Centralizing Email and Calendaring
Central Email and Calendar Service
The University of Alberta is going Google! Google Apps for Education will be the only supported email service at the University. See the one page summary highlighting important information about Google Apps for Education.
Department Migration Schedule
Department Schedule (PDF)
Town Hall Presentation Slides
- October 2011:Over 89,000 users have gone Google. Old Central Mail (Webmail) has been set to read-only, which was the largest email system at the University. We are now concentrating our efforts on moving department servers to uAlberta Google Apps.
- September 2011:Over 80,000 users have gone Google. 20 department email servers are scheduled to begin the migration process before the new year.
- June 2011: The project is in full swing, with 60,000 users now migrated to the new services, and attention has now been turned to departments and business units. The project team is currently working with Biological Sciences to prepare their 600+ users for a June 20-24 migration window. Most of their users are currently using central mail, some of which have already migrated but they also have an Exchange server. This will be a test of the migration tools and procedures. Everything is going very well, with the staff of Bio Science being extremely enthusiastic and cooperative. The project team is also currently working with Native Studies to scope and plan their migration, which is tentatively scheduled for early July.
Following these successful migrations, the team will be working with Electrical & Chemical Engineering as well as Education. As for the remaining departments, the goal is to have a migration schedule for everyone in place by late summer. Once that is ready, departments will be contacted to begin scoping and planning activities.
April 21, 2011: As we wind down the first phase of the project, we would like to remind students there are just a few more days to make the switch to uAlberta Google Apps and still be eligible to enter the contest. Click HERE to go to the switch site and get yourself migrated over now.
The first phase has gone extremely well, with over 48,000 users making the switch. We were also pleasantly surprised to find that a large number of users who had forwarded their email to off-campus providers have since come back and are now taking advantage of all of the benefits of uAlberta Google Apps. We expect this trend to continue as people understand how useful the new tools can be for productivity and collaboration.
The next phase of this project is underway, starting with the analysis of project requirements in order to on-board the first set of departments to Google. Our project team is focusing on how academic and administrative departments use their email, what devices are used, what applications are used to connect to their email servers and what training is required. Once the initial pilot departments have been successfully migrated we will take the lessons learned and adapt our processes to move the rest of the departments smoothly.
- April 7, 2011: Two weeks have passed since we asked all students at University to "go Google" and the response from the community has been nothing short of spectacular! As of April 7, more than 29,000 students have activated their uAlberta Google Apps accounts and almost all of them have transferred their old @ualberta.ca email to the new Gmail-powered service. On Monday, April 11th, all students who have not yet switched to uAlberta Google Apps will receive an email from AICT Help desk encouraging them to make the switch. There's a lot of enthusiasm for the project; people are appreciating the improved email experience and powerful suite of other apps. We are hoping to continue the momentum and get the remaining students migrated before the end of the semester.
March 21st, 2011: After months of preparation, we have opened our doors to let all students go through the process of switching from central mail to uAlberta Google Apps. Students can go to ualberta.ca/google/switch to get started. The process is being restricted to students only at this time, however, to allow departmental IT administrators time to plan transitions for faculty and departments in an orderly fashion. While we know there are many staff and faculty who are eager to make the switch to uAlberta Gmail, we are asking that they refrain from going through the switch process until their department is ready to move as a whole. This will make for a smoother transition when their department does make the switch.
In the next two months, AICT will be contacting individual business units to discuss their needs and schedule an appropriate time to move to Gmail.
- March 1st, 2011:So far 7760 people have been invited to help us test our Google Apps Switch Site. The feedback from this and our focus groups will be incorporated into the site over the next couple of weeks. Once re-tested, we aim to significantly increase the speed at which we invite people to switch their mail service to Google Apps.
- January - February, 2011: Developing a user-friendly process to enable students, staff and faculty to get started with uAlberta Google Apps, in particular the process for uAlberta.ca email users to switch from the current University central mail service over to the Google-powered service. We'll be starting to move people with centrally-administered email accounts (which includes most students), gradually ramping up the volume of transfers as we go.
- As well, we're developing the phased approach for moving staff and faculty over, most of whom have their email provided on local email servers. This will involve working with departments to develop a schedule that will work as best as possible for all departments and faculties.
- December 13/14, 2010: Meetings with campus IT personnel (140 attendees) to discuss plans for starting the move to Google in January. See the attached presentation.
- December 8th, 2010 update: The University of Alberta is moving to Gmail! See the announcement.
- September 1, 2010 update: Contract discussions with Google are nearing a conclusion. In the coming weeks, we expect a final decision to be made on the use of Gmail at the University of Alberta.
- April 8, 2010 update: Read the project's status.
- The Privacy Impact Assessment has been officially accepted by the OIPC. Note the OIPC can only accept (or reject) the documents - they do not formally approve them.
- Note that public Gmail accounts do not have the same privacy protection as that of Google's education Gmail accounts.
- We are currently running several Gmail pilot projects, creating documentation, developing migration plans, iterating on timelines (which shift according to the prerequisites), working on integrating Gmail with existing technologies, writing helpdesk tutorials, testing training sessions, and programming data migration scripts. We expect all of these projects will continue through the spring of 2010.
In The Media
- Edmonton Journal, 13th January 2010: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Google+save/2433450/story.html
- IT World Canada, 5th July 2010: http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/dont-use-the-patriot-act-as-an-excuse/141033