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Student Email Enhancements Improving email services for UC Davis students Morna Mellor Director, Data Center and Client Services 530-752-5127 May 14, 2007 Proposed approach

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Student Email Enhancements

Improving email services for UC Davis students

Morna Mellor

Director, Data Center and Client Services


May 14, 2007

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Proposed approach

  • IET has, through a variety of forums and analysis, evaluated options for the next generation of student email services.

  • As a result of this evaluation, IET recommends developing a partnership with Google, and rolling out their Google Apps for Education, which includes Gmail, in fall 2007 as an “opt-in” pilot for students.

  • The success of this new service will be evaluated over the fall 2007 and winter 2008 quarters to determine the feasibility of a roll out to all students during fall 2008.

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Why improve student email services?

  • Current campus student email system has limitations

    • Geckomail implemented fall 2000

    • Steps taken over time to address server capacity, improve response time, etc.; good short-term fixes

    • Email quota remains insufficient

    • Integration with other communication services (e.g., text messaging, mobile device access, instant messaging) is not possible with current architecture

    • Need to seek a more permanent and strategic solution for a fast, stable, cost-effective and expandable email system for students

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Why partner with an outside vendor?

  • Provides technological innovations that are difficult to achieve with campus-built applications, including:

    • Significantly better suite of collaboration and communication tools

    • State-of-the-art, feature-rich user interface

    • Ongoing improvements to the tools without any development costs

    • Much larger storage space

    • No scheduled downtime, very minimal unscheduled system unavailability

    • High level of security

  • Reduces service costs—products offered for free

  • Provides additional longer-term cost savings

    • No new servers, no additional support personnel, no developer resources to build email software.

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Why Google Apps?

  • Comparison of Microsoft Live Mail and Google Gmail (part of Google Apps). Google Apps:

    • Is preferred by students over other offerings (many students already redirecting email to Gmail)

    • Integrates easily with campus infrastructure

    • Least expensive to implement

    • Provides a richer set of features

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What is Google Apps?


  • Ample mail storage—2 gigabytes of storage.

  • Powerful mail search tools—The power of Google search available for your email inbox.

  • Integrated contact list—Gmail automatically remembers people you've corresponded with.

  • Integrated instant messaging—See who's online and instant message with them in real-time, right within the mail browser window. Chat conversations are saved and searchable, just like email.

  • Integrated calendar features—Gmail recognizes meeting requests and invitations, and helps you RSVP without ever leaving your inbox.

  • Supported languages—US and UK English, simplified and traditional Chinese, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

  • Virus, spam, and phishing protection—Powerful technology to effectively block viruses, filter spam, and alert you when you receive phishing messages.

  • POP and mail forwarding—Download messages from Gmail to applications like Outlook and Eudora. POP messages from another email address into your Gmail inbox.

  • Mobile access—Gmail mobile allows access to email account when on-the-go.

  • Supported browsers—Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, Mozilla, Netscape, and others.

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Who has partnered with Google Apps?

  • Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan—70,000 students

  • Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona—65,000

  • Hofstra University, Long Island, New York—20,000

  • San Jose City College, San Jose, California—10,000

  • Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada—7,500

  • Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois—7,500

  • Etc.

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Who is considering partnering?

  • UC Irvine

  • UCLA

  • University of Kansas

  • University of Wisconsin

  • Indiana University - Bloomington

  • Stanford University

  • Etc.

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Key anticipated benefits to UC Davis


  • Would position UC Davis as institution that offers high-quality collaboration tools for students.

  • Would position UC Davis as a leader in the UC system with respect to email offerings.


  • Initial investment: $91,000.

  • Annual anticipated savings: $70,000 (to be set aside for potential exit strategy).

  • Avoids approximately $1.3 million in development and commercial procurement costs for comparable functionality.

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Under investigation

  • Contract negotiations

    • Working with UC General Counsel and Procurement Offices.

    • Campus access to content and logs (legal concerns, subpoenas)—contract will need to resolve campus vs. Google responsibility.

    • Potential security restrictions regarding email stored on overseas servers (e.g., sensitive information that cannot leave U.S.)—exploring local alternatives.

    • Section 508 (ADA compliance)—investigating if Google can offer a text-based version that would be 508 compliant.

  • Attachment size limits—exploring alternatives for sharing large files.

  • Email transition and exit strategies under development—Microsoft remains an option.

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Next steps


  • Negotiations and legal review

  • Resolve items under investigation

  • Consult with campus community, including:

    Students—Undergraduate and graduate students


    IT Groups—CCFIT, Technology Infrastructure Forum, Technology Support Program

    Campus Administration—Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors, Senior Advisors Group

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Next steps (cont.)


  • Execute contract for pilot phase (Purchasing, General Counsel)

  • Updates to campus community

  • Integrate Gmail with campus infrastructure


  • Communicate pilot to campus

  • Pilot program begins and continues through fall quarter

  • Pilot adjustments

  • Updates to campus community

    January-February 2008

  • Post pilot evaluation; vet recommendation regarding adoption for students

  • Updates to campus community

    Fall 2008

  • Possible roll-out to all students

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Morna Mellor

Director, Data Center and Client Services