One of my colleagues, Michael Rinner, recently went through the experience of merging stand alone FOPE with Office 365 FOPE. He gave me permission to post his experience as I think this would be very valuable for the community.

“Here is the manual process, this should not be done without FOPE support on the phone as there are issues with removing the domain from the stand alone FOPE. THIS SHOULD ONLY BE DONE M-F during business hours per FOPE support.

Deactivating Directory synchronization services and Directory-based edge blocking mode:

· Log into FOPE administration center.

· Click on Domains tab and enter the domain contoso.com.

· On the middle pane under the service settings, set the “User List Source” to “Admin Center” and the “Directory based Edge blocking mode” to “Disable".

Point the MX directly to On-premise server:

· The domain contoso.com needs to removed from FOPE standalone tenant for enabling the same in Office 365.

· To avoid the down time, kindly point the MX record to On-premise server.

Domain removal from Standalone FOPE tenant:

· Log into FOPE administration center.

· Click on Domains tab and select the domain contoso.com and click on disable.

· On the Right pane, click on Disabled domain, select contoso.com and click on remove.

Run the below commands to remove the duplicate entries of contoso.com from Office 365:

In case you do not have the Microsoft Online Powershell Service module for Windows powershell please download it from the below link,

http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/Office365-enterprises/ff652560.aspx

1. Now we are ready to connect to our Office365 tenant. Execute the following cmdlets:

$LiveCred = Get-Credential

2. Enter your Office365 admin credentials in the dialog

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3. $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/ -Credential $LiveCred -Authentication Basic –AllowRedirection

4. Import-PSSession $Session

5. Connect-MsolService -Credential $Livecred

6. Once connected you can execute the following cmdlets:

Set-AcceptedDomain -Identity "contoso.com" -OutboundOnly $True

Set-AcceptedDomain -Identity "contoso.com" -OutboundOnly $False

7. Rerun the hybrid configuration wizard after about 30 minutes or so.

8. Test email flow.

After performing all the above mentioned steps wait for 30 minutes for the duplicate entry to be removed from Office 365 and point the MX back to Office 365.

Post changing the MX record wait for up to few minutes and test the mail flow.

That being said, FOPE support also provided additional info to make this much easier.

1. Call FOPE support, tell them you want to merge Stand Alone FOPE with Office 365 FOPE.

2. Immediately escalate as Tier 1 and Tier 2 FOPE support engineers know the manual process only.

3. Tier 3 support has a internal tool called “MergeHandler”. This is an automated process they do that will update all without interruption to email. Once finished, you just need to update the MX records.