Miami is partnering with Google to provide faculty and staff the Google Apps for Education, including Gmail to manage email accounts, Google Calendar and a range of other Google tools. The new system brings many benefits, including an extraordinary 25-gigabyte quota per individual for storage.
Faculty and staff email will be moved from the current Exchange system to Google Apps for Education this December, during Miami’s winter break.
“As part of the recent Support Services Implementation Project (SSIP) efforts, IT has been reviewing all software applications to determine where changes can yield significant savings,” said Debi Allison, vice president for information technology. “By using Google Apps for Education, we can free up internal resources for more pressing technology projects that benefit the university as a whole.”
Faculty and staff Gmail accounts will not include advertising and will not be “mined” for data like standard Gmail accounts, according to contractual obligations. Individuals may use almost any email client, like Outlook or Mac Mail, to access their Google account or they can use the native Google web mail. Gmail is also accessible via mobile devices like smartphones or tablets.
The actual moving of the email and calendar data will be performed by IT services, with the assistance of the vendor partner Promevo. There will be some small tasks that faculty and staff will want to do before the move and those will be clearly communicated later this semester.
Open forums are planned for all three campuses and a website (www.MiamiOH.edu/GoGoogle) will offer much information as well as opportunities to ask questions.
Miami students moved to Google Apps for Education as their email and calendaring system nearly two years ago. However student email will also change over winter break to shift their email addresses to the new Miami University domain: MiamiOH.edu. Details on the changes to student email accounts will be forthcoming.
Last spring, a group of faculty and staff reviewed the functions and costs of the current Exchange email system against both Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365. The results of that review process led to a recommendation that Google Apps for Education be adopted as the primary email/calendaring/collaboration tool. Additionally, faculty, staff and students will be provided with access to the Microsoft Office 365 collaboration tools sometime this spring.
For details on the process followed to reach these decisions, see the Faculty/staff Email and Calendar Recommendation website.