Hi Cloud Sellers! Was alerted to this information and wanted to share it with the SMB partner community. I have been involved with the Microsoft Cloud solutions since the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) days and worked with many partners during the early times with BPOS. For those that don’t know, SharePoint Online sites that were created when BPOS was available had a different naming convention than today. It followed the format of *.microsoftonline.com (for example, Office365demo.microsoftonline.com.) Today of course, they follow the *.sharepoint.com naming style (such as Office365demo.sharepoint.com.)
Per the support article titled “Information about how to rename the SharePoint Online site from *.microsoftonline.com to *.sharepoint.com using the self-service tool“, Beginning January 1, 2017, SharePoint Online sites that use the *.microsoftonline.com URL format will be renamed to use the *.sharepoint.com URL format. The *.microsoftonline.com format was used for sites that were created before Office 365 within BPOS (Business Productivity Online Services). The move to the *.sharepoint.com naming format lets your sites use additional Office 365 features such as the app model.
As the title of the article mentions, there is an ability to self-rename the sites, giving you the partner more control on when this change can occur for your customers. This will allow you to educate them and get the move done without the potential change occurring automatically, which can sometimes cause some concern and confusion.
My suggestion is to read and bookmark this article and start educating your customers who may be in this scenario (been customers since the BPOS days.) As mentioned above, the largest benefit of this name change will be the ability of the customer’s SharePoint Online sites to take advantage of the new SharePoint App model. With the apps currently available and more to come, this could be a very valuable feature that can now be enabled for them!
Again, please go to the support article “Information about how to rename the SharePoint Online site from *.microsoftonline.com to *.sharepoint.com using the self-service tool“ for the detailed steps on manually making this rename occur ahead of January 2017.
Thanks, and good selling!