Thursday, September 29, 2011

SMU is "Going Google"

By Emma Stenzel
Managing & Advertising Editor

Saint Mary’s University will be transitioning its email platform to Google Apps, effective this semester for all current students, faculty, staff and administration.

Google Apps is a collection of messaging and collaboration applications that mirrors Google’s popular email service, Gmail. It is replacing Office-Logic Interchange Webmail after surveyed respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the outdated email server in a 2009 study.

The Google Apps platform offers six services, including Google Mail, Calendar, Talk, Docs, Sites and Video. These tools will offer several advantages that Webmail does not provide, including nearly 300 times more email storage, enhanced message organization, easy calendar and schedule sharing, instant messaging and more advanced mobile configuration.

Sarah Bearbower, information technology manager of academic systems at SMU, said she is especially impressed with Google Apps’ easy-to-use collaboration features.

“You get so much more from email and calendars with Google,” said Bearbower. “It will really allow users to take advantage of the collaboration features, which will make it much easier to work together with peers and faculty members.”

Bearbower said that SMU faculty and staff have already begun the migration process and will be fully switched to the Google Apps system by Thanksgiving Break. SMU seniors will transition on Oct. 18, followed by juniors on Nov. 1, sophomores on Nov. 8 and freshmen on Nov. 15. The process will be complete once graduate and professional students migrate by the end of the semester.

No email addresses will change after the transition; addresses will still end with “”.

Bearbower said Information Technology will not move old email messages to the new system for students, but the HelpDesk will provide instructions on how to do so on its website.

For more information about the email transition, visit the HelpDesk website at or contact the Winona campus HelpDesk at 507-457-7800.

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