What is Office 365?

Office 365 is an online suite of applications which includes office productivity, email, file storage, collaboration tools, and other specialist applications. It also allows staff to download Office applications (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) to both their work and their personally-owned computers.

Staff will have access to the following Office 365 applications:

  • Microsoft Office tools – Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Publisher
  • Microsoft Teams – a collaborative personal workspace that includes videoconferencing and instant messaging communication
  • OneDrive – 1 Terabyte of online storage
  • OneNote – digital notebook

Accessing Office 365

All staff members who have an actively used otago.ac.nz email address have a licence to access the Office 365 suite for work and home. All University of Otago students are already using Office 365.


Unless you have been advised otherwise, your University email has not been migrated to Office 365. Continue to use your email client (Outlook preferred) as currently set up, or Outlook Web App to access your email. If you click on the Outlook icon in the Office 365 portal you will get an error message.

Signing in for the first time

  1. Open a new web browser session with no other tabs running. There is no need to use the University's VPN service to access Office 365 online.
  2. Sign in to Office 365
  3. When you sign in to Office 365, you will be asked to provide your work email address (e.g. james.bond@otago.ac.nz). When Microsoft detects your Otago email address, it will redirect you to the University's secure web-based login service. Enter your University username and password here.
  4. If your first sign-in is:

Once this is done, you will be logged into the main Office 365 portal. From here you can run web-based Office applications and collaborate with your colleagues.

Downloading Office 365 to your computer or mobile device

If the computer you are now working on doesn’t have Office 365 installed on it already and you would like to download the applications to use directly on your computer, watch the video below for instructions:

How to Download and Install Office 365 Apps on PC or Mac

If you already have Office 2016 or newer on your machine, there is no need to install Office 365.

There are Office 365 apps in both the Apple and Android app stores that will run various Office 365 tools on your mobile devices.

Putting your work files into Office 365 OneDrive or Teams sites

ITS suggest that as soon as you have logged in to Office 365 for the first time, move any critical files you might need over the upcoming months into it. You can either upload them:

  • Into OneDrive (if they are primarily for your use), or
  • To your Department Teams site if they are for shared access

You can also create a Teams site for your immediate work team or to collaborate with colleagues across the University.

You can still use Syncplicity Sync & Share to access files easily from home by logging in via a web browser.

Further information

Last updated 21/10/2020 12.39 PM

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