Richmond is moving to Google Apps Education Edition over several phases from May 9, 2011, through June 1, 2011.
Greg Miller, manager of network services, said that he, Troy Boroughs, assistant vice president of systems and networks, and Kathy Monday, vice president for information services, made the decision in the middle of March to migrate to Google Apps after preparing the transition for months.
"All three of us didn't decide on our own," Miller said. "We also got input from the faculty council meetings, Richmond College and Westhampton College student governments and the cabinet meeting."
Miller said information services had held an open forum earlier this year to discuss any problems or questions students had with switching to Google Apps. No one showed up, Miller said.
Miller said the idea to switch from SpiderMail and Microsoft Exchange had originally been Monday's, but he and Boroughs had worked with her on it.
"I've been preparing months and months for this transition," Miller said.
If students are forwarding their mail, it will not affect them, Miller said.
"It's great," Nick Lydick, technical support analyst, said. "I'm glad to see that we're taking an active approach to adopting newer and better technology. So many people already use it, so it is the natural thing to move toward that [transition]."
The migration itself should be flawless, Lydick said. Google is backing Richmond up 100 percent, he said.
"We will be sending out individual emails before we move to Google Apps," Miller said. "Next week we will be setting up the accounts for the incoming freshman class."
Miller said there were many reasons that information services had decided to switch to Google Apps. The biggest reason is that the SpiderMail application is outdated and doesn't have all the applications that students expect, he said.
"We were deciding between Microsoft Live and Google Apps," Miller said. "We chose Google because students are more familiar with the applications, and Microsoft was not working the way we would have liked it to."
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Miller said that Google was a clear and more integrated product. It will not cost the school anything, he said.
Another reason for switching is the functionality that Richmond will get with Google documents, Miller said. The storage space is 7.5 GB for Google Apps, whereas SpiderMail has 200 MB, he said.
"That is a huge increase of 35 times more space," Miller said.
Student email addresses will remain the same, according to information services. In addition to email, students will have access to all Google applications, including Mail Calendar and Groups.
Miller said that if students had any questions, they should go to the information services homepage. All students' mail will be saved and their folders will be there, Miller said. The hardest part will be creating 5,000 accounts, Miller said.
"This should be an easy transition," he said. "Students won't lose anything."
Contact staff writer Rachael Specter at firstname.lastname@example.org
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