Office 365 service upgrades for June, 2013

July 5, 2013  |  No Comments  |  by   |  Blog, News

As many users have experienced, Microsoft is releasing more and more service upgrades every year, the delay between update cycles is much shorter than it used to be. As we heard at the Build 2013 Conference, Microsoft is all about rapid releases these days. The company views continual upgrades and improvements as key elements to making sure that their customers have the best technology.

Of course, sometimes these routine service upgrades demand some administrative tasks on the user end. For the most recent June 2013 Office 365 service upgrades, here are some maintenance tasks that Microsoft and Office 365 Advisors recommend for businesses to keep their environment up-to-date.

  1. Upgrade your Site Collections

    After the upcoming 2013 service upgrades, you may notice that your SharePoint Online sites do not seem to have changed. SharePoint sites will retain current user experience and look by default; to experience the service upgrade features you will need to upgrade your site collections.

    Microsoft recommends upgrading all site collections within three months of the service upgrade. As an administrator, when you first log in after a service upgrade, you will see a notification bar that prompts you to start upgrading your site collection now, or be reminded later.

    There are three main steps in upgrading your site collection:

    • Check the health state of your site collection

      This is a new feature for SharePoint Online 2013! Essentially, this feature lets you run a pre-upgrade diagnostic that will alert you to any potential issues regarding upgrades, and identifying solutions.

      To begin this process, go to Settings, then Site Collection Administration, and finally select Site Collection Health Checks. On the Run Site Collection Health Checks page, select Start Checks. The report is generated automatically.

    • Create an evaluation site to preview the differences between versions

      This step lets you create a separate copy of your site collection to check compatibility with the new version. Unlike past upgrades, actions that you take in this copy do not affect the original site collection.

      This step is not necessary. If you use sites that are customized or running as a sandboxed solution, however, Microsoft and Office 365 Advisors highly recommends this step to double-check compatibility!

      To create an evaluation site, go to Settings, Site Collection Administration, and then Site Collection Upgrade. On the Set Up to SharePoint 2013 page there will be a ?Try it out before you take the leap? option. This will open a box where you are prompted to select ?create upgrade evaluation site collection.?

      Once the evaluation site collection is available, you will receive an email with a link to the collection. This evaluation site expires in 30 days, after which you can request another if needed. Remember to save any changes you make in the site collection!

    • Start the actual upgrade

      Once you have established that the site collection is compatible and healthy, you are ready to begin the actual upgrade!

      Follow the same path from Settings, to Site Collection Administration, to Site Collection Upgrade. On the Set Up to SharePoint 2013 page click ?upgrade now?. This begins the upgrade process.

  2. Deploy Lync 2013

    Your Lync 2010 client will continue to work with Office 365 after the service upgrade. Before April 8, 2014, however, you will need to take the time to upgrade to Lync 2013. Lync 2013 also adds new features you may want, such as:

    • A Lync Web App that makes it easier for users without the Lync client to join meetings via their browsers.
    • Persistent chat, where the chat history is retained making it easy to jump in and out of group chats.
    • Enterprise voice features.


  3. Deploy Office 365 Professional Plus

    If you are an existing Office ProPlus subscriber, you will immediately receive access to the latest version of Office after the service upgrade. You do not, however, have to upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus right away, as your existing Office client will continue to work with Office 365 until April 8, 2014.

  4. Review the New System Requirements

    Effective immediately, Office 365 will be adopting new system requirements. The main highlights of the new requirements are:

    • Current or immediately prior versions of IE, or the latest release of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari
    • Any version of Microsoft Office in mainstream support
    • Any supported Windows or MacOS operating System


    For more on the new system requirements, read the new client system requirements policy.

Interested in learning more about how Office 365 could help your business? Have more questions about new features in Office 365? Contact Office 365 Advisors today for more information.


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