Stanford migrating to new email service this summer

Over the summer, Stanford will switch its email and calendar service for most faculty, staff and graduate students to Office 365 – Microsoft's cloud-based service.

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The university's migration to Office 365 from Zimbra for email and calendars begins today and continues into August.

Monarch butterflies migrate. So do penguins. Salmon migrate. So do caribou.

This summer, so will Stanford, as the university migrates to Office 365 – Microsoft's cloud-based email and calendar service – from Zimbra.

The move to the new email service will affect faculty, staff and graduate students, except for faculty, staff and students at the Graduate School of Business, and some faculty and staff at the Law School.

The university decided to switch to Office 365 because it offers improved services and features to the Stanford community. For instance, the email quota will increase to 50GB, compared with 5GB today. In the future, the Stanford community will be able to take advantage of Microsoft applications hosted online by Office 365, such as OneDrive, which allows users to store and share work files.

After the migration, users will be able to access their Office 365 email, calendars, address books and tasks through Microsoft's web interface, Outlook Web App, as well as their desktop email programs and mobile devices.

A Stanford University IT project team will move existing Zimbra email messages, tasks and contacts – as well as calendar events created after Jan. 1, 2011 – to the new email service on five consecutive Mondays, starting today.

The moves will be staged so that schools, department and units will move together.

University IT has created a website, Office 365 Migration, to introduce the new email service to the Stanford community and to answer questions that might arise – before or after the switch.

It includes information on preparing for Office 365, what to expect on "migration day," and how to reconfigure your desktop email programs and mobile devices to connect to the new email service.

The migration will take place today for graduate students and for the staff of the Department of Athletics, Recreation and Physical Education.

Faculty and staff will migrate to Office 365 on July 20, July 27, Aug. 3 and Aug. 10.

University IT is giving everyone plenty of advance notice – with email messages before their scheduled moves, one day before the move and another on the day of the migration.

On moving day, staff members from Stanford's Computer Resource Consulting group will offer hands-on assistance at nearby "pop-up help centers" if users need help configuring their mobile devices – phones, tablets, laptops – to synchronize with Office 365.

The switch will not affect desktop email programs, such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird, but these may need to be reconfigured and resynched with Office 365. University IT has developed Office 365 Configuration Instructions to guide users through the processes.

When users visit their new Office 365 calendars, they will see all the calendar data they entered after Jan. 1, 2011, including personal appointments, meetings, recurring meetings, shares and all-day events.

To learn more about the new Microsoft Office 365 Outlook Web App, the webmail replacement, users can take the free Outlook Web App training course online at

University IT also is offering four free Brown Bag sessions on Office 365 in July and August. Feel free to bring your lunch. Refreshments will be provided. Space is limited, so please register to secure a spot.

For more information and updates on the project, go to News About Office 365.