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Office 365 Info for IT Administrators

Note: The documentation included on this page is targeted for departmental IT administrators and Exchange Resource Coordinators

Office 365 introduces changes that departmental IT admins and Exchange Resource coordinators need to be aware of. Items of note are included below, and additional items will be added as needed.

Notes from Office 365 Open Forums

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  1. Users must enter their username in the format of ename@colostate.edu when accessing Office 365 services – including Exchange (including via Outlook), Lync, and OneDrive for Business.
  2. Qualifying users (students and most CSU Faculty and Staff) can download and install up to 5 copies of Microsoft Office for PC/Mac for personal use through the Student Advantage and Office Pro Plus subscriptions services.
  3. Microsoft Office should be fully updated on all machines where it will be used to connect to Office 365, including Lync, OneDrive for Business, and/or Outlook. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that people using Outlook 2007 upgrade to Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013.
  4. Office 365 Active Directory (ex: create new eID) and Office 365 Exchange updates (ex: new user or resource mailboxes) may take up to 2 hours to be reflected in Office 365.
  5. With Office 365, changes to distribution lists made using the "Edit DL/PG Membership" tool available in the Resource Coordinator Tools.
  6. Only Applicable after Exchange Migration - For Office 365 purposes, Exchange Distribution Lists can only contain eID users and other Exchange Distribution groups as members.


Users must enter their username in the format of ename@colostate.edu when accessing Office 365 services – including Exchange (including via Outlook), Lync, and OneDrive for Business.

Microsoft uses the portion of the username after the @ sign to direct people to the appropriate space in Office 365. It is a requirement that whenever prompted users enter their username as ename@colostate.edu along with their eID password to login to Office 365 services.

Also note that users who login to Windows with their eID will also be prompted to login to Office 365 Exchange when opening Outlook after the person's mailbox has moved to Office 365 - i.e. Office 365 does not support the integrated single sign on experience that many people are used to if they currently login to their PC using their eID.

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Qualifying users (students and most CSU Faculty and Staff) can download and install up to 5 copies of Microsoft Office for PC/Mac for personal use through the Student Advantage and Office Pro Plus subscriptions services.

Office 365 grants qualifying users a subscription that allows people to install and use up to 5 simultaneous copies of Office for PC or Mac through the Student Advantage and Office 365 ProPlus programs. The subscription remains active for as long as people have an active student account (expires one year after the last semester completed) or faculty/staff account (typically expire 30 days after a person leaves the university) in eID.

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Microsoft Office should be fully updated on all machines where it will be used to connect to Office 365, including Lync, OneDrive for Business, and/or Outlook. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that people using Outlook 2007 upgrade to Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013.

E-mail client testing is ongoing but based on the results thus far as well as feedback from other universities using Office 365, the emerging general rule of thumb is that Office products installed on both Windows and Mac computers should be updated with the latest service pack along with updates released after the service pack. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that people running Outlook 2007 upgrade to Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013 prior to planned migration of Central Exchange mailboxes to Office 365 – currently slated for the first quarter of 2015. Finally, Windows PCs running Microsoft Office versions prior to Office 2013 must have the Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant installed in order to connect to Office 365 services including Exchange and Lync.

Client readiness requirements are also mentioned in the FAQ section of the Office 365 Transition post.

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Office 365 Active Directory (ex: create new eID) and Office 365 Exchange updates (ex: new user or resource mailboxes) may take up to 2 hours to be reflected in Office 365.

The sync process between CSU’s Active Directory service and Office 365 is set to run at a regular interval – meaning there will be a lag between updates to our local Active Directory vs when that change is reflected in Office 365 Exchange/Active Directory. Most notably, actions such as creating new eIDs, user mailboxes, or resource mailboxes and changes to distribution group memberships will not be reflected until the next sync cycle has completed. Note that password updates do not rely on the regularly scheduled interval and an updated eID password should be reflected in Office 365 within 10 minutes of the password having been changed.

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With Office 365, changes to distribution lists made using the "Edit DL/PG Membership" tool available in the Resource Coordinator Tools.

Office 365 Active Directory is populated with users and groups that are present in CSU’s local Active Directory environment. All changes to users attributes (ex: password updates, phone or department changes) are applied to CSU’s local Active Directory and then synced to Office 365. The list of users and groups viewable in the Global Address List (GAL) from Outlook or Outlook Web App is actually a read-only copy that originated from CSU’s local Active Directory servers. Because of this, changes cannot be made to distribution lists directly from Outlook. ACNS has developed a web-based tool labeled "Edit DL/PG Membership" available from the Resource Coordinator Tools to that resource coordinators can use to modify Distribution List group membership. Alternatively, administrators and Exchange resource coordinators can edit distribution groups using the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. Some units on campus have developed automated processes that programmatically populate distribution lists, and those processes will continue to work with Office 365 in the mix.

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Only Applicable after Exchange Migration - For Office 365 purposes, Exchange Distribution Lists can only contain eID users and other Exchange Distribution groups as members.

The directory synchronization between CSU’s Active Directory and Office 365 only syncs eID users and Exchange distribution groups. Because child domains are not included in the directory sync, child domain users and groups added as members to Central Exchange Distribution groups are not represented in Office 365. This won’t affect the majority of distribution groups but there are exceptions on campus where admins have added child domain accounts to distribution groups or permissions groups.

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