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UGAMail, calendar upgrade to start August 2

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Before the University of Georgia upgrades its email and calendar system to Office 365 Education on Aug. 2-4, users should be aware of what to expect during that weekend.

The University will migrate from Microsoft’s Live@edu platform to its cloud-based email, calendar and task service, Office 365 Education, starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2. The upgrade is expected to end the evening of Sunday, Aug. 4, however, it could take additional time. Microsoft is requiring its education clients to upgrade from Live@edu to Office 365 Education by September.

“The University of Georgia has been working closely with Microsoft consultants for several months to make this transition to Office 365 Education as smooth as possible,” said Michael Lucas, associate CIO for infrastructure and research computing. “While this migration has required a lot of behind-the-scenes technical work, there will be no functional changes to the email, calendar and task productivity tools that are familiar to UGA users.”

But, after the upgrade, users will have two accounts: Their UGAMail account, which is managed by the University, for email, calendar and task functions; and their personal Microsoft consumer account, which is managed by Microsoft. The Microsoft consumer accounts will give users access to Microsoft consumer products, such as SkyDrive and Skype (Messenger).

When the upgrade is complete, users will be asked to verify their Microsoft consumer accounts. Initially, user names and passwords will remain the same for both accounts. But, if users change their personal Microsoft account password, they will no longer be in sync with their UGAMail password.

The upgrade will not change UGAMail account user names or passwords. As a benefit, the upgrade will increase email storage from 10GB to 25GB.

Before the upgrade, users should ensure their software is up-to-date for Office 365 Education. Some older software packages — such as Office 2003 or Internet Explorer 7 — will not be supported by Office 365 Education.

During the upgrade, users will have access to UGAMail, but there may be a brief downtime while accounts are being transitioned to Office 365 Education. Email will continue to be sent to UGAMail accounts.

Both during and after the upgrade, there should be no service disruption to people using an email client or a mobile device. However, email clients and mobile devices are different and some may prompt users to provide their credentials again. In addition, people actively logged into the Outlook Web Application may be disconnected from their session. It is recommended that users restart their web browsers if that occurs.

 “We’re advising the University community to be aware of this email upgrade during this particular weekend, which was selected because its poses fewer disruptions after summer commencement, but before fall classes start,” Lucas said. “Still, we’re also recommending that users not plan to send important University-related emails during that weekend because email access may be intermittent during the upgrade timeframe.”

As part of the technical upgrade, users will be unable to establish or change their UGA MyID names and passwords starting on the evening of Aug. 2 and possibly up to a week a later. UGA MyID names and passwords may be manually changed during that time by contacting the EITS Help Desk.

Those needing new UGAMail accounts or password changes during that time may contact the EITS Help Desk at 706-542-3106 or helpdesk@uga.edu.

The University’s central IT department — Enterprise Information Technology Services (EITS) — manages UGAMail accounts. EITS has instructions and frequently asked questions available at office365.uga.edu.