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Google Apps System Replaces Old Mail SystemBy Brad Biles - August 5, 2009 - 1:40 pm
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Park University's Information and Technology Services office recently launched Google Apps to take the place of the old mail system. On July 28, ITS began sending Google Apps "welcome" e-mails to all existing PirateMail accounts, prioritized by enrollment and teaching status for the summer/fall 2009 semesters. E-mail addresses have not been changed as a result of the switch, just the system being accessed for those who had accounts. E-mail accounts hosted on the staff Exchange e-mail system (Outlook accounts on your Park-provided computer) are not affected.
Migration of saved e-mails and contacts from the old accounts to the new Google Apps system is nearly complete, based on the aforementioned prioritization. All old accounts will remain accessible to view saved e-mails, for a few months, so that the results of the migration process can be assured its complete.
According to David Monchusie, chief information officer, and Shaun Ferguson, Google Apps and systems administrator, the University made the switch to Google Apps because the PirateMail system had reached the end of its life from a physical and capacity perspective, and because the replacement and continued maintenance costs had become untenable.
"We've had increased demand for high availability and redundancy, better functionality and increased storage," Monchusie said, adding that Park was previously providing about 1/50th of the mailbox capacity of Google and other free e-mail providers). "The cost of replacement, redundancy and high availability is simply not feasible in our economic climate."
The ITS office strongly recommends that those who have received a "Welcome to Google Apps" e-mail take time to review the information to learn how to effectively utilize all of the features available as part of Google Apps' services for the University. These services and features include:
• Google Mail: More than 7GB (and growing) of e-mail storage (more than 50 times that of PirateMail), built-in instant messaging, voice and video chat, and additional spam and virus protection
• Google Calendar: Multiple personal calendars with resource scheduling and calendar/event sharing
• Google Docs: Online storage with creation, editing, sharing and collaboration tools for word processing, spreadsheets, forms and presentations
• Google Talk: Instant messaging, free calling (VOIP)/voicemail box, file transfer and group chat
"In addition, Google Apps for Education provides an immediately available expanded feature set (calendar, chat, Online docs, etc.) that would take significant development time to include in our current student electronic communication solution, adding in collaboration and organizational features," Ferguson said. "The cost reductions and organization affiliation will result in a high return on investment."