All student e-mail accounts at Fordham University were moved to Google’s Gmail platform on Oct. 9 and 10, according to Patricia Carlucci, executive director of IT at Fordham, who said phase I of IT’s implementation of Google Apps for Education moved more than 28,550 student accounts to the external provider.
Carlucci said adopting Gmail was an important step in providing a more robust environment for collaboration and unified communications for Fordham students, and allows the University to accomplish its longstanding goal of providing “e-mail for life” to students, who will retain their Fordham addresses as alumni.
Last summer Fordham IT created a task force which outlined a series of requirements for a new student e-mail system. In addition to being cost-effective, it needed to provide reliable access, expanded storage, a feature-rich Web-based interface, access from mobile devices, and robust e-mail attachment support. A survey of peer institutions confirmed what we had already learned from our students–Gmail was the best choice for our enterprise.
The first phase of this implementation is limited to providing mail, calendar and contacts to current students, and to the graduating classes of 2009 and 2010. Students will continue to access their e-mail in the Fordham portal (my.fordham.edu) using their AccessIT ID and password. They will also have the option of accessing their Gmail from mobile devices and desktop e-mail programs.
IT’s next steps are to develop plans for providing e-mail accounts to all alumni, and to begin the review of other Google applications, such as Google Docs, etc.