Technical update from Stephen Brown, Lights-On Consulting

stephen brown lights on - Upgrade deadline looms for firms using Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013

Microsoft has confirmed that, as of 13 October 2020, users of Microsoft Office 2010 will no longer be able to connect to its Office 365 service, and there are also implications for Office 2013 users.

Microsoft Office 2013 may connect to O365 services from 13 October 2020, however, it is not supported and Microsoft states that it will be removing authentication protocols used by Microsoft 2013.

What is the impact on your business?

If you consume any commercial O365 service and are running Office 2010 or 2013, you need to upgrade by October 2020 to one of the Office programmes in mainstream support. These currently include Office 2016, Office 2019 and Pro Plus.

This is complicated further, as the version of PMS/CMS/DMS or Template Management your firm might be running could be incompatible with later versions of Office. The potential for a major programme of works is highly likely if your firm is affected by the Microsoft announcement.

The plans by Microsoft will impact on law firm IT infrastructure, budgets and project planning and October is not a long way off – if your firm is using Office 365 on either Office 2010 or Office 2013, it is essential that you start to plan for a firmwide upgrade, bearing in mind the following considerations and implications:

  1. The potential for Microsoft to stop a firm connecting an old version of Office to Exchange Online exists.
  2. Integrations into Microsoft Office (case management systems, printing menus etc) take time to upgrade. Some CMS providers need many months lead time to plan and execute an upgrade.
  3. Template tools might need to be upgraded.
  4. Training may be required.
  5. There is a different finance model for Office (CAPEX to OPEX) if moving to O365.
  6. Office automatically updates every six months – is your firm and IT ready for that level of change. The latest O365 updates can be seen here (759 updates, 203 in development, 108 being rolled out, 442 launched).
  7. Moving to O365 requires the firm to be subject to modern life cycle policy, meaning that
    a. Customers must stay current as per the servicing and system requirements published for the product or service.
    b. Customers must be licensed to use the product or service.
    c. Microsoft must currently offer support for the product or service.
  8. A firm may need to standardise desktop deployment and refine applications to cope with the amount of annual change.

For more information, visit www.lights-on.com and you can also find information at https://products.office.com/en-gb/office-2010-end-of-support

Stephen Brown  is an IT Consultant at Lights-On Consulting and leads the firm’s project services division.

To submit a technical update contact editor caroline.hill@liti.co.uk

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