O365 Mailbox Migration

UA faculty and staff mailboxes will soon transition to the O365 cloud environment.

OIT is working with divisions and colleges across campus to migrate OIT-supported faculty and staff email mailboxes to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud environment. Hosting email in the cloud offers many benefits including business continuity, infrastructure cost savings, real time updates without system downtime, and email accessibility anywhere with an internet connection.

Migrating to O365 is a project that OIT has been working towards for over a year. OIT migrated their own mailboxes to the cloud in the fall of 2019.

“If we’re going to ask the campus community to make a change – we’re going to be the first to experience that change,” said Deputy CIO Mike Shelton. “We’ve performed testing within our own organization, as well as several pilot groups across campus. I’ve been very pleased with how smooth the testing has been.  We’ve really experienced minimal issues thanks to extensive planning and testing by our OIT project team.”

Project Progress

The Honors College, Registrar’s Office and some mailboxes from the College of Arts and Sciences were moved to the O365 cloud environment earlier this month. The School of Social Work and College of Education are the next groups to be migrated.

“Our current focus is to migrate all colleges this spring before many faculty members leave campus for the summer,” said Meagan Bennett, OIT director of customer relations. “We’ll shift our focus to more operational entities in the summer months.”

Colleges and divisions will be notified of their migration at least two weeks before their mailboxes will be migrated. The mailbox migration itself requires no action from the mailbox owner. After a mailbox is migrated, individuals will need to reconfigure their email settings on mobile devices, and login to Outlook on desktops.

Migration Preparation

To prepare for email migration, OIT encourages faculty and staff to upgrade the Office software on their computers to the latest version, Office ProPlus. By upgrading Microsoft Office to ProPlus, users can ensure they receive real-time software updates from Microsoft. ProPlus allows Microsoft to push updates as they become available directly to the machine, no future manual Microsoft Office updates required.

UA faculty and staff can login to the Microsoft Office portal, portal.office.com, with their mybamausername@ua.edu email address and myBama password to download Microsoft Office ProPlus.

“Having desktop software up to date will speed up the migration process,” said Shelton. “We have an aggressive timeline to migrate all OIT-supported mailboxes to the cloud to ensure a consistent experience for the campus community with all mailboxes being housed on one platform.

FA Email Addresses

A separate project is in motion to unify the Finance and Operations email platform with the University’s email platform in the Microsoft Office 365 cloud environment.  

“Having a unified email platform is going to bring many benefits,” said Shelton. “This will create a more efficient and seamless user experience across Finance and Operations and the remainder of the campus community.”

Individuals in Finance and Operations will be notified directly in advance of any mailbox migration.  

We’re Here to Help

Additional details about the mailbox migration project, Office ProPlus, and step-by-step instructions for software installation are available on the OIT website.