Information Services is preparing to deploy Office 365 (O365) to University staff, which will provide a suite of cloud-based software designed to enhance our day-to-day work. The O365 suite is used widely in the HE sector and is particularly useful in the delivery of learning & teaching. We will share more on all of this over the coming months.
In preparation, the first stage of the rollout is to move all staff and PGR email from local on-campus servers onto the O365 cloud servers. Information Services have already moved our own mailboxes and experienced no disruption to our email or calendars.
- Increased mailbox size – rising from 5GB currently to 99GB.
- Access to a greatly improved webmail service via http://office365.stir.ac.uk (mail.stir.ac.uk will redirect to this new URL).
- Direct access to other O365 applications (OneDrive, Teams, SharePoint, etc.) and the ability to download Office apps onto five personally owned devices.
There are some things to be aware of:
- Calendar visibility – users on local mailboxes (yet to be moved to cloud) may only see free/busy information in calendars for those users who have been moved to O365 cloud mailboxes. This issue is resolved once all staff have been moved to O365 cloud, estimated to be late-December 2019.
- Voicemail – voicemail users will continue to have voicemail after the migration, but there is no telephone handset integration in O365 so the following features will no longer be available:
- ‘play on phone’ link from the voicemail email
- flashing light on phone to indicate a new message
- x7777 to access voicemail via the phone
Voicemails will be delivered in an email to your inbox and will be played back via your PC. The Information Centre can recommend a headset if required.
- Mobile devices – Microsoft is increasing the security of O365 which may result in loss of ActiveSync capabilities for Android and Apple devices. This means that if you currently use anything other than the Outlook app to access your University email/calendar (for example, the in-built mail app on your phone, or third party apps such as Gmail, etc.) these may stop working. As a consequence, the Outlook app is now the supported solution to access your university mailbox and any shared mailboxes on your mobile device, and the Information Centre is unable to provide support for other apps. You can download the Outlook app from your device store and instructions on how to configure your email in the app can be found in Unidesk.
PGR mailboxes will be moved to O365 starting week beginning 11th November, with staff mailboxes following this. With immediate effect, all new staff and PGR mailboxes will be added to O365 cloud. Timescales for each Faculty & Directorate are in this blog post but we will remind each area ahead of the transfer taking place.
What happens when my mailbox is upgraded?
We will advise you personally when it is time for us to move your mailbox. On the day, you will see little difference except you may see a system message asking you restart Outlook, or to log out and back into email. If you do not see this message but think that you are not receiving any new emails, restart Outlook to make sure you are seeing the live version of your mailbox.
What about shared mailboxes?
Shared mailboxes will be moved to O365 cloud in bulk at the end of the rollout, estimated to be late December. However, if you would like your shared mailboxes to be moved over earlier, please fill in our web form to request this. As part of our communications with departments at the time of your upgrade, we will also ask for priority shared mailboxes to be identified.
There are some mailboxes which will have to stay on Exchange, for example, mailboxes that are linked to telephone call centre arrangements. We will be liaising with Estates & Campus Services to identify these and will arrange for these to remain on local servers.
If you have any concerns about the migration of your mailbox or your shared mailbox, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the Information Centre.