Project description

Information Technology is undertaking an initiative to improve the central email Outlook/Exchange service for employees. The project aims to:

  • Increase user satisfaction
  • Improve reliability and availability
  • Strengthen the security of the email infrastructure
  • Lay the foundation to offer upgraded collaboration tools.

The scope is limited to Email, calendar, tasks, notes and contacts, and DOES NOT include applications like OneDrive, Skype, StaffHub, Classroom, etc.



Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud is a good choice because:

  • Community familiarity with Microsoft products (Outlook)
  • uOttawa is already licensed for Office 365
  • Low-impact migration
  • Reduces training for the community
  • Increased availability of email services
  • Increased security
  • Lower total cost of ownership
  • More storage for users
  • Existing integrations with systems on campus
  • Many other universities in Canada are also using Office 365 cloud-based email services


Most importantly, this project can position the University of Ottawa to have a plethora of collaboration tools associated with Office 365, in the not-too-distant future. By proceeding with this technology innovation strategy, future initiatives of this kind may bring other services and benefits to the University community. Information Technology supports efficiency and effectiveness of its services, and is continually assessing delivery strategies to provide the University opportunities to be more effective in its mandate.

What will not change?
  • Your email address will not change
  • Departmental accounts will continue to be available
  • Delegate rights and access still be available
  • Account management will be performed by uOttawa’s Information Technology
  • The interface will be the same for most users
  • Support for the tools will be provided by uOttawa’s Service Desk
Why now?

There are several converging trends that makes the time ripe to undertake this change.

  1. Hosting services in the cloud has gone mainstream. This means that various software, including email, have their servers and software outside organizations, and you access them through the Internet.
  2. Cloud computing alters the financial model that technology providers adopt by taking on the evergreening of servers, updates of software, security, reliability, availability and management of the service thus reducing financial investment.
  3. Economic realities are driving organizations to search for alternate delivery mechanisms whenever feasible including looking at off-premise solutions.
  4. Core services, such as email, are offered very successfully and with high quality externally. Many companies offer email services. There is no appreciable benefit for the University to continue to manage this service when it can be done more economically and effectively elsewhere.
  5. Digital transformations call for a greater organization openness, pushing IT professionals to think differently, integrate suppliers when appropriate, and better leveraging the skills of our staff toward true differentiators for the University.
Who will be affected?

All existing users of the central Exchange email service including:

  • Faculty members and support staff currently on Information Technology’s Exchange servers
  • Encompasses, as well as Telfer, email accounts who have their own email format but use the central Exchange servers
  • All Saint Paul University employees
  • Students who work at the University
  • Sponsored users on the Exchange servers
  • Retired personnel
  • Other accounts for various associations, affiliations, and some external users
Delivery Strategy
  • Software and data in the cloud
  • Small pilot with a subset of users to validate approach and configurations
  • Progressive rollout for the migration of accounts during a 8-10 month period
Information about security

Security is top of mind for any solution we provide. Going with Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud is safe. In fact, the security will be even better than what we have today. Their security model has been reviewed by experts including our Security Architect and our technical specialists.

uOttawa data stored on Microsoft servers is solely to be used for online services. Our contract with them does not allow them to use any of our data or derive information from it for advertising or commercial purposes. More information regarding this and other terms is available in the contract.

Security, privacy and compliance documentation that Microsoft is bound to observe is available for you to consult.

Pre-migration checklist

Here is a list of things that you can do ahead of time to help minimize the impact of your email migration.

  • Check that your version of Office meets the minimum requirements :
    • Windows users must have Office 2013 or 2016
    • Mac users must have Office 2016 for Mac
  • Ensure your userid includes in your profile if you use Mail apps on your mobile device (it won’t matter for Outlook app users)
    • Mail for iOS 10, 11
      1.  Go to Settings then Accounts & Password
      2. Select your uOttawa account, then click on Account
      3. Ensure your username is in the format and click on Done
  • Rename Folders to remove any forward slashes ( / ) in their name
  • If you share your calendar with others, warn those who are not being migrated at the same time that they may get a restart Outlook message. They should restart Outlook if they get the prompt.
  • If you have delegate access to other emails/calendars being migrated during an important period
    • Ensure your computer, and those whose emails/calendars you manage, meet the minimum Office requirements (see above)
    • Know the dates your account, and those you manage, are scheduled to be migrated
  • Verify that there are no emails in the Outbox folder, these may get lost during the migration.
What to expect during the migration
  • Users are being scheduled in groups. Depending on the amount of data that needs to be copied, users may be migrated in any one of the days during their group’s scheduled migration period.
  • Users will be notified of the period their group is scheduled to be migrated, however, the specific day that the user will see the change is unknown.
  • Users can continue to use email, calendar, notes, tasks and to-do lists during their scheduled migration period.
  • Once everything is copied and the link is ready to be changed from the old system to Office 365 several indicators may appear.
    • Emails will be queued during the time the link is being changed, approximately 15 minutes. During this time, email will not be synchronized on mobile devices.
    • In general, users will get either a pop-up (details below) or an email that their group’s migration is finished. If you do not get a pop-up and email is encountering issues (i.e., sent messages are being queued in the Outbox, you cannot receive a message sent to self, or your Outlook status bar shows an old update time), your profile may need to be recreated. Contact the Service Desk.
    • Windows users may receive a pop-up message saying that “The Microsoft administrator has made a change that requires you to quit and restart Outlook”. Simply restart Outlook.
    • Some users may not get a pop-up. If that is the case, check your Outlook status bar. Verify that the time stamp is accurate and that the status indicates that you are connected.
    • Mac users using Outlook will likely get two prompts:
      • Outlook was redirected to the server to get new settings for your account Do you want to allow this server to configure your settings?
      • Mail could not be received at this time
  • Some users may be prompted to indicate if their account is for work or school purposes. The work option should be selected.
  • Users of the Outlook app for iOS/Android on mobile devices will be prompted to login.
  • Some users may get repeated prompts to login in the first hours after their migration.
  • When users share a calendar that is not migrated at the same time, the other person will get a message to restart Outlook.
  • Outlook on the Web users who use the previous link for non-migrated users (which is on the web site or in bookmarks) will get a redirect or something is wrong notice. To access Outlook on the Web use and bookmark: You may need to empty the cache of your browser.
Post-migration instructions

Once your account is migrated, some devices may need to be reconfigured. In other cases, new procedures need to be followed. The instructions may differ slightly for your device due to the different operations systems and versions available.


A. Workstations

Outlook 2013 and 2016 for Windows 7 and Windows 10

  • Will need to restart Outlook
  • May be prompted to login several times
  1. After the migration, the first time you open Outlook, a login prompt will appear. Enter your uOttawa user name using the format and then your password. Use your full email address and not any aliases to your account.
  2. Tick the Remember my credentials box and then click on OK.
  3. Look at the bottom of your Outlook window. The status should display Connected to: Microsoft Exchange once everything is done.

Still having problems? Contact the Service Desk.


Outlook 2016 for macOS

  1. After the migration, the first time you open Outlook two prompts will appear.
    1. “Outlook was redirected to the server to get new settings for your account username@uottawa.caDo you want to allow this server to configure your settings?”

      Select Always use my response for this server and the click Allow.
    2. Mail could not be received at this time”

      Go to the Outlook menu and click Preferences, thenAccounts.Select your uOttawa account, and in the User name field, type your uOttawa email address (Use your full email address,,and not any account aliases)and press Enter(or go back to the previous menu using the Show all button).
  2. An Account information pop-up will appear. Type in your uOttawa password. Select Remember this password in my keychain and then click OK.
  3. A second window may appear with a prompt to sign in. Enter your email account credentials and click Sign in.


Still having problems? Your email profile will need to be recreated. Contact the Service Desk if you need help.


B. Mobile devices

Mail app for OS X users

  • Must change the default setting for Erase deleted messages to Never
  • If you are experiencing issues with yur emails or calendars, you may need to delete your email profile and recreate it.
  • See more information on how to configure Apple Mail for Office 365 or contact the Service Desk.

Mail app for iOS 11

After the migration, if you followed the pre-migration instructions, your email should be working fine. If you are having problems, follow this procedure:

  1. Go to Settings | Accounts & Passwords
  2. Select your uOttawa account and then click on Account
  3. Ensure your username is of the format and click on Done. Use your full email address and not any aliases to your account.

Still having problems? Your email profile will need to be recreated. Contact the Service Desk if you need help.


Outlook app for iOS

After the migration, you will need to remove and recreate your email profile in the Outlook app.

  1. Open your Outlook app
  2. Select the menu icon (lines) at the top left of your screen.
  3. Click on the gear icon (settings) at the bottom left of your screen.
  4. Select your uOttawa account and click on Delete Account.

You can now create a new profile for your uOttawa account. Contact the Service Desk if you need help.


Outlook app for Android

After the migration, you will need to remove and recreate your email profile in the Outlook app.

  1. Open your Outlook app and select OK.
  2. Click on the gear icon (settings) at the bottom left of your screen.
  3. Select your uOttawa account, click on Delete Account and then Delete.

You can now create a new email profile for your uOttawa account. Contact the Service Desk if you need help.


General information

Outlook on the Web

Use the Office portal to login. If you use the old link you used before migrating, you will be redirected to a new page; you will need to empty your browser cache before continuing. Expect to enter your credentials twice.

Update your bookmark for Outlook on the Web:

  • You should enter your choice of language and time zone the first time you login
  • Click on More to get the list of your folders
  • Your inbox will be split into Focused and Other folders
  • You will no longer be able to change your password with Outlook on the Web; instead use


To change the display language in Outlook for Windows

  1. Go into Outlook
  2. Click on File | Options | Language
  3. In the Display language section, change the language
  4. Click on Set as default and then click on OK to finish.

You will need to restart Office for your language selections to come into effect.


To change the display language in Outlook on the Web

  1. Go into Outlook on the Web
  2. Click on the Gear icon (settings)
  3. Click on Mail  | General | Region and time zone
  4. Change the language
  5. Click on Save
  6. Click on Options to exit

This also changes the language in which your folders names (only) are displayed in Outlook on your desktop computer.


Email folder names with forward slashes

  • Will be prompted to rename them


Junk Email

  • Valid email may appear in the Junk Email folder. Migrated users should regularly check it until settings are adjusted accordingly.
New features and changes
  • Archive folder 
  • Conversation History folder
  • Junk Email folder: More false positives and needs to be regularly checked. However, users can identify valid email using the “Not Junk” option.
  • Groups feature
  • Clutter feature
  • In Outlook for the Web: By default, you will have a Focused and Other inbox. You can turn the feature off.
  • Information Technology will no longer be able to do restores of inboxes and email. You have 30 days in which you can restore emails from your Deleted Items folder. However, there is no way for Information Technology to restore an email if you have emptied the Deleted Items folder or if it has been over 30 days since you deleted it.

Owners of distribution lists (dl)

  • Will need to use a new Microsoft application to manage members in the lists and use the Exchange Admin Centre to manage members (instead of the current Outlook for the Web). To gain access to this tool after your migration, please submit a Service Desk request.


Known Issues

Here are some known issues that may occur when we migrate your account to Office 365.

  • Your desktop computer may be slower to receive emails
  • You may not be able to see all shared calendars
  • Some rules may no longer function when applied in interactions with non-migrated accounts
  • Duplicate calendars may be visible in the navigation pane of Outlook’s Calendar view. You may be able to delete them (the delete option is greyed out).
  • Tasks may be incorrectly flagged: some will appear as completed when they are not, and vice versa
  • Blocked Senders lists may not be applied to incoming messages
  • Meeting reminders may be duplicated
  • Once we migrate a departmental account, only the owner of the account will be able to change the password.
  • Departmental accounts that are used within Talisma are not being migrated to Office 365 for now due to incompatibilities. A solution is being investigated.
Office 365 Thresholds

100 Gig

Quota for email per account

30 days

Maximum retention period for backup of items deleted from the Deleted Items folder

25 MB

Maximum attachment size

500 recipients/email

Maximum number of people you can email at a time

10,000 recipients/day

Daily maximum number of people you can email per account

300 emails/30 minutes

Sending limit set by the University’s spam filter for each account

Note: distribution lists started in the organization’s address book count as one recipient; those in personal contacts folders are counted individually

Those with a business need email many recipients (e.g. newsletters), should use third-party providers.

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