Changes to email and calendaring for staff and faculty 

McMaster’s faculty and staff email and calendaring platform will move to Microsoft Office 365 cloud this summer. The project was endorsed by McMaster’s IT Governance committees in late 2019.

“This change is an important one for the university and is in line with other post-secondary institutions across Canada,” says AVP & CTO, Gayleen Gray. “With our current email solution reaching end of life, the timing is right for this important step to modernize McMaster’s email and calendar environment.”

The overall email and calendaring experience will feel very similar to today’s for those using the Microsoft Outlook software with additional features and benefits, including: increased storage (100GB); reliable integration with mobile devices; enhanced security; hosting in a Canadian data centre; enhanced collaborative tool functionality, and document sharing capabilities. The Office 365 online tool will provide an advanced integration experience for anyone using collaborative tools such as Teams and SharePoint.

University Technology Services (UTS) is partnering with the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Computer Services Unit (CSU), and the IT community at large, to deliver this project by the end of June 2020. This will result in all McMaster faculty, staff, retirees, and faculty of Health Sciences students’ migrating from the current on-premise Microsoft Exchange environment into Microsoft O365.

Based on feedback from the 2016 IT Services Review and McMaster IT Strategy engagement sessions held in 2019, reliable and seamless productivity tools are a priority for the campus community and this change to the Office 365 email solution will meet this goal.

Planning is underway, including the formation of a Project Team and Project Steering Committee which will include representatives from across the university to ensure that unique requirements are captured. Details are being finalized for the project roll out, including training, support, and communications activities, and will be forthcoming soon.

As UTS and CSU work collaboratively to execute this migration, high-level project updates will be provided via the AVP & CTO website. The project team will also share practical information for users via the McMaster Office 365 Hub.

Stay tuned for ongoing communications and engagement sessions around this initiative.