Get SharePoint Online

SharePoint on-premise will not be switched off until April 2023, however, we strongly encourage you to move your content to SharePoint Online well before this deadline. During 2021 there will be additional resource in the Nexus team to provide advice about moving to SharePoint Online.

The content of SharePoint on-premise sites cannot be automatically moved over to SharePoint Online. Setting up new SharePoint Online sites and moving content over will be the responsibility of Site Owners and administrators.

Departments, colleges and other parts of the University first need to go through an onboarding process with the Nexus team, for which you will need to provide the name of your unit and the name of your Business Owner and at least one Site Network Administrator (SNA).

Once your unit has onboarded, you will be able to request new sites.

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What is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process by which a department, college of other equivalent part of the University first sets up their presence in SharePoint Online.

This process must be completed before anyone in your unit can create new sites in SharePoint Online.

Our plan is to improve the governance of SharePoint Online by requiring each unit to go through onboarding before creating new sites, rather than letting people create new standalone sites which could lead to issues with compliance and accountability.

Each unit will only onboard once.

Who should do onboarding?

This should be carried out by whoever will be your Site Network Administrator (SNA) or Business Owner.

What is the process of onboarding?

  1. Please fill in a form, which will ask you for:
    • The name of your unit, as per the University organisation structure
    • The email address for at least one Business Owner (you can provide more than one)
    • The email address for at least one Site Network Administrator (SNA) (you can provide more than one)
    • Please enter these as email addresses not names, as email addresses are unique at the University, but names are not
  2. Once submitted, your request will be reviewed by the Nexus team
  3. If approved, you will receive an automated email telling you that your unit has successfully been onboarded to SharePoint Online

Any future sites you would like should be requested via the Oxford Service Manager (OSM) system, as per the site provisioning guidance below.


The onboarding and site provisioning processes are both based around the PRAS University organisation structure, which is the only organisational structure we can refer to for the University. The Nexus team cannot change this. If you cannot find your unit in the list, please contact the Nexus team directly.

What is site provisioning?

Site provisioning is the process by which new sites in SharePoint Online are created.

Once your department, college or equivalent part of the University has completed the onboarding process, as per the instructions above, you will be able to request hubs and sites via the Oxford Service Manager (OSM) system. No provisioning of sites can be done before your unit has been through the onboarding process.

If you are unsure if your unit is already on SharePoint Online, you can check this list of onboarded units, which only includes those who have completed the onboarding process. If your unit is not on this list, then your unit has not yet got a presence on SharePoint Online and you won’t be able to create new sites. We suggest you contact your local IT support to find out what your unit’s plans are for onboarding with SharePoint Online. You might also want to consider using Teams as an alternative to SharePoint Online.

Who should do site provisioning?

Anyone who will own a SharePoint Online site, including SNAs.

What is the process for site provisioning?

  1. The Site Owner consults with their SNA to provide details on:
  2. The Site Owner, or SNA on behalf of Site owner, submits the request through IT self service (search 'SharePoint')
  3. The SNA (or the Business Owner, if there is no SNA) approves the request via an automated email
  4. The Nexus team receive the request from OSM and auto-generate a new site using the details provided
  5. The Site Owner receives a new site notification from the Nexus team
  6. The SNA links the new site to a Hub, if appropriate

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