Don’t forget that staff emails will begin migrating over to Office 365 over the weekend of 23, 24 and 25 March (Friday evening to Sunday).

Beware spoof emails

If you receive an email asking you to take action before the migration begins (i.e. verifying an account, clicking on a link, or providing username and password details) please check these emails carefully.

Some colleagues may have received spam emails pretending to be sent from a member of University staff, which include links to ‘upgrade’ your account (a screenshot of the full email is available for reference). These requests are not legitimate – IT will not ask you to take any action before the migration, so please do not click on any links or supply any information to these requests.  

IT will be controlling the migration and will not ask you to do anything in advance. They will never ask for your password, so be cautious of any email asking you to do so.

Other factors that could indicate a spam message:

  • Look for typos in emails that are sent
  • Always check the link by holding your mouse pointer over it, please do not click on this (see image below or click to enlarge). Check that the link is an official University of Reading link.
  • If you receive an email you are unsure about, please contact IT.

For the duration of this project, IT will publish legitimate emails on the IT blog, which can also be accessed through the IT homepage.

The migration

Following the migration, all emails will be stored in Office 365 (on Microsoft servers), instead of University managed servers.

If you use Outlook on Windows and macOS, you will be prompted to restart the application once your email has migrated.

If you use a mobile phone or tablet to access your email, we recommend downloading the Outlook app. Other mail clients, e.g. those using IMAP, will also work with Office 365.

The storage on each user account will be increased to 50GB and there will be improvements to spam filtering.

Office 365 allows for integration between your email and other Office 365 products and services like OneDrive for Business.

Further information about the migration is available on the IT Staff Email page. If you have any queries about the migration, please contact IT for assistance.

The TEL&AV team have created a modern and sleek interactive guide for setting up meetings via Outlook.

The guide can teach you how to:

  • Schedule a Skype for Business Meeting
  • Join a Skype for Business Meeting
  • Join Skype for Business Meeting via the Web App

The guide walks you step by step through each of the processes and guides you using images, videos and interactive segments where you recreate the process within the tool.

What is Skype for Business?

Skype for Business (part of Microsoft’s suite of collaboration tools) is now available to all University staff.

Skype for Business allows staff to easily communicate with colleagues within the University and with external contacts using Instant Messaging (IM), video conferencing and screen or application sharing.

For full information, including how to download and set up, please see the Universities Skype for Business webpage.



The Eduroam Wi-Fi service is running normally again.

There is an increased risk of failure of the service while we implement a permanent fix.

We will closely monitor the service during this time.

We are currently experiencing an interruption to the Eduroam Wi-Fi service. Devices in halls of Residence, the London Road campus and buildings on the Earley Gate side of Whiteknights campus may be unable to connect.

We have identified the problem and are in the process of implementing a fix.

The Eduroam service should continue as normal by 11:00.

Wired machines can still be used to connect to the internet.



Microsoft have resolved the error that prevented us from moving your mailbox last weekend, 9th March. Migrations will now begin on the evening of Friday 23rd March. Further detail and guidance will be provided closer to the time.

Benefits will include a 50GB quota, 24×7 support from Microsoft and 99.9% availability.


The IT team has postponed the migration of University email accounts to Office 365, which was scheduled for this weekend (9 March).

This follows a notification from Microsoft about a technical problem which would have prevented the migration of our email accounts.

Some colleagues may have a reminder in their Outlook Calendar related to the migration. This is no longer relevant and should be deleted.

Please look out for an email from IT on the postponement.

Further information will follow when a new date has been arranged.



This morning, we increased the capacity of the VPN service in response to the number of staff working from home.  Unfortunately, due to the exceptional high demand, we have now hit a further limit on the number of simultaneous connections.

Resolving this will require significant work and so cannot be completed quickly.

In the meantime, note that the following services do not require a VPN connection:

  • Skype for Business
  • Office 365
  • OneDrive for Business
  • P2P (connect using Duo authentication)
  • Staff email (both OWA and access via Outlook)
  • Employee Self-Service
  • Blackboard
  • All web services

If you need to access another service that does require a VPN connection then we ask that you only connect to the VPN when you need to use that service and that you disconnect from the VPN when you have completed that session.  This will enable other staff to connect to the VPN service.

 In the longer term, we will work with Business Continuity to review and update the services we offer.


This morning there was a high level of demand on the University VPN, owing to the large number of staff working from home.

Some staff were unable to connect this morning when the existing service reached capacity. We have upgraded the service, and now staff should be able to connect.


Staff emails and calendars are set to migrate to Office 365 this March, with the move scheduled from 8:00 pm on Friday 9 March. The migration will continue over Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 March.

The migration will be monitored over the weekend. Additional IT Service Desk support will be available from 8:00 am Monday 12 March.

IT had originally planned to carry out the move in phases, but now will move all email over the weekend to ensure a smoother transition.

What is changing?

Emails and calendars will now be stored in Office 365, on Microsoft servers instead of University managed servers. All mailboxes will automatically be increased to 50GB. Office 365 allows for integration between your email and other Office 365 products and services like OneDrive for Business.

You can continue to use Outlook on Windows and macOS and this will prompt you to restart the application when your email is moved. For mobile phones and tablets, IT recommend the Outlook app though the web version of Outlook is much improved over the current Outlook Web Access and works well on mobile devices. Other mail clients, e.g. those using IMAP, will also work with Office 365.

IT have migrated over 3,000 test mailboxes successfully and are confident the mailboxes of current users can be successfully migrated over the weekend timescale. As a failsafe measure, IT will be running local mail servers in parallel with the Office 365 service for a period. If any mailbox fails to migrate, it will still be available from the local servers.

What’s next?

Colleagues will shortly receive an email from IT providing more information on the migration. Another email will follow a few days before the first day of the migration (Friday 9 March), which will include helpful links and advice.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact IT for more information.

We had another network outage yesterday evening (14th Feb) between approximately 1730 and 1830 when services were restored.

This was caused by a failure in our firewall server, which was still running in a less resilient state following the issues from the 8th February. We have been working with our suppliers to diagnose the root cause so we can fully resolve this issue, and return all network services back to a fully resilient position as soon as possible.

This work will continue until there is a clear idea of what caused these problems and further analysis of the logs will take place overnight by the suppliers.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Note, the failure of the firewall did not expose the University to any security threats.


We are aware of many users currently experiencing issues with Agresso. These include

  • Intermittent disconnections
  • Timeouts after login, and while approving expenses via the web
  • Slow performance

We are working with the supplier of Agresso to carry out detailed investigations into these issues, and to identify a long term solution.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused by this problem.


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