New email system rollout begins today


UNL will begin transitioning faculty and staff email to Microsoft Office 365 on Dec. 19. The first to migrate to the new system will be the Office of the Chancellor, vice chancellors and support staff.

All departmental email accounts for faculty and staff will be transferred during a six-month period. UNL employees are encouraged to work with departmental leadership and technical staff as many departments will migrate as a group to the new email system.

The migration plan being developed includes a web-based portal for employees to choose their migration options — a “fresh start” new account or migrate their existing mail from Lotus Notes. New Office 365 accounts are generated within 30 minutes. Users will also be able to choose a preferred email address. While new email will be forwarded to the new mailbox, users will still have access to their old email inside Lotus Notes. A select group of departments and early adopters will be migrated in January, laying the groundwork for a more detailed campus migration plan.

“Information Services has been working closely with our partner campuses in the system and Microsoft,” said Amy Metzger, project manager for the email migration. “We’re trying to make the process as user-friendly as possible. We are working with departmental IT staff and the university has engaged a consulting company to build an on-site migration tool to migrate mail and calendars from Lotus Notes.”

The Microsoft Office 365 email system was selected in a competitive bid process. Mark Askren, UNL’s chief information officer, said the competition is a win-win for the university.

“The fierce competition between Microsoft and Google creates a superior product for UNL,” said Askren. “I’m personally excited about what this tool offers in terms of features, shared calendaring and messaging. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and I’ve been very impressed with its performance.”

The Microsoft system better meets the needs of faculty, staff and administrators. It will reduce annual email costs by as much as 50 percent.

The decision, made following months of review and an RFP process, was announced June 27.

Online training, resources for technical staff and frequently asked questions are posted on the email migration website. For more information go to

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