SharePoint Migration to Office 365

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As part of our ongoing commitment to enhance the technology and information services we provide to the Northeastern community, we are upgrading our SharePoint collaboration tool to SharePoint Online, part of the suite of offerings included in Office 365.

ITS is dedicated to rolling out the various features of Office 365 in a measured approach. SharePoint Online is the next step in this progression. ITS began in October 2014 with migration of all faculty, staff and sponsored account email, as well as role-based access to certain software applications and services. In September 2015, we implemented OneDrive and in June 2016 we introduced Lync/Skype for Business.

Beginning with a pilot group in August, ITS will work with selected departments or colleges to migrate their sites to SharePoint on Office 365 on a rolling schedule through the fall of 2016.

What is SharePoint on Office 365?
At its core, SharePoint Online on Office 365 is the same as the Northeastern-hosted service you recognize, but it is now provided online as part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of applications.

Screengrab of Sample Site

There are many benefits of migrating to SharePoint Online on Office 365, including:

  • Tighter Integration with Office 365 – Office 365 is already a “one stop shop” for email, calendar, Skype, OneDrive, and productivity applications like Word and Excel. Moving to Office 365’s SharePoint Online will provide a more seamless user experience.
  • Support for Multiple Browsers and Devices – SharePoint on Office 365 provides better support for a wider variety of browsers and devices.
  • Enhanced End User Experience – SharePoint on Office 365 offers improved search functionality, easier navigation and an updated look and feel that is in line with current web functionality.
  • More Frequent Software Updates – Updates are made as they become available, decreasing the time it takes for you to be able to leverage new features and functionality.
  • Increase in Reliability and Security – Moving to SharePoint on Office 365 allows us to increase reliability and security in a way that is most economical to the university

Phased Implementation of SharePoint Online on Office 365
A representative pilot will take place in August, which will inform the schedule for the fall. More details coming soon!

More Information
Within the next few weeks, ITS will begin contacting SharePoint site owners to initiate detailed plans for a successful migration and help to minimize impact during this important transition. We will also provide project updates here on our website and communicate with the university community as the project progresses. Training and support to help with the transition will be provided as well.

Want to find out more about SharePoint Online on Office 365? Check out the following resources to learn more:

If you have any questions, contact the SharePoint Migration Team at

Updates coming soon! Check back for additional details throughout the fall.

myNEU Customer Experience Project

Northeastern University is embarking on a strategic cross-functional initiative to replace the current myNEU portal with an experience that provides an enhanced, more social, and up-to-date experience. This project is an opportunity for Northeastern to holistically approach the online experience for all community members, as it is the first, and longest lasting, ‘touchpoint’ during one’s time at the university. Additionally, replacing the myNEU portal is a chance for Northeastern to provide a platform that is flexible, agile, and more tailored to those that use it.


Replace the existing myNEU experience to provide a social, personalized, customizable, integrated, and cohesive action oriented experience for the user that guides them through their entire lifecycle at Northeastern.


  • An evolution from myNEU, which is a legacy platform, to a modern experience that provides a personalized customer journey.
  • An integrated and cohesive experience for the user that guides them through their entire lifecycle at Northeastern (Admitted students, Students, Staff, Faculty, Parents, Alumni, etc.).
  • An experience that can be delivered to “any device, any time, any where”.
  • A social experience that enables interaction between community members.


The myNEU portal was launched in 2002 as a centralized location to provide one stop shopping for collaboration and transactions. Over time, it has become a secure and efficient center for transactional processing, and there is a need to evolve it to a center for collaboration and engagement with defined content strategy for the user experience.

The myNEU portal was initially created using technology built pre-Facebook, pre-social media revolution, pre-smartphone, pre-tablet and pre-online streaming video sites. There is an opportunity to have a new online destination that leverages the latest technology to provide a satisfactory experience to customers.

At the same time, customer expectations have changed; today, customers expect a mobile/responsive, dynamic user experience that is more visually engaging, and that is customizable and personalized. The existing portal will be enhanced to be more user-friendly, providing the customer direct, easy, and searchable access to the information they deem important.

Northeastern University today operates on a global scale with multiple graduate campuses in the United States and Canada, international coops, study abroad programs and global research opportunities. All of these areas encompass one Northeastern, and a new portal will support the experience and connections across the world.


Students, faculty, staff, and all other stakeholders are encouraged to submit feedback to Feedback will be compiled on a regular basis and presented to the various members of the project team involved with the development of a new customer experience platform.

Completed Milestones

March 2016 – Functional Team Kickoff
April 2016 – Discovery Phase
May 2016 – RFI sent to potential vendors


More updates coming soon.

ALERT: Phishing Email And Website –

Northeastern is currently the specific target of a scam designed to steal money and financial information from members of our community. These criminals are using a process known as “spear phishing” – a highly targeted form of phishing that specifically focuses on a particular individual or group, with the aim of gaining access to your personal and financial information. Please read on to learn more about what to look for, and what actions to take if you are targeted.

Recently, Northeastern students, faculty and staff received emails appearing to be from the address neucourses[at] These emails have a variety of subject lines intended to draw people in, including “Internships and Jobs for NEU students !” and “Important Notice for Northeastern University students.” At a quick glance, the email looks like a new student service offered to assist with the interview process. Links in the email bring the reader to an authentic looking, but fake, site: neu-courses[dot]com.

Spearphising email - June 2015
Screenshot of the spear phishing email sent to Northeastern students, faculty and staff.

The spoof site features the Northeastern logo, university web design elements and even the Empower campaign button. Fake classes are displayed with a Register Now button. This scam is designed specifically to steal money from those who input their information to the linked PayPal checkout.

Spearphishing website - June 2015
Screenshot of the spear phishing website in question

Look Out For Red Flags

  • Phishing emails and websites can be made to look like legitimate communications from Northeastern including university logos, however the text is typically written in poor English, including bad grammar and typos.
  • Hover over links in the email to check whether they are legitimate. If any one does not look like it leads to an official Northeastern website, do not click on the link.
  • If you are unsure whether email is legitimate, please contact either the ITS Service Desk ( at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or the Office of Information Security (

What should I do if I receive a phishing email?

If you receive a phishing email, do not click on any links or open attachments. Delete the email.

What if I accidentally respond to a phishing email?

If you responded to a phishing email with your myNEU username and password, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or immediately. If you have responded to a a different phishing email with your financial or credit card information, please contact the issuing bank or credit company for assistance.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or

Training – Make Your Own Excel Class

One Microsoft Office application brings more students to live workshops than any other, and has the most hours of training watched on Excel.

There is so much that Excel can do, and much of it is not obvious or intuitive, so ITS Training workshops and help to cover a lot of this information. At the same time, because of that depth, there are so many ways people use it – on co-op, someone may be using it while immersed in financial functions, while somebody else is a heavy user because of statistics and building scenarios.

To meet these varied needs, ITS Training has developed a new type of workshop. The Excel Open Lab will be offered monthly, and each session has no agenda other than what you as attendees bring. It’s meant to be a good group think tank to work on Excel problems people are having. So whether it is figuring out internal rate of return, or what do macros do, the workshop is wide open and no two sessions will be alike.

You can see all of the ITS Training workshops on the ITS Training registration site. We can also do workshops for student groups and we welcome ideas for new topics we don’t cover yet. Email to reach us.

Training – Get The Most Out of Office 365

With the completion of the migration of all faculty and staff email to Office 365, ITS Training would like to point out some new web features that you should take full advantage of to make your work life easier.

For instance, in the Outlook Web App you can:

  • Set your Out of Office message if you didn’t remember to do so in your Outlook software
  • Forward your Northeastern email to any other address
  • Easily search your mailbox by keyword or person

To get all the tips and tricks on these features and more, register for the Outlook/Office 365 workshop through the ITS Training registration site.

Once you’re there, also check out the full calendar of many other training classes for everyone. If your area is looking for a training workshop just for your department (even something customized), or you have an idea for a class, ITS Training ( would love to hear from you.

From ATS: Summer 2015 Updates

Academic Technology Services is offering a number of resources for learning about and exploring the use of technology in the classroom, as well as a big enhancement to the tools available to use through Blackboard.

Technology in Teaching Resources


Information Technology Services is excited to have hosted TEXPO, the first annual Technology in Teaching Expo, on March 17th. The event was quite successful. To listen to or watch some of the sessions, go to the TEXPO site.

  • Faculty and staff shared their experience with technologies used for teaching and learning in and out of the classroom, and new projects in development.
  • Training and support departments discussed the technology and tools available for faculty.
  • Professor Lyrical gave a lively keynote on student engagement.
  • ATS Director Stephanie Trowbridge presented an infographic (PDF) on tool use at Northeastern.

We look forward to hosting this great event next year, and have tentatively scheduled March 15, 2016 – save the date. If you have topics of interest or ideas for technologies that should be explored next year, email your suggestions to

Course Development Technology Training Series
Beginning the summer semester, Academic Technology Services is offering the Online Course Development Technology Training Series on an ongoing basis. The series is designed to help new faculty and those who would like to refresh their knowledge of online teaching tools, and consists of three courses:

  • Blackboard Course Management – A two-hour, hands-on session focused on the course management aspects of the tool, which will make your life easier.
  • Tools for Creating Online Content and Interactions – A short session that offers an overview of engaging applications that faculty can use to move course content and student interactions online. Q&A will help you narrow in on tools to follow up on in more detail.
  • Storyline Basics – A two-hour, hands-on session in Storyline, a flexible and full-featured tool that faculty can use to create interactive e-learning content.

The courses can be taken as a series, or individually as desired; dates will be posted on the ATS training website. Customized and small-group versions are also available. Please contact with questions about individual or group registration.

New Tools

VoiceThread Available for Blackboard Integration
VoiceThread is a third-party tool that can be integrated into Blackboard, which allows you and your students to create multimedia presentations and group projects, and discuss via text, voice, or video. Discussion is asynchronous, so students can enter the discussion at their convenience, and you can watch the discussion as it unfolds.

Because Northeastern has purchased licenses for faculty and students, all faculty are granted Pro accounts when you log in through Blackboard. When the VoiceThread is created through Blackboard and linked correctly, sharing settings are easily managed. The integration will also automatically create a gradebook column, so that faculty can grade in VoiceThread and have the grade sent directly to the Blackboard gradebook.

Voice Thread Screenshot

Learn more about how VoiceThread works, and the proper way to create and link VoiceThread elements through Blackboard. A new training course, “VoiceThread Multimedia Discussions,” is also available beginning this month; specific dates are on the ATS training website.

Storyline 2 Now Available for Free Installation on Northeastern-Imaged Computers
Storyline provides a PowerPoint-compatible interface to help you create engaging and interactive online course materials that blend instruction, audio, video, and optional assessment – all in a visually interesting format. Whether you’re looking for an easy way to add engagement to voice-over-PowerPoint instruction that you already have, or you want to experiment with scenario-based learning activities, Storyline is a quick-and-easy solution.

While the software can be quite costly and it was previously available only in the Digital Scholarship Commons lab, a new enterprise license means that faculty and staff can use it for free on your Northeastern-imaged computer. Go to the ATS website for instructions for downloading the software and other resources. Training in Storyline functionality will be offered throughout the semester, and you can see course listings and register at the ATS website.

Office 365: Faculty/staff email migration completed


This week, ITS completed the migration of all planned faculty/staff user mailboxes to Microsoft’s Office 365 services.

Whether you access your email and calendar through Outlook on Windows or Mac, via the Outlook Web App, or on a mobile device, you are now using the Office 365 cloud Exchange server. And as of February 1, new Northeastern employees are being added directly to the Office 365 servers. We thank you for your assistance during this transition, and encourage you to investigate all of the services that your Office 365 license provides.

Looking forward, the Office 365 Migration team will be completing the migration of shared mailboxes and other accounts over the next few weeks. The migration team is also now examining additional Microsoft cloud services and features to roll out to faculty, staff and students. Stay tuned for future announcements.

Please visit the new Faculty/Staff Email & Calendar page for information, FAQs and How To’s about your email. And you can always contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or

Office 365 – Email and More


Since the kick-off in October, ITS has migrated more than 80 percent of Northeastern faculty and staff email accounts to Microsoft’s Office 365 servers. That is almost 7,000 accounts. The migration for the entire university will be complete by the end of January 2015.

As we shared in the migration communication, email is only the start of what is available through your Office 365 license. One way to think about it – Office 365 is the box you get from Microsoft through Northeastern, and there are many products and services for work and home inside that box.

There is a lot listed below, but a good thing to keep in mind is that everything beyond email is optional; if you don’t want to use it, you never have to think about it.

What You Can Get at Work

  • Office online applications – Through the same Microsoft portal that you access for the Outlook Web App, you can use online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • OneDrive for Business – This online storage and file sharing solution is where the online applications and mobile apps save, and where you can also store other Office files that you want to access from anywhere.
  • Mobile apps – Signing in to the Office mobile apps (dependent on device) gives you access to your OneDrive for Business storage.

NOTE: If you want to have the latest version of Office on your Northeatern-owned computer(s), you can get it through ITS by following the Windows or Mac directions. Do not use your Office 365 downloads on a Northeastern-owned computer.

What Your Can Get at Home

  • Office suite download – Signing in to the Microsoft portal, you can download the latest version of Office (currently Office 2013 for Windows and Office 2011 for Mac) on up to five computers that you personally use.
  • And, of course, you can also access all the cloud and mobile services listed above.

The Fine Print

Access to all of the Office 365 services depends on your eligibility as a Northeastern employee or Sponsored Account and the active status of your Office 365 username – [myNEU username]

This means:

  • Follow Northeastern’s information security and privacy guidelines when thinking about what information should or should not be stored on the cloud. A good rule – if you are working with Personally Identifiable Information (PII), continue to use the university’s on-premise shared network storage (Q: drive).
  • Do not install any of copies of Office 365 ProPlus on any computers other than your own. That includes not giving it to your kids. Since you must use your Northeastern Office 365 username to install it, that copy of Office has access to your Northeastern resources and files – just as you would not share your myNEU account, do not share your Northeastern Office 365 access with others.
  • When your access to full Northeastern electronic services ends, so does your access to Northeastern’s Office 365 services. Any copies of the Office suite that you downloaded will revert to read-only.

Learn more on the migration at the Migrating to Office 365 guide.

From ATS: Spring 2015 Teaching Technology Updates

To start off 2015, Academic Technology Services has a number of updates for classroom technologies, and is offering training on new solutions for student engagement.



Faculty can now enable remote proctoring in Tegrity, to ensure student integrity for online assessments. Students can start remote proctor at the beginning of an exam to capture audio, video and desktop activity for the duration. When the assessment is complete, captures are uploaded to Tegrity for instructor review at up to 8x speed.

Instructors also now have the option to make Tegrity recorder available to students. Assign video projects, blogs or presentations after enabling this feature in your course options. Student recordings are always submitted for instructor review and approval before they are published to a course.

For more information on using the new Tegrity recording features, see the full documentation on the ATS Lecture Capture page.


Articulate’s Storyline provides a PowerPoint-compatible interface to help you create engaging and interactive online course materials that blend instruction, audio, video, and optional assessment – all in a visually interesting format (click through on the example below).

learning object exampleStoryline has been available in the Digital Scholarship Commons for the last year, but beginning in early spring, it will also be available for download via the Software Center on your Northeastern-managed faculty/staff Windows computer.

Learn more and see example projects at the ATS Storyline page.


Top Hat

ATS is now working with Top Hat to offer and support an innovative online alternative to classroom clicker devices. Welcome Top Hat to Northeastern on January 13, 2015, and learn how you can use Top Hat to engage your students and liven the learning experience.

Register for this special event, or schedule an individual training session with Top Hat representative Allison Scholbe.

The Outlook Exchange You Know Will Soon Be Office 365

Information Technology Services has been planning the implementation of new and innovative productivity tools and services – Microsoft Office 365. All Northeastern University faculty and staff will transition to Office 365, starting this fall with the migration of email. Rest assured, ITS will provide assistance through each part of this transition and information will be widely available through a variety of channels.

What is Office 365?
At its core, Office 365 is the same suite of Office products and services you recognize, now provided through the cloud. Through Office 365, Microsoft offers more features in and greater access to the tools you use, both at work and at home, while providing the latest releases to its customers.

Office 365 is different in that it:

  • Is cloud based, meaning hosting will be provided by Microsoft servers and not Northeastern servers
  • Is a subscription-based service, giving Northeastern easy access to the latest software releases
  • Offers web-based access to software previously limited to a local installation

ITS is dedicated to a phased rollout of the different Office 365 products and services, starting with an email migration and certain software applications.

What to expect this fall
The initial focus of the Office 365 rollout will involve migrating faculty, staff and sponsored account email from being hosted on our internal servers to being hosted on Microsoft’s Office 365 business-class servers. As a result of this server change, your login credentials will change slightly and you will need to update your email settings after your migration on your laptop or desktop, and any mobile devices.

We’ve worked to make this transition of your email as easy as possible for you. As a result, there will be NO CHANGE to:

  • Your email address
  • Your password

What will change?
The information below will need to be updated on your laptop or desktop, and any mobile devices, for your email to work properly.

  • The username used to access email
    • Your new username will be [myNEU username], so if your myNEU username is kinghusky, your Office 365 username will be
    • This username is ONLY required for Office 365 services (details here).
  • The server that hosts your email
    • The new server is
  • Outlook Web App (OWA)

What is the timeline?
Email accounts will be migrated to Office 365 in groups, primarily by department, in a coordinated effort between ITS and each department. This is intended to reduce the impact on university business. We will keep you informed, and look forward to partnering with you as you move. After working with university departments, a schedule will be posted on the Office 365 Migration page for your convenience.

What is new?
When your email account migrates, depending on your role at the university, you may also gain access to Microsoft Office ProPlus for Faculty/Staff.

Through Northeastern’s Microsoft Office 365 subscription, faculty and staff with E3 licenses (details here) can download the latest version of Microsoft Office – currently Office 2013 for Windows and Office 2011 for Mac – on both unmanaged Northeastern computers and personal computers. You may install Office 365 on up to five (5) non Northeastern-managed or personal machines.

DO NOT install Office 365 ProPlus on Northeastern-managed machines. If your machine is managed and you want the latest Microsoft Office software, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or

Office 365 ProPlus also includes OneDrive for Business, an online file storage service, with 1TB of storage space, and access to online versions of the Office applications. Details can be found on the Microsoft Office 365 – Faculty/Staff ProPlus page.

Looking forward
Following the email migration, ITS will evaluate the university’s needs and plan the phased rollout of other Office 365 services as appropriate.

Helpful links
Migrating to Office 365
Important Migration Steps