Announces Move to More Reliable Email System
Smith Technology Steering Committee voted this week to change
email and personal calendaring system to a new platform, a move that will reduce
costs and save energy for the college, and improve reliability and features for
decision came after the committee received positive feedback
about the proposal from faculty, staff and students in recent
weeks, and it was approved by President
Beginning in January, Smith’s current system, Novell Groupwise, will be replaced by the Google Apps
for Education platform. Members of the Smith community will retain current email
addresses and receive instructions as to how to make the change.
Unlike the current
complex email system, which relies on computer servers locally
managed by Smith, and is therefore susceptible to a variety
of issues such as the recent power outages, the new system
will be hosted and managed by Google in multiple data centers.
Even in an extended power outage,
the college’s email system will continue
to operate, facilitating communication among all members of the local and extended
Smith community, said David Gregory, chief information officer, Information Technology
Services (ITS), who is overseeing the change in platforms.
Faculty, staff and
students will be able to access email from any modern computer
with Internet access anywhere in the world, he noted.
transition to Google Apps for Education is slated to begin
in January, first with students, then staff and faculty.
The goal is to switch everyone to the new platform by April
2012, said Gregory.
will occur department by department, with ITS copying all
the messages, appointments and contacts stored in the GroupWise
system to the new environment. As is currently the case with
Novell Groupwise, members of the Smith community should continue
to pose all questions about email and the personal calendar
to the ITS User Support Center.
Numerous higher education
institutions, including Colgate University, Hamilton College,
Oberlin College, and the University of Michigan, use Google
Apps for Education, noted Gregory.
switch to Google Apps for Education.