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ITS implements and amplifies Office 365

Over the past fiscal year, ITS helped the campus become more comfortable, productive and proficient with Microsoft Office 365 following the heavy lift the previous year of migrating 28,600 faculty and staff mailboxes to Office 365 and providing the University community with a full range of email, calendaring, storage and collaboration tools in the cloud. As part of this Office 365 suite, each member of the Carolina community received 1TB of online data storage via OneDrive and an increased email quota of 50GB.






During 2017-2018, ITS also worked toward providing further tools and assistance related to the Office 365 suite of products.

Brenda Carpen

But before elaborating on these most recent efforts, it’s important to grasp what an undertaking the Office 365 migration was. The project ran from August 2016 to July 2017, with active migrations and support occurring in seven of those 11 months.

The project team spent a total of 50 days doing migrations and support, worked with 55 departmental IT support leads, migrated 837 departments and conducted more than 150 meetings and presentations. The project team’s commitment was one of the highlights for Project Manager Brenda Carpen of ITS Infrastructure & Operations. Another highlight, she said, was “the great collaboration with our IT partners on campus, especially given the tight deadline. They were extremely engaged in the effort.”

Carpen also cited the excellent support and buy-in from members of the executive leadership team, who were quick to respond to requests and make decisions.

During this project, support was ample on all fronts. The ITS Service Desk and the Office 365 Field Team provided support to all affiliated faculty and staff email accounts that were migrated from the on-premise Exchange system to Office 365. The ITS Service Desk resolved more than 2,400 tickets directly related to the migrations, worked with Microsoft directly on issues that needed escalation, and documented new FAQs, help articles and self-paced training resources. Of 13,599 mailboxes, the Field Team documented 1,987 unique interactions, reaching roughly 15 percent of customers in their offices, ensuring mail and calendars were fully functional post-migration.

Upon project completion, US&E began transition planning for the Office 365 service launch, making improvements and additions to available Office 365 information on, as well as assessing future user education opportunities through collaboration with Carolina Technology Consultants (CTC), ITS and campus influencers.

Front and center of the efforts to increase the campus community’s comfort level and proficiency, ITS created the Office 365 Program. Led by Alison Campbell, Office 365 Program Manager within User Support & Engagement, the program provides a way to continue to support and engage the campus community in the new environment that Office 365 offers. Other campus groups and individuals have been strong partners in this program.

RELATED: Office 365 Program created to continue support

In addition to providing training, documentation and support through the Office 365 Program, multiple units within ITS laid the foundation for and developed the structure to enable the campus community to benefit from additional functionality of Office 365 — the ability for instructors, teaching assistants and others to create Office 365 groups based on students in a particular course and section.

Some of the Office 365 team: Lyndon Joyce, Alison Campbell, Mark Cross, Bryan Andregg of the School of Public Health, and Richard Hill

Identity Management, Teaching & Learning and Middleware worked together to implement these course-based groups for Grouper. Identity Management released the first version of the user interface for faculty and staff on CloudApps on March 15, 2018. The initial courses and sections were pre-populated with students, instructors, and teaching assistants from Grouper group memberships, which were in turn populated from Campus Solutions. Sakai had already been using this information from Campus Solutions, but this was the first time the data was loaded into Grouper, and this was the first implementation making use of it.

Teaching & Learning did a significant amount of testing and collaborated on the overall design of the user interface. Middleware, meanwhile, assisted with supporting CloudApps, where the user interface is hosted.

The only costs for this project were the hours that ITS staffers spent in implementation and CloudApps’ resources of memory and central processing units (CPU).

Key Partner(s): CTC, Carolina CloudApps, ITS Managed Desktop Services, ITS Service Desk, Identity Management, Information Security, Infrastructure & Operations, Microsoft, Middleware Services, Office 365 Field Team, Office of the CIO, Teaching & Learning, User Support & Engagement
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