Exchange Email Consolidation

Department: Texas A&M Information Technology

Contact Information: email-transition@tamu.edu

Project Overview: An on premise, hosted Microsoft Exchange email service will be implemented for current Texas A&M University (Part 02) faculty and staff. The existing Texas A&M Exchange service will be expanded to support the larger user base. The centrally funded service will replace locally provided email services.

The Email Selection Advisory Committee recommended the university email consolidation path. Dr. Karen Watson, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, approved the recommendation.

Benefits:
Reduced cost – redundant services eliminated and duplicated effort decreased
Better services – more predictable delivery within a single system, 2-GB mailbox quota, centralized scheduling calendar
Consistent account provisioning/deprovisioning – account lifecycle based on Enterprise Directory Services, instead of manually adding/deleting accounts
Enhanced security, business continuity and disaster recovery – consistent application of policies and procedures
Improved compliance – better response to audits and eDiscovery actions

Sponsor: Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer


Microsoft Exchange Transition Timeline

June 2014: Acquire hardware, test and configure.

June 2014: Complete basic Exchange 2013 installation. Begin moving willing Zimbra customers to Exchange 2010. Survey colleges and units about email requirements.

August 2014: Plan migration timeline.

September 2014: Service goes into production. Implement central-funding model.

December 2014: Zimbra contract ends. All Zimbra customers must be moved to Exchange.

January 2015: Start moving new colleges/departments to Exchange 2013.

*Texas A&M IT is currently assessing whether additional hardware needs to be purchased before the university migrates to Exchange 2013. If additional hardware must be purchased, the timeline may be extended.


Microsoft Exchange Transition FAQ

What is the Microsoft Exchange and Lync Service?
Microsoft Exchange is a messaging and collaboration service that supports business needs. It includes email, calendars, contacts and tasks. Microsoft Lync includes secure instant messaging, webconferencing, persistent chat rooms and video/voice calling between Lync clients.

Why are we changing email systems?
Many departments currently provide their own email services. Consolidating email throughout the university will reduce duplicated effort, save money and improve collaboration across campus.

Who will receive Microsoft Exchange and Lync accounts?
Beginning on September 1, 2014, the campus Microsoft Exchange and Lync service will become centrally funded. At that time, most Texas A&M University (Part 02) units will be eligible for a base level of service at no charge.

When will the transition occur?
The university will not transition to Exchange all at once, but will move by department or unit beginning Fall semester 2014 (FY 2015). Computing & Information Services will be working with departmental IT personnel to move accounts. Your department IT staff will contact you when you are slated to move.

Will I get a new email address?
In most cases, we expect that your email address format will stay the same as it is now. However, that decision will be made by your departmental IT and administrative staff as part of the migration process. Possible email domains include @tamu.edu, @exchange.tamu.edu and @department.tamu.edu. Texas A&M IT will work with your departmental IT staff to transfer existing email addresses to the central Exchange service so they continue to work.

What will happen to my old email?
Your old email will be moved into your new Exchange mailbox.

How will I get to my email?
You can use familiar email programs such as Microsoft Outlook, read email online through a website (exchange.tamu.edu) and set up mobile access on your phone or tablet.

What will be my mailbox quota?
Central funding provides a 2-GB mailbox. For FY 2015, additional storage will cost $2.25/GB/year for each mailbox.