TCU Information and Technology (TCU IT) is switching TCU’s email services to Microsoft’s Office 365. This will provide students additional features that the previous system, Office Outlook, lacked.
“Mailboxes will be larger and new functionality will be provided,” said Bryan Lucas, Chief Technology Officer for TCU IT.
According to Joshua Tooley, associate director of IT support, IT has been coordinating with Student Government Association for an extended testing phase of the system. SGA officers, as well as around 500 student volunteers are currently participating. In June, the rest of the student body will begin the transition.
Katie Phillips, student body vice president of external affairs, said the new system looks slightly different. It includes features that make multitasking easier.
For example, users can preview attached documents before having to open and download them to their computer. Office 365 also provides an online storage space called OneDrive where users can save documents in order to free up space on their computer and email.
“One of the coolest aspects of Office 365 is the free access to the online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint,” Phillips said. “You can make a PowerPoint or Excel spreadsheet on any computer without having to purchase and download the programs.”
Lucas said that Office 365 was chosen after evaluating several options, but the decision isn’t set in stone. Microsoft could change the terms of their agreement, in which case TCU would need to explore other options.
Along with the transition, the IT department is working to allow students to keep their TCU email accounts indefinitely after they graduate. Lucas said that they are in discussion with TCU’s University Advancement Office and the Chancellor’s office to make this a reality.
Students can expect to see the new email system fully in place in time for the fall semester.