E-mail, calendar and voicemail projects move forward
2000+ accounts converted over summer
September 10, 2010
By Sean O'Malley
This is part 2 of a 3 part series covering summer progress on OIT's NextGen projects. Read part 1 here...
Feature rich e-mail, integrated calendaring, and easier telephone messaging became a reality for approximately one fourth of OHIO’s faculty and staff this summer.
As part of a phased rollout of Exchange e-mail and calendar, OIT migrated all deans, department heads, directors and their supporting staff to the new system. According to Exchange project manager David Alexander, the university now has approximately 1300 individuals using Exchange e-mail and calendar. Remaining faculty, staff and graduate students will begin their transition to the new system later this fall.
In the meantime, OIT has stopped issuing new Oak/Oracle Calendar accounts. Any employee or graduate student who joins the university after 6 pm on September 9, 2010 will automatically receive an Exchange account. According to Alexander, employees and graduate students who arrived before the 9th should continue to use their Oak accounts until the fall conversion happens.
“We are finalizing our fall rollout plan and will send out an announcement when the migration schedule is available,” Alexander said. Updates also will be available on the Exchange web site.
Exchange features tight integration between e-mail and calendaring, support for mobile devices, and the ability to send and receive HTML and rich text formatted messages. Outlook (PC) and Entourage (Mac) are the preferred programs for individuals who like using a stand-alone client, while Outlook Web Access is available for those who prefer managing their mail and calendar over the web.
On the telephone side, OIT has begun rolling out new voicemail for Athens campus faculty and staff that offers simpler prompts, better reliability, and the ability to manage messages and account settings over the web.
The system also features separate greetings for no answer, busy and out-of-office. Mobile users also can flag their cell phone as a “trusted” number, allowing them to access their account from that phone without needing to enter a password.
According to voicemail project co-lead Stephen Blakeman, approximately 800 faculty and staff already are using the new system. “People really seem to like it,” said Blakeman. “We’ve gotten a lot of compliments on how easy it is to use, and how nice it is to be able to manage your messages on the web.”
Voicemail migrations are being scheduled department by department and will continue through fall and winter quarters. To view the current schedule, visit the voicemail website.