Information Technology

Office 365 Migration FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the UMass Boston migration to Office 365

Following are some frequently asked questions about the UMass Boston migration of email services to Office 365.

Please note: On the night your account is scheduled to be migrated, please log off your email program (on your computer) and turn off your cell phone or tablet if it is set to check your UMass Boston mail! We have encountered a number of accounts that could not be migrated because the account was accessed during migration.

Post-Migration Issues

As of November 19, over 2,200 faculty and staff have been migrated to the new email system. This migration has gone extremely well considering the size and complexity, but a few minor issues have appeared. If you are having post-migration issues, check the questions below, then contact the IT Service Desk ( or 287-5220).

I am trying to update a distribution list and get the error that I "do not have sufficient permission to perform this operation on this object."

This is a transitional problem caused by having some members of the distribution list on one server and some on the other. Contact the IT Service Desk to have our systems group update the distribution list for you and contact Salina Allen-Sharpp if you would like to expedite the migration of people on your distribution list.

I am using web access and have not migrated yet, and when people who have migrated send me email, I cannot get the attachments. How do I fix this?

There is a known issue for some email users that use Outlook Web Access with accounts that have not been migrated to Office 365. This is a known issue and only affects those using Outlook Web Access on the old email server. Email accounts that have been migrated to Office 365 do not experience this issue.

I am using Outlook 2011 for the Mac and can't access the contact stored on the server.

Unfortunately, the current version of Outlook for the Mac lacks this functionality. Until it can be fixed, you may want to move these contacts to your Mac's Address Book application and use Apple's iCloud service to sync them across your devices.

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.

If you need more functionality than a distribution list, such as the ability to include a non-UMass Boston email address, you can submit a Lyris list manager request form (DOC). This is a little more complicated to maintain, but it is capable of high volume communications and has many features not available with a distribution list.

If you need more information, please contact the IT Service Desk regarding alternative methods of sharing large files (Xythos) or sending large numbers of email messages.

When viewing a message in webmail, I get the following error: "This message has a digital signature. The digital signature couldn't be validated because the S/MIME control isn't available." What does this mean?

There is an issue resolving some security certificates in Office 365 web mail. This does not affect the message itself, which is still readable, but makes it impossible to verify the sender of the message. At this time we are recommending that people do not reinstall their security certificates after they upgrade to Office 365.

Questions about Office 365

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is an online (“cloud”) email service from Microsoft offering 50 GB (gigabytes) of mail storage (quota) and other collaborative features, such as Exchange calendars.

Is that bigger than my current email quota?

Yes! Faculty and staff typically had about 500 MB (megabytes) of storage, so they will get up to 100 times more storage space for email. Students using Live@Edu already had a 10 GB quota, so this is five times the storage space for them.

Will my email address change?

No, you will keep your existing email address. However, faculty and staff used to log in using the part of their email address before the @ sign as the username. To log in to the new system, they will have to use their complete email address for the username. (This only affects email. Please continue to log in to other systems, such as WISER, using the part of your email address before the @ sign as the username.)

Will my password change?

Definitely not for faculty and staff; probably not for students. (Students, we will confirm this as soon as we can.)

How will I change my password on the new system?

You should continue to use our current password change web site as you are now. See this web page for the link and full instructions:

Faculty and staff should note that in the new system the password change function in the webmail client will not work and you will be required to use the secure password management tool above.

Do I need a new email client?

Possibly. If you use Outlook, you must be using Outlook 2007 or 2010 (Windows) or Outlook 2011 (Mac). Older versions will not work.

If you use Mac Mail, versions for Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion will work, but may require some reconfiguration.

If you use Entourage for the Mac, you will need to reconfigure Entourage to use either Web Services Edition or  POP/IMAP. Note: we do not recommend using Microsoft Entourage as it is a discontinued product with numerous known problems.

If you use a mail client other than what is listed above, such as Thunderbird, or use one of the listed mail clients using POP or IMAP, they will work, but only after you have reconfigured them with new server information.

Please note that if you choose to use POP or IMAP to connect, you will not be linked to the calendar and contacts on the server.

I manage an office full of machines running Outlook. Will I need to reconfigure them all?

Unfortunately, yes. But the process is fairly simple and we are transitioning people slowly rather than hundreds at a time as originally planned.

Will the new system have spam filtering?

Yes, like our current system, spam filtering is built in. Unlike the current system, though, spam will be delivered to your Junk Mail folder for you to examine, and the system will learn as you tell it some things are not junk.

What operating systems are supported?

Both Windows and Mac are supported, but check to make sure your system is up to date! You should be running Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP2 for 64 bit), or Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 on a PC or Mac OS X 10.5.8, 10.6.8, or 10.7.3 on a Mac. For more complete information on Office 365 system requirements, see:

Will mailbox and calendar sharing permissions (delegates) be migrated or will they have to be set up again?

Delegate permissions will migrate, but will require that users with delegation be migrated together. IT Systems is collecting information on this from server settings prior to the migration, but feel free to contact the IT Service Desk if you are concerned about this and want to notify us about your needs.

Will I be able to share my calendar with a Mac user now?

Yes, you will be able to share a calendar between Mac and PC users, though the sharing will need to be set up in web access, not the Windows Outlook client

I have a Mac and Office 2011, but use Microsoft Entourage because Outlook 2011 doesn’t work with the UMass Exchange Server. Is that changing?

Yes, Outlook 2011 will work with the new servers, as will Mac Mail. For more information, see:

I check my mail using my iPhone/iPad. Will that work with the new system?

Yes, but you may have to enter some new server information for the device to find your mailbox in its new location. We’ll update our web site with this information when it is available. To see what those settings should be, follow the directions on this web page:

I check my mail using web mail. What will change for me?

The web mail client will be significantly improved. The log in address will also change, but you will continue to find a link to the correct log in page on our Email page. The correct webmail page for use with the new system will be rather than the old faculty and staff link (

Do I need to upgrade my browser?

Windows users should upgrade to at least Internet Explorer 8. Most modern browsers will work fine for web mail; however, one of the most common means of attacking your computer is through your browser, and we highly recommend that everyone scan their browsers for security vulnerabilities using the following web tool:

Will Outlook web access work differently for people using browsers other than Internet Explorer?

According to Microsoft, the complete set of features available in Outlook Web App will be available in the following browsers:

  • On a computer running Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 Internet Explorer 7 and later versions, Firefox 3.0.1 and later versions, or Chrome and later versions.
  • On a computer running Mac OS X 10.5 and later versions, you can use Safari 3.1 and later versions or Firefox 3.0.1 and later versions.
  • On a computer running Linux, you can use Firefox 3.0.1 and later versions.
  • If you use a Web browser that doesn't support the full feature set, Outlook Web App will open in the light version.

For complete information, see

Can I move my existing mail to the new server?

All your mail currently on the existing servers should be migrated for you (though it’s a good idea to back up anything vital).

What about my archived mail / PST files?

If you currently use PST files (Outlook archive files) they will continue to work as before, stored on your local PC, or you may choose to upload them to the server where you can access them from anywhere. In the same way, mail stored on your local Mac or PC in standard mailbox (mbox) files can be used as is or uploaded to the new server.

Will all my contacts, notes, etc., be transferred?

If they are stored on the server, they will be transferred along with your mail.

I am a student with documents on SkyDrive on the Live@Edu system. Can I still access them?

Yes, using this web site:

Log in with your student email address (Windows Live ID) and the last password you used prior to the change. Changing your password using our UMass Boston Secure Password Management Tool ( does not change your SkyDrive password, only your Office 365 password.

For this reason we recommend downloading your SkyDrive files as a backup.

What do "Free" and "Busy" mean in the calendar?

These are terms used in scheduling meetings and do not indicate whether someone is really free or busy.

Will the domain have to be changed from compservdom to something else?

This will have no effect on the domain you are attached to.

What else are we getting with with Office 365? SharePoint? Lync? Office Online Apps?

Microsoft has a web site listing the services provided to educational users, and we plan to take advantage of these services. However, not all available services will be provided as part of the email migration. Once the email migration has been completed successfully, the other services will be made available as part of a later phase of the project.

Will the connection between my computer and the cloud server be secure?

The email connection types (Exchange, POP, IMAP, and SMTP) all support SSL encryption to secure your connection, and the web mail client uses https to secure your connection.

Will my username and password be handled securely in the cloud?

For active authentication by Outlook 2007+, Exchange Active Sync (EAS), or POP/IMAP clients, credentials are passed encrypted to Office 365 servers and relayed to the customer’s on-premises ADFS servers secured via SSL. For web-based authentication, user credentials are passed between the client and the customer’s ADFS servers over SSL and never pass to Office 365 at all.

Will my data be handled securely in the cloud?

Office 365 provides the ability to encrypt data at rest by supporting technologies that can encrypt the content of emails and/or files. The supported technologies for data encryption at rest include Microsoft’s Information Rights Management (IRM), S/MIME and PGP Email encryption and have the advantage of allowing the customer to maintain full control over the encryption infrastructure and key management on their premises.

Office 365 support for data encryption at rest technologies is designed to minimize the risk of information leakage by encrypting the content, allowing access only by the intended users and by extending the protection beyond the initial publication location. Microsoft’s IRM goes further by restricting the actions allowed on the protected content and also encrypting Office application document attachments.

Office 365 mitigates against the risk of unauthorized physical access with extensive physical protections in their datacenters and operational procedures.

How long is this outsourcing contract for? What happens to our data once the contract has expired?

The contract is for 3 years and there is no commitment from UMass Boston about keeping the data in the cloud. At the end of the contract, UMass Boston would either need to renew the contract, or migrate the data off of the Microsoft Cloud hosted services.  If data is left on the system after expiration, then it will be purged from the Microsoft servers.