(Screenshot from connect.sfu.ca)
Written by: Srijani Datta, Assistant News Editor


“SFU Connect accounts will be accessible until March 2019.” SFU website / “The new platform will help better meet the current and future needs of the University.” SFU Website.

     Students who are currently using SFU Connect will be transitioned to SFU’s new email account on August 18, 2018. The change was decided upon in 2017, due to the SFU Connect email system updates failing to meet standards.

     The school website states that the goal behind the transition process is “to better meet the current and future needs of the University,” and that this decision was “guided by input from the SFU community.”

     Communications officer Stephanie Stewart told The Peak that, following the decision to phase out SFU Connect, the decision to narrow the focus to a Microsoft email solution was because “Microsoft Outlook is already being used by many members of the University community as their preferred mail client.”

    Stewart continued, “third-party applications and services outside of email and calendar systems are focusing their efforts on integrating only with mainstream email solutions such as Microsoft Exchange, and both Microsoft’s Outlook client and Exchange server are generally regarded as the industry standard solutions.”

     The first part of the transition was initiated and completed for “staff, faculty, sponsored, and resource accounts” on April 28, 2018. The second part of the transition is aimed at all current students and retirees. More specifically, existing students (undergraduate or graduate) with no other active staff/faculty position at SFU, or retirees with no other active staff/faculty role at SFU, are going to undergo this transition in email system.

     Once the new SFU Mail account is activated, all new emails are to be delivered to it, while the older SFU Connect account is slated to be accessible until March 2019.

     Graduate student Isabella Thet Su Aung, whose account was switched in April, mentioned to The Peak that one of her main concerns was regarding moving the existing data from SFU Connect to the new email accounts.

     SFU has announced that migration of data from SFU Connect into the related SFU Mail account will begin immediately on August 18. Within the first 48 to 72 hours, calendars, contacts, and tasks will be migrated to the new account, followed by the most recent 30 days of mail from each mail folder.  

     The initial migration period will be followed by an email stating, “Your initial set of data has been migrated to SFU Mail.”  The email will also contain an estimate of how long it will take for the remaining mail data to be completely transferred. The migration process is supposed to continue until all the data has been exported from the older account to the new mail accounts. Upon completion, each student can expect to receive a message informing them that all their data has been migrated.

     The process to completely phase out SFU Connect, powered by the Zimbra Collaboration Suite, and adopt Microsoft Exchange as the new email platform, is slated to be finished by 2019.

     Stewart confirmed that students will be able to use third-party mail clients, such as Apple Mail and Thunderbird, “through protocols including IMAP and POP. If you currently use these clients, you will be able to continue using them after the transition to the new email solution.”

     Further information regarding the transition can be found on the SFU Mail website.