SSCC Office 365 FAQ

If you haven't migrated to Office 365, do so ASAP

What will I need to do to migrate to Office 365?

See our complete migration instructions.

When are we moving to Office 365?

The SSCC's official migration period is over, but many SSCC members still need to migrate to Office 365.

The Office 365 migration team is in the process of moving all remaining SSCC members to Office 365, whether they're ready or not. When they migrate your account any email programs set up to read SSCC email or WiscMail will stop working until you reconfigure them, so we suggest you migrate yourself ASAP so you can do it at a time that’s convenient for you. They anticipate moving all SSCC members by 11/16.

If your email programs suddenly stop working, most likely it's because you've been migrated. Read the rest of this article to understand what happened and for instructions on reconfiguring your email programs to work with Office 365.

Our current plan is to shut down the SSCC's email server soon after 11/23, though that will depend on the Office 365 Migration team completing the migration of all SSCC members as scheduled.

What happens if I don't migrate?

Some time before 11/16 the Office 365 migration team will migrate your account for you. Given that your email programs will stop working at this point (until you reconfigure them to work with Office 365), we highly recommend you migrate yourself at a time that's convenient for you.

Can I still use my @ssc.wisc.edu email address?

Yes. After the migration, the email addresses username@ssc.wisc.edu, NetID@wisc.edu, and firstname.lastname@wisc.edu will all be linked and messages sent to any of them will go to to your Inbox. You'll be able to choose your "primary" email address, which is what will appear in the campus directory.

What about forwards?

If you have forwarded your SSCC email to your WiscMail address or vice versa, you don't need to do anything since SSCC email and WiscMail are being combined. If you have your SSCC email forwarded to a different address then that forward will not carry over after you migrate, however WiscMail forwards will carry over. We therefore suggest you forward your WiscMail address before migrating. DoIT's KnowledgeBase has instructions. You can also set a forward after migrating.

Why does my name show up in ALL CAPS now that I've migrated to Office 365 and can I fix it?

Office 365 gets your name from the UW personnel system, which by default uses all caps. But you can set a preferred name and then Office 365 will use that instead. We highly recommend it.

What email program should I use once I move to Office 365?

  • Windows users should use Outlook
  • Mac users should use Apple Mail or Outlook 2016, but if you want to use Office 365 to schedule meetings you'll need to use the Outlook Web App or Outlook 2016
  • iOS users (iPhone, iPad) should use Outlook for iOS
  • Other mobile device users (Android phones, etc.) should use the Mail program built into their device
  • If you don't have an email program configured for Office 365, use the Outlook Web App.

Unfortunately, we're hearing reports of serious problems using Thunderbird with Office 365, including loss of mail. We strongly recommend not using it after switching.

We're hearing mixed reviews of the Outlook Web App: some people love it and some people hate it. But it's always available without needing to be configured.

Most users prefer Apple Mail to Outlook 2011 for Mac, even though scheduling meetings with other Office 365 users is not fully functional with just iCal. Outlook 2016 has just been released and is getting good reviews, but DoIT does not have very much documentation for it yet.

Can someone set up my email programs for me?

During the SSCC's official migration period we had DoIT-trained student workers available to set up email programs for people as they migrated. Unfortunately we no longer have access to these students as they are now helping other units migrate. SSCC staff are available to help if you have problems setting up your email programs (just contact the Help Desk) but we do not have enough staff to do it for everyone.

How can I install Outlook 2013 on my computer?

Outlook 2013 is part of Office 2013. If your computer logs into the SSCC's domain (PRIMO) you can install Office 2013 very quickly and easily using Software Center. For other computers, you'll be able to install Office 2013 (for free) using the Outlook Web App as soon as you've migrated. Note that the Install Office on your PC page has checkboxes for Make Bing your search engine and Make MSN your browser home page. Uncheck them unless you actually want to do those things.

If you are currently using Outlook to read SSCC email, do not upgrade to Outlook 2013 until you migrate. Outlook 2010 actually works better with SSCC email.

Can I keep my Thunderbird Address Book?

Yes, but it's a bit tricky. You'll start by exporting your address book to a CSV file, but Outlook won't understand that file without some extra help. DoIT has instructions for Outlook but before sure to click on the plus sign by Map Custom Fields, and instructions for Outlook Web App but be sure to follow the link that says review the following documentation in the Note for Thunderbird Users.

The good news is that in Office 365 your address book is saved in the cloud. That means you'll have access to it from any computer.

What about mailplus.wisc.edu accounts?

If you use a mailplus.wisc.edu account, follow the instructions for migrating mailplus.wisc.edu accounts. Feel free to contact the SSCC Help Desk if you have questions.

I don't have or no longer have a UW NetID. What will happen to me?

If you do not have a NetID, you will not be able to migrate to Office 365 and your SSCC email account will be closed when the SSCC's email service is shut down, which will happen soon after 11/23. We've tried to identify anyone in this situation who may rely on SSCC email, but if you do and have not heard from us please tell us as soon as possible. Your access to other SSCC services (Winstat, Linstat, etc.) will not be affected.

Fortunately, most people in this situation are at other instutitions and don't use their SSCC email account.

What should I read to learn about Office 365?

DoIT has a great deal of documentation online, but here are are some key things to start with:

Keep in mind that these documents do not include issues specific to SSCC email. We'll let you know about any SSCC-specific instructions.

What's the problem with large messages?

Office 365 has a maximum message size of 50MB, but messages also become significantly larger when stored in Office 365. We have created a script that scans everyone's SSCC email, identifies messages larger than 25MB, and copies them to your Z: drive (Linux home directory) where you can sort through them at your leisure. WiscMail users should use the account preparation tool to identify messages larger than 25MB, but you'll need to move them yourself.

Any messages remaining in your email that are larger than 50MB will be lost when you migrate to Office 365.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is Microsoft's cloud-based email and calendaring system. It also includes Office Online (cloud-based versions of Word, Excel, etc.), OneDrive for storing files, and other services.

Why are we moving to Office 365?

The decision to replace all campus email systems with Office 365 came out of the Efficiency study commissioned by Chancellor Martin and the Administrative Excellence initiative pushed forward under Interim Chancellor Ward. Campus leaders believe it will save money and increase the operational efficiency of the campus. We hope this is true, but at any rate the decision has been made and SSCC is required to shut down our email system and move everyone to Office 365.

Why are we doing this now? Isn't this process a bit rushed?

To make this migration work, DoIT provides the technical team that handles the migration itself, trainers, and the student workers who will configure individual email programs to use Office 365. If current trends hold SSCC members will request about 500 visits to configure email programs, which would take our PC Support team several months to do without help.

Unfortunately, the Office 365 team has been slated for major cuts under the new state budget. We have therefore made the decision to make our move this summer, before those cuts take effect. Yes, this is moving faster than we'd like, but we believe we're better off moving sooner with full support from the Office 365 team than later without it.