Office 365 update

Office 365 Update
• Looked at Office 365 from university perspective
• Engaged faculty and deans through University
Committee on Faculty Affairs (UCFA) and Council of
Research Deans (CORD)
o Thoughtful questions led to further investigation
o Mixed reaction of enthusiasm and caution from faculty
o Interest in learning how other universities and colleges
have transitioned to Office 365 and their experience
o Identified Risks and Benefits of cloud email solution
Risks of Office 365
• Lack of Executive Sponsor for MSU wide project.
• Data is no longer housed (controlled) within MSU
• Data stored in US; however MS may route anti-spam,
anti-virus filter services outside US.
• Office 365 Tenants’ data is co-mingled with other
Tenants’ data in the cloud architecture.
• Outages in the ‘cloud’ leave MSU totally dependent
on NON-MSU personnel to restore critical service.
• Office 365 is a new product for Microsoft.
Concerns Expressed
• Hard 25 MB attachment limit; workarounds annoying.
• Working offline while travelling may present difficulties.
• Office 365 does not have full Microsoft Office desktop
suite functionality; additional licensing needed.
• Cost savings not obvious; who would pay for additional
functionality and services?
• Shared calendaring (both a benefit and a concern)
• What would be exit strategy from cloud?
• Hybrid environment recommended but why keep some
accounts on-premise?
Current Situation
• Tom Davis and Cynthia Ghering met with new
Executive Vice President, Dr. Satish Udpa, on his first
day, Monday, March 18th.
• Dr. Udpa asked IT Services and the Office 365 team
to hold on a decision for 6 months.
• Dr. Udpa recommends other MSU units also hold.
• Office 365 new product; outages reported in business and
higher education institutions.
• Take time to evaluate Office 365 stability over time.
• Evaluate efficacy of cloud email services for MSU.
Future of
“Over the last decade, MSU spent about $1M total on
its email system, which is a rather small budget for a
mission-critical enterprise system. For the little we
spent, we got a surprisingly functional system in
return, as we have highly qualified personnel on
campus. We should look into what an adequate
investment in email services would buy us in-house.”
- University Committee on Faculty Affairs (UCFA) Ad-Hoc
Committee on Email System Migration Report
Next Steps
• Continue to monitor universities that moved to
Office 365 especially re: stability and functionality.
• Continue to plan for future:
• 150+ Exchange servers on campus
o GroupWise and other email systems also
o No central calendaring service
o Lack of storage
• Faculty/staff = 1 GB storage
• Students = 512 MB storage
Next Steps
• Evaluate costs and potential solutions:
o Upgrade hardware infrastructure and
increase (double) storage
• Rough estimate is $750,000
o Licensing costs for university-wide CampusAD and
Exchange email system:
• Rough estimates:
- $414,000 for faculty/staff for 3 years
- $1,152,000 for students for 3 years
• Gauge campus interest; explore cost models.

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