IRT Launches Office 365 Suite, Moves Email to Cloud

Information Resources and Technologies is launching the Office 365 suite for all St. Thomas faculty, staff and students. This move allows for more email and file storage, collaboration across the university, state-of-the-art security and access to the Microsoft Office 365 suite on all devices.

All St. Thomas email will be moved to the cloud as part of the launch. Student mailboxes will be moved during January Term. Faculty and staff mailboxes will be moved by department, beginning in December and lasting through the early spring. IRT will be working with departments to confirm their migration date to provide minimal disruption to work. Once moved to the cloud, each mailbox will have 50GB of storage space.

In addition, Office 365 includes access to the suite of applications, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These applications now can be accessed online from any device and can be downloaded for free on five personal devices. Using these apps online saves files directly to the user's OneDrive cloud storage, so work isn't lost. Files also can be shared and worked on as a team with features that allow multiple users to edit documents at the same time.

Other Web apps include:

  • OneDrive: 1TB of Online cloud storage.
  • Yammer: An internal social media app that is set up similar to Facebook. Yammer allows for updates to the St. Thomas community and discussions by group.
  • Sway: Create and share presentations in a visual storytelling format.
  • Delve: A tool to surface documents across 365 that were recently accessed or of interest to you based on your work patterns.

Jenn Haas, director of client services for IRT, emphasized that these applications make use of what Microsoft does best. Office 365 creates a digital workplace where online tools foster engagement and partnership in work by offering a digital space that breaks away from traditional one-way communication. Members can share information and comment directly in this new interactive format.

“It’s encouraging collaborative dialogue,” Haas said.

Thirty-minute consecutive orientation sessions to learn more about Office 365 will be conducted during the following dates and times.

St. Paul campus:

  • 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium
  • Noon-2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in Owens Science Hall, 3M Auditorium

Minneapolis campus:

  • 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, in Terrence Murphy Hall, Room 353
  • 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, in Terrence Murphy Hall, Room 353

Orientation will cover the changes in email after migration, applications that come with Office 365, and how to use Office 365 to connect with colleagues and the St. Thomas community. These sessions also will be webcast. Information kiosks will be available outside of each orientation to answer specific questions.

For more information, visit IRT’s website on Office 365, which contains additional information on cloud storage, suggested app uses, and file and data security.