Temple will be migrating all TU Gmail accounts to Microsoft Outlook 365.
Over the course of the next year and a half, Temple will be consolidating all email accounts from Gmail to Microsoft Outlook 365. Microsoft Outlook 365 is a popular email and calendar service that is increasingly being adopted by colleges and universities throughout the country. It is well integrated with the Microsoft 365 suite of products and offers enhanced security and privacy features. We anticipate having all accounts migrated by December 2021.
► Why did Temple decide to consider this change now?
The university has been working on this initiative over the past year to address the following issues:
- The university is using two email and calendaring platforms.
- Each platform works slightly differently in how email/calendaring is handled (e.g., rules around spam filters).
- Calendars do not synchronize or show availability between platforms.
- The university is using a third party application (TUsafesend) for sending sensitive/confidential data that has no integration with our other systems.
- Many Temple medical/clinical employees, currently have two separate email accounts, one on the university side and one on the Temple Health system. This is because the university email/calendaring is not HIPAA compliant.
- The university needs to pay for, manage and support on-campus servers specifically to route application emails to the appropriate email platform.
►What are the benefits of moving to Outlook 365?
- By standardizing on Microsoft Outlook 365, everyone at Temple will be able to easily share calendars, schedule appointments and meetings, and search a common directory of people and departmental email addresses. The system also provides the protections needed to safely email sensitive and confidential information.
- Outlook 365 provides much needed security and features being requested by many schools/colleges and administrative departments at the university. Microsoft uses 128-bit encryption, antivirus and anti-malware definitions are routinely updated with leading security technologies. To receive the same level of feature and security with Google would be more expensive.
- Microsoft is becoming more innovative and customer engaging.
- Microsoft has consistently had a faster adoption rate by public companies in nearly all industries. Using Microsoft products at the university will help students make an easier transition to the workforce.
- In researching trends in higher education, the Committee saw that the number of universities transitioning to Outlook 365 has increased considerably over the past several years. They include Penn State, Drexel University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Oregon, the University of Arizona and the University of Iowa.
►Can I still use Google Apps?
Access to Google Apps, including your Google Docs and Google Drive files, will not be affected.
►How did Temple make this decision?
An Email and Calendar Advisory Group, with representatives from across the university, was formed in Fall 2019 to study the feasibility and benefits of standardizing on one of our existing services. The Committee’s charter was to:
- Provide one robust and easy to use email/calendaring system that meets the needs of the university.
- Move to one platform to simplify IT support which will free up resources to work on other projects.
- Evaluate cost based on the best solution for the university
- Evaluate whether email and calendaring could be used for sensitive/confidential/HIPAA data
A group of volunteers offered to have their email migrated from Gmail to Outlook 365. Based on their feedback, as well as research and program comparisons, the committee recommended that the university standardize on Microsoft 365. The recommendations were then presented to the President, Provost and Cabinet and they approved.
►Will international students be able to use Microsoft 365 email?
Yes. In fact, Outlook 365 is available in countries with significant TU student populations like China, where Gmail is not.
►Why doesn't Temple just use the Canvas Calendar?
While Canvas calendar is an important tool, it is not a replacement for a fully featured email and calendaring platform.
►Can I read my email from all of my devices?
Office 365 is accessible on the web. There are also apps for Macs, Windows, iOS, Android and Chromebooks. For setup instructions, see the Outlook 365 Getting Started page.