John provides perspective on Yale's email systems

August 22, 2019

Yale’s Chief Information Officer, John Barden, addresses questions asked by the community through our Ask John survey feature. This week, John shares some history, challenges, and work necessary to consider migration to one email system.

Migrating to one email & calendaring system/service. Some [members of the community] understand the reasons why there may be 2 different email systems (EliApps & O365) but what are the plans or talks on migrating everyone to one email provider? Wouldn’t migrating to one system provide better support, increase productivity and a cost savings to the University? What challenges do we have that doesn’t permit us to move towards everyone being on O365 and why? Thank you. (Anonymous)

Moving to reduce unnecessarily duplicative services and applications is a goal. One such opportunity may be revising email and calendaring tools, as this question suggests. Beyond the financial benefits, shared calendaring and simplification of address lists might be two user benefits that consolidation would enable, among others. As we look at potential service consolidations, these benefits must be balanced against perceived advantages of each distinct product. Users often also need assistance in making a successful transition. At the time our two current email tools were agreed, a broad committee was engaged, and through that process we converged from many more solutions to just these two. At that time, there were significant perceived differences between EliApps and O365 that required both. Both products have continued to evolve, and this may indeed be a topic we can explore in the coming year as we strive to simplify our services. We are a community built on collaboration, and that discussion would involve many stakeholders and a thoughtful review of impacts prior to any decision to change or consolidate services.

Take a moment to share questions and ideas you might have with John; questions will be answered in each subsequent IT Update.