LINCOLN — Faculty and staff at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln began the transition Monday to a new email system that is expected to save an estimated $500,000 a year.
The cloud-based system, as it is known, will store data on off-site servers owned by others. It will save NU money by eliminating the need for on-site servers and the personnel to run them.
Three of the University of Nebraska's four major campuses are expected to migrate to the new Microsoft 365 system by June, said Walter Weir, NU's chief information officer. The University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska at Kearney likely will make the transition during spring break.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center, however, will continue to use on-site servers to ensure that patient data is protected, as required by federal law.
UNL faculty and staff will retain their existing email addresses. Weir said the new email program contains additional features but works similarly to NU's previous system.
UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman's office, vice chancellors and support staff were to be the first to move to the new system. UNL academic departments will follow in coming months.
The Microsoft product was selected in a competitive bidding process that also generated bids from Dell, Google and IBM, Weir said.
NU's previous email system, Lotus Notes, was installed in 1997. It cost just under $1 million per year to operate.
NU President J.B. Milliken announced the decision to move to the new system in June. The change was made upon the recommendation of a university-wide task force of faculty, staff and administrators, headed by John Ballard, UNL professor emeritus of engineering.
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