How can External Mail and Calendars be viewed in the AHS instance of Outlook 365?

Question: How can external email messages and calendar schedules be displayed alongside AHS content using the AHS Outlook 365 communications service?

Context: Alberta Health Services (AHS) has recently upgraded its email infrastructure and now uses Microsoft Outlook (Office 365), which is accessible through the Outlook Web Portal at outlook.office.com and from personal mobile devices that are enrolled in the AHS ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) program. A desktop version of Outlook will be available for personal devices enrolled in BYOD. 

Many physicians relate to more than one organization (e.g., AHS, University, Professional Group, etc.) and so use communications services hosted by more than one organization. Appointment coordination, among other tasks, is facilitated by integrated access to more than one communication service. 

Previously, it was possible to view AHS mail and calendars alongside other mail and events using popular communication managers (e.g., Outlook, Apple Mail, Google Mail, Thunderbird, Spark, etc.). AHS has changed its configuration to disallow other communications software; restricting email and calendar access to Microsoft Outlook products (web, mobile, device). Physicians who wish to work with more than one communication source simultaneously must do this through Outlook 365. 

Answer: More than one email account can be viewed in Outlook 365 mobile when installed on a device enrolled in the AHS BYOD program. The web instance of AHS's Outlook 365 provides access to AHS mail (but not external accounts). The mobile and web versions of Outlook 365 can support simultaneous viewing of AHS and external calendar information. In future, AHS will allow enrollment of personal devices (e.g., desktop and laptop computers) in the BYOD program, at which time Outlook 365 applications will become accessible on those platforms.

AHS Outlook 365 users should be aware of configured limitations to the use of multiple email and/or calendar accounts:
  • Email and calendar events cannot be automatically forwarded from AHS accounts to external accounts.
  • Email and calendar events cannot be copied or moved from an AHS account to an external account within Outlook 365, and vice versa (note this when considering how to manage email folders and archives).
  •  It is no longer possible to view or manage AHS email or calendar information with software applications other than AHS's instance of Outlook 365.

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