On July 22nd, 64 members of the UAConnect Project Team and UITS staff began testing the email and calendaring components of the new system using a test environment. On a daily basis, the participants are given a set of tasks to accomplish that are focused around different features (e.g., email folders, calendar features, etc.). Each participant performs these tasks using the platform/software/client configurations dictated by their current work environment: Outlook 2007 or 2010 on a PC, Entourage 2008 on Mac, Online Web Access (OWA) using Internet Explorer, or OWA Light using browsers other than IE.
At the end of each testing day, participants email their results and comments to a listserv where the results are compiled and reviewed. This compilation helps team leaders assess features across the various platforms and clients, troubleshoot problems, discover new functionalities, and determine where end users might benefit from training materials or documentation to help them get started.
Once the team is satisfied that all the basic features work properly, a “live” version of the UAConnect environment will be rolled out to YOU—the remaining UITS staff—giving us a pilot group of approximately 400 staffers. The detailed plan of when each workgroup will be migrated to the new system is still in progress, but we’ll get this information out to you well in advance so you can prepare for the changes.
During this pilot phase, expected to last about six weeks, a team made up of WaTT, Communications, 24/7, and WNC personnel will vet existing training and support materials (from Microsoft and other sources) and create new materials to fill in gaps or explain situations unique to UA.
Only when the system has been thoroughly tested and documented will the Project Team green light the campus migration to the new system. Right now, the project plan calls for a mid-October rollout. Thank you in advance for the very important role you all will play in making this project a success!