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Announcement: Email Provider Upgrade, February 2022

Announced: December 9, 2021

What's Happening:

In February 2022 we will upgrade the email service provider we use to send email communications for Course Evaluations & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKIT) in order to improve email reliability, and provide a service that can scale and evolve with the ever-changing landscape of email security.

As one of the key drivers of survey engagement and response rates, the reliability, security and deliverability of email communications are extremely important. By moving from a homegrown email system to an AWS-based solution, we will be able to meet these needs more effectively and more efficiently. Specifically, this upgrade will:

    1. Improve email deliverability.
    2. Ensure our email-sending practices conform to the latest security requirements and best practices, and aid us in evolving as these requirements change.
    3. Enable Watermark to scale to ensure strong email reliability as product usage grows.

What's Changing:

This upgrade involves three key changes related to email receipt/deliverability:
    1. Emails will be sent with a new default "from" address
    2. Emails will be sent from new a server
    3. There’s a new way to authorize Watermark to send “from” a campus email domain

As a result, it may affect how you choose to configure emails in Course Evaluations & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKIT), as well as any settings your IT team has configured to ensure course evaluation and survey emails reach your users (e.g., email or IP address safelisting).

How to Prepare:

You’ll likely need to take action to prepare for this upgrade if:
    1. Your institution configures automated email communications for any course evaluations or general survey projects.
    2. Your institution uses the “direct-to-user” email tools to send one-off messages to individual users outside of survey projects.
    3. You override the default “from” address (e.g., spoof a campus email address) to send any emails from Course Evaluations & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKIT).
If any of the above are true, please review the FAQ and the Outgoing Email Settings article for details on specific steps to take, and share this information with your IT team as soon as possible so you can work together to identify and make any necessary changes before January 31, 2022.

Otherwise please simply make note of these changes for your own administrative awareness.

Thank you for working with us to prepare for these changes. We look forward to the ways in which this initiative will enable us to provide stronger email reliability!

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