Latest News Article: LGfL StaffMail Service software upgrade
This summer the StaffMail platform will be upgraded from Microsoft Exchange 2010 to the latest version, Exchange 2013. While this will be largely unnoticed by users on Outlook or mobile devices, those who use OWA (Outlook web access) will notice small changes in the appearance of Microsoft’s OWA 2013 interface.
This upgrade brings the latest Microsoft interface and provides a general update and improvement in features and user experience when the service is accessed using current devices and software, together with improvements in how Contacts and Calendar operate and further features and apps to extend the functionality of messages and calendar items.
Users should be aware that the migration process provided by Microsoft should not be relied upon to support the transfer of ‘AutoComplete’ addresses. These are email addresses of recipients which OWA ‘helpfully remembers and suggests’, so that when the user starts typing, the system attempts to offer matching addresses used in the past (with the occasional risk of inadvertently sending to the wrong person). Users may rely on any address information entered into CONTACTS being retained, but should NOT rely on Microsoft’s capacity to migrate ‘AutoComplete’ addresses.
The migration to Exchange 2013 will commence in late July, after stringent and extensive testing by LGfL and Atomwide staff, and is expected to be largely completed before the start of the new term. The process has been accelerated through investment in new equipment allowing a direct A to B transfer. The existing StaffMail hosting platform will be used in future to create a secure platform for ‘TrustMail’ a new email system for pupil use with additional safeguarding features, which is scheduled to become available in early 2016.
Should testing reveal features or behaviours to which users could be usefully alerted, updates will be posted on the support site. Among other benefits, the upgrade to 2013 will allow the subsequent creation of a 12 month secure archive of all mail items, so that for example, an important item deleted in error could be recovered.
What are the benefits of StaffMail over alternative systems schools might use?
1. Full Microsoft Exchange functionality
2. Comprehensive filtering out of emails recognised as spam, virus-bearing or other malicious content
3. Daily spam digest facility, to allow users to check through a list for false-positives – e.g. spam that you wanted to see
4. Automatic update of user list of entire school population, by means of running ‘Auto-Update’ on the school’s MIS system – this ensures the correct staff are provisioned with services very quickly, and equally ensures they are only retained appropriately should staff leave
5. Each user has only one ‘USO’ login to remember to access all LGfL services and educational resources
6. Large mailbox capacity – and accessible from a wide range of devices
7. Hosted in UK within secure LGfL data centres on dedicated servers managed by expert staff – and hence exists in a private secure ‘cloud’, not on the general internet
8. Included at no extra cost with your school’s LGfL subscription