About a year ago, IT put together a 10 person team to spearhead the Exchange Project, a mass overhaul of the faculty and staff email/calendar system. Our time with Mirapoint, the company who provided us with W&M webmail and Oracle calendar, had run its course. We were looking for a more robust, more secure, and all around more effective system and we think that’s exactly what we found in Microsoft Exchange.
According to Exchange project manager Corinne Picataggi, “We’ve already seen an increase in calendar usage.” This is great news!
At the very heart of this project was our desire to maintain an working environment that's most conducive to collaboration and connectivity between W&M employees. So it was crucial for us to involve a cross-section of W&M people, including folks from Swem library, the Law School, the Business School, and Academic Information Services. The seed of this project may have originated in IT, but it quickly grew into a campus wide initiative.
What did we accomplish with this project? Many things, both great and small.
On the greater side of things, Exchange allowed us to upgrade to a much better server system. We could throw out a bunch of tech-speak that you probably wouldn’t understand, but in the end you’ll just have to trust us. Simply put, the new Exchange server is a cleaner and safer place for you to send and receive email. Daily email storage/back-up is now more seamless and consistent, and the College email server as a whole is decidedly less susceptible to outsiders.
The smaller perks of Exchange are more tangible. For instance, we’ve received countless thank you messages from users who’ve integrated calendar and email with their mobile phones. Even Windows Engineering Manager Jim Supplee, a member of the actual Exchange team, was surprised by how convenient it was. “I was sitting in my office,” he recalls, “and all of a sudden, my phone chirps and I thought ‘This is sweet!’”
So whether you want to store every email you’ve sent in the past ten years or a get a little reminder for the meeting you have in ten minutes, we in IT truly believe that Exchange is your best bet.
Thank you all for your patience during this transition. If you still need help using Exchange--Outlook Calendar, in particular--there are a couple things you can do: