Communication and collaboration

There are a variety of tools and platforms available to faculty, staff and students.

Email - Microsoft 365

  • Faculty, staff and graduate students have email addresses in the form of
  • If you have set a friendly email address in WatIAM, that address will be used as the "from" address on emails you send
  • Faculty, Staff and Grads email is provided through Microsoft 365. This is a centrally-offered email service hosted in Microsoft's Canadian data centres. Please refer to IST's support pages for Microsoft 365 email
  • Mailbox quota is 100GB; maximum message size is 25MB.
  • We recommend using Outlook on Windows PCs, Mac computers and mobile devices. If you are not getting your email on your computer, you can always access email using web browser at (login as with your UW password and click on the Outlook icon on the left of the page).
  • Faculty, Staff and Graduate student inbound email is scanned for viruses and spam content. Any email caught will be delivered to your Junk Email folder. The worst emails have the subject altered with "[SUSPICIOUS]". You may also see a message inserted at the top of the message body "WARNING: The University of Waterloo's email security system has determined the message below may be a potential threat. If you do not know the sender or cannot verify the integrity of the message, contact the IST Service Desk. Please do not respond or click on links in the message."
  • Mailing Lists: There are a number of email mailing lists that you will be subscribed to automatically. These will have a FROM address ending in Do not block email from these lists.


  • Meetings invitations arrive by email and will be marked tentative in your calendar
  • Respond to meeting invitations – if you delete the invitation, it will be interpreted as "not attending" and the meeting will be deleted from your calendar and the meeting organizer will get a message indicating that you have declined the meeting.
  • Many rooms and equipment resources can be booked using Calendar by adding them to the list of attendees. Search for these using "HLTH" as the name
  • By default, Faculty, Staff and Grad student calendars are not visible to undergraduate students

Microsoft 365

  • All full time faculty, staff and students have access to Microsoft 365.
  • See Microsoft 365 - Apps you have access to for a summary of available apps.
  • Share files with others at UWaterloo (share using their email address -
  • Faculty and Staff accounts are valid while employed at UWaterloo. Graduate students retain access for an additional 16 months after their last registration.
  • For complete details, see Microsoft Office 365 and Frequently asked questions.

Microsoft Teams

  • Microsoft Teams is an app in Microsoft 365 that supports teamwork by providing a central place for tools and resources.
  • With MS Teams, members can meet, chat, manage and share files, and collaborate on documents simultaneously. Teams allows you to customize your work space, keeps your work secure, and provides a convenient platform to do more, together.
  • You can use Teams to:
    • Chat and Video Conference with other team members or people outside of teams
    • Group chat and video conferencing in Teams allows team members to collaborate and connect easily.
    • Share Files: Easy access to shared team documents and be able to edit and share with multiple people at a time. Files are stored in Microsoft's Canadian data centres.
    • Schedule meetings and collaborate effectively with UWaterloo and non-UWaterloo people (whether or not they use Teams).
    • Add people outside of UWaterloo as Guests to your team to provide them with full access to your Team space. All Team members must have registered for an online account to join to a team but they do not need to be at UWaterloo (i.e. they need a Microsoft account of some sort).
  • Find out more at the IST's Microsoft Teams page

Skype for Business

  • With the exception of the telephone service, many of the functions available in Skype for Business have migrated to Microsoft Teams (see preceding entry)
  • All faculty, staff and grad students in the Faculty of Health have Skype for Business accounts, a UWaterloo-based service.
  • Can be used to communicate with (regular) Skype accounts. Meetings can be set up and joined by external people using a web browser
  • Integrated into Outlook – create an online meeting
  • For general information see Using Skype for Business
  • For information on using Skype for Business as a telephone/softphone, see Skype for Business softphone on Windows and Skype for Business softphone on Mac

Zoom and Webex Meetings (video conferencing)

  • All faculty, staff and students have Zoom accounts for video conferencing. Webex accounts are available upon request. Both use your UWaterloo account in the form of 
  • Both Zoom and Webex have client software that can be downloaded and used for meetings.
  • For more information see the Zoom and Webex entries in IST's Webex knowledgebase pages

Audio and Video Conferencing

  • There are a number of options available for audio and video conferencing. Details on these services can be found at Audio and Video Conferencing. IST has a good knowledgebase article (Tool comparison for remote meetings and conference call) to help you choose between some of these platforms.
  • Many seminar and teaching rooms are set up with video conferencing equipment. 
  • If the computer you are using does not have a camera or microphone or you need a better speaker, you can borrow equipment from the Faculty of Health Deans Office: Conference Camera (camera, microphone, speaker), Meeting Owl (camera, microphone, speaker) or the Faculty of Health Skype Speaker (microphone, speaker). These are all bookable resources in your UW calendar.
  • Laptop computers have poor microphones and speakers so headsets are recommended. A wired connection is always better if it can be arranged as wireless connection quality can vary during the course of any given day.
  • High speed internet connection is a must. Refer to the recommendations at Quality of a Video Conference Call.
  • For important calls, setting up a test meeting a day or so in advance is highly recommended. For any test, attendees should be at the same location and using the same hardware that they intend to use for the meeting.

Websites - Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS)


WatSAFE is an application that provides emergency contact information and real-time notification of major campus emergency events or closures. It is available in the App Store for Apple devices and in Google Play for Android devices

UWaterloo Portal

  • Portal is a communication tool that delivers the UWaterloo information to students, faculty and staff.
  • Portal is available online, or as an App in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Watch this video to learn more.