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IS plans switch to Gmail

Posted on 08.21.2013

The University of Indianapolis will make the switch from current email service provider Zimbra to Gmail in mid-October.

According to Associate Vice President of  Informational Systems Steve Herriford, the reason for the switch came after a series of complaints, with a large concern being security.

“As students, faculty and staff can tell you, we continue to have problems with Zimbra—outages, lack of support from the vendor … We continue to have problems with spam. As much as we try to tell people not to respond to those phishing attempts, they get more and more sophisticated and look more and more real all the time,” Herriford said.

Vice President for Student and Campus Affairs and Dean of Students Kory Vitangeli discussed some common complaints regarding Zimbra that came to her and reiterated the need for the switch to Gmail.

“One of the reasons why they [Information Systems] decided to switch over to Google is because they were looking for a product that would have less outages,” Vitangeli said. “I think there was frustration in the past with the Zimbra product, in terms of it having a tendency to go down.”

Vitangeli said that the university then began looking for a product that would be guaranteed not to fail, and many people at UIndy already were using Gmail.

Herriford explained that last spring a first attempt was made to move to Gmail, but it did not work out. The process that has been decided upon will be gradual, with Information Systems migrating first to Gmail during this past summer. In early September, a group of early adopters—including students, faculty and staff who are referred to as “Google guides”—will migrate. The final migration will occur in mid-October, during fall break, when Gmail will go live for the rest of campus.

“What will happen is that there will be a disruption in the migration as we bring everyone’s mail over from Zimbra to Gmail,” Herriford said. “So that’s why we picked a Fall Break time frame to make the move of all that email.”

Herriford said that after the migration, students, faculty and staff using the new server will have no significant changes to worry about.

“The only thing that’s different is the interface,” Herriford said. “Many students already use Gmail, so for them this will be nothing new. It also helps that students will keep their email address.”


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