Information Technology Services has kicked off a phased project to unify email into a single system for the Iowa State University community. Currently, students utilize a branded version of Gmail (CyMail), while employees utilize Microsoft Outlook (sometimes referred to as Microsoft “Exchange”). The Enterprise Student Email project will gradually transition all students to the Outlook platform, while still making available Google tools such as G-Drive.
In the pre-planning stage, the Enterprise Student Email project team gathered feedback from key stakeholder groups including the Information Technology Leadership Committee (ITLC), Technology Enterprise Advisory Committee (TEAC), Faculty Student IT, Student Government leadership and college deans. Moving forward with the effort, the project will centralize email to Outlook for ease of use and management, while also reducing the duplication of services and resolving issues that stem from CyMail and Outlook co-existing, as they are not inherently designed to cooperate.
With the project underway, Fall 2021 incoming students will be assigned a Microsoft Outlook student email account (no longer referred to as CyMail). All returning students for Fall 2021 can continue using their Iowa State Gmail (CyMail) account, though any who wish to transition to Outlook can do so. There are no immediate plans to require students using CyMail to switch platforms; the transition to Outlook will primarily occur with each group of incoming students.
Schedule & Timeline
- Gathered feedback from key stakeholder groups including the Information Technology Leadership Committee (ITLC), Technology Enterprise Advisory Committee (TEAC), Faculty Student IT, Student Government leadership and college deans
Beginning Fall 2021
- Incoming students assigned a Microsoft Outlook student email account
- Remaining Google CyMail accounts migrated to Microsoft Outlook
Student Email FAQ
For the end user, there is no difference. Microsoft Exchange is the software that provides the back end to a system for email, calendaring, etc. Microsoft Outlook is the front end application that students, faculty and staff will use to view their email, send messages, schedule meetings, etc.
No. “CyMail” refers to the Google email application used by all students other than those entering the university in Fall 2021. Students who use Microsoft Outlook for email will not be using “CyMail.” ITS recommends referring to the dual email systems currently in use more generally as “student email.”