Montana State is preparing to transition from Box, one of the university’s current cloud-based data and file storage services, to Microsoft cloud-storage platforms by March 2022. This page provides answers to commonly asked questions about the transition. Questions are broken into three categories: before migration, during migration and after migration.

Ensure you have a plan to address data that you, your department or a grant may need from an Faculty, Staff, Student, Student Employee, GTA or GRA that are longer associated to MSU. At the end of the Box Transition, any data left in Box will be permanently deleted and will not be able to be recovered. Therefore you should consider if there is data that may have been left an account, that may need to be accessed in the future.

If you did not do this work when the user left MSU, please follow the instructions on the Box FAQ page located at this link https://www.montana.edu/box/faq.html to ensure you have continued access to the data by getting the data moved into an active users account before the scheduled migrations begin. The name of the FAQ is called "The owner of a folder is no longer at MSU and now I cannot see the content. What can I do?

Since some users may move in January and some not until April, if you have data sitting in multiple users accounts, this could make continued collaboration on data difficult if part is in Box and another part is in M365. Data will move with the Owner of the File and/or Folder. If you have data you are collaborating on that sits in multiple users Box accounts, consider moving this data and ownership into a single users account. Please follow the instructions on the Box FAQ page located at this link https://www.montana.edu/box/faq.html the name of the FAQ is called "How do I transfer ownership of a folder?

We will be moving only users with an "Active" Status in Box. As long as the person has an active status with MSU as an employee or student, their data will be migrated.

If you have a Faculty, Staff, Student, Student Employee, GTA or GRA that has left MSU but they have data in their account that you need, please see the above FAQ? 

You can delete the content from your Box account that you don’t want to migrate. Make sure to reference the Montana University System General Record Retention Schedule found here: https://www.montana.edu/policy/hr_policies/mus_record_retention_schedule.html.

Yes. Make sure to reference the Montana University System General Record Retention Schedule found here: https://www.montana.edu/policy/hr_policies/mus_record_retention_schedule.html.

MSU is moving file storage and collaboration services from Box to Microsoft 365. This change is driven by three factors:

  1. Cost Savings. Box is eliminating unlimited storage for higher education customers. If the university were to stay on Box, the cost of maintaining file and collaboration services would be unsustainable.
  2. Improved Services. Microsoft 365 builds on essential file and collaboration services with One Drive for Business and SharePoint Online. Both tools introduce enhanced collaboration and communication capabilities for faculty, staff and students.
  3. Enhanced Security. Microsoft 365 includes security services that will enhance protection for university data beyond what is currently available with existing Box services.

Microsoft is a major vendor at MSU and was chosen not only for its strong feature set, but also the integration into our current environment which reduces the likelihood of moving online storage in the future. UIT will contract a third-party company called SkySync to migrate Box data.

Please see the Data Storage Security Grid to ensure the right location for the type of data you have. 

If your data needs to be moved somewhere other than Microsoft 365, please contact the UIT Service Desk.

Since there were no group accounts in Box all data was owned by individuals, even though it may have been shared with a large group or team.

As we move into Microsoft 365 there are distinct locations for individual shared data and group shared data.

Individual Shared Data

Individual shared data -- which is not being shared widely or shared one-to-one or one-to-many -- should be stored in OneDrive for Business.

To help contextualize this, if you have data that is only for you or data that you may have shared with a co-worker to help edit or provide feedback for a short-term engagement, that data should live in One Drive for Business.

If you left MSU, this data would be gone and not be needed by anyone else.

Group Shared Data

Group shared data, characterized as being shared many-to-many, should be stored in SharePoint Online in a Document Library.

Examples of such data would be research data for a research project, a team project for a new effort or a recurring project.

If you left MSU, this data would need to continue to be used by the group.

To minimize potential disruptions to the 2022-23 fall and spring semesters and to complete the migration by the end of MSU’s contract, UIT aims to move all data from Box during winter break 2022.

Migrations of user’s data will begin January 2022 and run through April 2022. UIT cannot provide specific days or times for migrations. System administrators are moving a certain amount of data per day, rather than a certain number of users per day.

Future dates subject to change and notification will be given as far in advance as possible.

  • November 2020: UIT first communicated this transition.
  • January 2021: UIT explained to MSU how to clean up files, folders and collaborators in Box.
  • March 2021: UIT started providing reports in Box folders stating who folders were shared with.
  • April 2021: UIT shared SkySync was the vendor chosen to for the data migration.
  • June 2021: UIT encouraged the university to learn more about how to use the collaboration tools in Microsoft 365, such as One Drive for Business, SharePoint, Teams and Groups.
  • Fall 2021: The MSU communuty will prepare its data in its Box accounts, learn how the Microsoft 365 collaboration environment works and set up SharePoint sites.
  • January 2022: Box data migration will begin.
  • April 2022: Box data migration will end.
  • Microsoft 365 is part of the common email and desktop collaboration suite and has been available to MSU since 2015.
  • Many members of the MSU community may already use Microsoft 365 services such as the Office suite (Outlook, Excel, Word, Teams, PowerPoint, OneNote and more).
  • Integration of Microsoft365 apps, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online are automatic and seamless.
  • Every student, faculty and staff receives a Microsoft365 account by default.
  • One Drive for Business and SharePoint Online are built into the Windows Operating System and behave as a file share, providing a legacy experience many are familiar with.
  • No extra work is needed by users to connect a third-party software into their most-used tools. In other words, users will not have to deal with Box Google Drive, Box Edit, Box for Mac, Box for Office etc.  
  • All four MSU campuses (Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls and Northern) share the same Microsoft licensing and tenant.
  • Using Microsoft365 promotes collaboration between faculty, staff and students across all four campuses by moving file collaboration and storage into one shared location.
  • All mobile apps are always connected and store directly back to Microsoft365.
  • Microsoft365 has the added protection of having Microsoft Security, such as virus scanning on downloads for known threats, suspicious activity monitoring, ransomware detection and file recovery. and mass file deletion notification and recovery.

One Drive for Business

Generally, yes. If you have a montana.edu email address, you have a OneDrive for Business account.

Note that alumni or affiliates may not have an account, although they may have an montana.edu email.

Visit https://www.montana.edu/office365/collaborate.html for training on how to access and use your OneDrive for Business account.

SharePoint Online Sites

While OneDrive is automatically available for the MSUcommunity, not everyone might have aSharePoint Online account yet.

SharePoint Online sites can be created in several ways, such as through the creation of a team in Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365 Group and more.

To see SharePoint Online sites created by you or sites you were added to, login into the Microsft365 Online portal, then look for and click on theSharePoint icon.

Visit https://www.montana.edu/office365/collaborate.html for training on how to access and use your SharePoint Online sites.

No. Group-shared data will be moved into your OneDrive for Business account. You will then need to move this data yourself into the applicable SharePoint Online site.

In Microsoft 365 SharePoint Online, identify existingSharePoint sites where data will be moved or work with your team to create aSharePoint site for your group-shared data that is related to the project, effort etc.

Be sure to coordinate the creation of SharePoint Online sites to ensure you do not end up with more than one site for the same group, thus creating confusion and scattered data.

Visit https://www.montana.edu/office365/collaborate.html for training on how to access and use your SharePoint Online sites.

Yes, mostly. Permission names are slightly different between Box and Microsoft:

 
Box Roles Microsoft Roles
Co-owner Contributor
Editor Contributor

Viewer Uploader

Viewer

Previewer Uploader

None

Viewer

Viewer

Previewer

None

Uploader

None

During and after you move, you and your collaborators can no longer update the files that you own in Box.

    • You can open files in Box and it appears that you can still edit them; however, Box will not save those changes.
    • Users who have not moved yet will receive an error message when trying to add/modify/edit files you own in Box.
      • The error states that the account is at its maximum space allotment.

Migrations for individuals' files will begin January 2022. UIT cannot provide specific days or times for migrations. The process will be moving a certain amount of data per day, rather than a certain number of users per day.

One week before your files will be moved to Microsoft, you will receive an email notification stating the end of that week is your deadline. UIT strongly recommends organizing your files now to avoid rushing that week.

UIT recommends you review the “How do I prepare data in my Box account for migration” information before you receive the one-week notice for your data migration.

Yes, you can continue to work in Box as you normally would.  The migration tool from our vendor SkySync will pick up any new or updated files and folders on subsequent runs.   

Email accounts using the montana.edu email domaincannotbe used on Boxuntil six months after MSU's contract with Box expires, approximately November 2022

Retiring Box at MSU also means retiring MSU’s Box tenant, which ultimately means all data needs to be migrated, even if your department paid for Box on their own.

You will need to create a non-MSU enterprise Box account at Box.com using an email domain that does not end in montana.edu.

Once the new account is created, you can move any folders or files over to this account by adding the new account as a collaborator in Box.

Basic Box accounts for individuals are free. For more information on Box plans and pricing visit https://rb.gy/jzfwfp.

  • Log into MSU Box.
  • Locate the search options icon in the search box at the top of the screen.
  • Filter for "File Type" or "Folder." In the "Owner" field enter your username.
  • Execute your search by clicking on the search icon in the search box.
  • Your data will display.
  • Review the list.

Yes. Full file version sets will be migrated. More information can be found at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/community/versioning-basics-best-practices.  

  • During and after you move, you and your collaborators can no longer update the files that you own in Box.  
  • You can open files in Box and it appears that you can still edit them; however, Box will not save those changes.  
  • Users who have not moved yet will receive an error message when trying to add/modify/edit files you own in Box.  
  • The error states that the account is at its maximum space allotment. 

 

 

250 GB is the limit. More information can be found https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/compat/office-file-format-reference.

OneDrive is set to 5TB as a default for most users. if you feel you need more than 5TB of space please send the request to [email protected]

SharePoint is set to 25TB as a default for most sites.

In Box users had the ability to create vanity links and custom URLs for their Box Shares. This is not possible in Office 365. However, two possible options may be to use bitly.com or www.rebrandly.com. 

Click here for the File Format Reference.



 

Do you have a question that was not found on this page?

Please use the link below to submit a question or to provide feedback about a question or answer listed on this page.