Over the course of Fall quarter 2012, the U-Mail platform was replaced with the Office 365 suite of communication and collaboration tools.
About Office 365
Office 365 is a e-mail and collaboration services platform hosted by Microsoft. The service suite includes a 25GB e-mail account, calendaring, instant messaging, online documents (Word/Excel/PowerPoint), and other features. By replacing the U-Mail platform with a hosted service suite, UCSB's students have access to modern communication services at reduced cost to the University.
The recommendation to adopt Office 365 was made by the Student E-Mail Governance Group, an advisory committee comprised of University technical & business staff as well as undergraduate and grad student representatives. Google Apps was also evaluated as potential replacement platform, but was not selected for a number of reasons.
An Office 365 pilot rollout was conducted during Spring quarter 2012, during which approximately 100 current U-Mail customers evaluated the service. Multiple rounds of feedback collected from the pilot participants indicated overwhelming support for Office 365 as a replacement for the existing U-Mail platform. The decision to move forward with Office 365 was made by the Information Technology Board.
About the Upgrade
The upgrade from the previous U-Mail platform to Office 365 took place over Fall quarter 2012. During the course of the upgrade all U-Mail accounts were gradually migrated to the new platform. U-Mail addresses did not change as a result of the platform upgrade, and each U-Mail account remained active and able to send and receive messages while the account was moved to Office 365. Over 33,000 accounts were migrated successfully and all new account activations since November 2012 have been made directly on Office 365. As of July 29, 2013 over 8,500 new accounts have been activated on the Office 365 platform