Background Info

Project History

In the fall of 2010, the campus IT Planning Group (ITPG) created the Calendaring Work Group (CWG) to recommend a replacement for the campus’ Oracle Calendaring service.  The ITPG and Operational Effectiveness Committee soon expanded the group’s focus to include electronic mail and collaboration services.  Following a year of study, the CWG recommended that Microsoft Office 365 be established as the campus calendaring standard and be available for email services.  The group felt that Office 365 would provide the campus with an excellent set of tools on which future communication and campus collaboration could be built.
At their October 2011 meeting the IT Board expressed support for the CWG recommendations and asked for an assessment of the resources necessary to provide Office 365 to an initial set of end-users.
Following this assessment, in July 2012, the IT Board endorsed the deployment of Office 365 and selected the Office of Information Systems & Technology (OIST) as the “anchor department” for this service.  The IT Board also asked that groups be formed to provide technical coordination and governance/guidance.
The name “Connect” was chosen for this new service.

Connect - Phase 1 Deployment

Connect will initially serve Oracle Calendar and ETS Email customers.  It will also be configured to support cross-calendaring with campus Exchange 2010 services in Administrative Services and Student Affairs.
The Connect support group has been formed and is a collaborative effort which includes staff from OIST, Administrative & Residential Information Services and Student Affairs Information Systems & Technology.  As the service expands, others on campus will be encouraged to participate in this support effort.  This service will rely upon the technologies being employed to provide UCSB students with Office 365 services, so will be synergistic with that project.

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And In the Future…

Although initially Connect will be deployed to only a small segment of the campus, those who have participated in the selection, design and scale of this resource have done so with a campus perspective.  They hope for a bright future for Connect at UCSB.  They imagine that additional UCSB departments will opt in to use Connect and that additional features included in the Office 365 suite will be offered.  Such expansion could provide for a level of sharing and collaboration as yet unseen at UCSB.  Of course, such growth must be preceded by careful analysis and discussions with many segments of the campus community.