Email May Be Unavailable Weekend of Aug. 4-5

 July 31, 2018

TO:  Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM: Tracy Futhey, Duke University CIO and Vice President for Information Technology
Jeffrey Ferranti, Duke Health CIO and Vice President for Medical Informatics
RE:  Email May Be Unavailable Weekend of Aug. 4-5

As part of Duke’s ongoing information security efforts, Duke University and Duke Health will implement a significant security update for its email service that may impact access for several hours beginning just before midnight on Friday, Aug. 3 and ending before midnight Sunday, Aug 5.  

The update involves email through Microsoft Office 365, whether accessed through Outlook, webmail or mobile phone. No email will be lost during the update, and messages will be visible once a user logs back in after the update is complete. 

The system will update each individual user separately, and access should return for most within about four hours. However it is possible that some users may experience longer outages, while others may see no impact at all.

Those who are logged into their Duke email account when the update begins may see no impact during the weekend. Those who are logged out of their Duke email account may not be able to log back in until after the upgrade is complete. Users should experience no difference when logging into their Duke email account on Monday morning.

We have worked with many of the major departments that maintain 24/7 operations to ensure continuity of communications through other means during the email update. However, all managers should discuss and prepare for any needs that might require alternate communication methods within their respective departments for the update period.

Personal email accounts may be used during this time to send and receive critical communications as long as Protected Health Information (PHI) or sensitive data are not included. Duke Box, a cloud-based storage and collaboration service, can be used to securely upload and share documents.

Microsoft has confirmed that the update will be completed before Monday, Aug. 6. If an individual users has any problems logging into email on Monday, Aug. 6, they should contact the departmental IT person or technology service desk for your respective area.

For more information, including contact numbers for Duke’s technology service desks, visit the Office of Information Technology website.