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INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY

Campus to switch to BMail on March 12

Binghamton University is moving to Google Apps, and the change will have significant impact for e-mail and other applications for the entire campus.

There are savings involved — about $100,000 annually when the cost of software maintenance and storage is added in — but improved functionality is the primary reason for the change.

The new e-mail, called BMail for the campus, is only one of the functions that will improve, according to Mark Reed, associate vice president for Information Technology Services.

“Google is in an excellent position to provide continuity of service. The mail itself is very powerful and full-featured and the interface is much improved, so BMail is better than what we have,” he said. “Plus, it’s bundled with many other applications that Google has developed, and it’s compatible with mobile devices.”

“We looked at the current e-mail service — Mirapoint — and, though it’s reliable, it can’t handle the same size of messages or offer enough storage as we can through Google Apps,” added Frank Saraceno, associate director of ITS and project manager for the BMail implementation.

“We can now offer additional collaboration and communication tools. For example, people can team together to work on a particular document, or chat with others from their e-mail interface or share calendars,” Saraceno said. “We’ve partnered with a company that is very innovative and that will continue to enhance the user experience.”

Exchange users do not have to be part of this transition to BMail, which will be simple for those who use the Mirapoint webmail interface. For those who currently forward their e-mail to a preferred e-mail address, mail forwarding will be retained.
However, users who wish to retain their current e-mail folders must migrate their mail from Mirapoint to BMail before March 12, Saraceno said. If they don’t migrate their mail before that date, the old e-mail messages will no longer be accessible after that date.

Migration isn’t difficult, according to Saraceno, and there is plenty of help available. Sessions are being held from noon-1 p.m. each Friday and Monday through March 8, in LH-3, to walk people through the process. In addition, instructions are available online.

Saraceno began using BMail in October and finds the increased functionality a positive.

“It’s pretty exciting,” he said “Having access to my e-mail from outside the office is a big plus for me. The Web interface is a nice experience and it doesn’t take long to figure it out. I haven’t deleted a message yet because I have over
7 gigs of space.”

To get started using BMail, visit the Google Apps Help Center page at https://sites.google.com/a/binghamton.edu/google-apps-help-center/.

For answers to questions about this transition or how to migrate your e-mail to Google Apps, visit frequently asked questions at http://its.binghamton.edu/google-apps/faq or contact the Help Desk at 777-6420.
 

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Last Updated: 10/14/08