Google Apps @ NC State student e-mail beta is live

Ready, Set, Go Google! NC State University has launched its beta version of Google Apps @ NC State, and more than 3,000 students are now taking advantage of enhanced e-mail services and new online tools.

These early adopters will receive Gmail accounts with more than 7 gigabytes of storage space and access to the suite of popular Google Apps collaboration tools, all from their official e-mail address.

NC State announced in January that it would deploy Google Apps Education Edition as its official university e-mail service for students. The switch was recommended by the Student E-mail Task Force in its March 2009 report, which stated the move would help the university improve technology services for students while reducing costs. Students were asked to participate in the beta service by requesting an invitation on the Google Apps @ NC State Web site.

“We’re excited to be rolling out Google Apps to the students who requested an invitation,” said Stan North Martin, director of the Outreach, Communications and Consulting unit of NC State’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). “The additional e-mail storage space, as well as the other features available beyond Gmail, pushes the services we’re able to provide students to the next level. We look forward to many other students taking advantage of the opt-in period that will follow the launch. This will make it easier for eligible students to be able to migrate to Google Apps at a time that is convenient for them.”

In addition to Gmail, students will also receive Google Sites, Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk and will be able to access these online services from their computers or many mobile devices.

Students are encouraged to opt in to the beta service by visiting the Google Apps @ NC State Web site and requesting an invitation. They can continue to opt in to the beta service until the summer semester, when production services are anticipated to go live.

OIT will provision Google Apps @ NC State accounts for those students who did not opt in during the beta period. More information about NC State’s implementation of Google Apps Education Edition is available on the Google Apps @ NC State Web site.