Google Apps for Education at Willamette University
The technology used to provide email and calendar services for the Willamette community has served long and well. As with all technology, however, it has aged and will soon be unsupported by its providers. Beginning in fall 2010, a committee composed of representatives from a broad range of campus constituencies met to evaluate many potential replacement products. In the end, the decision was made that Google Apps for Education would provide the most robust offering to meet the diverse needs of the Willamette community.
Willamette University will be partnering with Google to deliver integrated email and calendar services and enhanced collaboration services to all University faculty, students and staff. This means that WITS will be moving all 53 million existing messages from our current email server to Willamette servers at Google.
Why Google Apps for Education?
Google Apps for Education provides a set of robust tools that serve individual needs and provide additional avenues for collaboration and communication among all members of the university community. Some of the features that will be available via Google Apps for Education are:
- Integrated email, instant messaging and calendar services
- The ability to switch from email to IM, voice or video chat right in your inbox
- Adding calendar entries while composing or reading emails
- Increased e-mail storage for students
- Improved virus and spam filtering for all email
- Calendar services for all users that include subscriptions, group calendars and resource scheduling
- A web-based suite of collaboration tools that includes document, spreadsheet and presentation applications and that can be accessed from any computer or Internet-enabled mobile device
Learn more about Google Apps for Education
- Google Apps for Education - Official Site
- FAQ - Google's frequently asked questions about Google Apps for Education
- Success Stories - from other schools that use Google Apps
Why change providers?
- Oracle will be dropping all support for the calendar we are currently using as of July 1, 2011
- The Webmail interface has not kept up with the times
- The University needs to provide applications that are supported on a broad range of devices, including all mobile devices
What does this mean for me?
- Your email address will not change.
- WITS will migrate your email messages to your new Willamette Google Mail account; messages will be retained in the current email system to provide backup during the transition. The process of calendar migration for Oracle Calendar users will depend on individual users' workflow and WITS will provide multiple migration paths.
- There should be no downtime for you during this process. When your email account is switched to Google Apps for Education, new messages will appear immediately and you can work from the new account. Old messages will still exist in your old mailbox. You may need to use two methods to access email for a short period of time while your old messages are migrated. Accessing your email may be as simple as switching from the Webmail interface to Willamette's Gmail interface. If you use a client such as Thunderbird, Outlook, MacMail, etc., you will need to modify your settings to point to your new account.
- WITS Staff and the Help Desk will be available to assist you with the transition, to help you get up to speed quickly and to demonstrate new features available in the Google suite.
- WITS staff will work individually with Oracle Calendar users to manage the migration of calendar data.