Computing Services

The department behind IT services at the University of Bath

Tagged: Outlook

The decommissioning of Legacy Email systems

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📥  Communications & Collaboration, Computing Services

As many of you will be aware, just over two years ago the University of Bath moved its Email and calendars to Microsoft Outlook. Since then work has been continuing behind the scenes to decommission the old services and move partner organisations.

We are pleased to report that this work is nearing completion with the last of the legacy systems due to be decommissioned at the end of July 2017.

In 2017 to 2018 Computing Services hopes to move the Microsoft Outlook system forwards by upgrading to the latest release, Outlook 2016. This will enable new collaboration and document sharing features to be introduced as well as a range of other improvements and enhancements.

As a reminder the legacy Email systems included:


Many thanks

Computing Services


Multi-tasking in Outlook

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📥  Computing Services, IT Literacy

Picture these scenes – I’m sure many of you have encountered at least one of them:

·         You are in Outlook calendar and have just found a meeting you’re due to attend in a couple of weeks’ time. You now need to create and send an email, but don’t want to leave your current calendar appointment view.

·         You are reading an email, which reminds you that you need to book an appointment in your calendar – you want to do this without leaving your email.

·         You are reading an email that contains 3 different tasks that you need to get done. Rather than just flag the email (which will create one task) you want to create separate ones, using text copied from the email, without leaving your Inbox.

Outlook shortcuts that let you multitask

There are 3 Outlook shortcuts that I find really useful in achieving each of the tasks above, without leaving your current Outlook view – they work from any Outlook window.

·         [Shift]&[Ctrl]&[M] will create a new email message.

·         [Shift]&[Ctrl]&[A] will create a new calendar appointment.

·         [Shift]&[Ctrl]&[K] will create a new task.

Each of these will open a new window to create your item and then return to where you are when you’ve sent/saved and closed.

Many thanks to those who added comments or spoke to me about my last IT Training blog.  I hope this one will help you use Outlook more effectively.

As always, if you have any IT-related questions, please use the IT Help Forms in TOPdesk.

Bye for now,


IT Trainer, Computing Services

IT Training Blogs

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📥  IT Literacy

Hello all. A quick intro: my name is John Baker and I have recently started work at University of Bath as an IT Trainer. One of the benefits I want to bring to you all is a series of IT learning blogs, where I'll feature new applications, useful tips & shortcuts, clever features you may not be aware of and answers to questions.

For starters, here are a few shortcut keys I have found useful when using MS Outlook - these jump between the 4 key views in Outlook:

  • Ctrl&1 goes to Mail
  • Ctrl&2 goes to Calendar
  • Ctrl&3 goes to People
  • Ctrl&4 goes to Tasks

We are extending the training that we offer, including bespoke team or one-to-one sessions. If you want to discuss any IT training needs, please email

If you have any IT-related questions, please use the IT Help Form.

Bye for now,


PS If you want to see the University of Bath blogs at their best, view them in FireFox, as Internet Explorer removes some of the formatting (on my computer, at least).

Welcome to Outlook Calendar, 29 June 2015

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📥  Communications & Collaboration, Computing Services

We are pleased that all staff can now use Outlook on their desktop or via for email and calendar.  Computing Services Assistant Director, Gordon Roberts, explains the move from Thunderbird and Oracle to Outlook.

Following extensive requests and feedback from all corners, the University invested in the Microsoft Exchange platform as a combined replacement for the email and calendaring system. This is the global enterprise standard for collaboration and communications and will join up the two previously separate systems. It will reduce long term training overheads as the majority of staff and students joining the University will have had exposure to Microsoft Exchange previously.

As someone who has used Microsoft Exchange for many years, this will be a big change for the University and presents an opportunity to develop internal working practices.

Benefits to the University

This change will bring benefits to the University which include:

  • a consistent, high quality service to all staff and students
  • an ability to collaborate with external institutions via federated services
  • an easy to use interface and easy mobile access
  • an ability to setup meetings directly from emails
  • an ability to manage emails and calendaring in one system
  • integrated contacts management
  • scalability of service
  • ease of training

Resources available to help you with your new Calendar

If you have any questions or concerns about your email or calendar please get in touch.


Going live....

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📥  Communications & Collaboration, Computing Services, IT Literacy

This morning the last of the professional services staff were migrated from Thunderbird to Microsoft Exchange. Academic staff members will continue to be migrated until June 24. This kicks off a time of change for the University meaning that all staff can enjoy the ease of collaborating with their colleagues on a daily basis. In addition to the benefits of Outlook for email our next big project is giving all staff members access to Outlook Calendar to organise their working day. You should already have had communications from us about this, as it means you will be using Outlook Calendar from 29 June and this replaces Oracle. Hopefully you should find that Outlook calendar fits seamlessly into the flow of the Outlook family making the process of managing your time that much easier.

As we build to the big event on June 29, you should notice more tweets with hints and tips, as well as reminder posters around campus, letters delivered to key figures and blog posts to keep you in the loop. As with the email training, we offer both tutor lead and self-paced courses to make you feel at ease and guide you into using this new software.

We strongly believe  this change will have a positive impact on university life but as usual if you do have any questions or concerns about the move please contact your IT support team and they will be happy to assist you.


Positive feedback


📥  Communications & Collaboration, Computing Services

The Exchange roll out to staff seems to be coming along nicely, with well over half the University discovering the benefits of collaborative working. We thought we would share some of the positive feedback we have received:

The transition to Outlook seems to have gone very smoothly and the documentation, communication and support materials have been really good. I’m sure there has been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to make it all happen, so I’d just like to say congratulations on an excellent job and thank you to everyone involved.

Thank you so much for your support and help.


Help and support using Outlook

The above comments hopefully show the importance of useful supporting documents so that you can get the most out of the new email service.  We have information about getting started with Outlook which includes setting up your University of Bath signature and your out of office reply (in time for May bank holidays!).  There are courses in Outlook and our IT support team is happy to assist if you have queries not covered in the training and documentation.


New email service - project update April 2015

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📥  Communications & Collaboration, Computing Services

The new email service is based on Microsoft Exchange and for the majority this will mean using Microsoft Outlook on your desktop and for your web access.  We are rolling out the service to 3,075 members of staff at the Univeristy of Bath by 4 June 2015.

Progress to date

The roll out is taking place in 39 sprints.  There are up to 4 of these a week and up to 100 people are migrated to the new service in each sprint.  A path for all staff to move to new email has been set for all but 46 people and we are working hard to make it 100%.  Staff at the School of Management are moving over this weekend (25 and 26 April 2015) and this will mean that the University will have one email service for all.  Once your move date is less than 3 weeks away you will receive emails from Computing Services Information to let you know what to expect. If you would like to know about alternative email clients to Outlook and if they work  with the Exchange server, you will find details on this page

People like to know what they will see on the morning that their email changes and this video shows what you can expect if you are opening desktop Outlook for the first time.

University wide service

The University has taken the decision to implement and support one email service based on Microsoft Exchange.   Many people will use Outlook on their desktop and connect their mobile devices to the Exchange server.  Most devices will autoconnect and all you will need is your email address that starts with your University username as seen on your Library card (eg. abc12) and your University password.  Some people will prefer to connect in a different way and we have provided some guidance on which clients work with Exchange.  As a University we support Outlook and OWA (  If you are concerned that the new service will not meet your business requirements, please get in touch via your IT supporter.

Next steps

Using Exchange will allow us to roll out more collaboration tools in the future, for example this technology allows us to introduce tools like Lync or ‘Skype for Business’. The next step is moving all staff at the University to Outlook Calendar on the last weekend of June 2015.


Microsoft Exchange is coming...

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📥  Communications & Collaboration, Computing Services

Between March and June 2015 an exciting change is happening to the University's email service. Computing Services are working hard to roll out Microsoft Outlook to staff University wide.  The move means changing from an IMAP server to an Exchange server.

For the majority, this means a change from Thunderbird to Microsoft Outlook 2013. Additionally everyone can use Microsoft Outlook Web App (OWA) online via  OWA features the majority of the same functionality as Outlook.

Outlook was chosen to replace existing email because it provides a wealth of useful features to collaborate with your colleagues and make your working life easier.

Benefits mentioned by our customers so far have included:

  • prioritising work using action flags
  • the next step of moving your Oracle calendar into Outlook Calendar after June 2015
  • easy to set up email on mobile phones

Following successful pilot schemes at the beginning of the year, involving staff from the University Library, Student Services and the Department of Electrical Engineering, the roll out has now begun for Faculties and Professional Services departments. The goal is to have all staff migrated to Outlook by the middle of June 2015 followed by migrating your Oracle Calendar over into Outlook.  Please continue to use Oracle until then.

So far the response has been largely positive and staff have been enjoying the benefits.  Although this may seem like a big change, your IT Supporter will be in touch and you will receive an email from Computing Services letting you know your go live date and guiding you through the steps to take before you start to use Outlook.

Library are first to use University's new email service

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📥  Communications & Collaboration, Computing Services

Thank you to staff in the Library for being the first pilot group of the University's new email platform, MS Exchange 2013.  For most, this means moving from Thunderbird to MS Outlook 2013 on their desktop and Outlook Web Access (OWA) on other devices and via their web browser.

At the end of January 2015 we will be sending out a survey to the pilot group and will use this feedback to influence the roll-out to the rest of campus.  Roll-out of the new email platform across campus will take place throughout this academic year.

Thank you to the Library for being so accommodating and helpful in this first of many roll-outs of Exchange 2013.

Project Background

The University of Bath has invested in Microsoft Exchange 2013 to deliver a rich email and calendar experience using Microsoft Outlook.  Outlook Web Access (webmail and apps) will provide similar levels of functionality to the Outlook client, mirroring the look and feel of the 2013 suite of applications.

Microsoft Outlook 2013 includes Calendar. The move from Oracle to Outlook Calendar will happen once all staff at the University have moved to MS Exchange for their email so we ask that staff continue to use Oracle Calendaring for any meetings until further notice.

The University will run its Microsoft Exchange service in-house with support provided by Computing Services. Keeping the service in-house will ensure that the University has sufficient control over access to data and security, as well as being able to manage the experience of service users more effectively.

In addition the University plans to introduce a unified communications platform to complement Exchange / Outlook. Microsoft Lync will streamline communications by delivering a range of efficient communication productivity features including; Presence, Instant Messaging, Video and Voice calling as well as Web Conferencing and more.