General FAQ

About

Q. Has U of T chosen a vendor for the new e-mail service?

Yes.  University of Toronto chose Microsoft Live@edu as the new e-mail platform for students.

Q. Would email addresses still be @utoronto.ca?

A. No, although the utoronto.ca domain would remain the same, it will now be used only for Faculty and Staff e-mails. Students will be transitioned to a new domain, @mail.utoronto.ca.

Q. How is outsourced e-mail managed, by the school or by the vendor?

A. The new e-mail service is controlled by the University although it is operated by the outsourcing company. UofT contracts with the provider on your behalf and your relationship is with UofT. We will continue to create and delete accounts, managing the service with a vendor-provided portal. At the same time, the vendors manages the hosting, including server uptime, spam- and virus-filtering, and data integrity. So the vendors helps reduce both the school’s infrastructure cost and frees the IT department to take on other strategic initiatives.

Q. What is outsourced e-mail?

A. Outsourced e-mail is a service such as  Microsoft’s Live@EDU (UTmail+ for U of T) or Google Apps for Education. These e-mail services are hosted by companies that deal in e-mail on a large scale for general public consumption.

Q. Is outsourced e-mail intended for all students, faculty, and staff?

A. No. The Outsourced e-mail service is intended for students only.

Q. Where are Outsourced e-mail servers located?

A. Servers hosting the University of Toronto’s student outsourced service would be located worldwide.

Q. Would outsourced e-mail be the only email option available at the University of Toronto?

A. No. Students will have the option to opt out of the U of T outsourced service and receive U of T domain address with a forwarding service only (more details to come). Faculty and Staff will remain on the U of T’s Microsoft Exchange service and UTORmail respectively.

Q. Why is the University considering this change?

A. University of Toronto would like to move away from providing services that are considered ‘utility’ and reallocate those resources to projects that are more innovative and distinguish our core offering from other Universities. Second, we want to expose our students to a rich set of leading-edge tools and applications that can be used to enhance communication and also provide students with a viable calendaring option, which at this time they do not have access to.

Q. Why is outsource in particular being proposed?

A. Several options were considered, some free and some not free. While outsourcing is not the only option, we consider it the best option overall. Please refer to the reports for more information on this decision.

Q. Are other institutions doing this?

A. Many universities and colleges recognize that email and calendaring are utility services and are getting out of directly supporting these services. Approximately 28% of the post-secondary institutions in the United States now use external services for their email (a rise from 5% just two years ago).

Q. Would anyone lose their job?

A. The intent is that no one would lose their job. The project would free up people resources (by relieving them of a mundane task) to be redeployed to do other important tasks for their Faculty/Department/Unit.

Q. What would the University do with the money it would save by switching to outsourced email service?

A. Money saved by Faculties/Departments/Units would stay in the Faculty/Department/Unit. Central savings for email/webmail would be redeployed. Energy savings from reducing computing infrastructure would result in a lowered power bill, an indirect cost saving to the University.

Q. Will I see corporate advertising?

A. Student outsourced emails accounts will not display corporate advertising. Note that this is different to public free accounts, as we will be part of an Education Edition agreement.


End-User

Q. Can I decline the UTmail+ service?

A. Yes.  However we strongly recommend you do not choose to decline the service. The University of Toronto has negotiated expanded privacy and security protections for students using UTmail+ than are available by signing up directly with consumer services such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo. You will not receive these expanded protections if you decline.

By declining service you acknowledge that:

1.     There are known problems that will occasionally prevent important messages from reaching youunder the University’s “Policy on Official Correspondence with Students” you are still responsible if an important message fails to reach you.

2.     You will not have access to UTmail+ functionality—this may limit your ability to collaborate with other University members.

3.   Declining the UTmail+ service is not the best way to forward your e-mail. If you require a forward service, please create your UTmail+ account and forward your e-mail using built in UTmail+ forward functionality.  Althought forwarding may still result in messages not being delivered, for which are you still responsible, you will have access to the full suite of UTmail+ services.

Q. When will this change take place?

A. UTmail+ is currently available to most new incoming students as of July 13, 2011.   Current students will see a migration schedule tentatively set for late October 2011.  A detailed timeline will be provided in the near future. Your e-mail will not change without sufficient notice.

Q. Would email addresses still be @utoronto.ca?

A. No, although the utoronto.ca domain would remain the same, it will now be used only for Faculty and Staff e-mails. Students will be transitioned to a new domain, @mail.utoronto.ca.

Q. What happens to my old email?

A. Your UTORmail account e-mail content located on the server will be migrated to UTmail+ according to a migration schedule that will be published in the early Fall 2011.  Local folders that are not stored on the server will be up to you to migrate as well as your contacts.   Following migration, your UTORmail account will continue to be forwarded to the new UTmail+ service for a period of two (2) years, with a possible extension.

Q. Will I have more email space?

A. Yes!  Your new UTmail+ account will have a 10GB inbox.  This includes your e-mail, contacts and calendar.

Q. Is outsourced email secure?

A. Email is, by nature, insecure. Outsourced e-mail is at least as secure as the current campus email service, and arguably more secure. While in transit, email is often unencrypted and could be intercepted. You should always assume email is not private. This is true for all email services.
When you check your email, the outsourced e-mail services provides a secure connection from your web browser and/or email client. This encrypts the data between you and the email servers while you view it or collect mail. This is the same system that banks use to secure your connection for online banking.

Q. Is my email encrypted on the outsourced email servers?

A. No. This is the case for almost all email, regardless of the provider. Just as is true today, if private communication is desired over email you should use PGP encryption with your email program, or a plugin in Firefox. Alternatively, put the document somewhere in a secure web site and send a link in the email rather than the document itself.

Q. Why are we considering this change to email?

A. Email is considered “utility” computing. It is a mature, well-established essential service. It is regarded as a utility in the IT industry, just as we regard water and power as utilities. E-mail is no longer considered a ‘core’ IT service, and so it is best to outsource it to providers that deal with email exclusively so they can provide the ultimate up-to-the-date standard of service, versus U of T having to spend much needed resources to compete with big providers.

Q. Why is the University considering this change?

A. University of Toronto would like to move away from providing services that are considered ‘utility’ and reallocate those resources to projects that are more innovative and distinguish our core offering from other Universities. Second, we want to expose our students to a rich set of leading-edge tools and applications that can be used to enhance communication and also provide students with a viable calendaring option, which at this time they do not have access to.

Q. Why is outsource in particular being proposed?

A. Several options were considered, some free and some not free. While outsourcing is not the only option, we consider it the best option overall. Please refer to the reports for more information on this decision.

Q. Are other institutions doing this?

A. Many universities and colleges recognize that email and calendaring are utility services and are getting out of directly supporting these services. Approximately 28% of the post-secondary institutions in the United States now use external services for their email (a rise from 5% just two years ago).

Q. Would anyone lose their job?

A. The intent is that no one would lose their job. The project would free up people resources (by relieving them of a mundane task) to be redeployed to do other important tasks for their Faculty/Department/Unit.

Q. What would the University do with the money it would save by switching to outsourced email service?

A. Money saved by Faculties/Departments/Units would stay in the Faculty/Department/Unit. Central savings for email/webmail would be redeployed. Energy savings from reducing computing infrastructure would result in a lowered power bill, an indirect cost saving to the University.

Q. Will I see corporate advertising?

A. Student outsourced emails accounts will not display corporate advertising. Note that this is different to public free accounts, as we will be part of an Education Edition agreement.


Technical

Q. How is outsourced e-mail managed, by the school or by the vendor?

A. The new e-mail service is controlled by the University although it is operated by the outsourcing company. UofT contracts with the provider on your behalf and your relationship is with UofT. We will continue to create and delete accounts, managing the service with a vendor-provided portal. At the same time, the vendors manages the hosting, including server uptime, spam- and virus-filtering, and data integrity. So the vendors helps reduce both the school’s infrastructure cost and frees the IT department to take on other strategic initiatives.

Q. Is outsourced email secure?

A. Email is, by nature, insecure. Outsourced e-mail is at least as secure as the current campus email service, and arguably more secure. While in transit, email is often unencrypted and could be intercepted. You should always assume email is not private. This is true for all email services.
When you check your email, the outsourced e-mail services provides a secure connection from your web browser and/or email client. This encrypts the data between you and the email servers while you view it or collect mail. This is the same system that banks use to secure your connection for online banking.

Q. Is my email encrypted on the outsourced email servers?

A. No. This is the case for almost all email, regardless of the provider. Just as is true today, if private communication is desired over email you should use PGP encryption with your email program, or a plugin in Firefox. Alternatively, put the document somewhere in a secure web site and send a link in the email rather than the document itself.

Q. Why are we considering this change to email?

A. Email is considered “utility” computing. It is a mature, well-established essential service. It is regarded as a utility in the IT industry, just as we regard water and power as utilities. E-mail is no longer considered a ‘core’ IT service, and so it is best to outsource it to providers that deal with email exclusively so they can provide the ultimate up-to-the-date standard of service, versus U of T having to spend much needed resources to compete with big providers.