To set up your IBM SmartCloud® Notes® mail subscription there are a few configuration and steps you need to complete before you can migrate existing mail files to the cloud. The information here will provide you with a roadmap and give you the information you need to complete your setup and to migrate mail.

Before you begin, here are some migration best practices to consider:

  • Make sure you communicate to users that their mail will be moving to SmartCloud Notes in the cloud. Consider sending one or more emails to prepare your users for the change.
  • Decide whether to transfer full mail files or to selectively transfer just some of the data. Selective transfer is helpful for expediting the transfer of large mail files. It also prevents large mail files from exceeding the 50GB mail file quota in the service.
  • Consider asking users to reduce the size of their mail file by deleting older or unwanted email. Mail migration includes all contacts, calendar entries, and existing mail.
  • The time it takes to migrate mail can be affected by a number of factors, such as how your network is set up, the number of mail files being migrated, and the amount of data in each mail file.

Complete a few configuration tasks

Although some setup tasks are completed on your solution provider's web site, you also need to complete a few configuration tasks on the SmartCloud Notes administration pages to set up your IBM® Connections Cloud account and provision users with SmartCloud Notes mail. After your Connections Cloud account is set up, you can assign SmartCloud Notes subscriptions and begin migrating your on-premises mail files to the cloud. The IBM Mail Migration tool performs the actual mail file migration.

Sample email: Communication is key

Communication is a key factor to a successful mail migration. Users need to know when their mail will move to the cloud, because after it is migrated they will not have access to new mail on their old mail system. Users must log in to their SmartCloud Notes account to activate it, so provide your users with the necessary login information as soon as possible.

Here is an example of suggested text for the first communication.

Continue to Step 1: Setup

Step 1: Setup


Where is this task performed?

IBM Connections Cloud

Set up your Connections Cloud account

To activate the account for your company, Follow the URL provided to you and log on to the IBM Connections Cloud website as the first company administrator. When you first log on, the Registration page opens. Follow the steps below to register your account.

  1. Create and confirm a service logon password. Important: the email address that is shown is the logon name for the company administrator account. Be sure to record the logon name and the new password.
  2. Select a country, language, and time zone.
  3. Read the terms of use and privacy practices information, and if you agree to them, click I accept the Terms of Use.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Log on using the company administrator email logon and new password.

Congratulations! You are now logged on to your home page. This is the location to use when you log on to the service in the future.

Continue to Step 2: Verify Domain

Step 2: Verify Domain


Where is this task performed?

Domain Hosting Service & IBM Connections Cloud Admin

What is domain verification?

Internet domain name verification is a standard industry practice among domain hosting services to confirm ownership fo a domain name, and to prevent abuse of user accounts. Although there are different methods used to verify domain names, IBM requires you to create a CNAME record to prove ownership. Instructions for how to create a CNAME record are provided by most domain hosting services.

What is a CNAME record?

A CNAME record is an entry in the Domain Name System that is used to define a host name alias for an Internet domain. You prove ownership of a domain by signing in to your domain hosting service and then using the DNS Management settings to create a temporary CNAME record for the domain. The service then uses the alias in the CNAME record to query your domain. A successful query proves that you were able to create the CNAME record, and therefore that you own the domain.

When you verify a root domain, any subdomains listed in the Internet Domain Verification window are also verified. For example, verifying renovations.com also verifies the subdomain west.renovations.com if it is listed. Once a root domain has been verified, no other company can use that domain or any of its subdomains.

If you do not have the authority to create a CNAME record for your domain, extra time might be required to contact your domain hosting service and have them create the record for you. Also note that you can perform this procedure even if you are in the process of switching domain hosting services.

Verify your domain

Perform the following steps to verify ownership. Verify only the domain names that correspond to Internet addresses of users that you are provisioning. Users cannot receive mail addressed to this domain until ownership is verified.

  1. Log on to your IBM Connections Cloud account using an account that has the Administrator role.
  2. If your account also has the User role, click Admin > Manage Organization.
  3. In the System Settings section of the navigation pane, click IBM SmartCloud Notes and then click Account Settings.
  4. In the navigation pane, click Internet Domain Verification.
  5. In the Internet Domain Verification window, click Verify Ownership next to the domain to verify.
  6. Sign in to your domain hosting service and use the DNS management settings to create a new CNAME record. Use the information that is shown in the Internet Domain Verification window to create the CNAME record.
    • Put the unique key that is shown into the first field of the CNAME record. The name of this field varies by vendor, but it is sometimes named prefix or alias.
    • Put collabserv.com into the second field of the CNAME record. This field is sometimes named destination or target host.
  7. After you create the CNAME record, click Begin Verification to begin verification of the domain. The unique key continues to be shown in the Internet Domain Verification window until verification completes successfully.

What happens next

To verify domain ownership, the service uses the alias in the CNAME record to query your domain. For example, if the CNAME key is domino-1jkkiaojd-rules and your domain name is renovations.com, the service queries domino-1jkkiaojd-rules.renovations.com.

If verification is not successful, check that the unique key shown exactly matches the one added to the CNAME record. If the values are different, do not restart verification. Rather, update the CNAME record with the correct key and simply wait again for verification to complete.

Note: Domain verification can take up to 48 hours, although usually it takes less time. If after 48 hours domain verification has not completed, click Restart Verification. Restarting verification generates a new unique key, and you must then replace the old key with the new key in the CNAME record. Restart verification only if 48 hours have passed since you clicked Begin Verification.

After a domain is verified, you can remove the CNAME record you created.

For additional information, see the wiki article Verifying Ownership of your Domain in a Service-only Environment.

Continue to Step 3: Migrate Users

Step 3: Migrate Users


Where is this task performed?

IBM Mail Onboarding Manager

Migrate mail files with the IBM Mail Onboarding Manager

You use the Mail Onboarding Manager tool to migrate users to the cloud. You can migrate from Microsoft Exchange 2010 and 2013 mail systems or from on-premises IBM Notes mail to the cloud. Here is the simple process you use to install, set up and begin migration with the tool:

  1. Download and install the Mail Onboarding Manager. An installation wizard guides you through this process.
  2. Set up the Mail Onboarding Manager. You will provide the name of your Exchange Web Service or Active Directory server, or the Domino Directory's server. This tells the tool where to find user information.
  3. Populate the tool with user information:
    • Microsoft Exchange -- import user information by using a .csv file. Or if you have an on-premises Exchange Active Directory, the tool can import user names and information directly from there.
    • Domino -- The tool creates a replica of your on-premises Domino directory in the tool locally.
  4. Begin migrating users. help is available in the tool to guide you through the tasks you need to complete. Watch the quick Getting Started tour that displays the first time you log in to the tool. It provides an overview of the process and shows you where to find instructions for each task.

About the Mail Onboarding Manager

The tool is organized into five pages:

  • Users -- shows a list of all users you are moving to the cloud. This is where you create Transfer Groups, which are logical groups of users you create so that you don't have to migrate all users at one time.
  • Settings -- where you create Transfer Group Settings, that specify how much data you want to migrate. If one Transfer Group Setting works for all users, then one is all you need. However, if you want to migrate all data for some users, but only migrate some for other users, you can create as many settings as you need.
  • Staging -- where you initiate migration for each Transfer group, or schedule it for a later time.
  • Complete -- users who have been provisioned are listed on the Complete page.
  • Dashboard -- Shows the progress of your migration.

Migrated data includes historical mail, contacts, calendar entries and tasks. Once the data is migrated, users can access their mail by using any of the Notes clients including IBM Verse, SmartCloud Notes web, a locally installed Notes client, or if applicable, IBM Traveler or Verse mobile on a mobile device. Traveler requires a SmartCloud Notes enablement.

Some data cannot be migrated or is not supported in a service-only cloud environment. See Migration limitations. For a translated version of the topic Migration limitations, scroll to the bottom of the topic and select a language.

For Microsoft Exchange migrations

If you use impersonation with your Microsoft Exchange 2010 or 2013 server, you can set up an impersonation account to use with the Mail Onboarding Manager. Then you can migrate user mail data without needing user passwords. These steps provide a basic example of how to set up impersonation. Your steps may vary slightly, depending on how you have impersonation set up on your system.

  1. Sign into the Exchange admin center control panel.
  2. In the navigation pane, click permissions.
  3. Click admin roles in the main window.
  4. Click the plus sign (+) to add a new admin role group.
  5. Give the new admin role group a name, such as MOM.
  6. Assign the ApplicationImpersonation role.
  7. Add the members who will receive this permission.
    Tip: When you set up the Mail Onboarding Manager, you will be asked to provide an Exchange Web Service administrator account name. Make sure the account name you provide is a member of this group.
  8. Save the new admin role group.

Downloading and Installing the Mail Onboarding Manager tool

To use this tool, you must have completed Step 1 - Setup. Some of your organization's account setup configuration settings are used as the tool's account setup defaults.

  1. Log on to the service using an account that has the admin role.
  2. Click the arrow next to your photo in the dashboard and then select Downloads and Setup from the menu.
  3. In the section "Software Download for IBM Notes Client and Other Entitled On-premises Software" click View available software, and then download the Mail Onboarding Manager.
  4. Launch the installation wizard and provide the following information:
    • Destination Folder -- Install the tool on the largest hard drive on the server. The tool copies replicas of all mail files to a subdirectory (notesenv) in this folder. For example, if you use the default AcctOnboardMgr as the destination folder, mail replicas are copied to the following directory: AcctOnboardMgr\UITool\notesenv
    • API.Notes server -- The URL for the REST API service for your geography. This selection is made for you unless you use a custom geography.
    • Web listening port -- The listening port at your site for the tool. The default is 8080.


After installation is complete, the tool is listed in installed programs. The server runs as a service called IBM Mail Onboarding Manager.

There is also an IBM Auto Update Service, which updates the tool automatically. You can customize the Auto Update Service, for example, to request email reports about the updates. For more information see Customizing Updates to Mail Onboarding Manager. For a translated version of the topic Customizing Updates to Mail Onboarding Manager, scroll to the bottom of the topic and select a language.

Continue to Step 4: Assign Subscriptions

Step 4: Assign Subscriptions


Where is this task performed?

Solution Provider

You can now assign SmartCloud Notes mail subscriptions to your users

Log in to your solution provider account where you purchased your subscriptions. You can now create new accounts for your users (if you have not already done so) and assign subscriptions to them.

User account login and activation

After you assign subscriptions, notify your users to log in and activate their accounts. Until users log in for the first time and create a new permanent password, their SmartCloud Notes user accounts are not active. It is important for users to activate their accounts as soon as possible because after their mail is migrated to the cloud, no new mail is delivered to their old mail file.

Continue to Step 5: Configure MX Record

Step 5: Configure MX Record


Where is this task performed?

Domain Hosting Service

What is an MX Record?

A Mail eXchange (MX) record identifies an SMTP host to which mail for a domain is sent. To enable your SmartCloud Notes users to receive email addressed to the verified domain, edit or create an MX record. Configure the MX record to point to the IBM SmartCloud Notes SMTP host name. If this domain is new, create an MX record for it.

Contact your domain provider for information about the steps required to create or edit MX records. When you configure the MX record, specify the SMTP host name for your geography. If you do not know the SMTP host name to use, contact your solution provider.

Delete any MX records used previously for the domain.

Make sure your users can access their email

After you complete this step, mail migration is complete. Make sure your users log in to their mail accounts in the cloud to activate their accounts. Remember that after your MX record points to the new data center, no mail is delivered to the old email addresses.

Congratulations, your migration is complete!