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Officials to study issues on email, calendaring

February 25, 2014 By Greg Bump

To ensure the long-term success of the campus’s new email and calendaring system, project leaders have decided to slow the implementation of Microsoft Office 365 as plans for the conversion are evaluated.

Paul M. DeLuca Jr.

Paul M. DeLuca Jr.

“With the transition to Microsoft Office 365 reaching a critical juncture, we’ve decided to examine various facets of this transition, which is important to long-term success, for a couple of months,” says Provost Paul M. DeLuca Jr.

“This is a project that affects tens of thousands of people,” DeLuca adds. “We want to make doubly sure that the decisions made so far are solid, economical, workable and sustainable over the long haul.”

Microsoft Office 365 was selected as the best email and calendaring system for the university following a cross-campus evaluation by Administrative Excellence team in 2012. Replacing the multiple email and calendaring systems currently used on campus with one common system will save money and staff time, as well as enable greater collaboration.

Implementing new email and calendaring systems at institutions as large and complex as a major public research institution involves the movement of huge amounts of data. That makes this a challenging project with many technical and practical considerations.

Officials emphasize that they are committed to going forward with the transition to Microsoft Office 365. But they want to address concerns raised in a university-commissioned independent review of the project in a deliberate fashion. The best way to resolve those issues is to slow its implementation, they say.

Bruce Maas

Bruce Maas

Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Bruce Maas says project leaders are taking a careful and thoughtful approach to the migration of the email and calendar data to a new platform.

“Having an independent source come to campus and double-check the work we’ve done so far on this project makes us smarter, better stewards of the process,” Maas says. “We will do our due diligence to address the issues the review identified and move forward with confidence that the transition will happen with greater efficiency while serving the needs of users.”

John Krogman, the operational director of the project for the Division of Information Technology, says the move will provide time to solve any problems and give the assurance that the conversion will go smoothly.

“A university relies on technology to communicate and operate efficiently,” Krogman says. “We see Microsoft Office 365 taking a central role in that, and a period of evaluation will serve us well because we see this as a long-term solution that will benefit the campus for many years to come.”