Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Failed Email Upgrade No Suprise to Students

    Now we’re getting emails about email.

    After a promised e-mail upgrade, OIT has sent out the word that the scheduled email improvement due to launch last Friday has been postponed. The process has been stalled due to minor bugs.

    About $7.5 million has been set up for a more widespread and networking upgrade, outlook exchange email, OWA, lab technology and VDI speed.

    Matt Byes, systems administrators in the OIT office, is working on the project of the email upgrade. Rather than just upgrading the Outlook for a desktop, the entire email infrastructure is being revamped to meet the needs of a modern student. It was in this part of the process that things became tricky for OIT.

    While trying to update the webpage on Feb. 1, there were problems in the updating of the infrastructure. URL and background access errors came up with off-campus use. Rather than spending a couple of hours hammering out the problems to make things work, the team decided to take a step back and reassess their work.

    OIT is making a commitment to provide a well-structured and functional program for the university. Not only is there a desire for the program to work, but also there is a want for new and improved features.

    “There is a long-term view for email, not just for improving it today. We want to give our students much bigger mailboxes and access to other resources that Microsoft makes available,” said Byes.

    The email upgrade will eventually go through three phases of upgrade. First, the OIT data center infrastructure will be updated going from Exchange 2007 to 2010. Next, alumni who wish to continue to use their Seattle U email will have an online alumni directory and an alumni relations managed email environment called live@edu. This is a Microsoft partnership that allows alumni to sign up for a Seattle U email account that would consist of [email protected]. The extended use of university email seems to be important to alumni and current students.

    “I think it is helpful that we can keep our email because it is very unprofessional when applying to jobs and having a Gmail or Yahoo account. Having a university account helps a lot,” said Seattle U student Rourke Van Zile.

    Current students will also feel the effect of phase three of the OIT plan, which is the switch to Office 365. Because this is a cloud-based hosted solution, the move to a 25 gigabyte quota is about 100 times bigger that the current program. No more emails telling you “Your Mailbox is Almost Full.”

    “I’m excited about the new email. Somehow I keep getting emails saying that I am over the limit, even though I get 12 emails saying that. I will delete everything in my sent box, so I have lost all the work I have ever done in my college career because I need to free up room. Three emails later it will tell me that I’m out of room again,” said Seattle U student Dominic Ortiz.

    OIT is still working towards a change, but meanwhile, it appears that on campus, students are not really in an uproar over the delayed change to the new front page.

    “I’m not surprised it got pushed back. This is Seattle University OIT,” Ortiz said. “But I am looking forward to the upgrade because I can keep my email past graduation.”

    A couple of weeks after this change goes through, OIT is looking at moving user accounts from Exchange 2007 to 2010. This is when students will get the bigger email quotas, less spam and better user experience on Macs.

    “We have to make sure everything works with every device. There were a couple of issues that we saw that hadn’t been resolved and so we backed out, discovered what the issues were, decided exactly where we want to go and now it’s a matter of when we are going to do it,” said Executive Director of OIT Dennis Gendron.

    OIT is planning on sending out another email to foreshadow the planned change to a new front page in a couple of weeks for what can hopefully be a smooth transition to better functioning technology at the university.

    Veronica may be reached at [email protected]

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