Managing change through the Office 365 Program

University of Waterloo faculty, staff, and students have anytime, anywhere access to the Office 365 productivity and collaboration tools they know and love, including Word, SharePoint, and Excel, plus exciting new apps like OneDrive, Stream, and Teams. By the end of March, the majority of our community will have migrated to Microsoft's secure and reliable Office 365 email environment

Microsoft's suite of products still has much to offer our community of users. Recognizing the investigation and implementation of new services and technology includes many moving parts and is likely to impact the day-to-day processes and workflows we are currently used to, the Office 365 Program was launched as an initiative to help build awareness of and effectively manage the details of all O365 related work to ensure a positive experience for all. 

A change management approach

change managementChange management is the discipline that guides how to prepare, equip, and support individuals to successfully adopt change, providing a structured approach for supporting individuals in the move from a current to future state. As we embrace the Microsoft suite of cloud services and applications, there will be projects/initiatives that will impact various audiences across campus, some possibly in a number of different ways. 

The Office 365 Program, rooted in change management theory, will allow IST to better track, manage, and communicate the details of all of the related projects/initiatives being explored and/or implemented across campus. The vision for the Office 365 Program is to help:

  • provide streamlined support and training to ease the adoption and use of these products,
  • align our campus information technology services,
  • increase student and employee efficiency and engagement,
  • realize significant cost-savings through the elimination of duplicate services and licence fees, and
  • modernize our IT infrastructure, security, and service delivery.

Included projects and inititatives

Many of the changes that have or will be introduced through the Office 365 Program are a combination of process and system/technology. These changes are being introduced through a series of projects and inititatives categorized into five activities to date, with the understanding that future projects/initiatives may be added to the program and will have to be taken into account from a change perspective.

SharePoint Online

Moving to SharePoint Online

Simple sharing and seamless collaboration

Learn more about this project



Migrating campus telephones to Skype for Business softphone client

Make and receive calls on any connected device

Learn more about this project



Migrating N: drives to OneDrive

Access your files from any device, anywhere

Learn more about this project


Email routing

Email improvements

A standardized campus email system with enhanced threat protection

Learn more about this project



Migrating employee email to Office 365

A secure, reliable experience that provides email and calendar together, in one place

Learn more about this project


Change Champions

Recognising the volume of change this work represents, and with a goal to support employees and other stakeholder groups, an O365 network of Change Champions, representing each Faculty and several academic support units, has been created. Champions are available to support you should you have any questions or concerns related to the projects underway. Your Champion is well positioned to share insight into the O365 suite of projects and benefits, helping to address training needs and relay any feedback you may have to the appropriate project team. Be on the look out for an introductory message from your Champion soon, if you have not received one already.

Have questions but aren't sure if your area has a Change Champion? Feel free to get in touch with the team

Additional resources

Visit our website to learn more about the Office 365 Program.