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Update: Cornell Strategic Storage Initiative, June 2021

Activity continues to help identify data, document, and file storage needs at Cornell to prepare for upcoming vendor-initiated changes to what they offer. CIT Collaborative Services has concluded a series of one-on-one conversations with Cornell IT Service Group Directors and will follow up with outreach to some owners of large individual accounts. 

These efforts are happening because some storage vendors, including Box and Google, are working toward ending the extension of free, unlimited storage. By the time Cornell's current contracts with these two eventually expire, they will not offer any option for free unlimited storage to the university, higher education, or their broader customer base. 

CIT is in the process of estimating and assembling pricing models for the future use of vendors who are ending free, unlimited storage. These estimates are intended to support Cornell community members' decisionmaking process on which service will be best for them. As soon as these estimates are ready, they will be shared in an update.

To prepare, CIT recommends that in coming months, faculty, students, alumni, and staff who use Cornell-contracted cloud storage begin to review their storage needs and available options. 

To assist in the process, in coming months, CIT and campus partners will:

  • Improve documentation, training, and features for solutions available under existing campus licensing, such as storage already paid for under Cornell's Office 365 license in OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams.    
  • Improve clarity on for-fee options to help those with specific needs better understand which of the many options is the best fit. 
  • Facilitate contractual arrangements, so data are protected by a Cornell contract.  
  • Provide updates and reminders to storage users who may need to make a change. 

Individuals who already do most of their work in Office 365 (Outlook email, Word documents, Excel files, Teams, and other apps and services), or who don't have specific storage needs may want to review OneDrive, Teams, or SharePoint. Cornell's campus license with Microsoft includes much more storage than is currently used.

CIT Collaborative Services is improving features and integrations, documentation, and training for these services, and Microsoft is planning improvements to file and document sharing which will eventually include:

  • Easier permission adjustments when sharing files 
  • Better access to link settings 
  • Easier link modification and sharing options 
  • Improved view of who files are shared with 
  • More controls to manage how others access your files 
  • Contextual dropdown menus that make reaching options easier 

As the university approaches a period of significant change to storage tools and options, IT governance and leadership thank storage service users for reviewing their needs and available options.

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