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Benefits of Office 365

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Office 365 is Microsoft's hosted or "cloud" based email and collaboration product suite.  There are four areas UIW employees will see benefits.

1.  Upgraded Email

Immediately after migration employees will have their email stored in a new highly secure "cloud" based email server.  On the surface this change is almost imperceptible.  Under the hood, though, there are some significant improvements.

  • 50x Increase in email storage!  User mailboxes will increase from 1 Gigabyte to 50 Gigabytes with a future increase to 100 Gigabtyes following in the summer of 2017.  You will be able to store ALL of their email in the new system and access it anywhere from any device.  After migration, users should discontinue creating local ".pst" or archive folders to store email All mail stored offline should be moved into Office 365 and will be accessible from anywhere and backed up
  • No change in how you work...You can still use Outlook, phone email clients, and any other way you were connecting along with access to a newly updated webmail version accessible via web browser.

2.  Secure, UIW Managed File Storage - OneDrive for Business

O365 features OneDrive, which will be the university's file storage environment that will replace personal Dropbox spaces, LAN server spaces, and local computer hard drive spaces.

OneDrive for Business is a secure, capable cloud based storage system that is fully licensed and managed by the University.  This capability is very important as it will be the foundation of file storage across the institution.  Users can store all their work files, photos, documents and more.

  • Virtually unlimited file storage!  Each user will initially recieve 5 Terabytes (5 TB) of storage space that can be increased further if necessary. 
  • A single place to save everything.  You will be able to consolidate all of your work files in a single spot.  No need to keep files on your local hard drive, a usb drive, a legacy network drive, or anywhere else. 
  • Anytime, anywhere access.  The days of having to wait until you are at your work computer, connecting through a virtual private network, or other mechanism are over.  Now you can easily access all your files through a web browser, mobile applications, and through a folder on your computer similiar to traditional shared folders.
  • No more "personal DropBox"When working in an organization it is imperative that employees separate personal and work files.  When using a personal service such as DropBox, IRD has no recourse to support if something goes wrong.  Further there a many implications from legal questions to issues regarding obtaining work files on a person service if someone leaves employement.  OneDrive for Business provides a backed up copy of all your important files and IRD will be able to support in a variety of additional ways.

NOTE - Users will have access to OneDrive immediately after they are migrated.  You can copy your files over at any time and IRD can assist with this process.  By the 31st of July 2017, IRD will be discontinuing support for personal local area network file shares such as the I, H, or U Drives.  Additionally, over the summer of 2017, DropBox, Box, and other personal file storage services will be closely monitored.  Please migrate all personal work files you have to your OneDrive no later than 31 July 2017.

3.  New Instant Messenger and Collaboration - Skype for Business 

Skype for Business is a tool similar to Zoom.  This tool provides instant message capabilities and presence notification meaning you can quickly see anyone's availability in Skype, on the web, or even in the native Outlook client.  Skype provides a full range of video chat, screen sharing, and other best in class collaboration capabilities.

4.  Even more cutting edge capablities in the future

While initial IRD support will center around e-mail, OneDrive, and Skype for Business, there are many other tools that UIW employees can experiment with.  These tools are completely optional and can be explored whenever or if you would like.  The support matrix below provides an idea

UIW Support Matrix

  • Forms - Similar to Google Forms.  Create quick surveys or quizzes and gather information straight from the web to Excel.
  • Sway - Microsoft's answer to Prezi.  A newer, more multimedia rich presentation tool.
  • Flow - Similar to "If This, Then That" app, this program allows users to create work flows to automate tasks.  You can fashion a digital assistant of sorts limited only by your imagination.
  • PowerBI - A graphical business intelligence tool that can augment Excel.
  • Video - A private YouTube like experience just for UIW.
  • Planner - A simple, intuitive project and task management tool for teams.