In 2017, the University is migrating all faculty and staff to Office 365. You may be asking, “What is Office 365?” and “What impact will this have on me?” Let us help.

What is Office 365?

Simply stated, our move to Office 365 puts your email and calendar functionality into the cloud. That is, email will no longer be managed on servers located on campus premises.

Immediate improvements that you’ll see include:

  • Larger mailbox storage. From 2 GB with no archiving to 50 GB with unlimited archive.
  • 1 terabyte of personal storage space. Just how much is that? You could store 1,000 hours of video — that’s 40 days worth!
  • Better web email experience. When you log in with, you’ll experience a mobile-friendly, easy-to-navigate web access for your email.

What are the benefits?

  • Mobility: Work from virtually anywhere using trusted Office applications across your favorite devices–PCs, Macs and mobile devices–and seamlessly move and work with your Office documents locally on your device or in the online environment.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate with teammates, partners and customers with documents that are always up to date and accessible from almost anywhere.
  • Communication: Microsoft Lync serves as your communication and presence hub making it easy to see when someone is available, connect via instant message, audio or video calls and host online meetings.
  • Content Management: SharePoint Online makes it easy to set up and manage online communities, wikis and blogs, make customized forms and create and manage content and documents.
  • Exchange Online: Access email and calendars on the go and keep everyone in sync with enterprise-grade email and shared calendars. And, move up to 50 GB quotas.
  • Free Software: The Office 365 ProPlus program allows current UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, staff and students to download the latest versions of Microsoft Office software at no cost.

What impact will the migration have on me?

The migration itself should have little to no impact on the average user. You will need to follow instructions to update a few settings in your email clients, but the move itself is designed to be transparent.

More broadly speaking, the biggest change that some users will experience is an increase in the number of cloud-based services available to them. For some users, there will be a learning curve to best understand how to use these different services to their full potential. There is no requirement to use these features; it is simply a benefit for you.

We encourage you to visit the Office Training Center to learn more about some of the apps that will be available to the campus community as a result of this migration. We’ve also compiled a helpful list of videos and tutorials at the end of this page.

Get Prepared: Videos, Tutorials and Downloads

How will I know when it’s my turn to migrate and how to prepare?

The migration project is being undertaken in incremental phases throughout 2017. Please reference the migration timeline for more information on when your organization is tentatively scheduled to migrate.

If available in your location or department, local IT support will lead the outreach and preparation for your migration. Look for informative emails and other resources that will help you better understand steps that you can take to prepare.

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What applications do I receive?


Exchange Online

Email, shared calendars and contacts, and tasks



Online file storage (1 TB capacity)


Office Online

Collaborate with Word, Powerpoint, Excel, OneNote online


Lync/Skype for Business

Instant messaging, online meetings, voice and video conferencing, and screen sharing



Web content creation and document management


Office ProPlus

Free desktop and mobile versions of Microsoft Office