How to Implement Student Advantage in Office 365 Education


There are currently two ways of implementing Student Advantage licenses to your Office 365 Education tenancy.  Both of these are descripted below depend on the code you get from the Microsoft licensing site.

Implementation 1

Log into your Office 365 Education Tenancy



Select purchase services from the left navigation and navigate down until you see Office 365 Pro Plus for Students


Click add and add the same number of licenses you have from your EES provider and also in your Microsoft Licensing Portal


Then click on add to cart and Check Out.

On the “Review your order” page you will see Enter Promo Code.  Enter the code you have been given.



You can now complete the process without entering an card information and start assigning licenses to your students.

Depending on your code, the above process may fail so you need to add it in a different way.

Implementation 2

What is important here is that you are already logged into your Office 365 tenancy you want these added to or when asked to sign in, you log into the correct area.

Navigate to


At this point you may be asked to log into the tenancy.  Remember to log into the correct one if you have any test environments.  You will now need to enter your 25 digit Product Key


You will be asked to confirm the number of licenses with a final redeem button.


When logging into your tenancy and selecting billing you will now see the licenses added.


Office 365 Education Starter Manual: 2013 Edition


A while back when Office 365 Education was released I wrote a starter manual for the manage of your tenancy, some tips and tricks and best practices for you to implement the product into your school, college or university.


As Microsoft have now released the new Office 365 with the Office 2013 stack I through it was only right to update the document, add and remove and bring it up to date for 2013.

You can either download it here (Office 365 Education Starter Manual) or view it at  (SlideShare: Office 365 Education Starter Manual).

Warwickshire County Council move their schools to the cloud with Office 365 and BFC Networks


Warwickshire County Council are moving their schools to the cloud with Office 365.

Who is it for?

The new WeLearn365 service for Warwickshire Schools has recently been launched, providing the county’s schools with a new Education service built on Office 365 Education.

Download the full case study from the Microsoft Case Study website.

UK Council Offers 185 Schools Cloud Environment for Just £1.50 Per Student

What is it?

WeLearn365 provides schools with Microsoft hosted Exchange email and a “thin layer” portal, designed and developed on SharePoint Online from Office365 by BFC Networks.

The portal gives schools “80% of the features of most VLEs, but delivers 80% of what schools actually need”.

The system provides 25GB inbox per teacher and integration of the new Office Web Apps. By making familiar Office applications available from any browser, WeLearn365 will make learning far more accessible from a range of different devices and for families who cannot afford to license a full copy of Office2010 in their homes.

How does it work?

Schools plug-in online content and apps from a variety of sources to be used by teachers and students, both in the classroom and at home. Warwickshire and BFC networks have also developed the system to integrate the schools MIS data from Capita SIMS, which is hosted on a Microsoft SQL server farm at the Warwickshire HQ. By mixing some key “in county” private-cloud services for student data, with best-of-breed Microsoft public-cloud services from Office365, they’ve been able to achieve a very compelling proposition at a significantly lower cost than most traditional VLEs or school portals.

The interface was built with templates in SharePoint Online, enabling schools to quickly customise and personalise their own site with their school colours and logo.

The Warwickshire team and Microsoft partner BFC Networks have turned the generic SharePoint service in Office365 into something friendly and usable for any school.


All teachers and students across Warwickshire will also have access to a top level WeLearn365 site, enabling collaboration and sharing of best practice across the county.

Recording: Using Office 365 for education


Last week it was great to be able to talk about a few of the Office 365 for education projects I am currently working on and sharing how the product is being used in 3 very different ways.

In the recording which you can watch at any time we talk about 3 different setups.

8.47 – A council/district wide implementation of Office 365

22.23 – A group of Academies are using Office 365 for education both as a VLE for their schools and as a central portal to communicate with all their schools

28.20 – How an Academy are migrating to Office 365 for education moving 1.2TB of data to the cloud.

If you have any questions please get in touch


Office 365 for education Starter Manual


I’ve spent the last few weeks deploying Office 365 for education to a few different schools, councils and academy trusts in the UK and thought I would share the way you should set up your tenancy through a new starter manual.


The Starter Manual will guide you through some of the simple tasks like subscribing, adding users and then giving them licenses.  It also covers some aspects of Exchange, Lync and SharePoint ensuring that when you are starting to get users engaged, you don’t hit any issues.

Feedback is always welcome and I hope you find it useful.


Click here to download.



Migrating from live@edu to Office 365 for education: Part 2 Upgrading


In part 1 we talked about a customer of BFC Networks who received an email around being ready and completing a survey before they could upgrade (they are still waiting for the next step).  Interestingly, another customer of ours has had an email to say they can upgrade now.  They didn’t received a readiness survey.

Upgrade Email

The email below arrived during the night

Customer is invited to upgrade from Live@edu to Office 365 for education now. You preserve and extend your investment in the world’s leading productivity suite while giving your faculty, staff, and students the features they already count on—and more—for free.

  • Once you complete the automated upgrade, (and any accepted domains) will be subscribed to the free Exchange Online Plan 1 for academic. You don’t have to move email, calendars, or contacts; re-provision accounts, or retrain people on how to use email.
  • Once you’re on Exchange Online Plan 1, add Office 365 for education Plan A2 for free for students, faculty, and staff. Plan A2 includes everything in Exchange Online Plan 1, plus SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and the ability to create, view, and edit documents using the Office Web Apps: Word Web App, PowerPoint Web App, and OneNote Web App.

As part of this invitation, you initiate each stage of the upgrade, and have complete control over when you start. When a stage completes and you can start the next one, we’ll email the administrator and critical notifications contacts.
Here’s how to get started:

  1. Read the upgrade help. Start with the overview to learn what you and your users will experience during and after the upgrade.
  2. Get ready. Do the tasks in the before-upgrade checklist, including creating temporary passwords for all users, and making sure everyone knows what to do to enable email access after the upgrade.
  3. Start the upgrade. Go to the Live@edu Service Management Portal, sign in and follow the instructions.
    • You’ll receive an email sent from Microsoft Office 365 after you start the upgrade that provides a temporary Microsoft Online Services ID. Please ignore this email: the upgrade uses your current Live@edu admin account.

If your school has students aged 13 or younger and is located in the United States, consider how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) applies to you.
Questions? Please see the
Live@edu upgrade wiki or contact Live@edu Support.
The Live@edu Team

Live@edu Service Management Portal & Upgrade

So I’ve logged into the live@edu tenancy and have found an extra box has appeared on the front page.



Click UPGRADE DOMAINS and you will notice that the first section now says IN PROGRESS.


For this tenancy the IN PROGRESS stayed on the page for less than 25 minutes but you have to manually refresh the page to see if there are any differences.

Once it is completed the page will look like this.

Select UPGRADE USERS.  While the upgrade takes place, users will not be able to access their email.


A popup box will appear.  Click OK if you are ready to upgrade your users


You are asked to log in again and the upgrade of users will take place.


This process took 10 minutes for my number of users and I had to refresh the screen to find out if it had completed or not.

Step 3 is to create a temporary password for the Office 365 Admin Account.


You are now shown a upgrade complete page.


If you want to read the after-upgrade checklist for administrators you can by clicking here.

You now need to log into Office 365 for education!


Migrating from live@edu to Office 365 for education: Part 1 Readiness Survey


One of my customers has received that all important email about migrating to Office 365 for education.  Thank you to Martin to allow me to blog the process they have gone through.

You will receive an email from the Microsoft


=”mailto:Live@edu”>Live@eduemail services called Prepare for the Live@edu upgrade and will be asked to complete a readiness assessment.


The process is going to ask you a set of questions which will help you to manage the process of migrating to Office 365 for education

When the link has opened you will get this website.


The first question is around your domain.


Note: I have covered the domain name which is listed on the page.

The next question is around how you provision accounts.


You are then asked about how your passwords are changed.


Single Sign On is next.


You are next asked how to plan to create users in Office 365.

Here are a few details in case you aren’t sure

  • Microsoft Online Services Directory Synchronisation: If you are using DirSync already, this is the replacement in Office 365
  • Office 365 PowerShell: There are a set of PowerShell commands in Office 365 that you will find useful and better than live@edu
  • Exchange PowerShell: I would recommend that you don’t use this
  • Exchange Control Panel: I would recommend that you don’t use this
  • Office 365 Admin Portal: The Admin Portal is where you configure your tenancy, similarly to Service Management Portal in live@edu


This might be different for different tenancies (I don’t know).  Select when you would like to be upgraded.  Remember that Microsoft have said that is not guaranteed.


That is the last of the questions and you are ask to click next to be taken back to the live@edu Upgrade Centre.



Once this customer is notified of their upgrade I will blog part 2 (what ever the next step are). Winking smile

First Step for migrating to Office 365 for education from Live@Edu


Microsoft have started sending information out to different school about their current tenancy and it’s migration to Office 365 for education.  Here’s that information if you don’t receive the emails.


Office 365 for education will provide free Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online to students, faculty, and staff.
Starting in summer 2012, Microsoft will begin upgrading educational institutions using Live@edu to Office 365 for education. This upgrade gives students, faculty and staff free access to the same versions of key Office 365 tools available to enterprises, extending your investment in Live@edu. This upgrade does not require mailboxes, calendars, or contacts to be moved; reprovision accounts; or re-train users on e-mail. Your users can keep their email address – plus get new tools that make it easier to communicate and collaborate.
The automated upgrade process will automatically subscribe you to Exchange Online Plan 1.

Next steps
For now, continue to use your current Live@edu services and look for further announcements about the upgrade. You’ll receive an email letting you know when your institution can upgrade, including details on how to start the automated upgrade process and resources for notifying students and training your help desk.

There are several tasks you can do now to begin getting ready:

  • Make sure your contact information and Institution Profile are correct in the Live@edu Service Management Portal.
  • Review the Office 365 system requirements, and make sure all client desktops are ready.
  • For a high-level preview of what to expect, visit the Live@edu to Office 365 upgrade centre.

We appreciate your commitment to the Microsoft platform. We look forward to upgrading your educational institution to Office 365 for education.

Microsoft Online Services

Office 365 for education to be FREE!!


Yes you did read that right.  Microsoft have announced today that Office 365 for education will be free. 

Since Office 365 for education was announced at the beginning of 2011 it has been well advertised that Exchange based email will remain free like email in live@edu but there would be an additional cost for any other services.

If you have been able to see the pricing guide for Office 365 for education you would have notice that A1 which is just email services were free.  A2 included Exchange, SharePoint and Lync for a small cost per member of staff but this is now free.

So what will you get for free?

  • Microsoft Exchange 2010
    • Outlook Anywhere
    • Outlook Active Sync
    • Outlook Web App
    • 25GB per member of staff
    • Anti Spam filtering
  • Microsoft Lync 2010
    • Voice and Video conference
    • Presence
    • Client application
    • Instance Communication
  • Microsoft SharePoint 2010
    • Microsoft Office Web Application
      • Word
      • Excel
      • PowerPoint
      • OneNote
    • Intranet Team Sites
    • Internet facing website
    • My Sites

Just to say it again.  Office 365 for education for FREE!!!!!!

There are some services that will remain chargeable such as PBX and extra storage.  You’ll be able to get Office 365 for education through your EES agreement later in the summer.

BFC Networks will be announcing a new set of product range that will work with both your on-premise and Office 365 for education.  Keep an eye open on the website with the first products available in the coming weeks.

Frequently Asked Question for Office 365 for Education


During the week of the BETT Show I was demonstrating Office 365 for Education to several schools, colleges and universities.


Many questions were asked and I’ve tried to put these down in a list below.

Q: Is there still a free offering of Office 365 for Education?
A: Yes.  If you only want the Exchange mail feature you will be able to enrol for just that plan.  This includes all the offering currently in Windows Live such as SkyDrive.

Q: I already have live@edu, will I be charged when it moves to Office 365 for Education?
A: Your current live@edu will be migrated to Office 365 for Education and to the free exchange offering allowing you to use all the same technologies you have now.

Q: The location of my data is important, where will mine be location?
A: Microsoft have several data centres within the EU.  If you school is located within the EU, so will your data.

Q: When will Office 365 for Education be launched? 
A: We don’t know yet but it will be sometime in 2011.  More news on this when it is released.

Q: I think some features are better suited for different staff, can one set of staff be on A1 and others on A2?
A: Yes.  You may find that you want more advanced features for admin staff over teaching staff.  This is fine, all you have to do is subscribe the user to that plan

Q: I have a schools agreement/campus agreement/EES with all my Microsoft licensing.  Will I have to pay for some of the licensing such as Office Pro Plus twice?
A: Microsoft have yet to decide how the subscription of Office 365 for Education will be linked into the new EES licensing.

Q: Is there still a storage area offering as part of Office365 for Education
A: Currently in live@edu you can use the Live features such as SkyDrive.  This will still be offered in Office365 for Education allowing you to have 25GB of storage space in the cloud.

Q: I’m a Network Manager and if my school take Office 365 for education I will be out of a job.  Is there more to this than I think?
A: There is so much to Office 365 for Education and you have nothing to worry about.  It would be a good idea to look at Active Directory Federation Services also known as ADFS.  With this service you will be able configure single sign on.  Consider how you would customise the SharePoint portal and integrate it into your school.  You will also need to ensure that Lync 2010 client is installed on machines, auto configures the right address for autodiscovery in Lync and Outlook.  Take a look at these videos from TechEd as they will help you see the different opportunities with the products. Office 365 Videos from TechEd Europe