In Fall 2007, the Office of Information Systems (OIS) within the UNC School of Medicine began exploring integrated technology-based communications/collaboration solutions. This exploration was initiated based upon three primary issues:
- The school’s email system was outdated and had become difficult to maintain
- Users throughout the school expressed the need for better technology-based collaboration tools
- Users were frustrated with maintaining three usernames/passwords (SOMid, Domain Account, and ONYEN)
To address these issues, OIS proposed several solutions known collectively as the “MC2 Initiative,” or Medicine's Communication and Collaboration Initiative.
These solutions include...
Email Consolidation and Migration Project (via Microsoft Exchange)
Enhanced Collaboration Project (via Microsoft Sharepoint)
UserID Consolidation and Management Project (consolidating all UserIDs into one)
SOM Community Input
Although the MC2 name came into existance later on during the initiative planning and development, the overall concept was presented to the School of Medicine community via two "Town Hall" meetings in May 2008. The presentations, presented by Dennis Schmidt (Director, Office of Information Systems), provided users with information about the proposal and offered an opportunity for users to provide feedback on the initiative. For more information, please view the presentation below:
- Collaboration and Unified Email [ppt]
presented by Dennis Schmidt, Director, Office of Information Systems
Town Hall Meetings: May 28 and 29, 2008
Funding Approval; Initiative Planning Begins
Soon after the Town Hall meetings, Mr. Schmidt presented the initiative to the Dean’s Advisory Committee. The recommendation was met with much enthusiasm; funding was approved and project planning began in Fall 2008.
Change in Landscape: ITS Commitment to Microsoft Exchange/SharePoint
As OIS started planning, Larry Conrad, CIO for UNC Chapel Hill, announced publically that he intended to move all campus faculty and staff to an Exchange based e-mail system. Although initially OIS intended to host the new messaging environment internally (i.e., on School of Medicine based servers), Mr. Conrad's announcement offered another alternative to hosting. After substantial analysis including several meetings with ITS (main campus' central IT group), OIS concluded that the school's requirements aligned with ITS' Exchange/SharePoint hosting option. Mr. Schmidt presented the analysis to the school's executive committee and recommended that the school utilize ITS' centralized resources and services for the initiative.
For more about the overall analysis (including advantages and disadvantages of utilizing main campus' centralized offerings), view the document presented to the executive committee: "Exchange/SharePoint Hosting Recommendation."
Initiative Execution Begins
After extensive meetings and planning with ITS, OIS began migrating the first pilot group of users in Summer 2009.