University Collaboration Suite (UCS)

University Collaboration Suite (UCS)

Collaboration across multiple platforms is made possible through the robust collection of communication services and tools. In addition to being an e-mail and calendaring client, UCS provides file sharing, tasks, contacts, document management, and additional digital features.

Users can choose to use the service through various e-mail clients, including: the UCS web-based and desktop clients, Mozilla’s Thunderbird,, iCal, and through a connector for Outlook Connector, part of Microsoft Outlook. Therein, the selection affords users Operating System independence when working with the collaborative suite.

Zimbra Collaboration Server (ZCS) provides and supports the technology and collaborative suite for UCS.


Beginning in 2008, Penn State conducted a series of initiatives to scope and evaluate options for electronic collaboration. Participants represented 17 non-ITS units and 10 ITS units. One outcome from the investigations was a decision to deploy UCS as a centrally provisioned electronic collaboration system for faculty and staff. The recommendation was approved and support was given for UCS to be deployed as a common good, no-fee service.

Obtaining Access

Departments and campuses should contact the IT Service Desk – to learn more about obtaining service. An integrated level of support is offered for migration from Microsoft Exchange service in addition to the assistance in continued use of Microsoft Outlook client software.

Obtaining a training account within the UCS environment prior to a unit’s migrating can also be done by contacting the IT Service Desk.


Requests for calendaring systems, other than Exchange, to be migrated to UCS should be directed to the IT Service Desk

Permissions in UCS are configured per calendar – multiple calendars can be created. Color coding is available to distinguish events on varying calendars. Additional help documents are located within UCS.

UCS integrates with the Penn State Enterprise Directory Service for individual and defined group searches. Any contacts stored within a Penn State WebMail account can also be migrated to UCS.

Migration Procedures

New customers can opt to have an ITS [e] IMAP and/or Penn State WebMail account(s) migrated to a UCS account upon its creation. If the account(s) use POP protocol then no e-mail data will be migrated by ITS for the user. POP mail implies that the user will take on the responsibility of migrating e-mail data into UCS.

Scheduling is done on a unit-by-unit basis. The IT Service Desk and UCS team help to coordinate migration date(s).

When engaging the IT Service Desk, please be prepared to provide the following details to aid in the migration:

  • Requesting Unit Name (as seen in PSU Directory)
  • For each user, provide the following
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Penn State Access Account user ID
    • Office Phone Number
    • Address
    • Full Name
    • Migrate e-mail? Yes/No
    • Which e-mail does the user want to be migrated? (POP/IMAP/WebMail)
    • Operating System being used: Windows/Mac/Linux
    • Mobile device being used: iPhone/Android/Windows/etc
  • For more information please refer to the community written and maintained Departmental Migration Guide.

Provisioning & Updating Quotas

Once users are migrated to UCS, they are given their current migrated quota plus 1 Gigabytes of space for a 3 month grace period. After the grace period has expired, a user’s quota is set to 3 Gigabytes.

During the 3 month grace period, users are encouraged to reduce the amount of items kept on the UCS servers to less than the 3 Gigabyte quota. If that is not an option, users may purchase additional space in 5 Gigabytes increments for a monthly fee by submitting a completed ITS for Fee Services Request Form to the ITS Accounts Office by email via or print and mail to:

ITS Accounts Office
204 Wagner Building
University Park, PA 16802.

Should users decide to increase their quota, additional quota must be purchased in 5 Gigabyte increments. So if a user requires more space than the given 3 Gigabytes, the minimum amount of total space they can have is 8 Gigabytes (and then increasing by 5 Gigabytes thereafter).

Users can always purchase additional quota space, even after the 3 month grace period ends. You will receive an e-mail notification when you are at 90% of your 3GB quota. At that time you can purchase additional space so you risk not losing any messages, or you archive some messages and keep your quota below 3 Gigabytes.

Service Rates

Users receive 3GB of free storage space. Additional space can be purchased for $1.10/5GB/month. Storage space is available in 5GB increments.

Documentation & Resources

UCS Instructions
SPAM, Mail Retention & Backup Policy
UCS Known Issues

Help & Support

Zimbra provides a Zimbra Web Client User Guide, which is comprehensive and covers most aspects of using the Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS).