Office 365 will be in operation from Monday 14 December 2015

After discussion with Executive and consultation with representative faculty and professional staff, the migration date to Office 365 will be on Monday 14 December 2015. This date was identified as the least disruptive time for our community.

We have been working with our partners Dell, SMS and Synergy to develop the migration process which will occur over the weekend of Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December 2015. Confirmation of exact timings will be communicated closer to the date. During this time your email and calendars will be ‘read-only’. For more information please visit itservices.mq.edu.au/office365/faqs.

Further to our last MQ Announcement (Monday 28 September) advising about the move from Gmail to Office 365 for all University staff, from Monday 14 December your email and calendars will be accessible via Office 365. You will also be able to download the mail client to your desktop if you prefer. Instructions will be made available closer to the migration date.

Information about calendaring
Microsoft Office 365 has a different structure to Gmail calendar, which makes it difficult to successfully migrate calendar entries from one system to another. A number of universities around the world have already made the transition from Google Apps to Office 365 and have encountered many issues with migrating calendars, particularly with recurring appointments, links, resources and reminders. Our trial participants also experienced these issues. Therefore to avoid complication, appointments beyond 14 December and recurring Google calendar entries will not be migrated. These will need to be recreated in the Office 365 environment. There is precedent for this in migrations conducted by other universities around the world (refer to case study – ‘Why Wisconsin University is not Migrating Calendars’ for further information).

To assist the process of recreating calendar appointments, all staff will continue to have ‘read-only’ access to their Gmail Calendar for at least three months until the migration project closes, to easily reference appointments that need to be recreated. Heavy calendar users have been identified and extra support will be provided to assist with recreating appointments. Further information on creating appointments in Office 365 can be found in the calendar user guide section of the training material.

Training support
We understand this is a significant change for staff, and have developed a practical set of online and face-to-face training options to provide support and assistance during this migration. Training sessions will commence from Monday 9 November and continue into March 2016. There will also be online resources, videos and drop in informational sessions available.

Training covers a wide variety of Office 365 related topics from a broad introduction to more specific training around new applications and tools within the Office 365 Suite.

Register for available training sessions recently published in This Week at Macquarie University.

Office 365 ambassador network
The first Office 365 ambassador meetings commenced last week. The network comprises of representative staff from each faculty and office and is an opportunity to learn more about Office 365 and support internal communication within your faculty/offices. Contact the Office 365 project team at ask.office365@mq.edu.au to get involved.

Keep up-to-date: Support, training and FAQs

Your support and cooperation during this migration is appreciated, and I thank you in advance for your participation and patience as we move forward. For any questions or feedback, please email ask.office365@mq.edu.au.

Kind regards,
Dr Mary Davies
Chief Information Officer

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