As announced last year by Microsoft, Office 365 support for Office 2013 is ending very soon. From October 12th 2020, the Office 2013 suite will no longer be directly supported for use with Office 365.
What does this mean?
Essentially, the end of support for Office 2013 does not mean that Office 2013 will stop working from that date. It means that Office 2013 will not be a consideration when Microsoft are developing and upgrading the Office 365 platform. If Office 2013 doesn’t work with a particular feature, the only resolution will be to upgrade to Office 2016/19 or Microsoft 365 Apps for Business (formerly Pro Plus).
What can I do to get ready?
Luckily, for business customers there are many ways to upgrade. The below are all viable options that can suit many configurations:
- Apps package available directly to users via the Office Portal
- Endpoint Manager (SCCM) Microsoft 365 Apps deployment
- Endpoint Manager (Intune) Microsoft 365 Apps deployment
- Third party configuration management tool deployment
- GPO deployment of Office
All of this can be made better using the Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center which can allow you to create custom packages of Microsoft 365 Apps complete with update policy and even allow cloud policy to control how the Office apps work and configure some GPO style settings on all apps linked to an account in your tenant.
What about my Macros and Plugins?
When preparing to update Office across the business, a key consideration in large organizations is Macros and Plugins which interact with Office. Knowing how they will perform and assessing compatibility is key to a successful deployment and remediation of any potential compatibility problems. While a pilot upgrade is still very much recommended as part of any upgrade, Microsoft have also made available the Readiness Toolkit for Microsoft 365 Apps.
The Readiness Toolkit will help to assess and highlight potential issues with VBA Macros and Plugins. It’s very common for the compatibility problem to not be as widespread as you might first think so this is a fantastic tool to assess the environment and call out remediation that needs to take place before migrating. Given that a lot of these tools have become part of integral business processes, assessing and preventing issues is always better than fixing post rollout.
With the tools available to administrators, it’s never been easier to plan and perform this type of upgrade, minimizing risk as much as possible. If you are still using Office 2013 in your business, while it won’t just stop working in the coming weeks, you need to upgrade before you experience problems.
By the way, if you’re still using Office 2010, then this is even more of a priority as Office 2010 is fully out of support and not capable of providing a secure authentication experience through Modern Authentication – putting your users and data at risk!