office 365 for BCS users – Frequently Asked Questions

office 365 for bcs users – Frequently Asked Questions
What is Office 365? Web-based computing that pairs traditional Microsoft Office applications with cloud storage.What does that mean? All BCS users will have Microsoft Office on their computers including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Lync. Each user has virtually unlimited file and email storage on Microsoft cloud computers along with automated file backup and software upgrades. Users can access their files from any location with Internet access.

What is not changing? All BCS users will continue to have complete use of WordPerfect and its related applications. The GroupWise email system will be replaced by Outlook for all users.  All BCS Case Management Systems will remain the same operating independently of Office 365

What is the “cloud”? The “cloud” is made up of large secure central servers on the ground. Files and software upgrades are sent over the Internet between these servers and users’ computers. Microsoft maintains a special cloud infrastructure for government separated from its private clients.

How secure is Microsoft’s “cloud”? Microsoft cloud service high level security.  Office 365 complies with the highest international security standards as well as with HIPPA and the Federal Information Security Management Act (allowing it to be used by Federal government agencies). Microsoft cloud employees are subject to annual FBI background checks and compliance with federal Criminal Justice Information System Standards. Physical server locations are patrolled by armed guards.

How safe is the Microsoft cloud? Files are stored in Microsoft’s servers in a primary location and backed up to a secondary, remote location – both are within the continental United States on servers reserved for government users. Microsoft guarantees 99.9% uptime, geo-redundancy and built-in disaster recovery.

Who else is using Office 365? The New York State Executive Branch is moving to Office 365 for 120,000 government workers. Other state governments using Office 365 include Texas, California, and Minnesota as well as the cities of Chicago, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, and Kansas City, and federal government agencies including: Department of Agriculture (120,000 employees); Federal Aviation Administration (80,000 employees); and, the Environmental Protection Administration (25,000 employees).

How are users affected by using Office 365? Users continue to have access to all familiar software tools along with universal access to Microsoft Office. Each individual user will have 50 gigabytes of email storage (compared to 1 gigabyte now). Users can access documents and other files from any location with Internet access; each user can use up to five different BCS computers or tablets to access their work. All users’ Microsoft software will always be completely up to date. All software changes and upgrades will be handled seamlessly behind the scenes. Users can organize their documents and file structure in the same ways they do now. With expanded storage, users can maintain massive historical email files. All files and backups reside in Microsoft’s “cloud” infrastructure rather than in more vulnerable BCS servers.

How will using Office 365 affect DAT and delivery of technology services? DAT personnel will be able to devote creative and innovative resources to providing support services and technical development to the work of the Civil system – upgrading and improving BCS proprietary state wide case management systems.

Since the migration, I have found addresses that do not work (undeliverable email). I have noticed that if I use the recipient’s name from the “To” line (autocomplete), I will get that error, but if I search for the name in the email directory and use that, then it is fine.

Items stored in the cache of your copy of Microsoft Outlook may not work correctly with the new server. To correct this, open Outlook with your new profile (the one pointing to Office 365) and do the following:

  • Go to File > Options
  • Select Mail
  • Scroll down and click “Empty Auto-Complete list”

This will remove all the “remembered” email addresses that now have an invalid path.

What are the limits of the new system? Can we change them?

Here are the new limits under Office 365. These are set by Microsoft and we cannot change any of them.

  • Quota: 50 gigabytes
  • Maximum number of recipients per message: 500
  • Maximum size of attachment sent/receive: 25 megabytes
  • Maximum number of recipients per day: 10,000

These are very high limits, but in a few rare cases, you may encounter one of them, especially if you frequently send emails to large numbers of recipients. If you reach 10,000 recipients in a day, your email will be locked for 24 hours by Microsoft and we will not be able to unlock it!

If you send large numbers of emails, you can request an email distribution list (PDF) which allows you to maintain a list of UMass Boston addresses that can all be sent to using a single email address. Sending an email to the distribution list causes it to be sent to everyone you have added to that list.

Microsoft Office 2010
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