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ISC Networking and Telecommunications Email Service

In late summer 2008, Pobox hardware and software will be upgraded to provide integrated, standards-based communications services with PennKey integration. The software we'll be using is Zimbra, which was chosen after a product evaluation and in consultation with Pobox IT Directors. Zimbra does not offers mailing lists and we are asking users to transition mailing lists to other services by June 3, 2008.

Possible replacements for the Pobox mailing list service include:

ISC N&T Listserv service

NOTE: Listowners whose Pobox lists have been deactivated on 6/18/2008 will still be able to convert their Pobox mailing list to Listserv by using the 'list-menu' process below until 7/15/2008.

NOTE: Deactivated lists will send autoreplies to senders stating that the list is no longer available. Listowners may discontinue these autoreplies by selecting option #4 in 'list-menu' below.

You can opt to switch your list to the ISC N&T Listserv service. This is a for-fee service although we do offer volume discounts for lists that are being charged to one budget code.

There will be no Listserv charges (setup or semi-annual) for lists moving from Pobox to Listserv until 2008-07-01. At that time, we will apply the ongoing charges. Any Pobox mailing lists that transitions to the Listserv service will retain your virtual domain addressing. If you currently have a list that can be addressed as either mailing_list@pobox.upenn.edu or mailing_list@mail.med.upenn.edu, you can continue to use those addresses if you switch the list to the Listserv service.

To switch a mailing list to the Listserv service:

  1. Make sure that you have a budget number and contact information for your budget administrator. Although we will not start charging for lists until July, 2008, we will need this information on record before moving your list to the Listserv service.
  2. Log into the account that owns the list.
  3. From either the MAIN MENU or UNIX prompt, type list-menu
  4. Select option #6 - "Request transfer of existing Pobox list to Listserv".
  5. Follow the online instructions. This process queues your request for transfer and will act on your request in batch mode. The process to transfer lists will run once a night. You will get notification the next day that you list has been transferred.
  6. You should be able to use your list without any other changes. The list will continue to work using whatever address your currently use.
  7. If this is a list that is owned by an individual, that individual is now the owner of the Listserv list. If the list is owned by a group account, the group account and the person deemed the owner of the group account are now owners of the list. Owners of lists can maintain the list, adding/deleting members or changing options of the list through a web interface available at http://lists.upenn.edu/cgi-bin/wa. If you don't already have a Listserv password, you will be prompted to create a Listserv password the first time you go to this web site. This is a local password. Please choose a secure password but do not use your PennKey password.

Bulk Transfer of Lists

If you wish to transfer more than 10 lists to the Listserv service, we can process these for you in bulk. You can open a trouble ticket with the ProDesk and you will be required to provider your list information in a colon delimited formate:
  • Listname
  • Budget Code
  • Budget Organization
  • BA Fullname
  • BA Email
  • BA Phone
Example: testlist:12345678912345678912345678:9131:Bud Smith:budsmith@someserver.upenn.edu:215-898-0000

If all budget information is constant, you can just send us the list of listnames and we will process

Free List Services

There are also sites that will offer free groups like: You are sure to find many others by doing an Internet search. ISC does not endorse any of these services but lists these as a starting point. The disadvantage to using these free services is that you will not be able to retain your upenn.edu addressing and you must rely on external agents for support. If you choose to use one of these free services, you can also opt to have a forwarding address set up for your list so that mail sent to the listname@pobox.upenn.edu address will be forwarded to your new list address until the retirement of the Pobox Classic service in late summer, 2008.

Zimbra Contact Groups

Zimbra does have a feature called "contact groups". This feature is free but creating a mailing list through contact groups has limitations. Only other people who also have accounts on the system can be members of the contact group and can be authorized to send to the contact group. If you currently have a mailing list whose members all have accounts on Pobox, you only use that mailing list to communicate with the members of the list, and you never publicize that address to people outside of the list membership, your list is a candidate for switching to contact groups.
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