Many campuses are investigating cloud-based or hosted email solutions. This paper will cover Valparaiso University’s decision to move to the Google Apps for Education platform and our campus migration strategy. Google Apps offers significant savings in both cost of service and cost of support / maintenance while simultaneously offering functionality improvements to the campus experience over our previous system. Valparaiso University was using the GroupWise email and calendaring system and began the process of migrating all of campus to the Google Apps for Education platform in early 2011. Our process began with a student led evaluation team to select the new platform and started rolling out to new students beginning summer of 2011 with migration of existing students conducted from July 2011 through October 2011. Faculty / Staff migration began in December 2011 and were rolled out on a department by department basis throughout the spring 2012 Semester. Heavy promotion and utilization of multiple “Meet Google Apps” presentations greatly enhanced communication about the process and reduced migration anxiety. Apps were limited during migration process to those that reproduced existing system functionality to avoid over-taxing IT support resources. Valparaiso University’s migration process has been refined several times and overall feedback from students, faculty, and staff has been very positive throughout the process.
Klein, Rebecca; Orelup, Richard; and Smith, Matthew, "Google Apps for Education: Valparaiso University's Migration Experience" (2012). Information Technology Faculty and Staff Publications. Paper 3.