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Microsoft Office 365 - Outlook E-mail Upgrade

 

Project Description
During the summer 2013 quarter, Information Technology Services began upgrading the existing e-mail from the existing e-mail system to Microsoft Office 365 Outlook™. This upgrade will affect students, faculty and staff. After the upgrade, Outlook client users will experience no noticeable functional change from their current desktop version, but Outlook Web App (OWA) users will have an interface similar to their desktop version.

The main reason for the upgrade is to increase mailbox storage capacity to 25GB. Additionally, there are several operational reasons for upgrading the current environment. The new environment provides additional redundancy, which will enable faster disaster recovery should a campus or large-scale regional disaster occur. The campus will no longer interrupt e-mail service for scheduled maintenance activities. And finally, it will help control our growing costs for expanding and refreshing equipment.


User Benefits
While users will not experience a change from their current desktop Outlook e-mail look and feel, there are some improvements.

  • Individual mailbox storage capacity will increase substantially to 25 GB. With the previous system, the capacity is set at 2 GB for faculty/staff and 100 MB for students.
  • The campus will benefit from the broader, stronger anti-virus and spam protection provided by Microsoft Office 365.
  • Support is expanded for additional browsers, i.e., Firefox, Safari and Chrome.
  • Off-campus users who currently access OWA will now have an interface that appears nearly identical to the campus desktop version.
  • Incoming messages identified as spam will be sent immediately to the user's Junk Mail folder where any legitimate messages can be retrieved at any time. This will replace the current once-daily Quarantine Manager.
  • Students, faculty and staff will all use the same URL to access OWA - https://mymail.calstatela.edu.


Project Status

As of November 5, 2013, 44,106 mailboxes have been successfully migrated to Office 365.

The chart below shows the increase in the number of mailboxes migrated and the types of clients being used to connect to Office 365 since mid-August.:

Mailbox Being Migrated to O365

OWA is clearly the most popular, while technologies such as POP and IMAP that do not offer full functionality are rarely used. This reflects the demand for the full feature clients and shows the popularity of the new OWA version.


Current Issues

  • If you have not yet removed individual mail items larger than 25MB, ITS will soon be extracting them for you. This will allow the migration of your mailbox to complete. We will notify you of the location of all extracted mail messages so you can retrieve them if you desire.
  • Faculty and staff with large mailboxes are encouraged to export messages to a local .pst file. Your ITC can help with this. If the mailbox is around 200 MB in size, it can be migrated during the day and will generally take about 20 minutes. Mailboxes over 1.5 GB have been taking more than 12 hours and many have been failing to migrate successfully. Exporting all but a couple days of emails will allow your mailbox to be migrated quickly, with as little impact as possible. After the migration, exported emails can be re-imported to your cloud based mailbox while you are using email. The import process, unlike the migration process, will not affect your ability to connect to your mailbox.
  • Public Folders are available via the myCSULA portal at http://mycsula.calstatela.edu.
  • Individual email items do not migrate. There are some instances where individual email items are corrupted in the local mail data store. These items cannot be migrated. Since they are corrupted, they cannot be restored or even opened in the current environment either.

ITS and the respective division/college ITCs will be available to work with current folder owners to determine the best alternative for their areas.


Important Security Reminder about Encryption

To prevent a possible information security breach, all University documents containing Level 1 Confidential Data and Level 2 Internal Use Data must always be encrypted - at rest on your desktop or laptop, during transport on electronic storage devices, and in e-mail messages as attachments. Documents can be easily encrypted within the Microsoft applications by clicking on File → Info → Protect Document → Encrypt with a password.


Resources Available

Below are links to pages with details on how to configure various e-mail clients.

If you have additional questions or want more information, contact the ITS Help Desk at 3-6170.


What's Coming Next?

Microsoft Office 365 provides a platform that allows the campus to incorporate additional features in the near future. These planned features expand the availability and accessibility to information, collaboration between constituents, and enhanced communications. Features currently in planning for fall 2013 quarter include:

  • SkyDrive Pro - - This personal library will allow users to sync their Microsoft documents in the cloud. Once stored in SkyDrive, these documents are accessible anytime, anywhere, from any supported device with an Internet connection. Not only does this feature enhance personal productivity by expanding access, but critical department and individual documents, such as disaster recovery and business continuity documents, can be readily available and shared when needed.
  • SharePoint Online - - This collaboration tool is designed to improve individual and group productivity by organizing projects, tasks, documents and information. Documents of general campus use can be centrally located and easily accessed, while being secured, updated and managed by the ownership department.
  • Lync - Currently scheduled for a limited pilot deployment, this unified communications platform allows users to connect with others through instant messaging (IM), video, voice calls and online meetings. Lync Online features allow users to make voice calls through their computer to other Lync or Skype users; create, moderate and join pre-planned audio, video and web meetings; enhance online presentations with screen-sharing and virtual whiteboards; and more.

Detailed information about each of these new features will be provided as each future phase is rolled out.


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