What is the GT e-mail, calendar, and contacts transition to Office 365 all about?
In 2013, GT Information Technology governance bodies addressed the challenge of modernizing and unifying disparate e-mail, contacts and calendaring (ECC) systems on campus. After significant consideration, a Microsoft Office 365 cloud solution was selected and approved in January 2014. In April 2014, an OIT project was kicked off to transition existing GT ECC systems to Office 365. The current timeline includes migrating the entire campus by late Fall semester 2014. OIT is collaborating with campus units for input and feedback to ensure a smooth transition.
Special Note For Incoming Students
Incoming students will need to visit the page: http://passport.gatech.edu and choose which email they want to have. The choices are the Office 365 email, which is the official GT email, or a forwarded email to a service provider of choice. You will receive a GT alias that points to your private email address in the latter case.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What does this mean for EAS?
All EAS faculty, staff and student employees will transition to the new, unified GT e-mail service. Exceptions are employees with active security clearances and those who work with export controlled data. Those users will remain on a secure, on-Premise MS Exchange server at GTRI. All e-mail, calendar, contacts and tasks on MyGatech will be migrated to the new service.
Q: When is it happening?
The current GT timeline projects a late Fall migration, but dates are subject to change. Refer to the OIT ECC Transition web page for more information about the timeline. You will receive advance notification of when the transition will occur and you will receive help from EAS Computing to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Q: Why is this happening?
The decision to unify GT e-mail, contacts and calendaring was the result of months of study by IT Governance bodies on campus. A summary explanation appears on the OIT ECC Transition web page:
"Communication through email, calendaring, and contacts has become an essential operational tool in realizing the academic and research missions of the Institute and the technology utilized represents a considerable investment of resources. The current enterprise email, calendaring and contacts solution was implemented over six years ago. The market has transformed in the past six years and many new products have matured. Email, calendaring and contacts solutions are now being delivered as cloud-based services and come packaged with other collaboration tools (such as chat tools or file sharing platforms) that were not available six years ago when My GaTech was first introduced to campus."
Q: Why did GT select MS Office 365?
The GT IT Governance bodies were tasked with identifying a solution to unify GT's disparate ECC systems. Because GT engages in research that involves projects requiring security clearances or export controlled data, it must provide a secure ECC system for those people. The on-Premise MS Exchange service provided by GTRI is the only solution that complies with the security requirements for GT to engage in this research. The MS Office 365 product was identified as the only technical solution to unify GT ECC services. GT selected the MS Office A2 level product.
Q: Did GT consider Google as a solution?
Yes, GT considered Google Apps for Government. The Google Apps for EDU product does not meet GT compliance requirements (the servers must reside in the USA).
Q: What do I need to do?
OIT will automatically move your e-mail, contacts and calendars. After the migration, all of your devices will need to be configured to access the new service. EAS Computing will be on hand to help you configure your devices to ensure a smooth transition. FAQs with instructions to configure your device will be provided. You will be able to continue using your existing e-mail client, since protocols such as Outlook MAPI, Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and IMAP are supported. Zimbra users will notice the biggest user interface change. CALDAV calandar clients and CARDAV contact clients are not supported by the new service.
Q: Will you help me configure my devices for the email service?
Yes, there are several ways that we will be helping people to configure their devices. First, EAS Computing will be publishing instructions to allow you to configure your devices to the unified GT e-mail service. If needed, EAS Computing will be available to visit your office in person to configure desktop e-mail clients.
Q: I have an active security clearance or work with export controlled data. What should I do?
Please contact the EAS Computing to confirm that your GT mailbox is hosted on the GTRI Exchange server.
Q: Will my GT e-mail addresses be the same?
Yes, all of your GT e-mail addresses will be preserved and forwarded to your GT mailbox.
Q: Can I select my outgoing e-mail address?
Yes, you will be able to select your outgoing GT e-mail address, however the new service does not support allowing more than one outgoing e-mail address. This means you can only have one outgoing GT e-mail address.
Q: What items are migrating to Office 365?
Your e-mail inbox and folders, calendars, contacts and tasks will be migrated.
Q: Are there any things that will not be migrated automatically?
There are known items that will not be migrated and that the user will need to recreate. These include:
- Personal calendar groups/lists
- Calendar notifications & tracking data
- Attachments that are over 25MB
- Mailboxes that are over 25GB
The following are known items that are difficult to migrate, however OIT is working to automate their migration:
- Mailbox settings such as delegation and shares
- Inbox filters
- Zimbra briefcase
Q: Can I forward my e-mail off campus?
Yes, Office 365 users may forward their e-mail to a non-GT endorsed service (e.g. Gmail) after using the Passport self-service web page to agree to a statement of responsibility to protect sensitive GT data. All those who currently forward e-mail off campus will need to complete this step to continue forwarding e-mail off campus. Those with an active security clearance or who work with export controlled data must use the on-Premise Exchange mail service which does not allow the forwarding of e-mail off campus.
Q: How much e-mail quota will I get?
The Office 365 service provides 50GB of space for mailboxes and supports individual message sizes up to 25MB.
Q: Can GT Category III data be stored securely on Office 365?
Yes, Office 365 has been approved by GT for the storage of Category III data (e.g. FERPA).
Q: How reliable is Office 365?
The Office 365 services has consistently provided 99.9% uptime over the past two years, where
Uptime = ( (minutes in a month - downtime) / minutes in a month) x 100.
Q: Will Microsoft scan, mine or use my e-mail for any non-GT purpose?
Microsoft will not scan, mine, or use our content for advertising or other purposes beyond offering Georgia Tech the services that we have contracted. Georgia Tech remains the sole owner of all our data (rights, title, and interest). Microsoft is committed to the privacy and security of Georgia Tech's content in Office 365. For more information on how Microsoft protects our data, please see the Office 365 Trust Center (http://trust.office365.com).
Q: Where can I learn more about the OIT effort to transition my e-mail?
OIT maintains a GT ECC Transition Project web page that is continually updated with the latest information. The ECC Town Hall presentation posted on the site provides details about the policy and implementation plans.
Q: Are other Office 365 services available?
Yes, OIT announced related Office 365 services during Spring semester, such as Office 365 Pro Plus, OneDrive for Business, Lync Online and SharePoint Online.