Clarification About Using Outlook for Email


Contributed by Karen Sunderland

Based on several questions the ITS Helpdesk received after the migration to the new email system, we realized there is some community confusion about the future of email at Ithaca College. Several people said to us that they heard "they will have to do all of their email through myHome and Outlook Web App". Not true!

On the old system, users could access their email through myHome > Webmail, or through an email client like Thunderbird or Apple Mail. On the new system, myHome > Outlook Web App is the replacement for the previous Webmail, and users certainly can use only that system to access their IC email if it meets their needs. Users can also continue to use Thunderbird and Apple Mail for the time being.

However, there are actually two parts to the "email and calendar" migration: The email portion, which has just been completed, and the calendar portion, for which ITS is in the planning stage. The calendar part of the project involves moving Oracle Calendar users and data to Outlook Calendar. Once that happens, Thunderbird users and (potentially) Apple Mail users will be advised to switch to the Microsoft Outlook email client which is part of Office 2007 and 2010 for Windows, and Office 2011 for Mac. (Note that the Helpdesk is not yet offering support for the Outlook email client in MS Office).

In the Microsoft Exchange environment (on which the new email system is based), email and calendaring services are tightly integrated in Microsoft Outlook, while Thunderbird offers no integration with Outlook Calendar. ITS still needs to determine how Apple Mail integrates with Outlook Calendar.

When the calendar portion of the migration is complete, ITS will fully support Microsoft Outlook, both through myHome > Outlook Web App, and through the Microsoft Outlook email client for Windows or Mac. Support for Thunderbird and (potentially) Apple Mail will be phased out at that time.

As a reminder, the Outlook Calendar function is currently available in Outlook Web App, but should NOT be used by Oracle Calendar users at this time.

ITS will post more information about the calendar portion of the migration in the coming months.

ITS Helpdesk
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