Microsoft Foundation Services Project

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Microsoft Foundation Services Project

The M365 Foundational Services Project aims to build the IT foundation needed for increased M365 adoption at UBC. This IT foundation will bring UBC’s technology environment in line with modern standards so that the university will be able to introduce exciting new collaboration tools in the future.

The M365 Foundation Services project includes the following:

Move to Microsoft Exchange Online

UBC is preparing to migrate its enterprise email services from on-premises to the cloud platform Microsoft Exchange Online to improve email security and enhance UBC's technology environment by integrating with other Microsoft 365 collaboration tools.

UBC’s current on-premise enterprise email solution is approaching the end of its lifecycle. Moving to the cloud will enable UBC to take advantage of the latest email technology to ensure that our university's email system is secure, reliable, and integrated with other collaboration tools. The email migrations will take place over the next 12 - 18 months. Beginning with pilot groups, there will be a tailored approach, working with each department or unit individually to migrate their email service.

For information on how to prepare for the migration and change impacts, visit the pre-migration / post-migration checklist.

M365 Licensing

All M365 users will need to have an identity in M365, and information about the user will be needed to assign the appropriate license rights and resources, so integration with UBC’s Identity and Access Management services and Workday will be required. Careful design of the categorization of users will be critical to streamline administration of the platform.

Email Standards and Polices

Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Exchange Online are to be used by tens of thousands of UBC constituents, and policy and practice decisions related to the platform need to be established in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholder groups, as well as lifecycle management.

Key Objectives

  • Build the IT foundation layer for the M365 platform, M365 Identity and Microsoft Exchange Online
  • Migrate UBC’s email services to Microsoft Exchange Online
  • Improve security and compliance by implementing enhanced threat protection and governance features that will fortify email security and ensure compliance with standards

Strategic Alignment and Priorities

Migrating to Microsoft Exchange Online and integrating with other M365 tools and applications will enhance security, anticipate Microsoft’s end-of-life timeline, allow for seamless collaboration, and improve workflows. This project aligns with both UBC's privacy and information security priorities, and UBC’s Strategic Plan which is rooted in sustainability, excellence, innovation, and local and global engagement.

Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud

  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP): DLP capabilities will enable UBC to define policies that automatically detect and prevent the unauthorized sharing of sensitive information. It helps protect sensitive data from data leaks, ensuring compliance with data protection and privacy regulations
  • Threat Protection: Microsoft Exchange Online incorporates advanced threat protection against various email threats, including malware, phishing attempts, and malicious links
  • Unified platform for email, calendars, contacts, and tasks which enhances user experience and improves productivity. By integrating Microsoft Exchange Online with other Microsoft 365 applications such as SharePoint and OneDrive, users can engage in real-time collaborative work. This integration limits the typical errors that often arise when working across distinct email environments (i.e., the combination of on-premise and cloud-based systems)
  • Automatic Updates – access to latest features, improvements, and software and operating system updates.

Change Impact

  • Faculty and staff using Microsoft Outlook on their PC should not be required to reconfigure their email
  • Faculty and staff using any other desktop (such as Outlook for Mac), or mobile email application need to set up a new profile on their mobile device’s email client to use Microsoft Exchange Online after their mailbox has been migrated

Full details of change impacts will be available following completion of the pilot group migrations. More information will be provided when each departmental roll-out begins. You will be notified directly by your faculty or department when it is time for your team’s migration.

Contact Us

If you would like to contact the M365 project team, please connect with us through the UBC IT Helpdesk