Exchange Project Frequently Asked Questions.
Last updated: 10th February 2009
Here are some of the questions we anticipate you will want answered. We hope that we have captured most of them, but appreciate you may have others. This is a live site and we will update it with any additional questions that come in from schools that may be useful for everyone.
Q - What is the project about?
A - In response to headteacher groups, the Education ICT Service is responsible for working in partnership with your school to migrate all staff email to a new, improved email system by March 2009.
Q - In what way is the new email system improved for schools?
A - >Improved resilience will mean your email down-time will be significantly reduced.
>The ability to manage distribution lists that will be accessible to all staff within your school.
>Improved spam and virus filtering.
>This is a real-time system. If you send an email at home it will show as being sent at school.
>A more accessible and integrated calendar function.
>Auto-complete address feature.
>Still able to use email from wherever you can access the internet.
>Desktop alert feature, e.g. appointment reminders and new email alerts.
>Access to emails via a mobile phone.
>Access to emails via a web browser with an interface that looks and works like Outlook.
Q - How much will this new system cost to schools?
A - No matter which Option you choose, this will be funded in the same way that the current DigitalBrain email accounts have been funded and therefore will be of no cost to the school.
Q - The email change is for staff only. Does this include Governors?
A - The ICT Service are working with the Governor Support Service to provide governors with accounts on this same system, these accounts are also funded by the Governor Support Service. Details of these accounts will be left with the Clerk to the Governors in school when the migration engineer visits.
Q - How long will my old emails be accessible in my Digitalbrain account?
A - There is currently no intention of closing down the Digitalbrain email system in the near future, however we recommend that you transfer all required emails to your new system to avoid the confusion of managing two accounts.
Q - I don't want to access my email via webmail, I'd rather have Outlook set-up on my computer. Can I have this?
A - Absolutely. Simply let us know when we migrate your school and we will setup Outlook on your PC or laptop.
Q - I don't want to change my email at all. Is this an option?
A - The new email system is much improved and recommended. Whilst the option to stay with Digitalbrain as your email provider is available, we don't anticipate any schools choosing this. Please see the question about how the new email system is more beneficial.
Migration Process Questions
Q - When will this happen?
A - Once you have completed the online form we will schedule an appointment for you some time between now and the end of March 2009. you will have the opportunity to confirm this appointment when we call you.
Q - There are 3 Options on the form to choose from. Why are we being given these choices?
A - We acknowledge that some schools have more IT resource available in their school than others. Our pilot highlighted that some schools wanted us to show them how to migrate some email accounts then do the remainder of the migrations themselves, whereas other schools wanted us to migrate all email accounts without being involved. In order to meet each schools' requirement and match this with the number of resources needed to meet these requirements, we have asked you to make this choice on the Form. Please note - no matter which Option you choose, there will be no cost borne by your school. Please read the School Responsibilities carefully before you make your choice.
Q - I've chosen suitable months on the form. How will I know which date we have been allocated?
A - You will receive a phone-call from us, following the receipt of your completed form, to arrange a date convenient to you within the months you chose. This will be followed by an email confirming your chosen date. We will call you a week before this date to remind you of the migration.
Q - Email access is critical for the function of our Office and staff. How long will we be without access to our email?
A - We have established a robust set of processes and procedures to ensure that downtime is minimal. These processes and procedures ensure that downtime will not exceed 24 hours.
Q - Which computers will be needed on the day of migration?
A - Any computer that will be using Outlook to access email whether this be in Central Hosting or not will be required by the migration engineers on the day of migration. Other users who currently use the Portal to access their email can simply be left with instructions on how to get their mail via the new Outlook Web Access system.
Q - Which computers need to be logged and available on on the day of migration?
A - If you are using Central Hosting we will need you to log in to allow us to get to your email settings in Outlook, this is because your password is unknown and needs to stay that way. If you are using Outlook on your PC then the same thing applies. Any other type of set up will not need to be logged in or provided for the engineer, we will simply leave notes for you on how to access your new email.
Q - When do I start using my new email system?
A - As soon as you have been migrated over to the new system. This will typically be on the date agreed.
Q - Will I have to remember a new username and password?
A - No the system will be set up using the same username you have on your Digitalbrain / central hosting account. If you are currently a Digitalbrain user then a random alphanumeric password will be assigned to you, this you will be able to change as soon as you like to something memorable or even the same as your previous password. If you are currently a Central Hosting user then your password will not change. We recommend for security purposes you change your random alphanumeric password immediately after logging on for the first time. All passwords will expire every 60 Days and will therefore need to change periodically. This changing password is an audit requirement and allows us to provide the secure link between Corporate email and school emails. There is also an audit requirement that email is only accessed with a password, no PCs are to be set up to log on to email without asking for the users password.
Q - How will I know what our new email and login id is?
A - Your email address will remain the same. Your id will also remain the same. In order to keep your password confidential we will need to issue you with a new password, this can be changed immediately to whatever you would like.
Q - How will other people know whether to send an email to my Digitalbrain account or my new Exchange email account?
A - People sending you an email will use your current email address as usual, and once the migration has taken place that email will automatically appear in your new Exchange account. Your senders will not need to do anything differently.
Q - How do I move all my Digitalbrain appointments into my calendar in Outlook?
A - You will be able to use the export facility from your Digitalbrain calendar to export all or a group of appointments to a csv file. This file can be imported into Outlook. Alternatively this can be done by manually creating calendar entries in your new calendar.
Q - Will I lose any emails?
A - This risk of mail being lost is minimal. When the migration occurs, mails sent to your email address will be directed to the new Exchange server. Once there they will remain until you are able to log in to read them.
Q - What if I want my old Digitalbrain inbox emails, folder structure and emails within the folders after I have migrated to Exchange?
A - They will remain in your Digitalbrain account as an archive. You will be able to log in to your email via your portal account as normal and view your old emails. Digitalbrain emails within the folder structure will have to be forwarded individually to your new email account. These will appear in your new inbox without delay and will need to be re-filed in your new folder structure. Folders and their contents cannot be transferred over.
Q - What will happen to my distribution lists?
A - Distribution lists created in Outlook will be retained and unaffected by the migration. If requested we will ensure that distribution lists created in Digitalbrain are transferred to the new Exchange system for both the office and head accounts. Instructions on how to do this for any other account will be provided.
Q - Where do I find other people's email addresses?
A - Your Global address book will contain the email addresses of all Exchange users within Nursery, Primary, Secondary, Special Needs Schools and Pupil Referral Units. All others will have to be manually added.
Q - We are a non-centrally-hosted school hoping to become centrally-hosted in the future. Will we have to go through another change or change the way we access our emails again?
A - If at some point in the future your school becomes centrally-hosted, you will be able to access your email in the same way. It will have no affect.
Q - What will happen to my pupil's Starz accounts?
A - Fundamentally the way pupils use their Starz email accounts will remain unaffected. However, for the majority of schools the address currently associated with these accounts will change from schoolname.cambs.sch.uk to schoolname.starz.org.uk. So if pupils email each another using the full email address it will not arrive. This practice will need to change to encourage pupils to use usernames to email each other.
Q - What if I want to forward my mail to my personal home email account?
A - We do not recommending forwarding from official email addresses to personal email accounts as it negates the security of the email system and could potentially put staff and the school at risk. We would recommend, for instance, that a school's acceptable use policy for staff should follow BECTA guidance and ensure that all official correspondence is carried out from an official school email address. If this is not done the school will have no way of tracking and auditing emails that may have been sent in the school's name. We have had experience of cases where disputes have arisen with parents, for instance, and the lack of an email correspondence audit trail has made the situation worse.
For that reason we do not set forwarding on staff accounts.
If you have any issues about this and wish to discuss it further, please feel free to contact Gareth Davies, our E-Learning Manager, at Gareth.email@example.com
Q - What about spam?
A - The complete eradication of spam is unavoidable in any email system. Exchange manages a very sophisticated spam filtering system that will delete mails considered to be spam; mails that have a low spam score will be stored in a junk folder that you can monitor at your leisure.
Q - If I have Outlook setup on my PC / laptop how can I access my email on another machine?
A - At anytime, and on any PC you can access Outlook Web Access via the internet, simple click the link on the Portal or type in the following web address: mail.cambsed.net once there simply enter your username and password. This can be done whether or not Outlook has been set up on your PC. If you have Outlook setup on your PC or laptop we will set it so that when you go home and connect to your private broadband Outlook will use this to connect to Exchange and allow you to access your email.
Q- What if I forget my password or need support with using the new email system?
A - Simply contact the ICT Service Helpline on 08450 450973 as usual, they will be happy to help with any issues or questions you may have.
Q - If I still have access to my Digitalbrain account and I still need help with it, can I still get support?
A - You will still be able to access your Digitalbrain account to access the Portal, communities, webpages and other Digitalbrain resources therefore support will be available as usual.
Q - How do I access my new email system using a web browser?
A - If you are at home then simply type in the following address into your browser:
If you are in school and the computer automatically goes to the Portal, then you will find a new button added to the front-page of the Portal, this makes it as easy as possible to access Outlook Web Access and read your mail. It looks like this:
Produced by the Exchange Project Team, ICT Service, Cambridgeshire County Council (c) 2008