University E-mail Service Receives Positive Feedback

The University E-mail Service that uses Microsoft Exchange and Outlook is considered a major success by faculty and staff. The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has received praise from a number of customers who have recently migrated. “Ohio State’s e-mail upgrade is just tremendous. After just two days of utilizing the new system, it has increased my productivity – both inside and outside the office – exponentially," said Barbara Kaelber, administrative associate for the Office of the Dean and Director, The Ohio State University at Marion.

Several factors have contributed to this positive reception. The amount of mailbox storage allotted to each user is 500MB, a significant increase from the 30MB provided with the OSU Webmail service. The Outlook Web App delivers web access to the service, allowing users to work in an environment very similar to that of a desktop client, yielding full access to e-mail and calendaring features. The calendar sharing tool, perhaps the most appreciated feature of the service, provides quick, convenient options for scheduling meetings, rooms, equipment, and more. This new feature assists users in managing their workloads more efficiently. “I am beyond thrilled that I will be able to share the dean’s and associate dean’s calendar, which until now, was not possible on the Marion campus. Both deans will now be able to view their updated calendars from their desks,” says Kaelber.

Feedback that the Enterprise E-mail Project team has received over the last six months of migrations has been extremely positive. “Departments who have not yet migrated have heard how well-received the new system is, and are inquiring about migrating early,” explained Brady Dodson, project manager.

The successful collaboration that the project team has displayed throughout the integration is considered a significant accomplishment by Dodson. Not only did the team work well together to get the system off the ground, the collaboration with migrating units has been instrumental in its implementation. Amy Brandon, the assistant director for the Child Care Program, who reached out to Dodson after the migration said, “I just wanted to let you know the process went really well from start to finish. Justin [Eyer, OCIO migration staff] and his team did a fantastic job of educating and assisting our staff and I thank all of you for your time and attention to the (often unique!) needs of the Child Care Program.”

Users like the new features and interface while the team is satisfied that the system is operating efficiently behind the scenes. Nearly 6,000 faculty and staff mailboxes have been integrated into the new system and although students utilize Buckeye Mail, their mail is also processed through the University E-mail Service. The service is currently supporting over 88,000 accounts and the average mail flow totals approximately 630,000 messages per day between faculty, staff, and students.

The University E-mail Service, which is replacing OSU Webmail and supports President Gee's "one university" goal, is being rolled out to all college units and departments in three releases. Release 1, the migration of faculty and staff that use OSU Webmail, is well underway. The following units are undergoing migration or have already completed the transition to the new service:

  • Office of Student Life
  • Office of the CIO
  • College of Social Work
  • University Libraries
  • Naval Science
  • Air Force Aerospace Studies
  • Child Care Program
  • Military Science
  • Kirwan Institute
  • Marion Campus
  • Byrd Polar Research Center
  • Center on Education and Training for Employment
  • University Center for the Advancement of Teaching
  • Mansfield Campus
  • Moritz College of Law
  • College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences*
  • The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
  • College of Engineering*

As Release 1 migrations are nearing completion, Release 2 preparations have begun. Release 2 migrations will start in early 2012 and focus on units that utilize their own e-mail services, some of which may be nearing the end of their useful life. The project team has had initial conversations with the College of Education and Human Ecology and WOSU Stations about the upcoming migration, and will soon reach out to other units that have been identified as part of Release 2, including:

  • College of Engineering*
  • College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences*
  • College of Education and Human Ecology
  • WOSU Stations
  • College of Dentistry
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Optometry
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Graduate School
  • College of Public Health
  • Enrollment Services and Undergraduate Education
  • Office of International Affairs
  • John Glenn School of Public Affairs
  • Lima Campus
  • Newark Campus
  • Office of Human Resources
  • Mershon Center
  • Office of University Outreach and Engagement
  • Campus Chemical Instrumentation Center

Release 3 also includes units that currently utilize their own e-mail services, specifically ones with existing features such as archiving and e-discovery. Units identified as part of Release 3 include:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Office of Business and Finance
  • Athletics
  • Fisher College of Business
  • Ohio State University Medical Center
  • Office of Research
  • President-Trustees and Government-Legal-Academic Affairs
  • Office of Administration and Planning
  • University Communications
  • Office of University Development
  • Alumni Association

To learn more about University E-mail Service or project, see emailproject.osu.edu. For questions regarding the migration schedule, contact Doug Lach, program director, OCIO, at lach.t1@osu.edu or 292-6018.


* A unit with more than one e-mail system, with at least one relying solely on the current OSU Webmail system, so that the unit meets both Release 1 and 2 criteria