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Student Email Update: Friday, 3/29/13, 12:00 pm
Late yesterday afternoon one of the necessary synchronization processes for the upgrade to Office 365 finally completed. However, we are still waiting for synchronization to complete on Microsoft’s side, and we believe that many students still cannot access their email. We are continuing to work with Microsoft for a resolution.
Many people have asked why this upgrade was scheduled this week. This is a required upgrade from Microsoft and there are two main reasons why we decided to start it the Sunday night before Spring Break.
The first is that Microsoft told us that the cutover would be seamless for students. Their upgrade website (http://www.microsoft.com/liveatedu/upgrade-center/upgrade-faqs.aspx) says, "When the upgrade process starts, it will prepare your space in Office 365, and switch all users to the Office 365 version of Exchange Online. This doesn't require moving mailboxes, message delivery is uninterrupted, and access to email, SkyDrive, Skype (Messenger), and other Microsoft services is not impacted." This was true for some students, but unfortunately has not been true for many others--their access to email has been impacted.
The second issue is that Microsoft has given all educational institutions limited options for controlling the timing of the upgrade. Microsoft's FAQ states:
You’ll receive an email message notifying you that your educational institution is scheduled for upgrade. Once you receive this notification, you have the option to start the upgrade on your own or wait until the scheduled date to start the upgrade automatically ... All institutions may request a one-time postponement of 60 days beyond their current scheduled upgrade date ...You must request postponement at least 14 days before your scheduled upgrade date.
We wanted to have some control over the timing and did not want to wait until Microsoft started the process for us. We did not want to postpone for 60 days since that would put the upgrade at the end of the semester which we thought would be a worse time. So we chose to start the upgrade the Sunday evening before Spring Break in the hope that if there were any unexpected disruptions, the impact would be less.
We will continue to post new information when we receive it.
Thank you once again for your patience.
Executive Director, Technology Services