There are a few scenarios when migrating email to Office 365 where it’s worthwhile importing mail via a connected account.

What are connected accounts?

Connected accounts are typically used to enable your Office 365 email to receive mail sent to an email address that’s not hosted within your Office 365 environment. Connected accounts connect to the other email account via POP or IMAP. They differ from using forwarders from the other account because connected accounts will download all of the existing email stored on the other mail server, as well as any future emails sent to it. If you’re migrating mail from an account that doesn’t share the same email address as your existing Office 365 mailbox, you can also allow Office 365 to send from that email address via Outlook Web Access. Even though it’s not their intended purpose, connected accounts can also be used for migrations. Here are a few scenarios that might warrant it:

  • — The mail is mostly stored in webmail and supports POP or IMAP accounts
  • — You’re only moving a small number of mailboxes
  • — You don’t want to set up a migration batch in Exchange Online

How to set up a Connected Account

  • — If you’re using a connected account to migrate from a POP or IMAP account, you’ll need to retrieve the IMAP or POP server details for the user.
  • — If you’re importing mail from an Outlook.com/Hotmail/Gmail/Yahoo etc account, you’ll just need the email address and password.

1.  Log into Office 365 webmail at https://outlook.office365.com, and select the Settings cog in the upper right corner.

2. This opens the Settings Context menu. At the bottom, select Mail under your app settings.

3. When the Options menu appears on the left, select Connected accounts.

4. Select the plus sign (+) to add a new connected account. Enter the email address and password of your connected account and click OK. (Note that this won’t work if you’re using the same email address as Office 365.)

5. If you try entering an email address that matches your Office 365 account, you’ll receive the error message.

6. To fix this, click Back.

7. In the “Connect your email account” fields, enter the username and password for an email account that doesn’t exist, or will definitely fail, and click OK. I usually modify the domain name, for example, user@domain.au, would become user@domain.com(assuming that user@domain.com doesn’t belong to the user as well).

8. The next screen notifies Iserv that the connection is insecure. When this comes up, select Skip so that we can configure the account settings manually.

9. On the next screen, select POP as your connection type.

10. At the New POP account connection screen, enter the details for your connected account as follows:
Display Name: Your name
Email Address: Alter the email address so that it doesn’t match your current address, otherwise it will fail again. Again, I usually modify the domain name, for example, user@domain.com.au would become user@domain.com (assuming that user@domain.com doesn’t belong to the user as well).
Username: enter the actual email address/username for the source server. Eg, user@domain.com.au
Password: Enter the password
Under Server information, enter the following incoming server details for the source server.

For any other emails from Iserv:

— Username: Whole email address

— Password: Use your password for the old Iserv email system

— Incoming server: vmail.iserv.net

— Authentication: Basic

— Encryption: None

— Port: 110

For emails ending in @iserv.net:

— Username: Everything in your email address before the @symbol

— Password: Use your password for the old Iserv email system

— Incoming server: mail.iserv.net

— Authentication: Basic

— Encryption: None

— Port: 110

11. You’ll be notified that the connected account creation was successful. On the connected accounts screen, you should now see an entry for the fake email address, with a status of ‘Downloading’. In this image, we’re connecting a few accounts to the same Office 365 mailbox.

12. Once all the mail has downloaded into your Office 365 account, the status will change to OK. If at this point you’ve switched your MX record to deliver mail to Office 365 rather than the old account, you can delete the connected account by clicking the bin icon.