project of the season
Welcome to the Project of the Season! This site highlights exemplary project managers that have appropriately followed the Fordham IT standard project management methodology – and their project which has been executed according to plan, schedule, and/or budget. If you know of a project that deserves special mention, please send a short paragraph to email@example.com.
Google Apps for Education Comes to Fordham University
January 11, 2013, marks the day that Gmail became the official enterprise email for the entire Fordham University Community. Back in October 2010 all students were given Google Apps accounts with access to Mail, Calendar and Contacts. Google Docs and Google Chat were added as services in January 2012.
In Spring 2012, after a comprehensive discernment process, the decision was made to move all faculty and staff to Gmail. However, this project was not only about email. Mail is only one of many services that comprise the Google Apps for Education suite, which offers a variety of services for communication, collaboration and productivity.
As with any new implementation there were both benefits and challenges. The implementation team was charged with providing a seamless integration between Google Apps and other technology-based services that are provided through the University portal. Retaining the current email addresses and setting up single sign-on for authentication were considered essential critical success factors.
The migration of email, contacts and calendar entries from Lotus Notes required a great deal of planning and preparation. The implementation team organized a migration schedule that respected the University calendar and recognized the benefit of moving Administrative and Academic departments as intact units. In early August, staff members in the Library and Human Resources were the first groups to be migrated. The last major group was the faculty, which took place in late October and early November.
One of our most difficult and important challenges was building and executing a communications plan that would give everyone the information they needed in the most timely and appropriate manner. This also included training, which continues to be provided in a variety of diverse settings. Even those who were familiar with Gmail functionality from their own personal accounts needed to be made aware of some specific differences and features in an enterprise-wide Gmail application.
All Google services may be accessed via the portal, directly at GMAIL.FORDHAM.EDU or on a variety of mobile devices. Since Gmail is a web-based application, it is now possible to access your email from anywhere using a common interface, thus providing Anytime, Anywhere, Anyhow Access.
Google Apps for Education has a very vocal and active world-wide user base. In response to suggestions and concerns from their community, as they call it, Google is constantly adding new services and features to the Google Apps for Education suite. At Fordham University each offering is being evaluated for functionality and compliance with our security and privacy needs before being deployed.
Lotus Notes will remain available in a read-only reference mode through July 11, 2013, at which point it will be permanently retired. Instructions are being made available to anyone who needs to save emails or attachments from their Lotus Notes accounts. This six-month window will be your last opportunity to review the contents of your old email before it permanently rides off into the technology sunset.
For more specific information, documentation and training materials about Gmail and Google Apps for Education, please visit the All Things Gmail channel on the either Employee or Faculty Tab in the portal.