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IT prepares for faculty/staff e-mail migration

by UofL Today last modified Aug 26, 2011 09:32 AM

Information Technology recently completed a pilot migration of its entire staff from GroupWise e-mail to Exchange (Outlook) in preparation for the fall migration of all University of Louisville faculty and staff.

The pilot, according to IT, was intended to make the full migration go more smoothly by identifying potential problems and refining the process.

“We documented everything and compiled ‘to do’ lists for before and after the migration,” said Sande Johnson-Byers, assistant vice president for information technology. “We found some ‘gotchas’ that could render a migration unsuccessful, but we learned why these things happened and how to prevent them in future migrations.”

IT next will conduct a second pilot to include Tier I personnel.

“We would not conduct this second pilot if we felt it had the potential to go poorly,” Johnson-Byers said. “We are conducting this pilot so Tier Is will have a solid knowledge base of Outlook and be in a good position to prepare their users for migration and support them afterward. In addition, they can help IT further refine the migration process, as well as any related documentation and communication.”

Provost Shirley Willihnghanz requested to participate in a second phase of the next pilot and will migrate with her office a week after the Tier I migration.

“We are prepared,” Johnson-Byers said. “Our HelpDesk has been trained to support migration issues and the new system. We have a SWAT team that will go out into the field and help troubleshoot migration issues.

“We are aware that this is a monumental change after 13-plus years of GroupWise. We know that adapting to a new system can be intimidating and we want to make the switch as easy as possible for everyone.”

The full migration is scheduled to start in October. Here are some things faculty and staff need to know:

  • IT will host two e-mail open forums in September. HSC: Monday, Sept. 12, 2 p.m., Room 2006, K-Wing. Belknap: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 3 p.m., Bigelow Hall, Miller Information Technology Center. All faculty and staff are invited to attend.
  • Not everyone will move at the same time, so some employees will be in Outlook several weeks before their colleagues join them. Even if colleagues are on different e-mail systems, they will still be able to send each other e-mail and schedule meetings.
  • IT will publish a schedule of who moves when and share it with Tier Is, similar to how it did with archive migration.
  • Migration will take place outside of normal working hours.
  • Communication to faculty and staff about the migration will come from “Service Account E-mail News.”
  • Communications will include Exchange training opportunities.
  • Each faculty and staff member will receive an e-mail before they move that includes the date of the move, instructions for how to prepare and what to do the morning after migration.
  • IT will send a post-migration e-mail to faculty and staff with additional items to complete once the account is migrated. Faculty and staff will receive this notification in their new Exchange accounts.
  • IT has posted several aids on its website:
    • Training videos for some commonly used Outlook functions
    • An Exchange glossary
    • Extensive FAQs
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