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Office 365 Direct Routing Overview

Mail sent to Cornell Office 365 addresses (primarily faculty, staff, and retirees) will be routed directly to Microsoft. Most people will not notice a change.

This article applies to: Email for Faculty and Staff, Who I Am


Office 365 is the university's email system for faculty and staff.

At the direction of university IT Governance, we are changing the path of staff and faculty email so that it no longer goes through the Cornell environment. Instead, messages will be delivered directly to Office 365. This should improve the efficiency of the mail routing and increase compatibility with Microsoft's processes.

All faculty and staff email addresses will have this change applied by October 31, 2017. You will receive an email notification a few days before your account is changed.

There are two things you can do to improve the likelihood of a smooth experience.

  1. Make sure Junk mail filtering is turned on in Office 365.
  2. Check your forwarding setting to make sure it’s accurate, still necessary, and forwarding to no more than one place (this includes Cmail)

This change applies to both NetID@cornell.edu addresses and Cornell Optional Email Alias (name-based) addresses.

Junk Mail Filtering and Spam Control

Confirm that Junk Mail filtering is turned on.

Before the change described in this article, IT@Cornell provided a layer of spam control (through the PureMessage service). While the university felt it was in everyone's best interest to use this service, it was possible for individuals to opt out using a control in Who I Am.

Going forward, spam control will be provided directly by Microsoft, and there is no provision for opting out. For Google and Apple's similar services, there is likewise no way to opt out. This approach is the de facto industry standard.

Some early users have reported more spam getting through to their Inbox. Others have reported less. Most say they have seen no change. You will definitely see more spam in your Junk Mail folder, as Microsoft filters out some of the messages that PureMessage formerly blocked. You should check your Junk Mail folder from time to time to see if any non-junk messages ended up there. If you see a valid message there, right-click it, then select the "not junk" option.

Forwarding

Your messages will be available in your mailbox via Microsoft’s email clients, Microsoft’s web email (Outlook on the Web), or Apple’s Mail app.

If you had Who I Am set to forward your messages to ONE external address, we will migrate that setting to Microsoft and that forwarding will continue. The rest of this section (Forwarding) does not apply to you. Some faculty/staff have Cmail accounts (either through their status as alum or student, or because they provide technical support for student email). For the purposes of this section, the Who I Am setting that sends mail to your Cmail address counts as "forwarded mail."

If you had Who I Am set to forward your messages to more than one external address, the forwarding will stop. Microsoft's servers allow for only one forwarding address. You can either

  • change your Who I Am settings to include only one forwarding address; make this change before your account is moved.
    (See Change Your Who I Am Forwarding below for instructions.)
  • wait until after your account is moved (no forwarding addresses will be migrated), then use Microsoft's tools to specify one forwarding address.
    (You cannot access this feature until after your account is moved.)

To choose and set up email clients to use with Office 365, see Choose Which Email/Calendar App to Use.

The university's general recommendation is that you do not forward your email. Because of uncertainty about the future deliverability of forwarded mail, and because mail forwarded outside Office 365 is not covered by university contract protections, forwarding can be problematic. This includes the forwarding that will be available from Microsoft (see the very next paragraph below).

If you feel that forwarding is essential in your situation, forwarding to one outside destination can be set up in Outlook on the Web AFTER the change described in this article is made to your account. See Microsoft's help page on setting up mail forwarding. These controls are not available to you until your account has been changed as described in this article.

Change Your Who I Am Forwarding

If your email account has already been migrated to Office 365 Direct Routing, when you connect to Who I Am you will no longer see the Advanced Options on the Email tab. In that case use the Office 365 email forwarding settings instead.

If you currently Who I Am set to forward to more than one address, you need to modify those settings so that you forward to only one address or none at all. Having mail sent to a Cmail address counts as forwarding. The steps below describe how to stop all forwarding, which is our recommendation. If you prefer, you can leave one forwarding address OR leave the Cmail box checked, but not both.

  1. Go to Cornell's Who I Am webpage. You'll need to log in with your Cornell NetID and your password. You'll see the Email tab of Cornell's Who I Am page, which is where you want to be.
  2. If you see a checkbox for Cmail, make sure it is NOT checked.
  3. A short way down the page you'll see Advanced Options in a shaded bar. Click this bar to reveal additional options.
  4. The first option there is Email Forwarding.
    • If there are no addresses shown, you do not have email forwarding set up, so there's nothing for you to change here.
    • If there is only one address shown, you can either clear the text to stop all forwarding, or leave it, and the forwarding will continue after your account is switched to direct routing.
    • If there is more than one address shown here, delete all but the first by clicking the minus sign to the right of each box (you cannot remove the first box).
      Then clear the text from the single remaining box to stop all forwarding.
  5. Near the bottom of the page, click Update.
The university's general recommendation is that you do not forward your email. Because of uncertainty about the future deliverability of forwarded mail, and because mail forwarded outside Office 365 is not covered by university contract protections, forwarding can be problematic. This includes the forwarding that will be available from Microsoft (see the very next paragraph below).

When your account is moved to Office 365 Direct Routing, if there is a single forwarding address, this setting will be migrated with your account, and your forwarding will continue as before. If your settings show more than one forwarding address on the day your account is moved to Office 365 Direct, your forwarding settings will not be migrated, and you will need to set up forwarding using Microsoft's procedure, but you cannot change those settings until AFTER your account has been migrated.

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