Campus Computing News

Microsoft Office in the Cloud

Office 365 Email Migration

By Abraham John, Senior Director, Administrative Information Technology Services (AITS), University Information Technology (UIT) 

By this time you've no doubt heard or read about the email migration away from our on-premises implementation of Microsoft Exchange to the Microsoft cloud. Most of what you need to know has already been communicated via Administrative announcements and/or through InHouse articles. This, then, is a compilation of some of the key points about the advantages, the process, and where to go for help during and after this email migration.

Cloud -- now there is a word that we hear quite often these days. Everything, apparently, lives in the cloud. Microsoft’s business FAQ regarding Office 365 provides the Microsoft answer to the question of “What is the cloud? 

"The cloud" is a friendly way of describing web-based computing services that are hosted outside of your organization. When you use cloud-based services, your IT infrastructure resides off your property (off-premises), and is maintained by a third party (hosted), instead of residing on a server at your home or business (on-premises) that you maintain. With Office 365, for example, information storage, computation, and software are located and managed remotely on servers owned by Microsoft. Many services you use every day are a part of the cloud—everything from web-based email to mobile banking and online photo storage. Because this infrastructure is located online or "in the cloud," you can access it virtually anywhere, from a PC, tablet, smartphone, or other device with an Internet connection.

You can also watch a short video on "How office 365 works for business." 

Here at UNT.

So, Office 365 is powered by the cloud and you will be able to access your files anywhere. As stated in a recent Inhouse article, the first step to accessing your files from anywhere is for email to be migrated this summer. SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Office 365 ProPlus services will be made available Fall of 2014.

All faculty/staff users will have 50 gigabytes of email storage once their email boxes are migrated. This will mean that you will be able to store “a lot” of email before getting any irritating “out of space” messages. However, taking take a line out of Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility” or in this case “with great space comes proactive email management.” Added storage means user will have to proactively manage their email box to keep it clear of clutter by removing emails that are no longer relevant or no longer need.

Tutorials are available.

Information Technology Shared Services (ITSS) is working with campus technology groups to obtain user lists for the migration and to convert dynamic distribution lists (which will not migrate) to static distribution lists. ITSS is also requesting campus technology groups to take this opportunity to remove deactivated accounts. Migration is now slated to begin July 25 and is expected to be completed by August 1. 

The information that ITSS has made available is extremely useful and can be found here. You can login to this SharePoint location to review the tutorials and the migration calendar.

Further assistance. 

Users can contact their IT support personnel to obtain assistance in reconfiguring their phones and other mobile devices. iPhone reconfiguration is as simple as pointing the email account to a new server and changing the user name from an EUID to the user’s email address.  Android and Windows phones will, most probably, have to delete and recreate their UNT email account profile. Desktops and laptops that are in a wired configuration will reconfigure automatically once the Outlook client is restarted. If your IT support group opted to have the migration done during the day, as email boxes are migrated the respective users will receive prompts suggesting that they restart the Outlook client at which point the local client will reconfigure to point to the new email server.

What you'll see ...

One very visible change will be how you login to your email account. After the email migration, users will login with their email address instead of their EUID and will use the password associated with their EUID. If your IT support group has completed the Universal Principal Name (UPN) change and you are on a Windows desktop, you can login to your workstation with your email address and the password associated with your EUID.  On your Windows workstation this is the same as logging in with your EUID.

When logging into Lync after the email migration, users will login with their email address rather than their EUID.

Let's review.

IT support groups would be well served by reviewing this information to adjust any GPO’s that might prevent email access after the migration. ITSS has an excellent screen shot of the correct GPO configuration.

Both users and IT groups can benefit from the FAQ’s that ITSS Messaging has put together about Exchange and general questions.

On to Phase II.

Once the email migration to Office 365 is complete, phase II of the move to Office 365 will begin. This will provide faculty and staff with access to SharePoint, OneDrive, Office Professional Plus and Mobile Office. SharePoint and OneDrive will facilitate collaboration and sharing of documents at a scale that was cost-prohibitive with on-premises implementations of file sharing. It will also provide users with 1TB of cloud storage.

In sum ...

The migration to Office 365 should prove beneficial with additional storage and once all the components of Office 365 are implemented, accessibility of applications and documents from “anywhere” will improve collaboration and response speed.  

Originally published July 2014 -- Please note that information published in Benchmarks Online is likely to degrade over time, especially links to various Websites. To make sure you have the most current information on a specific topic, it may be best to search the UNT Website - http://www.unt.edu . You can also consult the UNT Helpdesk - http://www.unt.edu/helpdesk/. Questions and comments should be directed to benchmarks@unt.edu.