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Project Summary

In the summer of 2017, Penn State started the process to bring Microsoft Office 365 to all students, faculty, and staff members at no additional cost. Access to Office 365 will include over fifteen powerful and collaborative applications. The University will also move to Outlook for a single, all-in-one email and calendaring system.

The migration strategy is outlined below along with information on the two advisory groups. The groups represent students, faculty, and staff members throughout the University to ensure the needs of Penn Staters are met throughout the migration process.

Planning Phase

  • Summer of 2017: Penn State started planning to bring Office 365 to the University community.
  • October 2017: The Office 365 Project Team held their kick-off meeting.
  • October 2017 to December 2017: The Office 365 Project Team developed a strategy to move to Microsoft Outlook for email and calendaring along with providing access to the suite of applications.

Pilot Phase

  • January 2018: A small group of Information Technology (IT) staff members participated in the first pilot. The group started using the suite of applications and Outlook for email and calendaring.
  • February 2018: The second pilot consisted of moving all IT professionals to Outlook.
  • March 2018 to April 2018: Select units representing administration areas, colleges, and campuses participated in the third pilot.

Execution Phase

April 2018

  • All current students gained access to the suite of applications, excluding Outlook.
  • Faculty and staff members started moving to Office 365 by first using the suite of applications, excluding Outlook. The process will continue throughout summer of 2018. However, units can delay gaining access to the suite of applications until they move to Outlook.
  • A detail plan for faculty and staff member email migration was developed.

May 2018

  • All new students gain access to the suite of applications including email and calendaring through Outlook.

May 2018 to December 2018

  • Faculty and staff members continue to gain access to the suite of applications and begin moving to Outlook. The transition to Outlook will be conducted on an individual unit or area basis.

June 2018 to July 2018

  • Students will be moved from the current email and calendaring system, WebMail, to Outlook.

Migration Strategy

Penn State faculty and staff members will be moved from their existing email and calendaring systems to Microsoft Outlook and gain access to the suite of applications on a rolling basis throughout 2018.

  • Pre-Planning: Two weeks of gathering information about the unit or area.
  • Planning: Two weeks of prepping local Information Technology staff, establishing a migration team from within the unit, and identifying early adopters.
  • Pre-Migration: Four weeks of preparing faculty and staff members in the area.
  • Migration: Timeline depends on area or unit specific needs. Email and calendar entries will be copied from the existing system to Outlook.
  • Post Migration: Three months of continued support and additional training.

Office 365 Advisory Committees

Nominated by University leadership, the Office 365 Advisory committees have representation from students, faculty, and staff member across the University. These two committees provide crucial feedback, assist with strategy planning, and advise on the technical and user perspective throughout the pilot and migration stages.

Penn State IT Office 365 Advisory Committee

The IT Advisory Group includes leadership and staff of enterprise and campus IT units to ensure all members of IT are represented throughout the process of technical advising and strategizing for the initial IT, and later University-wide, migration.

Penn State Office 365 Advisory Committee

Nominated by members of University leadership, select students, faculty, and staff members compose the University-wide Advisory Committee to represent all Penn Staters that will use Office 365. The committee advises on migration schedules, necessary communications, training opportunities, and support strategies.