Office 365 Offered to Campus Community, ePortfolio Replaced by WesPortal

You may not know it, but Office 365 is here and available to you. Office 365 is the Microsoft suite of online and locally installed applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as many others.

The online suite is available to everyone on campus through the Office 365 link in Portal under Campus Applications or by going to portal.office365.com, where you may login with your full email address. Mobile versions are available in the GooglePlay and Apple AppStore.

Karen Warren, deputy chief information officer, says that ITS is working department by department to migrate faculty and staff email to the Microsoft cloud environment, which will provide users with 50GB of email storage, a dramatic improvement over current allotments.

Warren offers additional information about Office 365:

• The Outlook online version offers a much more robust version than the current owa.wesleyan.edu environment.
• Mac Mail will continue to be supported as an email client as well as other IMAP or ActiveSync email clients.
• There are many more opportunities for collaborative working than before. File sharing is much easier. Users can edit the same document in real time using the Edit in Browser option.
• The Groups feature allows cross-departmental work groups to add users, have group emails, and share files easily among members.
• ITS will brief departments regarding features as staff work on migrating mailboxes.
• Lynda.com has a wealth of courses and individual topics related to Office 365 features. Use the Office 365 playlist or type Office 365 into the search bar next to library to find courses or figure out how to do that one thing you are trying to get done.
• OneDrive online and using the OneDrive for Business desktop client gives you 1TB of storage. OneDrive works very much the same as Google Drive.
• Students have access to all the Office 365 tools the same as faculty and staff. They will continue to get their email on Google at this time. Faculty and staff will continue to have access to the Google Apps environment including Google Drive.

Also, after more than 15 years, Wesleyan’s ePortfolio will soon be retired and replaced by WesPortal. Administrative staff members are already using WesPortal, and implementation for faculty and students will take place on June 1, according to Steve Machuga, director of administrative systems.

Improvements and features of WesPortal include:

• Infrastructure upgraded for greater security and performance.
• Design enhanced through use of search functionality and favorites.
• Features responsive design for ease of use with mobile devices.
• Individual applications with WesPortal redesigned/rewritten for clarity, supportability and elimination of redundancy.

The June release will accommodate incoming students and allow everyone to acclimate to WesPortal’s new look and feel through the summer.

Machuga offers special thanks to the core development team: Paul Turenne, Kevin Kane, Maria Higuera, and the extended development team: Dan Pflederer, Barbara Spadaccini, Gaylord Brown, Rich Langer, Karen Murphy, Darrell Lawrence.