This summer, students, faculty and staff received a USM Mailout email that changes would soon be coming to their email addresses. While some may have thought that the transition from Gmail to Microsoft Office 365 would only make their address shorter (email@example.com) , the change has proven to be exceptionally more useful.
Effective Aug. 24, students’ email addresses have automatically made the switch to Office 365, which will be the primary source of communication from the university. EagleApps (firstname.lastname@example.org) will no longer be used. Chief Information Officer David Sliman said Office 365 will be especially beneficial for students.
“The reason [for deciding to use Office 365 instead of Gmail] mostly was you get Office products like Word, PowerPoint, all that- the students get it for free now as opposed to the past when they had to pay for it.”
Had the university not provided students with free access to Office products, students would have to pay $12.50 per month for the program.
Another feature students and professors can use in Office 365 is the collaboration feature. Now that everyone has an Office account, the uniformity will make submitting, editing and commenting more convenient.
Possibly the biggest perk of having Office 365 is the fact that students, faculty and staff can download Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher and Lync) on up to five devices. In addition to the free download of the applications, users also have access to a web version of all the applications that can be accessed once logged into the Office email account.
So far, neither iTech nor CIO Sliman has heard any complaints about the transition to Microsoft Office 365.