‘I Just Want Milk that Tastes Like Milk’ – QUT’s Migration of Staff email to the Cloud

QUT has hosted student email in ‘the cloud’ using Microsoft since 2007 but will only finish migrating staff to Office 365 in early 2015.  At the end of a 3 year journey there are many lessons learned to share with the community.

QUT began contemplating where to head with provision of email and calendar services for staff in early 2012.  Whilst these services can be seen as a commodity in a contemporary environment to some staff they are the most important and visible commodity that IT Services provide.  Whilst the end result might be a cheaper service with more features for ‘the University’ what does the glass of milk taste like to the staff.

The process at QUT began in the standard manner with business case against on campus provision of the service, cloud service comparison and selection of a service to proceed with Microsoft Office365 but that’s when the real work commenced.

This presentation will step through the key lessons through to the final migration, wrap up and operationalization of the service including take-aways for those who are have started the process or yet to start.  Topics to be covered include:

  • Legal and contract considerations
  • Staff engagement and setting expectations
  • Understanding the real costs
  • Understanding and managing the service relationship with a commodity provider
  • Authentication, Integration and flow on impacts
  • Technical bumps and hiccups to avoid
  • Understanding your current environment – everyone is different
  • Dealing with the unknown unknowns
  • Where to next  – leveraging the other features available through Office 365

Michael Boyle and Nathan Howard
Queensland University of Technology

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