Overall System Status:
BlitzMail is over 20 years old. At its inception, BlitzMail was revolutionary, but as commercial providers of these services advanced the market, Dartmouth stopped development on the BlitzMail client. Continued development of BlitzMail to keep pace with commercially available e-mail services was unaffordable.
The current campus calendar system, Oracle calendar, is no longer maintained by Oracle and does not provide integration with BlitzMail. The new Blitz system will help us leapfrog forward.
Everyone at Dartmouth will be moved to the new Blitz system with the exception of those people currently on the central Exchange service, and those on the Tuck Exchange service. This means all faculty and staff in the Arts and Sciences, Medical School and Thayer School will have their accounts moved from BlitzMail and Oracle Calendar to Blitz; all staff in central administration departments will have their accounts moved from BlitzMail and Oracle Calendar to Blitz; all undergraduate, Arts and Sciences graduate, Medical School graduate and Thayer school graduate students will have their BlitzMail accounts moved from BlitzMail to Blitz.
Yes. You will be affected in two ways: your login name to many systems will change to your NetID at the time your account is migrated; you will need to set up forwarding on your e-mail account again in the new system.
Yes. All Dartmouth.edu account are moving to the new system, and we are changing the user name that you use to log into your Dartmouth e-mail account. When your account migrates you will need to change the settings for your Dartmouth.edu e-mail account in any e-mail application you use, and you will need to start using your NetID to log into many Dartmouth systems.
The new system is an integrated suite of online services offered by Microsoft called Office 365 that includes:
The new Blitz system provides many capabilities that go beyond Dartmouth’s current e-mail and calendar applications. Users will have web and video conferencing, collaboration tools to share documents, instant messaging, e-mail and calendar information available on their mobile devices, the ability to work on mail, calendar, documents without being connected to the Internet. Each user will also have 10GB of storage, which is almost 20 times more than the current 600MB of storage that Dartmouth currently provides users.
Moving all of Dartmouth into the new Blitz system will allow for enhanced communication and collaboration with key parts of Dartmouth that already use a Microsoft solution: such as the College administration and the Tuck School. DHMC is also deploying Microsoft Exchange this year and this project will allow Dartmouth to optimize the communication and collaboration between administrative departments, the Medical School and the Medical Center as well.
Like Dartmouth, Microsoft does not monitor online activity or content except for the purpose of providing indexing, virus protection and spam filtering. Microsoft will not scan the content of mail or other documents to serve other commercial purposes.
Microsoft will provide Forefront Security Services, which provides comprehensive protection.
The Microsoft solution complies with accessibility standards as defined by Section 508 of the American with Disabilities Act.
Microsoft provides 24/7/365 technical support for our technical staff so we can quickly resolve any issues that may arise.
Services, such as e-mail and calendar or data storage that traditionally have existed on site, are moved to a centralized computer server at a remote location and are accessed through the Internet. By moving these services off campus, the College is able to provide members of the Dartmouth community with access to a service that is constantly improving and keeping up-to-date with the latest advances in technology, one that provides consistent and secure e-mail and calendar experience for all users, and that provides increased storage - all at a lower cost than we could provide ourselves.
Dartmouth's Taskforce on Email and Collaboration Tools (TEC-T) considered only the higher education offerings from Google and Microsoft. The taskforce also focused primarily on meeting the needs of the College and not the institution as a whole, and the taskforce was not asked to take into account the multiple Outlook/Exchange environments in the College, at Tuck, and at DHMC. After receiving the recommendation from the taskforce, Dartmouth’s leadership asked that a new system be considered from the broadest institutional perspective.
Computing Services has since completed a new review of systems and found a hosted service called Microsoft Office 365 (aka Microsoft Online Services) that provides the best opportunity for members of the Dartmouth community to communicate easily with Dartmouth's existing Exchange environments, both at Dartmouth and with colleagues at DHMC.
Yes. For Macintosh users, Microsoft has committed to offering the same robust experience that Windows users have. The version of Microsoft Office 365 that we will be rolling out to the Dartmouth community has feature parity between Macintosh and Windows web browsers. Windows and Macintosh users will be able to use e-mail IMAP clients (such as Thunderbird) or a Web browser (Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer) of their choice.
Linux users will be able to access e-mail through Thunderbird. Calendar will be accessed through the web browser of their choice.
Microsoft publishes system-requirement information on its website.
For most of the campus, the service will not be available until summer 2011. Dartmouth will be participating in a customer preview of the product starting in August 2010 and will start a pilot of the services in Spring 2011. The first groups to join the pilot will be Computing Services and the Library. After completion of the pilot we will move forward with the rest of the campus.
It is anticipated that the entire Dartmouth community will be transitioned to the new Blitz system by December 31, 2012.
We do not expect that users will experience any significant downtime. When 270 senior administrators and administrative staff moved to an on-premises Exchange service, they found they could not use e-mail or calendar for a couple of hours on a single day. Computing Services would expect a similar experience with the new e-mail and shared calendar system. Any outage will be carefully planned and users will be notified well in advance.
As for transferring existing messages and meetings, we do not believe any e-mail or calendar data will be lost.
Anyone who is graduating in spring 2011 will not be affected and will continue to use BlitzMail as they currently use it.
The mailboxes for the '12s, '13s and '14s will transition to the new Blitz system, most likely in the Summer or Fall of 2011.
The incoming '15s will be given accounts in the new service in late spring 2011.
Faculty mailboxes will be transferred from BlitzMail to the new Blitz system. The current BlitzMail client is going away and faculty who use the BlitzMail client will have to choose a different client. This could be the Microsoft client, Outlook, which runs on Windows and Mac machines, or one of the other popular clients such as Thunderbird or Apple Mail; or they could decide to use a Web browser. Some faculty are currently forwarding their Dartmouth e-mail to Gmail or other e-mail providers. They will continue to have this option. For faculty who currently use a non-BlitzMail client and want to continue to use that client, there should be little change in their experience.
We expect to transition faculty department by department, according to a plan that will be developed in 2011. Computing Services will provide training on the new services before the transition and will assist each department as they make the changeover.
Some faculty are using Google Apps for document sharing and may continue to do so. We will be developing services and support for SharePoint, one of the new Blitz products, which supports document sharing and other collaboration activities. Based upon the individual needs of faculty, Computing Services will work with faculty to determine the most appropriate tool to use (SharePoint or Google) based upon functional needs and the confidentiality of the information.
Staff in administrative departments will be moved to the new system on a department by department basis. A schedule for the transition will be developed and announced in spring 2011. Computing Services will provide training on the new services before the transition and will assist each department as they make the changeover.
Staff currently using the on-premises Exchange environment will continue to have their accounts in the same location. Once other departments move to the cloud, scheduling of meetings between the on-premises Exchange environment and the new system will appear seamless.
We expect to transition emeritus faculty and staff on an individual basis. We will be contacting these individuals during the spring and summer of 2011 to schedule these transitions. Training on the new system will be available online.
Emeritus faculty and staff currently using the on-premises Exchange environment may have their accounts moved to the Cloud. More information about this will be sent to any individuals affected as we gain more information about the system.
DHMC has also studied changing e-mail systems for many of the same reasons as the College. The Medical Center's studies have concluded and they are now implementing on-premises Microsoft Exchange. People who are employed by the College but are located at DHMC (for instance, many DMS faculty and staff; students, also) will continue to have Dartmouth.edu as their primary account. Planning is ongoing to ensure that relevant College/DMS personnel have appropriate use of DHMC systems.
If your Dartmouth e-mail account was migrated to the new e-mail system, then that account will continue to work just as it has after graduation. You should make sure that you have claimed your account (go to http://claim.dartmouth.edu and follow the directions there) so that when we implement more security measures in the fall of 2012 you will continue to have access, but your account will continue.
However, it is important that you tell people to use your full Dartmouth.edu e-mail address <firstname.lastname@example.org> because at some point in the coming months any addresses that are not your full address may stop working. We are still working out the details for this last piece and will be sending an e-mail to all graduated students about the timing and effects of this change later in the year once we have those details worked out.
Current plans are to continue to offer alumni Dartmouth e-mail accounts. We will be moving alumni off BlitzMail to new services. Computing Services is working closely with Alumni Relations on this separate project to determine the best solution for alumni.
The functionality to forward to Gmail or another mail service is available within the new Blitz system. Your “mail to” address would remain a @Dartmouth.edu address. However, in some instances, even though it is available, it should not be done, due to the type of confidential data contained within the account (e.g., FERPA-controlled).
Any BlitzMail bulletins that are still active will be moved to either Dartmouth's Listserv system or that information is being transferred to a web site. The owners of the bulletins have been contacted about this transition. Information about where each bulletin topic is moving will be made available through that bulletin.
The new Blitz system has a "Global Address List" or GAL which contains much of the same information available in the DND Lookup functionality. The plan is to incorporate any information that is currently available in the DND Lookup but is not available in the GAL into the GAL in the coming months. In addition, Outlook 2010 users can incorporate the DND Lookup functionality into Outlook. See Configuring Outlook to Search the DND for additional information.
No, use bwa.dartmouth.edu to access your new Blitz account via the Web.
The Blitz-2-Blitz Project website will be offering regular updates on the transition process and will provide links to any other websites that have additional information.
Last Updated: 1/25/13