Relicensing Email Accounts: Brief Delays Enable Significant Efficiencies

Now that Microsoft has corrected email list functionality, we are turning our attention to relicensing and rebuilding all faculty, staff, students, and alumni email accounts in Office 365.

Why Relicense and Rebuild?

We must rebuild our accounts to accommodate changes Microsoft is making that will allow us to manage licenses with automated processes. You may see this change referred to online as a change in Microsoft’s SKUs (stock keeping unit), as SKUs enable a Microsoft to track their products, which in this case are individual email accounts.

Licensing is essential to security, because it allows Microsoft to identify which users should have access to our email servers. The university will benefit significantly from the move to automated licensing:

  • Saves money and resources: For large organizations like Ohio State, automation is essential, as manual methods are very time-consuming for any environment with a high rate of change. Manual processes consume time and resources. Previous versions of Office 365 have required us to program solutions that manually manage licenses.
  • Ensures that all users have the same features: When we are required to manage licenses manually, it is more difficult to ensure all accounts have the same feature set. With our current process, one student may have features enabled that another student cannot access. The new licensing model will allow us to deliver quality email service consistently across all accounts.

How will relicensing impact me?

When relicensing your account, we will remove your account license and then enter the new license. The transition period will last a few hours, during which you will be unable to log in to your account. If any email is sent to you during that time, it may return to the sender as “undeliverable.” Senders will have to re-send these messages after your account is active again. Once your new license is in place, you will have full access to your mailbox again. The process will allow us to retain all messages and data stored in your mailbox before the licensing; it will still be in your mailbox after the transition is complete.

When Will this Work Begin?

We will communicate staff and faculty relicensing schedules soon. We are trying to schedule the rebuilds during winter break to affect fewer people, but Microsoft’s production schedule may not accommodate that long of a delay. We will communicate more details as they are available.

We’ve already started processing student accounts this week during the night. We will continue through the weekend on the following schedule:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 13: Last names beginning with: K, L, Q, W
  • Wednesday, Nov. 14: Last names beginning with: J, M, M, O
  • Thursday, Nov. 15: Last names beginning with: P, R, T, U, V, X
  • Friday, Nov. 16: Newly admitted applicants who have not yet begun taking classes
  • Saturday, Nov. 17: Last names beginning with: S, Y, Z

We will begin processing alumni accounts this week during the day. We will continue through next week on the following schedule:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 14: Last names beginning with: A, B, I, Q
  • Thursday, Nov. 15: Last names beginning with: C, D, E
  • Friday, Nov. 16: Last names beginning with: F, G, J, Y, Z
  • Saturday, Nov. 17: Last names beginning with: H, K, O
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Last names beginning with: M, P
  • Monday, Nov. 19: Last names beginning with: S, T
  • Tuesday, Nov. 20: Last names beginning with: L, N, R, V
  • Wednesday 11/21/18 – 9454 accounts, last names beginning with: U, W, X

If you have further questions about this transition, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Phone: (614) 688-4357 (HELP) and TDD: (614) 688-8743