Why are we Moving?


There are a number of reasons why the University has chosen to move away from GroupWise to Google Apps for Education.

#1: Cost effectiveness

GroupWise is not a cost effective system to run and maintain. Moving to hosted solution, such as Google Apps, means that Google will handle the day-to-day running of the service, freeing up our technical staff to work on other projects and initiatives around the University.

It also means we can make huge savings on things like servers, licences, and backups, as these will no longer be required in-house.


#2: Ease of access

Google Apps is web-based, meaning that it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection - including mobile phones.

Staff who use mobile devices, work from home, or need to work while away from the University will be able to access their email and calendar in the same way as if they were sat at a desktop PC, with no loss of service.


#3: High availability

For people who access their email via a smartphone or other mobile device, GroupWise cannot offer the same level of reliability as Google Apps.

Between May and November 2011, web access to GroupWise (Webmail) was unavailable for a total of 41 hours. In comparison, Google offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee - which means that over the same timeframe Google Apps would have been unavailable for no more than 5 hours.


#4: Collaborative working

Google Apps provides advanced collaboration services, allowing people to instant message and video chat while viewing their email. As students have been using the Google Apps service for a number of years, it will also be much easier to contact students using these features.

In addition to this, apps such as Google Sites and Drive (previously Docs) will enable staff to work simultaneously on collaborative documents and projects.


#5: Increased storage

With GroupWise, we are only able to offer a standard 500MB mailbox to members of staff. Many people find this to be insufficient, which means they end up having to spend a substantial amount of their time either archiving or deleting their mail.

With Google Apps, all members of staff will be given a 25GB mailbox - which means you can store up to 50x as many emails. Please be aware that this additional space must be used responsibly; all staff are still required to adhere to the guidelines set out in the University's Retention Schedules, and to make an informed decision as to whether or not an email really needs to be retained.


#6: A Key Element of University strategy

The Google Apps service supports the University's IT strategy of providing key services anytime, anywhere, and at a low cost to the organisation. We regularly review our IT services to ensure they remain cost-effective and keep up with advances in technology - hence the requirement to move away from the increasingly less reliable and less efficient GroupWise system.


Service Desk:

On campus:
ext. 7777
Off campus:
02392 84 7777
Email:
servicedesk@port.ac.uk

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