Office 365 employee email investigation project recommendation

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A message from Bruce Campbell, chief information officer (CIO)

Email services for University employees are currently hosted on an on-premises Microsoft Exchange environment, while email services for undergraduate students are hosted on the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 environment.

Office 365 employee email investigation

As announced last June, and with the support of University Committee on Information Systems and Technology (UCIST) and the Campus Technology Services Committee (CTSC), Information Systems & Technology (IST) has explored the possibility of moving University employee email to Office 365. This included an in-depth analysis of this potential migration, a successful Information Risk Assessment, consultations with faculty and staff, and consultations with other Canadian universities.

In January, the project team delivered its report with the main recommendation that the University move forward with a staged migration of the majority of employee email to Office 365. It was also recommended that the University retain a small on-premises Exchange service, configured as an Exchange/365 hybrid deployment, to support a relatively small number of users with special requirements. The report, and its recommendations, were endorsed by UCIST and CTSC at their January 2020 meetings.

Microsoft Office 365 provides access to a robust set of productivity and collaboration tools, while continuing to provide familiar tools for email and calendaring (e.g. Outlook, webmail, smartphone clients). Additional benefits are summarized on the project website.

Migration timeline

IST expects to begin migrating academic support unit email to Office 365 in June, followed by faculties. Detailed communications to the campus will follow as planning progresses.


If you have questions in the meantime, you are welcome to contact me, or IST’s Director of Client Services Andrew McAlorum.

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