Plans to Update E-mail and Calendaring Services

From: Administrative E-Memo (memofrom@colorado.edu)
Date: Wed Jun 27 2012 - 20:54:14 MDT


Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 20:54:14 -0600 (MDT)
From: Administrative E-Memo <memofrom@colorado.edu>
Subject: Plans to Update E-mail and Calendaring Services


TO: Boulder Campus Teaching & Research Faculty, Staff,
         Deans, Directors, Dept Chairs

FROM: Office of Information Technology (OIT)

SENDER: Larry Levine, Associate VC for IT and CIO

DATE: June 27, 2012

SUBJECT: Plans to Update E-mail and Calendaring Services

A number of campus conversations with individuals and groups have occurred over
the past several months to shape upcoming changes to campus e-mail and
calendaring services. These groups include the IT governance committees (see
http://avcit.colorado.edu/content/campuswide-it-governance) and the
Chancellor's Executive Council. These conversations, in addition to new
software releases and contract changes have made cloud-based e-mail and
collaborative services very attractive. Switching to one of these services,
hosted by a major outside provider working under contract and in tight
collaboration with OIT will bring a number of benefits to the e-mail and
collaborative services we use. Therefore, for students, OIT will implement
Google Apps for Higher Education beginning in 2012. Once the move to Google for
students is underway, we will begin a move to Microsoft Office 365 as a
continuation of the current Exchange 2007 e-mail solution for faculty and staff
early in 2013. We will then pursue providing faculty and staff the choice of
either of these two platforms (Google or Microsoft). For faculty, students, and
staff, as these changes take place, your e-mail address will stay the same. At
this point, you don't need to do anything; this message is informational only.

Office 365 is Microsoft's hosted offering of Exchange and other services.
Faculty and staff will be able to take advantage of increased e-mail storage
quotas and collaboration features. Here's what's included:

  -- 25GB of storage, compared to the current 1GB quota on Exchange
  -- Microsoft Lync for instant messaging and video conferencing
  -- Microsoft SharePoint for easy website creation and management
  -- Microsoft Office Web Applications for web-based access to word processing,
     spreadsheet and presentation documents.

To keep you up-to-date with our progress as these changes are implemented over
the coming months we will post information at
http://oit.colorado.edu/email-calendaring-direction. Our updates will include
progress and schedules for student migrations and then for faculty and staff
migrations. More in-depth information about Google Apps and Office 365 features
and capabilities, and support documents will also be included.

This e-mail is an invitation to contact me if you have any questions or
suggestions regarding these developments and direction. More detailed
information is below.

Sincerely,

Larry Levine
_____

Background and More Information

The undergraduate and graduate student governments recently surveyed their
peers about their preferences between Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for
Higher Education. Overwhelmingly, the students chose Google, as also reflected
in a formal letter from Graduate Student government, and a bill passed by
CUSG's Legislative Council. In addition to including e-mail and calendaring
services, Google Apps also provides Google Docs, Google Chat and other Google
collaborative technologies.

A number of campus departments, academic and administrative, expressed an
interest in moving the campus's Exchange 2007 service to Microsoft Office 365.
Microsoft Office 365 is Microsoft Exchange hosted in the Microsoft enterprise
cloud environment, instead of on-campus servers, with collaboration tools such
as Lync (instant messaging and video messaging similar to Skype), SharePoint,
and Office Web Applications. Given the increased capabilities of Office 365
compared to the current Exchange environment on campus, it is the preferred
choice for messaging and calendaring for the majority of CU-Boulder employees.
Because faculty and staff have been recently migrated to a more modern system
utilizing Exchange, our immediate focus is migrating students to Google Apps
for Higher Education. Once that project is underway, we will begin migrations
of faculty and staff accounts to Microsoft Office 365.

Google and Microsoft, respectively, provide Google Applications and Office 365
at no charge, and a contract with Google and with Microsoft has been negotiated.

Additionally, an ongoing semester-long research pilot considering online
collaborative suites and involving over 200 campus affiliates, including
faculty, students, and OIT staff, has recommended that Google Apps be provided
as a preferred platform for social and collaborative online learning. Google
Apps can be integrated with the campus's primary online learning environment,
D2L, and is seen as a flexible and effective supplement to D2L. Accordingly,
OIT is pursuing technical solutions that would allow faculty to use just the
Google Apps collaborative suite (Google Apps minus e-mail and calendaring)
prior to our ultimate end goal of making both services (Google Apps or
Microsoft Office 365) available to faculty and staff.

More information regarding the platforms may be found here:

Microsoft Office 365:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/what-is-office365.aspx#fbid=31Ak=8-0Llrq

Google Apps for Higher Ed:
http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/edu/university.html



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