CyMail is retiring next month

With the migration of 20,000-plus university Gmail accounts to Microsoft Outlook in June, Iowa State took another big step toward a single system for campus email and calendar functions. Most of those Gmail accounts belonged to students who recently graduated or hadn't yet set up their own accounts in Outlook. A small portion belonged to employees, most frequently those who became ISU employees following their graduation and kept using their student email accounts.

Since April 2021, new Iowa State students have received Outlook mail accounts -- and returning students could start using their Outlook accounts, too.

Email addresses and net IDs don't change in the move to Outlook.

One email system = fewer problems

Amy Ward, who manages the identity services team in Information Technology Services (ITS), said more than half of returning ISU students grabbed the opportunity to move to Outlook ahead of the June migration. A key motivator, she said, was access to the same calendar system faculty use. And she credited faculty with doing a great job alerting students to the opportunity to switch.

A single email and calendar system for all members of the university community:

  • Lets everyone -- students and employees -- communicate and schedule electronically with ease
  • Eliminates hiccups inherent when two systems aren't compatible and don't work well together
  • Demands less oversight and trouble shooting by ITS staff, freeing up time for them to work on other projects

Learn more

Articles on using Outlook email

Outlook was the application that made sense because Iowa State has a contract with Microsoft, faculty and staff were already using it, and Google imposed storage quotas on its clients, Ward said. Most businesses use Outlook, so it will benefit students to become familiar with it during their college years.

Read-only through September

Gmail messages and calendar content will be available -- for reading only -- through Sept. 30, when ITS teams will begin removing all the content, Ward said. Gmail content is part of the Google storage Iowa State seeks to lighten as digital storage providers move away from generous capacities for their higher education clients.

Review your calendar settings

With all employees and students now on Outlook, Ward said faculty and staff may want to confirm or modify their calendar settings. They decide how much to share their Outlook calendar, from nothing to details about why you're busy and not available to meet. An in-between option could indicate simply that you're busy during that time. A knowledge base article in the IT portal will help you review your settings.

Your help, please

Ward estimates there are thousands of references to "CyMail" on university websites that need to be changed to Microsoft Outlook or just Outlook. Website administrators are asked to use the Siteimprove digital tool to find and replace CyMail mentions on the sites they manage.

Questions or assistance with Outlook or the campus email project can be directed to the IT Solution Center.