Tag Archives: small business

Silver Small Business Competency

It seems like only a couple of weeks since we achieved Cloud Accelerate status – and we’ve achieved another Microsoft Competency – “Silver Small Business”

As with the Cloud Accelerate status, we’re also the first partner in the Salisbury/South Wiltshire/North Dorset area to have achieved this competency too!  Go team!

Silver Small Business Competency




This is now our second Microsoft Competency and we have no plans on stopping yet!

What does our Microsoft competency mean for you?
By attaining Microsoft competencies, we have met extensive technology requirements and demonstrated expertise through rigorous exams, culminating in Microsoft certifications. We have also been recommended by our customers. Our skills, support, and knowledge have been tested and proven by successful implementations in specific technology areas.

Additionally, our Microsoft competencies provide us with early access to new software and specialised technical support and services from Microsoft that help us serve you better.

We look forward to sharing our expertise and experience with you—and finding the right solutions for your business. Contact us today.

We now hold Microsoft competencies in the following areas:
Silver Small Business
Cloud Accelerate

Office 365 – Moving from Beta to a paid subscription (P plan to E plan)

I had an interesting day today: it should have been a straightforward case of taking a client’s Office 365 beta account and converting it into a paid-for subscription and then configuring their devices.

The client had already verified the domain they wanted to use (this is the time consuming part of the initial configuration of Office 365 as you have to wait for the global DNS system to replicate some changes – it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of days!) so I figured it would be a quick and easy job.

But then comes the gotcha.  The beta subscription the client was on was a “P1” plan (small business), and the subscription they wanted to buy was an “E” plan (with all the Enterprise lovelyness of SharePoint).

The thing that everyone needs to be aware of is this: a “P” plan CAN NOT be upgraded to a “E” plan.  Somehow I’d actually managed to do this on a beta account a few months ago so thought it didn’t apply to Office 365 beta accounts.  But it doesn’t.

The work around?

  1. Create a new account with a new <domain>.onmicrosoft.com domain (because you can’t currently delete your existing subscription).
  2. Remove the vanity domain from all users in your beta subscription (the vanity domain is your “public” domain, e.g. hilldatasystems.co.uk/)
  3. Delete the vanity domain from the beta subscription
  4. Create the vanity domain on your new subscription and wait for it to verify (the time consuming bit!)
  5. Set up your users
  6. Configure your apps
  7. Migrate any data from your original subscription

I could have done without this today, but we got there in the end.

I would imagine most Office 365 beta accounts are the P1 plan, and so far, all of my clients are after the features of the E plans – so this is a “gotcha” of some note.

As subscriptions (beta or otherwise) can’t currently be deleted (although I’m assured by Microsoft Technical Support that this feature is in the pipleline) you have to go through the rigmoroll of setting up a new <domain>.onmicrosoft.com domain and then reverifying your public facing domain.

Microsoft Technical Support did also indicate that the ability to upgrade from a “P” plan to an “E” plan is being developed, but until then: beware!

The obligatory first post

Well this is a new venture for me.  I’m not sure I know what to write.  

But I guess everyone starts their first blog post with something like that.

If I waited until I managed to think of something profound I’d never get this thing started, so here is a very un-profound first entry.

I’ll try to blog as often as possible and it will probably be about technology, gadgets, software, small business IT services and anything unusual/interesting I come across in the course of my day-to-day pin-ball style journey around all things IT.

I’m not sure if the blog will remain on WordPress.  I’m just trying it out.  At first glance it looks OK for my purposes, but what do I know?  This is, after all, my first blog post.

Hopefully you – or someone out there – will find this interesting.  Or diverting.  Or something.