Exchange to Google - Email and Calendar Consolidation Project
Beginning 2021, the university will adopt Google Mail and Calendar as the standard email and calendar services for all campus affiliates. This decision is based on an evaluation of our current email and calendar solutions and trends in technology.
Although 70% of the campus community already uses Google Mail and Calendar, many are still using Exchange for their email and calendar. This lack of standardization has made collaboration across campus difficult.
In addition to being expensive to operate and update, Microsoft is signaling reduced support for on-site Exchange servers, making a change inevitable. Adopting a standard platform will also allow us to support calendar integrations with our other enterprise systems, such as Workday and 25Live (our room scheduling tool).
As we meet with departments across the CMU community to share plans and address questions and concerns, Computing Services will also begin an early pilot within our own division. We will be moving email and calendars for our staff from Exchange to Google first to test and refine the process, making the switch as seamless as possible for you.
When we reach the implementation phase, we’ll work closely with your leadership to schedule your move for a time between July 2021 and August 2022 that’s the least disruptive for you. Computing Services will be there to support you and your teams before, during and following this change to ensure you don’t miss a beat!
- The university already has a favorable long-term contract with Google that covers core applications and data privacy. Core applications are approved for public, private and some restricted and FERPA-compliant data.
- Google provides flexible storage quotas and file sizes.
- Our research has shown that incoming students, faculty and staff are familiar with and often prefer Google products.
What To Expect
- We will work with your department to migrate all faculty and staff to Google Mail and Calendar at a time that is convenient for you using our automated process.
- There will be no downtime and email and calendars will be immediately accessible.
- Once the move is complete, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions to help you and your team get up to speed quickly.
- Immediate access to email and calendar through a web browser
- Consistent features—your shared calendars and calendar resources will all still be available
- Continued access to Microsoft Office products
- Ongoing support for email and calendar on mobile devices
Phase 1: Planning and Analysis
(July 2020-December 2020)
- Stakeholder Analysis
- Customer Impact Analysis
- Communication Planning
- Instructional Assessment
Phase 2: Outreach and Early Adopter Pilot
(January 2021-June 2021)
- Executive Outreach: University Leadership Council (ULC), Faculty Senate, Data Stewardship Council
- Stakeholder Communication: ULC to share with their leadership
- Partner/Stakeholder Outreach: Academic Computing Forum, Administrative Computing Forum
- Campus Outreach
- Process Refinement
- Early Adopter Pilot: Computing Services, Volunteer Partners
Phase 3: Implementation
(July 2021-August 2022)
- Schedule Department Implementations
When we reach the implementation phase, we’ll work closely with your leadership to schedule your move for a time that’s the least disruptive to for you. Computing Services will be there to support you and your teams before, during and following this change to ensure you don’t miss a beat.
Check back often for the most recent FAQs.
Are all the features of Exchange Calendar supported in Google Calendar?
Exchange and Google are two separate companies with separate solutions, but you'll be pleased to know that Google has spent an extensive amount of time enhancing its productivity solutions and all major features in Exchange are now available in Google Calendar. If you need something that isn't available, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Can I still use a Desktop application, such as Outlook, with my Google account?
We recommend using a browser for the best experience with all Google products. If you must use a desktop application, however, these options are supported:
- Apple Mail and Calendar
- Outlook 365 (Mail and Calendar)
- Outlook (Mail and Calendar)
Do you recommend utilizing Google Drive instead of Box as a collaborative tool?
While Google Drive is our recommended storage solution, you are not required to switch to Drive from Box as part of this project.
Does this mean I need to start using Google Docs, Sheets and Slides instead of Microsoft Office?
No. We will retain our Microsoft Office licensing and you can continue to use Office as desired.
Google Mail and Calendar are stored on the cloud. Are they secure?
Our Google for Education university contract includes Google Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive, Keep, Meet, Sites and Tasks. Google core apps are approved to maintain and share public, private and FERPA-compliant data.*
This agreement also specifies:
- No advertisements
- No data mining
*Storage of other restricted data requires review by Data Stewards.
During the migration, how will you address cases where some groups have moved to Google and others are on Exchange—particularly in the case of early adopters?
The majority of the CMU campus community schedules meetings within a division/ or department. Should individuals need to schedule across platforms, we already have free/busy calendar integration in place to help ensure accurate scheduling.
Early adopters are likely to be the ones impacted. If your entire division is migrating to Google at the same time and you only schedule events within your division, you will not experience a delay.
How will the migration work?
We have contracted an external vendor that has developed tools to migrate email, calendar, task, and contact data from Exchange to Google. Here’s what you can expect:
- We’ll work with your management to determine a convenient time to move your organization from Exchange to Google.
- You will receive an email with the date of your move and a link to our Before the Migration checklist.
- One week prior to your move, we will create a Google account for you. You may receive some automated messages from Google—disregard these. Please do not try to log in to Google with your Andrew credentials until your scheduled move date. You will also receive a communication with a reminder and a link to our Before the Migration checklist.
- On the date of the move, you will receive an email with instructions to complete our After the Migration checklist and links to our Get Started with Google printable guides.
If there is a problem with my migration, will I be able to recover my mail?
CMU has contracted an external vendor for this migration, and they've had a great deal of success in migrating their customers from Exchange to Google. We don't anticipate any issue moving your Exchange mailbox and calendar to Google. We are retaining all Exchange mailboxes for 30 calendar days in the event access to your original mailbox is needed.
Will I lose access to my email and Calendar during the move?
No. You will not experience an interruption in service, you will simply begin using Google on your scheduled date and time.
Will mail forwarding from My Exchange Tools carry over to Google?
Yes. We will be migrating any forwarding rules that you turned on within your Exchange account.
Until the migration is complete, which email account type will new employees receive?
If your department is currently using Exchange, new employees will receive Exchange for their mailbox. At some point, a date will be announced where all new employees will receive Google Mail. Students will continue to receive Google Mail by default.