MS Mail Users Should Prepare For Conversion

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

The University's efforts to consolidate its electronic mail systems to a single, standardized system will take a major step forward next month when Microsoft Mail users will convert to the new Internet Message Access Protocol system.

MS Mail users should begin planning now for the conversion, said Jeanne Spellman, manager of personal computing systems in Information Technology.

First, she said, they should check their "profile" to be sure their e-mail is being sent to the proper address. This is particularly important for those who have had e-mail for some years and may have changed servers. Profiles can be checked by contacting the Tech Partner in the individual's office or department, checking the InfoEagle Electronic Communications Directory [http://www.bc.edu/cwis/comdir.html], or calling the Help Center at ext. 2-4357. Any changes may be requested through Tech Partners or the Help Center.

"Spring cleaning" efforts are underway, Spellman said, to bring all workstations on campus up to current standards in preparation for the IMAP conversion. Tech Partners have been provided with materials that will assist their co-workers in performing this task, which will be completed by tomorrow.

Spellman added that all e-mail users on campus should begin using "firstname.last@bc.edu" or "username@bc.edu" e-mail addresses immediately, if they are not doing so already. Messages sent to "@bc.edu" will be forwarded to the new e-mail system automatically. Messages sent to them at their "@hermes.bc.edu" address will be forwarded to their new IMAP accounts until May, when the MS Mail servers will be shut down, Spellman said. When that happens, any messages sent to the "@hermes.bc.edu" or other MS Mail address will be returned as undeliverable. She added that e-mail users also should notify those they correspond with of the address change.

Tech Partners are in the process of installing the new Simeon 4.1 e-mail software on the computers of those who already have Simeon 4.0.9. The new version represents a significant improvement over the old, Spellman said, and its manufacturer included the many suggestions of BC users when creating the upgrade.

MS Mail users will gain access to their IMAP accounts when their Tech Partners install the Simeon software on users' machines between March 31 and April 14. Training sessions also will be available to any e-mail user on campus who wants to become more familiar with the technology. The dates and location of those sessions will be announced, Spellman said.

When the conversion to IMAP is complete, Spellman added, everyone on campus will have an e-mail account, including those who haven't had them previously, such as Housekeeping and Dining Services employees. The new system offers great flexibility and new features, such as a true global address list of all BC students and employees, sorting of incoming mail and shared address books. Also, it is adaptable for making further improvements, she said.

Spellman urged all those making the conversion to follow the schedule. "Don't do things early," she said. "Go with the plan, when we'll have the support and the hand-outs and directions in place."

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