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Email upgrade: larger quotas, better web access & easier calendaring

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Sean O'Malley  

Example of Catmail inboxThis fall, the university will finish upgrading its Exchange email system to the Microsoft cloud service that currently hosts Catmail.

The upgrade began this summer when OIT migrated the majority of graduate and medical students to the new system. For the past two weeks, the upgrade has been on hold as part of OIT's standard practice not to make major system changes at the start of a new term. 

Who is affected

The Exchange email upgrade will affect the following groups:

  • Current faculty and staff
  • Graduate students
  • Medical students
  • Emeriti
  • Retirees
  • Long term guest account holders
  • Anyone else who currently uses the university's Exchange email system

If you are forwarding your OHIO email elsewhere, you will not be affected. Also, current undergraduates and alumni who use Catmail will not be affected.

Special considerations

To minimize disruption, we will schedule migrations to avoid the following time windows:

  • e-Business R12 upgrade (July 27 – Aug 7)
  • Fall opening

Once all graduate students have been moved, it will be possible to view free/busy time across both email systems; however, graduate students who use shared calendars or shared mailboxes will not have full access to those resources until those resources and their associated owners’ accounts have been upgraded. Whenever possible, we will move departments and individuals who share calendars or mailboxes as a group.

What to expect

The Exchange email upgrade will bring significant improvements, including:

  • 50 GB inbox quotas
  • Better web access - The new web email interface will work the same on all browsers and operating systems. If you have used Outlook 2013 or Hotmail, the new web interface will look very familiar.
  • Easier calendaring - Scheduling meetings across groups - undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff - will be much easier with everyone on the same email system. 

All users

  • Increased quota
  • Free/busy visible to anyone at the university (can be disabled if you prefer not to share your availability)
  • Items in Deleted & Junk folders automatically purged after 30 days

Web users

  • New URL to check your mail once your account is migrated
  • Improved interface that works the same on all browsers and operating systems

Outlook users

  • New settings will be detected automatically
  • The new system only works with Office 2010 or newer. If you are running an older version of Outlook, you will need to upgrade.

Mobile device and non-Outlook client users

  • You will have to update mail server settings on your device or client

Power users who manage multiple calendars and accounts

  • IT staff will work directly with you to make the transition

Graduate students

  • It could take up to 24 hours after the upgrade for your old Exchange mail to appear in your Catmail account. If you have any old messages that you cannot be without for up to a day, consider saving them locally.
  • You will be unable to access shared calendars and shared mailboxes until those resources are moved to the new system. 
  • If you are a Delegate for another person, if you manage a calendar resource like a lab, or if you have access to a shared mailbox, keep in mind that you will lose access to these features until the corresponding accounts or resources are upgraded. In some cases, this could take several weeks or longer.
  • You will not be able to see free/busy times for users who are still on Exchange, including faculty and staff, until we have upgraded all graduate students. This process could take up to two weeks.
  • Once all graduate students have been upgraded, you will be able to see free/busy calendar information for faculty and staff who have yet to be upgraded. Full calendar capabilities will return once everyone has been upgraded.

Student employees

  • Supervisors will be able to delegate directly to undergraduate student employees. For temporary employees, “oit-“ accounts will be replaced by long term guest accounts.

Related Links

IT Change Guide 
Email upgrade overview slides (hosted on Box)
Email home page