As we enter spring 2016 semester, the Office of Information Technology is undertaking a big project, the migration of our email system, Webmail Plus to a new system that has been branded as W-Exchange, powered by Office 365. We started communicating this project early last year, but I think it is pertinent to devote an entire issue of my CTO Updates to what brought us to this project and where we now stand with it.
Why we are moving to a new email system
In January 2015 we were informed that our email provider, Merit, was going to discontinue its email services. Beginning in March a request went out for volunteers to form a search committee for a new product. Later that month a committee comprised of 60 students, faculty and staff was formed and began work. In addition to the feedback of this committee, we also had a survey available for 60 days that allowed all students, faculty and staff an opportunity to tell us their needs in an email/collaboration system.
How Office 365 was chosen
After feedback from the committee and the survey was tabulated, and the pros and cons for each of the products looked at determined, the recommendation for Office 365 was presented to the Information Technology Executive Advisory Board and approved by them in September.
What happened next
Teams of OIT staff, other WMU staff, and contracted staff were formed and started working on every facet of this migration.
When migration will occur
Migration will occur during spring 2016 semester with the first unit, Office of Information Technology, scheduled to migrate mid-February. The migration schedule is still being finalized but will be available. Migration will be done college by college and area by area.
Who is supporting this migration effort?
Next-day support services will be available the morning after the migration to W-Exchange occurs. Support staff in each area have been defined and more details regarding next-day support will be published on the new website as soon as they are finalized. Your unit's IT support person should be your first point of contact if you have problems. If you do not have a unit IT support person, please contact the Help Desk.
More information about migration and using the new email
We have developed a new website, wmich.edu/email, that contains all of the information about both the migration and how to choose, set up and use the new products.