Configuring Your Email Domain to Pilot Office 365 Services
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1h 44m

Microsoft 365 represents a combination of Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility offerings – providing the most complete set of SaaS technologies that Microsoft has to offer. With Microsoft 365, organizations can deploy a complete solution encompassing both devices and applications, along with applying security and compliance policies to protect the entire suite.

This course will help you as you plan your deployment of Microsoft 365, along with configuring and managing your tenant once it’s deployed. It also covers setting up and managing a Microsoft 365 subscription for an enterprise – including managing identities, security, compliance and the supporting technologies in the Microsoft 365 stack.

This course focuses mainly on setting up and managing a Microsoft 365 tenant – including the process for setting up a trial tenant, adding your own domains, and converting your tenant beyond the trial to a fully functional production environment. Now, these steps can seem to be very easy – just click a few options, answer a few questions, and you’re done. In fact, it is that easy! However, if you’re not aware of the big picture and asking some important questions along the way, you can end up painting yourself into a corner and causing problems down the road. At best, you might need to redo some things, at worst, you leave yourself with problems on your hands that might be difficult to sort out later.

After you’re set up, we’ll move on to talking about some of the things you need to consider in your day to day monitoring and management of your Microsoft 365 Tenant and the services that make it up. We’re also going to run through a few demos – showing you some of the practical steps involved, along with some tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way.

Learning Objectives

  • Set up a new Microsoft 365 tenant and subscription
  • Add domains to the tenant and configure them for the various service offerings
  • Perform the day to day management of your users, including managing user accounts and license assignment
  • Know how to monitor the various services in your M365 tenant and have a plan in place to respond to service alerts and manage service requests

Intended Audience

This course is intended for people who:

  • Want to become a Microsoft 365 administrator
  • Are preparing to take the Microsoft’s MS-100 exam


To get the most from this course, you should have a general understanding of networking & server administration as well as IT fundamentals such as DNS, Active Directory and PowerShell.


If you'd like to run a pilot with Office 365 using a few of the user's on your domain, there's a few things you need to consider when planning your domain configuration. 

First off, you need to make sure that Microsoft is not the one managing your DNS for you. You need to manually configure DNS settings with your DNS provider in order to ensure that your critical DNS records like Autodiscover and your MX records are still pointing back to your primary email service and not to Office 365. Secondly, since email is still running to your primary email servers, you'll need to configure forwarding to ensure that email intended for your pilot users will route correctly to Office 365. 

Note that if you are not configuring a Hybrid Exchange environment at the same time, certain features won't work such as secure mail flow and free busy between Exchange Online users and your Exchange On-Premises users. Unless you're synchronizing your users from active directory, you also won't have a complete global address list available for your users. All important things to keep in mind when considering running an Office 365 pilot. 

Finally, since Exchange Online is not going to have knowledge of your complete email environment such as mailboxes, contacts and groups, make sure that you've configured your domain as an Internal Relay domain instead of Authoritative. As we've already covered the differences between Authoritative and Internal Relay, I won't get back into it here, just to remind you that you can only configure domain as Authoritative when your Exchange server knows about or hosts all of your mail objects. If you need to route email effectively to additional mailboxes on your domain and you haven't configured Hybrid Exchange, then your domain needs to be an Internal Relay. The reason why Hybrid Exchange makes all the difference here is because a Hybrid Exchange organization has contact objects in place for all mailboxes and mail users that it doesn't host itself so Exchange knows how to correctly route email to your On-Premises mailboxes only if it's set up for Hybrid. 

If you're not setting up Hybrid, then Internal Relay will ensure that your email is still delivered to your MX record and back to your primary servers.

About the Author

Jeremy Dahl is a Senior Technology Consultant who has spent the last 8 years focusing on Microsoft 365 technologies and has been an Office 365 MVP for the last 6 years. Jeremy is a self-proclaimed cloud addict who architects technology solutions that combine cloud technologies with on-premises solutions, allowing organizations to make the most of their existing infrastructure while still taking full advantage of the agility and scalability of what the cloud has to offer.

Jeremy can be found blogging about Microsoft 365 technologies on his website,, and evangelizing the Microsoft cloud on Twitter.