Appendix M

12/5/17

SENATE COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES, INFORMATION SYSTEMS, AND TECHNOLOGY

Office 365 Email and Calendar

(Informational)

In August 2017, Penn State IT kicked off an initiative to move the university to a single email and calendar system from the university’s currently supported more than two dozen email solutions (e.g. Webmail and UCS). The new collaboration system is Microsoft’s Office 365 solution, which also provides numerous applications in addition to email and calendaring. As part of the university’s license, all faculty, students, and staff are also eligible to download up to five copies of the Microsoft Office suite of products.

Office 365 Email and Calendaring at Penn State will encompass a large-scale implementation for 80% of the University by August 1, 2018. This initiative will have an impact on users’ workflows, processes and behaviors, especially for those who are not currently using Microsoft Exchange. In the teaching and learning space, users will have increased opportunities for collaboration, and there are integrations with Canvas and Box. In addition, Office 365 works well with Speedgrader, and users can create shared notebooks in OneNote that can be used for coursework. Users can invite Penn State and non-Penn State users to collaborate with Office documents online, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. This is similar to Google Docs, but uses the familiar Office suite of tools. In the communication space, Office 365 will provide a unified directory, making it easier to find a Penn State user’s email address. In addition, scheduling meetings will become much easier as calendars will be shareable across colleges, campuses, and administrative units.

Penn State will also see improved security as a result of this transition. As reported by Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 2017, one out of every nine email users encountered email malware in the first half of 2017. In addition, the spam rate for the first half of 2017 reached 54 percent, and is expected to continue to climb as the year progresses. Office 365 provides Penn State the following benefits:

  • Single email system with a consistent security baseline to monitor and protect; increasing efficiency and effectiveness
  • Reduces the attack surface
  • Includes pre-built tools to assist with a variety of audit and compliance related issues, such as litigation holds and eDiscovery
  • Malware and spam detection
  • Email link verification, with detection of links to malicious sites or content

A comprehensive communication and training plan is being developed, with both face-to-face and online training through Lynda.com available for all users. Beyond training, Lynda.com offers just-in-time tutorials for Office 365 and will be available for all Penn State users.

Implementation timelines are being developed jointly by Enterprise and distributed IT to ensure a smooth transition, with a pilot phase beginning in late November 2017. The first phase of early adopters will begin in January 2018; middle phase will begin in March 2018; and the final phase will begin in May 2018. Any questions can be directed to Ginger Breon at glb3@psu.edu.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES, INFORMATION SYSTEMS, AND TECHNOLOGY

  • Fred Aebli
  • Robert Bridges
  • Mary Beth Clark
  • Barbara Dewey
  • Roger Egolf, Chair
  • Joseph Enama
  • Mathew Krott
  • Michael Kubit
  • Anna Mazzucato
  • John Messner
  • Terry O’Heron
  • Barry Pawloski
  • Jacqueline Reid-Walsh
  • Jennifer Sparrow
  • Eric Walker, Vice Chair
  • Chelsey Wood

Slide 1: Introductory Slide:  Office 365 Initiative, Faculty Senate, December 2017 (All Text Slide)


Slide 2: Goal (All Text Slide)

Transition Penn State University to a single email and calendaring system, based on Microsoft Office 365, for all faculty, staff and students


Slide 3: Benefits (All Text Slide)

  • Provide seamless access to email and calendar from any Internet connected device
  • Single email directory
  • Provide access to Office products: each user can download Office products to personal computers, tablets, and mobile devices

Slide 4: Benefits Continued (All Text Slide)

  • Improve collaboration and increase productivity
  • Improve the user support experience by reducing the number of supported solutions
  • Integration with other applications, including Canvas, provide opportunities for faculty and student collaboration

Slide 5: Rationale (All Text Slide)

  • Reduces University’s security threat
  • Optimizes PSU investment in a commodity technology
  • Encourages “digital fluency” of our students
  • Offers a modern suite of collaboration tools to support research, teaching, learning, and service

Slide 6: Security Risk* (All Text Slide)

  • One out of every nine email users encountered email malware in the first half of 2017.
  • An email user is almost twice as likely to encounter malware through email than they are through the next-most common infection method, exploit kits.
  • The spam rate for the first half of 2017 reached 54 percent, and is expected to continue to climb as the year progresses.
  • Without spam filters, a business effectively employs two people to manage spam for every 100 employees.

* According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 2017


Slide 7: Improving Security (All Text Slide)

  • Single email system with a consistent security baseline to monitor and protect; increasing efficiency and effectiveness
  • Reduces the attack surface
  • Includes pre-built tools to assist with a variety of audit and compliance related issues, such as litigation holds and eDiscovery
  • Malware and spam detection
  • Email link verification, with detection of links to malicious sites or content

Slide 8: Office 365 Implementation Strategy (All Text Slide)

Goal #1: Onboard all IT professionals at Penn State to the platform first to enable and empower a collaborative effort for implementation, & adoption

Goal #2: “Pay-It-Forward” – Engage and involve stakeholders across Penn State to champion and support the initiative.  Collect momentum as project matures

Goal #3: Empower Early adopters by piloting college, campus, administrative unit before Jan 2018

Goal #4: OCM, BRM, Business analysts to assess, measure, and continuously improve performance and experience from technical, support, and user perspective

Goal #5: Engage students in governance, planning, communication and support


Slide 9: Office 365 Implementation Timeline

  • App Deployment: November, 2017-January, 2018
  • Pilot Phase: December, 2017-February, 2018
  • Early Adopters: February-March, 2018
  • Mid Adopters: March-May, 2018
  • Late Adopters: May-completion

Pilot Group

  • Arts & Architecture
  • Greater Allegheny

Early Adopters

  • Abington
  • Dickinson Law
  • Division of Undergraduate Studies
  • Dubois
  • Education
  • Great Valley
  • Information Sciences & Technology
  • Mont Alto
  • New Kensington
  • Nursing
  • Schreyer Honors College
  • Schuylkill
  • World Campus
  • Worthington Scranton

Mid Adopters

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Altoona
  • Behrend
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Fayette
  • Graduate School
  • Hazleton
  • Health & Human Development
  • Liberal Arts
  • Penn State Law
  • Science
  • Shenango

Late Adopters

  • Beaver
  • Berks
  • Brandywine
  • Earth & Mineral Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Harrisburg
  • Lehigh Valley
  • Wilkes-Barre
  • York

Slide 10: FAQ’s (All Text Slide)

Can I use my current email client?

  • Yes, though the experience will be superior when using the Outlook client.

Will Mac users be able to use existing Mac Email clients?

  • Yes, they will be able to use the Mac clients and other devices should be able to use their native clients. However, the Outlook client will provide a superior user experience. 

Will users have the ability to configure email clients POP or IMAP?

  • We recommend disabling POP by default and then enabling on a per user basis.

Slide 11: FAQ’s Continued (All Text Slide)

Will we allow users to forward PSU email to an external email client (i.e.gmail)?

  • Yes, there is an option to do this at the administrative level, but also at the user level

As we move through the pilot projects, we will continue to build the list of FAQ’s, so please share your questions with us!