Moving IMAP To Exchange (Office 365)

Date 22-March-2012Another achievement of technical life where I’d to move one of the company to Office 365 completely. At present they will be using only the exchange component however, moving forward this will bring us to define office 365 through Domain Controller Integration.Overall – Good exposure to and also to http://mail.office365.comProblem solved:

Roaming profile is being achieved; making PST file back redundant.
The PST lock/ unlock issue fixed.

What was my role overall?

  • Planning and financial Analysis – wrote a step-by-step procedure for the staff to run through for transferring IMAP account to 365.
  • Train a staff member of size 5.
  • Demonstrating forwarding through email grouping in office 365/ exchange.
  • Moving and migrating existing emails to Office 365
  • Main point of contact for any challenges – following are the challenges I’d to face:
    • Finding a way of maintaining contact – suggestions as you type in; through C:UsersamitmappdatalocalmicrosoftOutlookRoamCacheStream_Autocomplete*.dat
    • Moving calendar et al from PST to Exchange – when system is hanging again and again.
    • Rollback procedure/ backup on hotmail as well as to our IMAP server infrastructure.
  • Point of contact for 12 members (sales staff) and 7 (back office)

Here is the crux of my analysis.

Migration setups from IMAP to Office 365 Exchange

We will understand about how to migrate (name made) to Office 365 (also called Exchange/ exchange 365).
We are assuming that has been hosted under our IMAP serve. We have decided that the exchange 365 will be our primary mail service provider and IMAP as a secondary.
We are going to learn about actions into two two parts:
The first part is – domain action This actions needs to be done when we are migrating domain for the first time.
The second part is – user actionThis action needs to be done when we are migrating a user (email) account to that domain.

Domain Actions

  • Go to DNS Servers > Bind DNS > Search for > Mail Server.
  • Change TTL for all entries to 3600 (which is 1 hour)
  • Go back to Bind DNS Option and Apply settings

It has been strongly advised that the above TTL changes should be done 1 day before migration.

Note: You need to have an Admin access to

  • Get a list of User account from Exim system (for actual email accounts) and for forward/ alias please go to Qmail.
  • Have this excel sheet thoroughly reviewed.

User Actions
We strongly advise that if we have more than 3 accounts for the migration then we use a feature called Bulk Account creation from Microsoft. Please read more details here:

Any new account that we create must be advised to support@. Hence, in the last step please do mention this email address where a temporary password will be sent by Microsoft Exchange.

  • Check support@ and you will have received account details.
  • Login as that user online ( and reset the password.
  • Track this password in the same excel sheet that we have prepared above.

Outlook Changes

  • Create an account in the outlook.
  • Export – existing IMAP Outlook to a PST file
    • FileOpen menu
    • click on Import ( I have no idea why they have not mentioned it does export too 🙂 ) and then follow the wizard to EXPORT to PST file
  • Import – This PST file should be imported into Outlook Exchange account.
  • Select signature from file – options
  • Delete old account from office 365 – if any.
  • If you have deleted an old account for that user then you must also modify their account registration details for Microsoft Office – desktop application.

After all user account has been created

  • Use Exchange, email migration tool through Manage > Users & Group for migrating records.

You would need a CSV file in the following format: The format should be: EmailAddress, UserName, Password
Note here that the password is an IMAP account password.

  • Modify IMAP DNS settings. – refer an attached document.
  • Wait for testing to be finished.
  • And then detach old PST file from each desktop outlook.