Rutgers Connect Migration: Next Steps

rutgersConnect_dev7-apps_5_2Most of you have, by now, visited the Rutgers Connection Migration Support website. I hope you are finding a lot of useful information there, but if anything is missing, please let us know using the Submit Your Questions form. This story is meant to update everyone on the newest pieces of the migration plan. Most importantly, to let you know that everyone’s email in Rutgers University Libraries will be migrated August 23–25, 2016. The exact grouping will be worked out in collaboration with AULs and library directors.

Kickoff meeting:

A successful kickoff meeting was held on Friday, July 22, with four representatives of OIT, all UCSs; and all IIS staff, joined by a special Migration Representative from the Health Sciences Libraries. A four-hour recording of that discussion is available with RUL NetID authentication–but you are hereby warned: It is heavy on technical jargon! Unless you want to delve into every detail, you would be better off perusing the support site and attending the upcoming information sessions and subsequent training.

Prepping for the migration:

But first, as the most important part of preparations, we must collect information about all existing accounts, as only one account per Rutgers employee can be migrated automatically. Content from other accounts should be first transferred to the primary account, or migrated later.

For this purpose, IIS has developed an instrument with half a dozen questions and a lot of help on how to respond to them. Please use your NetID to log in (each RUL member needs to fill it out personally or with the help of their UCSs) and provide the required information about the Rutgers email accounts you currently hold. The more accurate the data we receive, the more efficient and more painless the migration will be.

Since the new email and calendaring tools will appear quite different from what Zimbra users are used to, IIS will offer a series of 90-minute information sessions August 8–19 in several libraries covering all three geographic regions. The schedule for these sessions will soon follow via RUL_Everyone messages, and will be available on the support site’s calendar by August 5.

The plan for the migration:

All three hundred email users at RUL will be migrated over a three-day period August 23–25. Groups of account holders will be scheduled for each day based on organizational, geographic, and logical criteria. When you come to work on your assigned day of the migration, all your email and calendar appointments will be ready for you in the new system. You can immediately access them and continue working with them in the new interface called OWA (Outlook Web Access) by logging in through any browser using the link and your new email address [NetID] (Please see details about account names in the Questionnaire and at the support site.)

Throughout the days of the migration, IIS staff and UCSs will be “roaming the halls” in the libraries to help users access their mailboxes using the client of their choice: The desktop version of Microsoft Outlook, available on every RUL workstation, is the preferred client for work in the office, while any browser may be used to log into OWA away from your desk.

Training opportunities:

Two-hour-long introductory, instructor-led, classroom-based, hands-on training will be offered in several sessions over two days of the migration. If you cannot make it during those days, the training sessions will come back after Labor Day, including more advanced training later on. Individual introductory sessions will also be available for those who learn best that way. Please check back to the support site’s calendar around August 15 for the exact schedule and to sign up.

In the first wave of training sessions we will focus on the communication tools included with Rutgers Connect (which is, as you know, a customized version of Microsoft’s Office 365 running in the Microsoft cloud): OWA (and Outlook on the desktop), Calendar, People, Tasks, OneDrive for Business (cloud-based file storage), and Skype for Business. But the rest of the Office 365 tools will also be immediately available to everyone from the same online interface: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. At the same time, the respective applications can be downloaded and installed on your home computer and mobile devices, while you will have them installed on your RUL desktops in the Office 2016 version that is fully interchangeable with the cloud-based apps.

Questions or concerns:

Much more information will continue to become available as we approach the migration week. In the meantime, please let IIS know of any concerns or questions you might have by writing to or using the support site’s Submit Your Questions form.

Tibor Purger