Campus Migration to Office 365


Editors Note:  This document was written in 2014 before the migration to Office 365 began.  It has been left relatively intact, but editor's comments have been added in places where changes have occurred since the migration.

In 2013, Georgia Tech 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 Georgia Tech 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does this mean for the Ivan Allen College?

All Ivan Allen College (IAC) faculty, staff and student employees will transition to the new, unified Georgia Tech 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. (IAC has very few people in this category.) All e-mail, calendar, contacts and tasks on Zimbra (also known as MyGaTech) will be migrated to the new service. IAC IT is actively participating on campus policy and implementation teams.

When is it happening?

The current Georgia Tech timeline projects a late Fall 2014 migration, but dates are subject to change. In the next few months, IAC IT will work with IAC administration and with OIT to identify an exact date for the transition. You will receive advance notification of when the transition will occur and you will receive help from IAC IT to make sure everything goes smoothly.Why is this happening?

The decision to unify Georgia Tech e-mail, contacts and calendaring was the result of months of study by IT Governance bodies on campus. A summary explanation was provided by OIT:

"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."

Why did Georgia Tech select Microsoft Office 365?

The Georgia Tech IT Governance bodies were tasked with identifying a solution to unify Georgia Tech's disparate ECC systems. Because Georgia Tech 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 Georgia Tech to engage in this research. The Microsoft Office 365 product was identified as the only technical solution to unify Georgia Tech ECC services.  Specifically, the Microsoft Office A2 level product was selected.

Did Georgia Tech consider Google as a solution?

Yes, Georgia Tech considered Google Apps for Government. The Google Apps for EDU product does not meet Georgia Tech compliance requirements (the servers must reside in the USA).

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. IAC IT 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.

Will you help me configure my devices for the email service?

Yes. OIT will be publishing instructions to allow you to configure your devices to the unified Georgia Tech e-mail service. If needed, IAC IT will be available to visit your office in person to configure desktop e-mail clients.

Will my Georgia Tech e-mail addresses be the same?

Yes, all of your Georgia Tech e-mail addresses will be preserved and will deliver to your Office 365 mailbox.

Can I select my outgoing e-mail address?

Yes, you will be able to select your outgoing Georgia Tech 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 Georgia Tech e-mail address.

What items are migrating to Office 365?

Your Zimbra e-mail inbox and folders, calendars, contacts and tasks will be migrated.

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
  •     Signatures
  •     Zimbra briefcase

Can I forward my e-mail off campus?

Since the adoption of Office 365, CyberSecurity has decided to discontinue the ability to forward mail to outside mailboxes.  For security reasons all Georgia Tech email must be housed in an Office 365 account, though you can still use third-party email clients (e.g. Apple Mail, Thunderbird, etc.) to access your Office 365 email account.

Yes, Office 365 users may forward their e-mail to a non-Georgia Tech endorsed service (e.g. Gmail) after using the Passport self-service web page to agree to a statement of responsibility to protect sensitive Georgia Tech 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.

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.

Can Georgia Tech Category III data be stored securely on Office 365?

Yes, Office 365 has been approved by Georgia Tech for the storage of Category III data (e.g. FERPA).

How reliable is Office 365?

The Office 365 services has consistently provided 99.9% uptime over the past two years.

Will Microsoft scan, mine or use my e-mail for any non-Georgia Tech 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.

Where can I learn more about the OIT effort to transition my e-mail?

Editor's Note: The OIT pages regarding the ECC Transition Project were taken down several years ago.  General information about Office 365 can be found on the OIT Frequently Asked Questions website.

OIT maintains an 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.

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.

Who can I contact for questions or send feedback?

For questions and feedback, please talk with your IAC IT support person or send email to the usual support address.