The University will switch exclusively to a new e-mail platform starting Monday.
The Office of Information Technology began making the move this Fall in efforts to create a more collaborative environment for communication. Currently, the university uses both DukeMail and Microsoft Office 365. Students and staff can access the Microsoft Office 365 system through a web browser, Microsoft Outlook or mobile platforms such as the iPhone.
“Moving to Microsoft Office 365 will allow us to consolidate those into one mail system that will foster better collaboration and communication across departments and between the university and health system," OIT Senior Technical Director Charley Kneifel wrote in an email Thursday.
Kneifel said students, faculty and staff will see several benefits, including a mailbox size increase from 2GB to 50GB, unified email and calendaring across the university and health systems and improved web interface and calendaring system.
“The move provides for future cost savings, because as we transition to the new system, we will continually see decreasing requirements on hardware, software and licensing,” Kneifel wrote.
He added that users should save emails before their account is moved to prepare for the transition.
OIT opted to transition students to the new system during the school year in the hopes that students could assist each other during the transition, Kneifel said. The student migration should be completed in 10 days.
OIT Communications Strategist Cara Bonnett said that,1,800 users have already migrated to Microsoft 365.
"Feedback has been very positive," Kneifel wrote in an email Thursday.
Sophomore Abhi Sanka said that he didn't feel it was communicated to students why the email platform was changing.
"From what I understand, it's really something that Duke's doing for its faculty and staff in the medical school, if anything," Sanka wrote in an email Sunday.
Ernest Zitser, librarian for Slavic, Eurasian and and Eastern European studies, already accesses his email through the cloud system.
“I use Microsoft Outlook right now, but I usually access it through the Outlook Web App, which is the online version, so I don’t think switching to the new system is going to change mentally the way I use the email client," Zitsner said.
Kneifel said a number of university users currently forward their emails to Gmail or other services, which will not change after the transition.
Sophomore Chris Lee said he forwards his University emails to his personal Gmail account and does not expect the change to Microsoft Office 365 to affect him.
“[Gmail] is just a lot more convenient,” Lee said. “I don’t really like checking emails in the first place so if I have to check multiple different email accounts it takes too much time. Just having everything in one place is easier for me.”
Correction: Access to Duke Webmail will continue during the transition to Office 365 as the article stated previously. The Chronicle regrets the error.