The University of Arizona

BPOS: A Major Project Gets Underway

The long-anticipated Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) Project (formerly known as the Faculty/Staff email and calendaring replacement) is officially underway! Although final negotiations with Microsoft continue and ATOC (Arizona Technology Oversight Committee) approval is not expected until tomorrow afternoon, a large interdepartmental team lead by Julie Suess (Project Manager) and Derek Masseth (Project Director) kicked off the project last Tuesday. Current project team members include Brian Luceri (Technical Lead), Kelley Bogart (Security Lead), Chris Mathias and Shannon Shupe (Training coordinators), Lisa Stage and Patti Van Leer (Communications and Marketing coordinators), Kathleen Bowles, Jessica DeStefano, Patti Fastje, Todd Merritt, Kate Rehkopf, Michael Resnick, Patrick Walters, Gary Windham, Mandi Soulliard as well as representatives from the Net Managers Group: John Powers and Eric Jeanes.

As you all are keenly aware, UA’s current email system is out of date and lacks calendar functionality. The purchase of a hosted integrated calendaring and email solution coupled with the ability to synchronize that information to mobile devices will replace our existing calendaring and email system. Microsoft’s hosted BPOS solution will lower the overall cost to the University and reduce the burden on IT personnel by providing a single campus solution that better meets the needs of the community. The solution will position the University of Arizona to leverage a number of collaboration suites that integrate into a single solution, providing a foundation for future resource efficiencies.

Here's some of what this solution will offer to campus:

  • Highly available email and calendar system with disaster recovery capability
  • Integrated email, calendar and campus directory contacts allowing faculty and staff to collaborate more effectively
  • Service that meets federal data security standards and certification including but not limited to HIPAA and FERPA
  • Feature rich web interface
  • 10GB Mailboxes
  • Instant Messaging
  • WEB conferencing to include “many to many” voice integration
  • Mobile device synchronization
  • Unified Messaging to deliver voicemail to a person’s email inbox (available Fall 2010)

Although project plans and schedules are under development, we do know that the project will begin in May with UITS Senior staff piloting the system to learn its full capabilities, work out any bugs, and develop a set of FAQs that will prove invaluable as we begin rolling out to more of the campus population. In the coming weeks, you'll see memos to campus with more project details, and we will begin working on a BPOS project website where you can get the latest news and updates.

BPOS is one of the largest and most complex projects ever initiated by UITS. We are going to modernize and revolutionize the way we collaborate and communicate on this campus with this robust and feature-rich (and free to colleges and departments) product. We will do this project with full campus collaboration and transparency through a governance structure that includes advisory and steering groups as well as the implementation team members.