Email and calendar migrate to Office 365 for Stanford Earth community on Monday, July 20!

Last revision July 22, 2015


To improve services and features, Stanford's email and calendar systems will be moving from Zimbra to Microsoft Office 365. All faculty, staff, post-docs, visiting scholars, and affiliates with Stanford email accounts will be moved to the new system on Monday, July 20, 2015. Graduate students were moved on July 13.

By moving to Microsoft Office 365, Stanford takes advantage of a well-supported system that allows us to use mail, calendar, contacts and tasks via the web or a desktop client. Many of you will be pleased to hear that your email quota in the new system will be increased tenfold from 5 GB to 50 GB!

Your email and calendar migration officially starts at 7:00 pm on Sunday, July 19, 2015.

After that time, your incoming email will be received only on the Office 365 system. Your existing data will be automatically moved sometime during the night and be ready by Monday morning, including:

  • All of your Zimbra email, tasks and contacts.

  • Zimbra calendar events created after 1/1/2011, including shared calendars. If you have recurring events created before 1/1/2011, remake them now so they will transfer!

What does not get automatically moved?

You can see which of these configurations you currently have so you know what you need to re-create on July 20. Login to Zimbra at and check the "Preferences" and "Address Book" tabs to review (and perhaps print off) your existing filters, signatures, sharing, contact groups, and other settings.

  • Email filters. Any server-side filters you made in Zimbra need to be re-created in Office 365. Any filters you made in your local email client (such as Apple Mail or Outlook) need to be moved to your new Office 365 email account profile.

  • Signatures created in Zimbra webmail. You will need to re-create them.

  • Contact Groups (personalized email distribution lists). You will need to re-create them.

  • Links to shared calendars. The calendars themselves migrate, but you have to re-link to them.

  • Calendar meeting acceptances. You will have to check all the upcoming meetings to which you were invited by others and re-enter your accept or decline responses in the new Office 365 calendar.

What you can expect starting on Monday, July 20.

  • Workstation email clients such as Outlook or Apple Mail will continue to work with no change to the interface, but you will have to make a small configuration change first thing on Monday, July 20. See:

    WARNING: The design of most workstation email clients, including both Outlook and Apple Mail, requires them to make a local "cached" copy of all your email on the server. Even though your old email does not change when it gets moved from Zimbra to Office 365, Outlook and Apple Mail consider Office 365 to be a new email system and will download all your saved email again! You need to be on a fast network when you change your configuration! Don't try this on a dial-up modem in the field! If you don't have fast network access, use Stanford webmail to read and send new emails until you can reconfigure your local email program on a fast network.

  • The Zimbra webmail and web calendar (webmail/, will be replaced by the new Outlook Web App user interface. It will look different but will have similar functionality and additional features. Upon first login, enter your email address, but do not enter your password - just click the "Sign In" button.

  • Mobile devices will continue to receive, send, delete, and manage email as they do today, using your existing mobile mail app. Devices enrolled in MDM get automatic configuration updates! Others will need to make manual configuration changes. See:

  • If you forward your Stanford email to an outside email account, that will continue to work with no changes.

  • Use the University IT post-migration checklist to setup your email and calendar functions on the new Office 365 system, including signatures, filters/rules, and shared calendars. See:

Help will be available!

The Computer Resource Consulting (CRC) team that supports Stanford Earth will have extra technicians available on-site from Monday, July 20 through Wednesday, July 22 to provide quick response to your issues or questions about the new Office 365 email and calendar system.

A technician will be available in these conference rooms to provide "drop-in" help to get email and calendar running smoothly on your laptop or mobile device:

  • July 20: Mitchell 360 and Green 365 conference rooms

  • July 21 and 22: Mitchell 318 and Green 361 conference rooms

Other technicians will be visiting the central offices for all Stanford Earth departments and programs on Monday, July 20, to provide instant help. They will also respond quickly to HelpSU requests.

What you can do to prepare.

  • Attend the University IT Office 365 Brown Bag session on Wednesday, July 15 from noon to 1 pm in Redwood Hall. Registration is required at:

  • Plan to attend Office 365 training specifically for Stanford Earth in the Mitchell Hartley Conference Center on Monday, July 20, or Tuesday, July 21. Both sessions run from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm and provide identical content. No registration needed.

  • Ensure that your mobile device (iOS or Android) is enrolled in the University's MDM/AirWatch management system, so it's email settings can be automatically updated. From your mobile device web browser, go to to check your status or enroll your device.

  • University IT has prepared a handy Office 365 "cheat sheet" to compare Zimbra and Office 365 functions. Download a copy and learn about common functions:

  • If you are a webmail or webcal user, you can get familiar with the Outlook Web App interface by taking the online training course "Outlook Web App (2013) Essential Training".

  • If you are using Outlook on Windows, make sure you have upgraded to one of the latest versions (Outlook 2010 with full patches or Outlook 2013).

More information.

Get more information and details on the University IT website at:

If you have any questions regarding this transition, please file a help ticket at or call 5-HELP.

Comments or Questions?