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Microsoft Office 365 for staff and postgraduate research students

15 Jul 2019

As part of Modernising IT we are transforming our End-User experience

To allow this to happen The University of Manchester is moving staff and postgraduate research students to Microsoft Office 365.

This means that our students and staff will be able to connect to their resources any time, anywhere and from any device.

Staff and students will be able to collaborate seamlessly inside and outside the University, enhancing the productivity of the user base.

The University has chosen Office 365 for its new email and applications platform. IT Services are working on the transfer and we are looking forward to moving staff and postgraduate research students from the current email system to the new services in the coming weeks and months. This will begin with a group of selected early adopters and then continue phasing in the services with additional groups of staff and postgraduate research students.

The early adopters will represent about 10% of the entire staff at the University.

What’s Office 365?

Office 365 is a set of messaging and collaboration applications that Microsoft hosts on its own servers. You can access Office 365 using a web browser on a computer that's connected to the Internet or your smart device.

What does Office 365 include?

Your new Office 365 account will include the following services:

  • Outlook
  • OneDrive
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote
  • SharePoint
  • Teams

Here are some of the key benefits we think you'll enjoy:

  • Enhanced message organisation and retrieval: You'll spend less time managing folders and looking for messages. Use tags to organise, store, and find your messages more efficiently. And with the new search feature, you can find any message quickly and easily, whether it's in your Inbox or stored in your message archives.
  • Easier calendar sharing: You and your team members can quickly and easily share your calendars with each other and specify the details you want to show. Calendar sharing is a great way for you and your colleagues to keep each other informed about your schedules.
  • Better team working: With Microsoft Teams, you can manage your own team workspaces without the need to make requests to IT Services for a mailing list or SharePoint site. You can create your own groups for your projects, teams, special-interest groups, and more. Not only do groups make it easier to send messages to groups of people but they also simplify sharing documents, files and more. You can even use groups to create full-featured discussion forums.
  • Integrated chat and video-conferencing: With Microsoft Teams, you can communicate instantly with your colleagues as a chat or video-conference. You can set your chats to be automatically saved, so you can always retrieve important information.
  • File storage and sharing: With Microsoft OneDrive, you can store just about any type of file, open it and work on it right in your web browser, and quickly invite others to work or view it. You can access OneDrive from any smart device.
  • Real-time collaboration: You can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and you and your team members can view and edit them at the same time using real time co-authoring. You can still use your Microsoft Office products, but now you'll have more options for storing and collaborating on your documents. See it in action here

Why Office 365?

We looked for a solution that could provide the following benefits:

  • Access to services from anywhere, anytime —You can access email, contacts, and calendar from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection, anywhere in the world
  • More collaboration features —You can collaborate with colleagues, customers, and partners more easily and efficiently than ever before
  • Lower costs — Because email will be stored securely on Microsoft's servers, we'll no longer need to maintain email servers on-site
  • Highly scalable environment — Our email capacity will grow automatically as our organisation develops and changes into the future.
  • Instant messaging — Because Office 365 includes Teams, we can implement an improved instant messaging and collaboration system.

Is Office 365 the same as the personal (free) version of Microsoft email – outlook.com and live.com?

They’re similar, but we'll be using the business-class edition of Microsoft Office 365, which provides more features, more storage, and more support in addition to email.

Will my email address change?

No, your email address won't change; you'll continue to receive all your email at your current University address.

Will IT Services provide assistance during the transition?

To get you up to speed quickly, we'll provide plenty of documentation and training resources. Details will follow as we progress through the deployment. Members of IT Services will also be available to answer your questions or resolve any issues you encounter. You can also visit the Office 365 Learning Centre for guides, tips and examples of how to make the most of your new services.

How much time will it take to set up and learn how to use Office 365?

You'll be able to master the basics, like sending and receiving email and viewing and scheduling meetings, very quickly. It may take more time to really learn to make the most of your new services, depending on how you currently use Office and Outlook. For example, for a typical email and calendar transfer, expect to spend a few hours over the course of a week or so to take the training, review documentation, and set up your services. If you also access email on a mobile device, plan on spending a bit more time.

When can I get Office 365?

Over the next few weeks, we’ll start to invite colleagues to sign up as an 'early adopter', in which we’ll get you set up on Office 365 and ask for regular feedback. We will also be in touch shortly if you’ve previously expressed an interest. Keep an eye on StaffNet for more information.

Find out more:

We think you'll enjoy your new Office 365 services, and we're committed to making this a smooth change.

More information will follow soon, including our plans for communication, events, answers to your questions, instructions and more.