Faculty and staff will soon join students on a single email and calendar system. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is in the process of migrating faculty and staff email, now on two systems, to Google Apps. The move has already happened for some users and is expected to be completed by next summer. Students made the switch last fall.
Google Apps offers a number of productivity tools—Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Talk, and Gmail with 7.5 gigabytes of storage—to facilitate collaboration and communication between students, faculty and staff. Google Apps provides user-friendly access over the Web and includes support for a wide variety of mobile devices, including Android, iPhone, iPad, and BlackBerry via Google Sync.
Outsourcing email is a growing trend in higher education because it enables universities to improve technology services while reducing costs. With Google Apps, OIT doesn’t need to maintain the hardware infrastructure or application software required to run the service. Google maintains and provides the service to the university for free and provides frequent updates, continually adding functionality to the service, while NC State focuses on administering the service.
There are some differences between Google Apps and the systems currently used by faculty and staff. For example, GroupWise users are able to send email attachments of up to 100 megabytes. In Gmail, the limit is 25 megabytes.
For more information, visit http://google.ncsu.edu. Expect an email from OIT when it’s your time to make the switch to Google Apps.