365 upgrade?

With a G3 License for O365, that includes InfoPath.

Desktop Application Questions:

Do we need to remove our current version of Office installed on desktops for G1 users?

No.  If the version is Office 2010 or 2013, you can keep the existing installation on the desktop.  However, version 2010 is no longer supported by Microsoft.  And pilot users have reported performance issues when using that version on their desktop.

For staff that use Microsoft Office on a limited basis, including sharing workstations, what is the best option for them?

Based on licensing functionality, those users should be assigned a G1 license (contact your business office if you believe you’re a G1).

What is the approved browser version (Internet Explorer) Microsoft recommends?

Microsoft recommends using the current or immediately previous version of your web browser:  Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

What are the differences between the online Office applications and the fully installed Office applications?

Office Online Service Descriptions:

How to Decide to Use Outlook or Outlook Web App:

Office 365 Service Comparison:

Office 365: Cost Information

How will the cost of Office 365 be charged (annually, monthly)?

The State will be charged by Microsoft annually.  ADS will then include State Employee licenses in the annual ADS Allocation, and the vendor/partner accounts will be billed through the Demand Services Service Level Agreements (SLA).  (See Email Service Description)

  • State Employee  Accounts– covered in the ADS Allocation for FY16
  • Vendor/Partner Accounts (non-State Employee) - to be charged through the Demand Services SLA process (see next question regarding annual cost)

What is the cost of G1 and G3 licenses per account?

  • G1 costs $110 annually
  • G3 costs $313 annually

How will licensing be paid for in FY2017 and beyond?

We have not yet determined if it will be part of the allocation or demand services at this time.

What is the ADS Allocation and what are Demand Services?

Please review our explanation of the ADS Internal Service Funds on our website.

What is a vendor/partner account?

Some Agencies or Departments work very closely with contractors or vendors.  They request us to create “partner” accounts so that they can easily share the same information, and use our email and/or SharePoint services.  These accounts are for non-state employees.  This is to enable these vendor/partners to shares files on SharePoint, and to use our State email.  If they need email, their email address would be to differentiate them from state employees.

To further differentiate vendor/partner/contractor accounts from State Employees:

  • State Employee = employee assigned an employee ID from the VTHR system, logs in to submit timesheets
  • Vendor/Partner/Contractor – employee DOES NOT have an employee ID and cannot log in to the State’s VTHR system to enter time, or view paychecks.  This employee (regardless of their duties) should be considered a vendor/partner/contractor.  These employees are not part of the DHR headcount, which is how we pay State Employees’ O365 licensing through the ADS Allocation.

Why do we have to pay extra for vendor/partner accounts?

No, partner accounts are not covered in the ADS Allocation.  The Allocation only covers state employee accounts.  Partner accounts will be charged as part of demand services billing directly to the department/agency that has requested they be created.

Why is the cost different on the Microsoft Website?

The pricing on the Microsoft Website is in reference to the public cloud, not the government cloud.

Will there be any additional costs in the SLA we have with ADS or will these be shifted to a different line item?

There will be no increase in the cost of services ADS is providing in FY16.  Finance & Management and ADS are working on out years.  Questions regarding costs should be directed to James Nash at 828-6225.

What cost savings can be expected from this migration to offset the estimated internal costs to change all our stationery, websites, applications, business cards, consumer literature, reports, etc.?  Are these included in project costs already, or do we need to budget for them?

We have been giving notice that this was going to change for the past five months. We would expect you to use your stationary until you run out and during your next order; you would update your email address.

Office 365: Technical Questions for IT Technicians

Where can I find more information from Microsoft to help support my customers?

We have added a new web page with a collection of information.  It is all located on our new page:

As part of Office 365 AD cleanup, should proxy address be

Yes, our intent is to use “” for a unique email address.  If there’s an update to the proxy address, ADS has a script we can run to make the change.

What if anything will be the impact to during this migration?

Some applications in production use the relay server to send both internal and external email communications.  Our plan is to not make changes to “” until after the initial phase of the project. Our fear (and yours) is that applications will be breaking all over the place as we migrate to 365. We have added a DNS record for so technically either address should work.

Will the relay server be capable of using Office 365’s encryption features?

At this time there are no plans to have the relay server use the Office 365 encryption features.

Is the employeeNumber attribute required?

No, employee ID is not required at this time. Once the migration vendor is onsite we may be informed that field is required to provide a single unique field for synching purposes. If you would like a script to help populate that field, please let us know and we can provide it.

How will Outlook .pst conversions be handled?

PST conversion is out of scope for the migration project.  ADS had advised agencies and departments to stop using them once we had implemented Enterprise Vault.

However, if you want to move a user’s .pst into their respective mailbox, you can do so once it has been migrated to Office 365 (from their existing Outlook client on their desktop where the .pst is attached).  Mailbox sizes are quite a bit larger, and there will be online archiving available as well (which is unlimited in size).

Will partner account administration change?

No.  Administration will continue to be handled by ADS.

Will the new licensing scheme include the use for virtual environments?  This could include Citrix Desktops and VMWare VDI?  Or will there be additional Enterprise licensing required?

As it is now, the State of Vermont has an Enterprise License which allows for the use in the environments, but the new licensing is now Enterprise, but per user.

We have found that we cannot install Visio 2016 via an MSI installer on machines that already have Office 2016 installed via Click-To-Run.  What are our options to get Visio 2016 installed?

You will either need to license Visio with the online version or revert to 2013 if Office is 2016.  We are not licensed for Visio in our tenant, so installing it using MAK/KMS keys and MSI installers does not work.  See this document from Microsoft for frequently asked questions.

133 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633
(802) 828-4141

For Customer Support, please call 802-828-6620 or toll free 855-828-6620

  • ADS Service Desk/Telecommunications:   Option 1
  • Vision/HR Helpdesk: 802-828-6700: Option 2

Public Records Database and Agency Records Officer or Liaison Contact Information