Outsourcing email a case study ira winston cio school of arts sciences university of pennsylvania
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Outsourcing Email: a case study Ira Winston CIO School of Arts & Sciences University of Pennsylvania. School of Arts & Sciences (SAS). Penn (est. 1740) is an Ivy League university in Philadelphia ranked #5 by US News and World Reports SAS is the largest of the four undergraduate schools at Penn

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Outsourcing email a case study ira winston cio school of arts sciences university of pennsylvania

Outsourcing Email: a case studyIra WinstonCIOSchool of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Pennsylvania


School of arts sciences sas

School of Arts & Sciences (SAS)

  • Penn (est. 1740) is an Ivy League university in Philadelphia ranked #5 by US News and World Reports

  • SAS is the largest of the four undergraduate schools at Penn

  • 500 standing faculty in 26 academic departments

  • 6500 undergraduates in 52 majors


Before spring 2007 email environment

Before - Spring 2007 email environment

  • Spring 2007 email environment

    • IMAP/POP/Webmail (IMP)

    • 75mb quotas

    • 5 year old Sun hardware

    • heavy webmail usage

    • 30% of students forwarding email to ISP’s


Rationale for outsourcing

Rationale for Outsourcing

  • Outsourcing email and other communications functions is an acknowledgement that the outsourced providers have a better product than most universities offer.

  • Given that most incoming students (90% in our case) are already using Gmail, Windows Live/Hotmail/MSN, Yahoo or AOL they are quite comfortable with these systems and anything we provide would have to better.

  • They are mostly looking for the .EDU email address, which can be provided without providing an actual email account.

  • The resources freed up can be used to provide services that can uniquely be provided by universities.


Outsourcing mechanics

Outsourcing mechanics

  • Penn Live (Windows Live) is an OPTION for all students. Webmail continues to be an option for existing students but not incoming students.

  • Segmented Marketing

    • Gmail – don’t expect them to switch, perhaps mention lack of ads and non-email services

    • Hotmail/MSN – same client, no ads, real technical support

    • Yahoo – comparable client, no ads, real technical support

    • AOL and others– better client, no ads, real technical support, non-email services

    • SAS webmail – quota, better client, non-email services


Outsourcing mechanics1

Outsourcing mechanics

  • Extensive documentation on accessing the service using email clients (FAQ with screen shots)

  • Very responsive help desk, call students back on the phone to follow up.

  • E-mail migration procedures not heavily used but important to have documented.


After fall 2007 email environment

After - Fall 2007 Email environment

  • Penn Live (Windows Live) added as an option for existing students in July 2007

  • Incoming students offered Penn Live or forwarding but NOT the school email service

  • 62% of upperclassmen forwarding email to ISP’s

  • 78% of all students forwarding email to ISP’s


After fall 2007 email environment1

After - Fall 2007 Email environment

  • Of the students who forward:

    • 27% to Gmail

    • 28% to Penn Live

    • 20% to mail.sas.upenn.edu (school email service)

    • 6% to AOL

    • 4% to Yahoo

    • 5% to Hotmail/MSN


Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing

Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing?

Q1. What system do you current use for email (exchange, imap/webmail, etc.)?

A1. Those with heavy webmail (IMP, squirrel mail, homebrew) systems


Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing1

Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing?

Q2. What are the storage quotas for student email?

A2. Anything under 250mb


Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing2

Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing?

Q3. Do you allow forwarding and, if so, what percentage of students forward their email?

A3. Those who already allow forwarding and have a significant percentage of students forwarding.


Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing3

Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing?

Q4. How old is your current email system?

A4. Anything older than 2 years


Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing4

Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing?

Q5. Which clients do your students use to access your current email system?  If the data is available, break the usage down by client?

A5. Heavy webmail – GMY have excellent webmail clients


Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing5

Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing?

Q6. Do you support POP, IMAP or both?

A6. POP only – gmail, Windows Live and Yahoo (GMY) do not support IMAP


Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing6

Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing?

Q7. Do you have a calendaring system for students?

A7. no calendaring system – GMY provide calendaring


Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing7

Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing?

Q8. Do your university administrators want/need access to individual student emails for personal safety and student judicial inquiries?

A8. universities that prefer NOT to have access to individual student emails


Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing8

Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing?

Q9. How effective is your current antispam solution?

A9. bad antispam – GMY have good antispam because their large user bases categorize spam


Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing9

Is your campus a good candidate for outsourcing?

Q10. Do you have a disaster recovery plan for your email service?

A10. no disaster recovery plan – GMY have geographically redundant data centers


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