Sydney Uni picks MS student email

Sydney Uni picks MS student email

Summary: The University of Sydney has decided to move its around 46,000 students over to Microsoft Exchange-based email.


update The University of Sydney has decided to move its around 46,000 students over to Microsoft Exchange-based email.

(Sydney University image by Alex U, CC2.0)

Students received mail earlier this month asking them to log themselves into the new Microsoft email, which the university is dubbing "Sydney Mail", in preparation for the old email being terminated at the end of the year. Around 46,000 students were enrolled at the university last year.

Students were able to contact Microsoft personnel for a limited two-week period if they had trouble signing up.

The new email gives students a 10GB mail quota, allowing attachments of up to 20MB. Students will have access to Skydrive, Windows Live ID Profile, calendaring and access to contact lists. The university has also set up a process to transfer existing emails from the previous in-house mail to the new account.

According to the university's site, the email account will be free as will access to Skydrive and Windows Live Help. The site said, however, that MSN and Office Live Spaces services would be charged at $20 per GB.

Students had to agree to Microsoft terms and conditions to sign up, one of which being that the agreement would fall under Singaporean law since the contract was with Microsoft's Singapore office.

An alternative to the Microsoft system would have been Google's Gmail, which universities such as Macquarie University and the University of Adelaide have adopted. Other universities that have adopted the Microsoft email system have been the University of NSW and the University of Queensland.

The university's ICT director of services management Mark Pigot said that the Google and Microsoft offerings were both competitive and their teams were helpful.

"Microsoft were chosen based on a range of services being a better fit for the university's requirements at our decision point, but both Microsoft's and Google's features are tending to leapfrog each other in this area," Pigot said.

Pigot said that the university's general counsel had worked with Microsoft to make sure that any issues about international jurisdictions were satisfactorily addressed in the terms of agreement between the university and Microsoft. Student representative bodies were also directly and fully involved in the decision making process.

Topics: Collaboration, Google

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • Wide use of email

    It is a good to adopt this system.. students can make use of this email account and can sign up free with lot of space quota.
  • A decision made without student consultation

    This was a bad, bad idea, we all loathe the new system. At the moment it isn't working properly, doesn't receive emails consistently. We've never heard of the support being offered either. Everyone used to just forward their USyd emails to gmail if they had it, not sure we can do that now... Plus the issues trying to be signed into your Hotmail/MSN and this damn thing at once...
  • speaking of consultation

    I heard that the decision was made against the advice of many of the university's own IT staff. Timing a migration like that in mid-semester is not very bright. There was only a 3 week trial and forwarding to new addresses didn't work initially, so many students didn't get important emails sent to their old addresses.
  • stick to in house solutions

    I go to UNSW, they just put in this system. IT SUCKS! I refuse to sign up with Microsoft, as a result I'm in libo over receiving official mails.

    Why can't the UNI's stick to their own solutions. Its just cost cutting.
  • A decision they'll rue...

    ... I can comfortably say that as I work for another major university which uses the Microsoft solution. It doesn't work well, it costs a lot to manage on the university side (particularly in a security sense - IP addresses constantly change making management of 'free traffic' difficult), and I can fully believe the USyd decision would have been made without consultation.
  • Universities are always behind the times.

    I remember having a university lecturer who told us that we were lucky to have keyboards - he used to write programs using a screwdriver. We learned Fortran and Assembler on a Primos Mainframe while the rest of the world was starting to use Windows.

    Things haven't changed much. Microsoft's services are old now - the future for this kind of thing is Google and Web Services.
  • And it uses up your web quota

    The thing that gets to me most about this, being a USyd student, is that a few days ago the internet was being really really slow. So I tried to send an email to a staff member.

    Before, this would go over the intranet and would load up quite quickly regardless of the outside internet connectivity. The homepage for the university on that day loaded perfectly fine. But loading up my email to send an email from one University of Sydney member to another involved waiting for half an hour for the thing to load and log in, about 10 minutes to be able to write an email, but by that stage I figured I may as well log out having only 15 minutes till my next class and I simply couldn't rely on the email system anymore.

    I'd continue complaining about the other failings of that university but I wouldn't want to get attacked for being defamatory. They just don't care enough about doing things right to get them right.