Major improvements are coming to the university's Microsoft Email and Calendar solution. Beginning in May, faculty and staff Exchange accounts will be migrated from locally-hosted email to cloud-based Exchange Online accounts. 

To share additional information and answer questions about these changes, the Division of Information Technology will be hosting town hall meetings during the last two weeks in March. Two of the meetings will be intended for IT professionals, and two will be offered to address more general questions from faculty and staff. The sessions will be held in the TLOS Learning Studio (Torgersen Hall 1100) as follows: 

Faculty & Staff, session 1 – Wednesday 3/22, 8-9:30am                                                       

Faculty & Staff, session 2 – Tuesday 3/28, 2:30-4pm 

IT Professionals, session 1 – Tuesday 3/21, 3:00-4:30pm 

IT Professionals, session 2 – Wednesday 3/29, 2:30-4pm 

Please consider attending one of these sessions. The email tool will offer substantial new capabilities, including the following:

  • Office Graph/Microsoft Clutter – services which learn which messages are important to you, and keep your inbox organized 
  • Integrated Skype Chat, which lets you launch an instant chat session with all recipients of a given email 
  • Integration with OneDrive, Planner, Delve and other Office 365 apps
    A larger 50GB mailbox 
  • 30-day recovery of deleted emails 
  • Office 365 Groups – a new tool that lets you quickly set up a collaboration hub for groups and projects with a dedicated calendar, discussion thread, mailbox, file sharing, and more.

At the same time, the cloud-based solution will increase security and reliability, handle all software upgrades and patches on its own, and provide compliance with the university's secure data policies (FERPA, ITAR, etc.). The moves will be completed in quick succession, with whole organizational units moving at once. Users will receive email notifications as their group's migration date approaches. 

This shift will require a few one-time adjustments on the part of users. To minimize any potential inconvenience, users are encouraged to make any changes necessary before their organizational unit's move date. Depending on your preferences, these changes may include:

  • Upgrading your desktop mail client to Outlook 2016, if you plan to continue using a local Outlook client to check your email after the move. Outlook 2013 is also supported, but Outlook 2016 provides a better experience. 
  • Considering a shift towards more use of Microsoft's web-based applications – many users find this gives them greater flexibility. 
  • Switching to the Microsoft Outlook App on your mobile devices. 

For complete information on the planned migrations, visit the Exchange Online Service Catalog Page. For questions regarding the Exchange Online migration, please contact 4Help by visiting 4help.vt.edu, or calling 231-4357. 

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