Print This Post

Gmail migration a success in number and satisfaction

Posted on 11.06.2013

After several reminders on the MyUIndy channel, emails broadcasting what was coming and multiple tweets, the great migration from Zimbra to Gmail occurred on Oct. 11 and ended on Oct. 15. The migration was a huge task to tackle, but so far success has been earned.

Zimbra was the email server for six years, but because of requests from students and faculty for a better system, a change was made. Gmail was the chosen system because of its unique features and familiarity. The migration took three days to complete, transferring 10,000 accounts containing 23 million items. Fortunately, no known piece of data was lost.

I did not understand why the migration took place in the middle of the semester.  Associate Vice President of Information Systems Steve Herriford said the reason was because of the phases and testing that had to take place for the migration to go as smoothly as it did.

“If we had tried to do it before school had started,” he said, “I think it could have been chaotic.”

Despite inconveniences students and others have faced, the success is in the numbers. More than 95 percent of the student population did not report any problems related to the migration. The reported issues were mostly because of confusion about accessing personal Gmails or following directions about the migration.

“I haven’t had any problems,” said freshman Chemistry major Karly Bryans. “It works well; it keeps me logged in. It was a little annoying to figure out with my other Gmail account, but I’m good now.”

One of the most useful new features is Google Docs, a service that allows four people to work on the same paper at the same time and see what changes each person is making to that paper. This can be helpful when working on group projects and assignments.

Information Systems also has helped guide students and faculty along in learning about Google’s features. On the MyUIndy channel, the UIndy Google Apps Learning Center provides tutorials, answers to FAQs and helpful tips. For example, there is a link to help sync mobile devices with Gmail accounts. If further help is required, Help Desk personnel have undergone training with Gmail.

Lack of privacy was at first a concern of mine, but when the idea of switching to Google came up, Herriford assured UIndy students and faculty that they did not need to worry.

“We had a different license agreement with Google than what you would have with your personal Gmail that ensures our privacy but would meet federal compliance guidelines with Google. So privacy isn’t an issue,” he said.

There are two things to keep in mind about using Gmail. First, Google can make any change it wants at any time, and UIndy has no control over this. If Google decides to change its toolbar, then that change is going to be made. There is no point in complaining to the Help Desk or Information Systems, because there is nothing they can do about it.

Also remember that the change will take some getting used to, but in the end, it will be fine. Gmail is faster, more efficient and more organized than Zimbra. Just give it a chance.

“I heard a number of people say that for the first day they hated Google,” Herriford said, “But after that, they loved it.”

Give it some time, you may love it, too.



RSS Feed  Follow Us on Twitter  Facebook Profile