Office 365 Transformation Roadmap

You’ve likely received messages about changes to our email system over the last few months. All of these changes are part of a thoughtful, comprehensive and important journey to provide all faculty, students and staff with the tools and resources to effectively communicate and collaborate in a mobile and secure way

We know how critical email is to the teaching, learning and the work of the university. We also know that any changes can feel very uncomfortable, no matter the long-term benefit. Below we take a look at where we’ve been, what we are doing now and where we are headed.

Where We’ve Been

In 2009, the university email posture was akin to a wild west of technology. Our organizational ability to collaborate and communicate was stifled by hundreds of unique email systems, each with distinct settings and standards. Faculty and staff did not have uniform email addresses or a shared calendar system. Due to the technical and organizational change impact of transitioning to a single email system, the transition took five years. Since then, we’ve made significant progress in adding tools and resources that have dramatically improved our ability to operate as a modern, collaborative university.

From 2009 to 2014, the university consolidated to a single email system with a shared calendar and improved communication. In 2015, Skype for Business was launched, improving communication and mobile access. In 2016, Office 365 was launched for work and personal devices – increasing collaboration. In 2018, Exchange email was moved online for ease of staying current and use of additional collaboration tools.

Where We Are

We have successfully implemented the Office 365 suite of tools. It is comprised of many services and features that allow us to collaborate, share, organize and improve upon the work we are doing together through one consistent experience.  Last year’s migration to Exchange Online was our first step in a journey to begin utilizing more of the Office 365 service offerings.  Since the conclusion of the Exchange Online migration project, we have been rolling out additional services and features across the university that integrate or extend our capabilities.

Offerings currently available: Office Online which integrates with Box and Canvas, Office for Mobile, Teams for group collaboration, OneDrive for file storage, Bookings for appointment scheduling, Find Time for determining the best time to meet.

What’s Happening Now

We are currently in a year-long transition to a single application for university email and the addition of BuckeyePass/Duo to Office 365. At the conclusion of this transition, you will have:

  1. A single, trusted mobile and desktop application for email access that is fully integrated with a suite of collaboration tools used by all faculty, staff, and students at the university. Individuals can make this transition at any time before May 22, 2020
  2. Secure collaboration and data sharing tools that will provide the ability to share S4 restricted data via all Office 365 tools, which is critical to mobile collaboration and our standing as a level-one research institution.
  3. Fewer spam and phishing emails, because we will be able to better detect and trap malicious emails before they get to your inbox.

In order to do this, we’ve been following a transition journey of standing up new tools that can get us to this future state, and then retiring tools that will not be part of our future plan.

A Single, Trusted Mobile and Desktop App for Email

What: There is a 2-step process to get to a single, trusted mobile and desktop app for email. First, we will retire Boxer and Workspace one. Second, we will transition users of non-Outlook mobile and desktop email applications to Microsoft Outlook.

  • Step 1: Effective December 1, 2019the university will no longer support Boxer and Workspace One (AirWatch) for mobile email delivery. Individuals currently using these applications must transition to the Microsoft Outlook mobile app prior to December
  • Step 2: Effective May 22, 2020Microsoft Outlook will be the only mail application for accessing Ohio State email. All users can make this transition at any time before May 22.

Why: There are over 50 commonly used mail access applications available online, each with different features and vulnerabilities. At the university, we manage over half a million email accounts for faculty, staff, students, and groups. Monitoring all of the potential weaknesses of hundreds of thousands of accounts across a myriad of applications dilutes our ability to monitor and respond to risks. By coming together under a single, widely available application, we are able to more confidently secure your information, guard university data and protect the email environment from risks. In addition to providing the security needed to protect important data, the Microsoft Outlook app provides additional benefits:

  • Integrates with the university’s existing email system and other Microsoft Office 365 applications.
  • Provides the ability to layer in additional security features over time – supporting teaching, learning, and research functions at the university.
  • Allows you to easily search and find files, contacts and emails.
  • Offers functionality that is very similar to Outlook, which you may currently use to access email online, so there’s less of a learning curve when you begin using the Microsoft Outlook app.

Secure Collaboration Tools and Data Sharing

What: Beginning in May, you will use BuckeyePass/Duo to access all Office 365 tools (including Outlook email, Teams, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and others). We have worked hard to balance security with ease of use. We’ve tried to limit the number of times and situations in which you must use BuckeyePass. Here are the basics:

  • Mobile: On your mobile device, you should expect to use BuckeyePass/Duo when you first install/use an app, after you change your password, or if you haven’t used the app for 90 days or more.
  • Desktop: The experience is the same as mobile, except if you are in the habit of  logging out and shutting down your computer at the end of the day, the next time you restart and log in to your computer, you will use both BuckeyePass/Duo and your username and password to log in to your Office 365 applications.
  • Online: If you check your email online through buckeyemail.osu.edu (students) or email.osu.edu (faculty/staff), then you will use both BuckeyePass/Duo and your username and password to log in.

Why: Once we’ve moved to a single email application and put in place additional tools to dramatically reduce malicious spam and phishing emails, the use of BuckeyePass/Duo will allow university faculty, students and staff to share and collaborate securely with all types of university data. This allows you to more seamlessly do your job, and allows the university to better support the teaching, learning, and research that is ever more mobile and digital – without putting critical data at risk.

We know that change during the school year is difficult and we’ve listened to your feedback. As such, we moved the implementation date of BuckeyePass/Duo to May 22, 2020 which is after grades are submitted but before schedules change for the summer.

Fewer Spam and Phishing Emails

What: With the move to a single email app, we are able to put in place controls that can identify and trap malicious emails before they make it to your inbox. Every month we block hundreds of thousands of spam and phishing emails from our email system. However, bad actors are becoming increasingly sophisticated about the emails they send, making it much more difficult to distinguish a legitimate message from a fraudulent one. Even the savviest among us has fallen for a phish. The controls we intend to add have been proven effective at other universities.

Why: Bad actors want data and they use email as a means to infiltrate the systems of organizations like Ohio State. Everyone who has an email address is a potential doorway into our systems and the sensitive information we store within them. This is a concern across higher education due to the type and quantity of data universities manage – it is not unique to Ohio State. Across the country, compromised email has affected everything from student loans to tax returnspayroll and research data.

What’s On the Horizon

Over the next year, we will be working on a number of additional changes and enhancements to the Office 365 suite, as well as some changes to increase security.

  • New Office 365 Tools: We will be adding Flow for workflow automation and Power BI for creating interactive visualizations and business intelligence. You can find more details on the Office 365 page.
  • Transition to Teams: Teams is a powerful collaboration tool that combines the best of Skype chat with the features people love about tools like Slack. It is fully integrated with the rest of Office 365 and will help us to communicate and collaborate.

We have an approach for how to move forward; however, we will be working with university leaders, DELIT, IT Partnership Council members, and advisory audiences to understand impacts, address concerns, and determine appropriate dates for implementation.

PREPARE FOR MICROSOFT CHANGES TO OUTLOOK

Microsoft is making changes over the next several months that will affect users that access Outlook on the Web (OWA). Here’s a summary:

  • Non-Supported Browsers Will Have Reduced Functionality in Outlook on the Web: Beginning August 8, Microsoft is making changes that may cause users to encounter issues if they are accessing Outlook.com and OWA using browsers that do not meet the minimum requirements. Update older browsers for the best Outlook experience; a list of supported browsers that work with Office Online is posted on Microsoft’s Support Office site.
  • New Interface for Outlook on the Web: In July, Microsoft began rolling out an updated user interface for OWA. It will roll out to all users by the end of September 2019. Visit Microsoft online to try out the new OWA interface.
  • Outlook for Windows Updated Shared Calendars Model: Microsoft is improving shared calendars in Outlook for Windows. If you are interested in trying the new features before they become part of the default experience, Microsoft has added a new checkbox in the File>Options settings dialog for Office 365 Exchange Online mailboxes. Use this option to turn on the preview for a single Outlook profile. Follow these step-by-step instructions to turn on the preview.

Microsoft will continuing to make changes to improve Outlook and to make it easier for customers to connect.

LEARN MORE

Microsoft Teams is now available

Collaborate, communicate, and customize with this Office 365 application

Microsoft Teams is now available to all faculty, staff, students, and guests at The Ohio State University. Teams brings together people, conversations and content, integrating the tools that teams need to collaborate more easily. It is a cloud application that seamlessly integrates with other Office programs, some familiar and some new.

Teams allows you to share assets like calendars, files and email, too. For example, you can use Planner to collaborate on project plans seamlessly, in real-time. Read more about Planner in Microsoft Teams here.

Managing Your Office 365 Team

  1. Access Microsoft Teams on the Office 365 Login Page by visiting office365.osu.edu.
  2. Click on “Log in to Teams.” Log in with your Ohio State username and password.
  3. In the Teams application, find the Team name in the left column
  4. Click the ellipses (…) to the right of the Team’s name and choose Manage Team
  5. In the top right, click Add member, search for the person you want to add, and click Add
  6. Assign the new addition the appropriate role and access. Roles default to “member,” but if the person you are adding should be an owner, click the down arrow to the right of the name and choose Owner. You can switch someone from Owner to Member here as well.
  7. To remove someone from the Team, find the name in the Manage Team page, then click the X to the far right of their name

Learn more about the features available in Microsoft Teams and check out the ways other users interact with Teams to improve collaboration in the classroom and the workplace. The initial roll out of Teams will include all features EXCEPT Voice/Calling and Video/Conferencing. These features are included in Skype for Business.
Other Resources
Linked below are some other helpful resources for Microsoft Teams information.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has NOT approved Microsoft Teams for use by medical center employees.

Need Help?

If you need assistance with Microsoft Teams, contact the IT Service Desk for support:

Phone:            614-688-HELP (4357)
Email:              itservicedesk@osu.edu 
Online:            go.osu.edu/it

 

CarmenZoom Now Available for Faculty, Staff and Students

The latest tool in Ohio State’s eLearning toolset has arrived! Introducing CarmenZoom, an enterprise-wide web conferencing tool that allows you to video chat with your colleagues, collaborate virtually on a research project, host remote office hours with students, work together on class projects and more. Check out the Getting Started Guide in the ODEE Resource Center for an overview of the tool.

CarmenZoom has been configured for academic use, and it will be integrated with CarmenCanvas beginning this autumn to better support instructor and student communication.

All faculty, staff and students at Ohio State have been given Pro accounts with Zoom which allow for meetings up to 300 participants, 180 days of cloud storage for recorded meetings and automatic closed-captioning for recordings. Please contact carmenzoom@osu.edu if you feel you need advanced webinar functionality.

Zoom is replacing CarmenConnect as Ohio State’s official academic web conferencing solution. If you had been using Connect to host meetings and webinars, now is the time to give Zoom a try! Also, if you have recordings or files in Connect that you’d like to keep, those must be exported before October 31.

*Please note, CarmenZoom is not intended to be a replacement for Skype for Business, which should be your default tool for communication for university business.

LARGE-CLASSROOM BUILDINGS, OHIO STADIUM, OVAL ON TRACK FOR IMPROVED WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY THIS FALL

POSTED BY RANDI HONKONEN ON JUNE 4, 2019

The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has been continuously working to improve wireless connectivity at Ohio State. Hundreds of access points have been added throughout the academic year, and the Wireless Expansion project has even more work planned for this summer.

A major area of focus for the expansion project is a group of academic buildings that house high-capacity classrooms on Columbus and regional campuses. With thousands of students receiving common technology kits as part of the Digital Flagship initiative, it is even more imperative that our classrooms and labs are able to keep students connected.

Before autumn semester, these high-capacity classroom buildings will house 415 new access points (APs), which is nearly a 60% increase in the number of APs that existed previously at these locations. This expanded coverage is on schedule to be completed before our next wave of Digital Flagship students arrive on their respective campuses for the first day of class.

Ohio Stadium is getting a boost as well. A whopping 1,850 APs are scheduled to be installed over the summer and into early fall semester. These new APs will support ticketing, the press box, the main bowl of guest seats, suites and club rooms, the concourse and outdoor areas. The goal is to complete all bowl access point installs before the first home game, with the remaining areas gradually completed early in the season.

In addition to academic buildings and sports venues, the Wireless Expansion project is also targeting outside spaces. OCIO’s wireless engineers are currently in the design phase for nearly 100 light pole access points that will help boost coverage outside the walls of the classroom. The iconic Oval on Columbus campus is included in this wave of AP installs, with plans for its completion by the start of autumn term.

The Wireless Expansion project will continue through Summer 2020, so look out for more updates as well as connectivity in new places! If you ever encounter wireless issues at Ohio State, please remember that your feedback helps OCIO continue this valuable work. You can submit a ticket to the IT Service Desk online at go.osu.edu/it or by calling 614-688-4357 (HELP). If you provide specific information about where you are and what device you are using, those details are very helpful in diagnosing the issue.

OUTLOOK MOBILE AVAILABLE AS OF JUNE 21

OCIO is releasing a new mobile email solution, Outlook Mobile for iOS and Android, on Friday, June 21. This mobile application provides security protections, while smoothly integrating with Microsoft Office 365 applications.

Functionality is very similar to Outlook, so there’s less of a learning curve when you begin using Outlook Mobile. It also allows you to easily search and find files, contacts and emails.

To run Outlook Mobile on any mobile device there are certain requirements that must be met for security and data integrity purposes.

  • Your device MUST have a device passcode set. You will not be able to use the application until the passcode is set.
  • On Android, you must install the Intune Company Portal app in addition to the Outlook Mobile. You do NOT have to open and configure the app.

For detailed instructions to install Outlook, visit our Knowledge Base.

If you are already using the Outlook Mobile application on your mobile device, if you do not currently have the required security controls in place, on June 21 your device will be asked to enable a password or the application will remove your configured university email account and data. Android users will also need to  install the Intune Company Portal app.

If you are a university employee currently using our supported mobile email solution, VMWare Boxer, you are welcome to switch to Outlook Mobile on June 21. University Medical Center employees should stay on the VMWare Boxer solution at this time.

For technical support, please contact your local IT support or the IT Service Desk contact the IT Service Desk by phone 614-688-HELP (4357), by email at itservicedesk@osu.edu or by logging in online at go.osu.edu/it.

LEARN MORE

ExamSoft digital assessment process enriches the student experience

In the coming months, Ohio State will launch ExamSoft to provide integrated learning technology for wide-reaching, high-impact initiatives that transform learning. This tool is available at no additional cost to units.

As leaders within both the education and education technology industries, the Ohio State University and ExamSoft have collaborated to advance digital assessment practices over the past eleven years. Our university-wide partnership with ExamSoft will help level the playing field for all students.

Technology plays an important role in supporting each of the five pillars of Ohio State’s strategic plan. Our plan describes Ohio State’s aspiration to be a leading national flagship for public research. ExamSoft will help us get there by furthering the university’s strategic focus on “adopting innovative, at-scale approaches to teaching and learning to improve student outcomes” as well as its overall efforts related to access, affordability and excellence.”

To learn more, contact us at examsoft@osu.edu to schedule a training or for questions about ExamSoft.

Additional information can be found it.osu.edu.

Innovate Conference Brings CarmenBooks Discussion to the Stage

The 10th annual Innovate Conference at Ohio State is a time for exploring groundbreaking approaches to education with technology, and Ohio State’s College of Social Work’s pilot of CarmenBooks is an excellent example. Lois Stepney, MSW Program Director, and Mike Shiflet, ALX Digital Publishing Coordinator, were part of the CarmenBooks launch this spring that provided students inexpensive online materials and will be sharing their findings at the conference on May 16.

According to Lois, CarmenBooks offers students online textbooks at a lower cost. Instead of lugging heavy textbooks around campus, students can now have access to learning 24/7 from their phones, iPads or computers. It’s also the same content found in a hard copy, and faculty members don’t have to go through the hassle of ordering books to the bookstore.

When the opportunity was offered to Lois and her colleagues, they were very excited because it fit well with social work and the values of social justice.

“Social justice aims to create a more just world for everyone, said Lois. “Our college graduates the highest number of first-generation students. Access to education and resources can be challenging, and we want to do all we can to support the whole student and their experience.”

Lois also mentioned the department has already changed the way they think about textbooks – for them, it’s another piece of the financial wellness puzzle to address. To find out more about what Lois, Mike, and the rest of the team have learned from CarmenBooks, attend “Lightning Ideas: A More Affordable Student Experience” during Breakout Session 1 at Innovate. They’ll discuss key findings and ways the program will continue to grow.

“This is all about inclusive access to create more equitable standards,” Lois shared. “I’m excited to share the practical reality of using CarmenBooks.”

Coming Soon to the ODEE Toolset: Zoom

The Office of Distance Education and eLearning (ODEE) has been reviewing web conferencing services for academic use at Ohio State. ODEE has selected Zoom, a web conferencing solution that allows users to host and attend virtual meetings. Zoom will be replacing CarmenConnect by the end of the calendar year. Please note, Skype for Business is still available for business purposes.

Instructors and staff can begin using Zoom later this summer to start exploring features before full implementation in Autumn 2019. CarmenConnect will remain available throughout summer term.

More information for making use of this new tool will be coming soon!

Banner Added to Office 365 When Emailing External Recipients

Enterprise Security in conjunction with the University Email team will be making a change to Office 365 that will add a banner to the top of the email composition window to let the composer know that a recipient is outside the university (based on email domain).

Beginning Tuesday, April 30, when composing an email to someone outside the university, a banner will pop up in the message window stating either “the following recipient is outside your organization” or on the mobile version, “emailing external recipients”.

This should help clear up any confusion when the status of the recipient might be unclear and remind the sender if the user is outside of our organization. This new banner will show up in Outlook on the web, Outlook on Windows and Outlook on mobile. The banner will not show on Outlook on Mac. See screenshots beloew for examples.

Please note that employees of the Wexner Medical Center (@osumc.edu) will be considered outside of our organization. You will still have access to send to @osumc.edu but the banner will pop up.

No action is needed. For more information access the collection of articles (link is external) to assist both users and IT Staff with the functions and use of both the University Email Service and Exchange Online within Office 365.

If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk via online Self Service (link is external), or contact 614-688-4357. Reference change number CHG0042791.

Reminder: Ohio State will never ask for your password via email. If you receive a suspicious email (link is external), please report it by forwarding the email to report-phish@osu.edu. If there is any doubt, do not hesitate to report the email. Do not click links or open/preview attachments in the suspicious email.