NexGen E-mail Task Force announced

Task force to recommend next generation email systems for NC State faculty and staff

Vice Chancellor and CIO Dr. Marc Hoit has announced that the Office of Information Technology (OIT) is forming a task force to begin exploring the next generation of email systems for NC State faculty and staff, with a planned deployment in the next 12 months.  

Co-chaired by Dan Green of the College of Engineering and Chris King of OIT, the Next Generation (NexGen) Email Task Force will review the campus email requirements and evaluate the suitability of Google Apps Education Edition to function as the NC State email and calendaring system for faculty and staff. Existing IT governance committees will make recommendations about any deficiencies that may be significant enough to require the implementation of the Microsoft Exchange groupware solution to meet those needs.

Currently, faculty and staff who need to use the official campus calendaring system use the WolfWise service for email and calendaring. Many faculty and staff members use the legacy Cyrus (“Unity”) email system. Additionally, several hundred use a variety of email platforms supported by individual units. NC State is transitioning all student email to the free Google Apps Education Edition and will complete this transition prior to the start of the fall 2010 semester. By the end of June 2010, all spam/anti-virus filtering and employee email archiving will be transitioned to Google’s Postini services.

Having multiple campus email, calendaring and collaboration platforms that do not interoperate is undesirable in terms of efficiency and cost.  A number of faculty and staff have clearly expressed the desire to move to the Google Apps environment to allow them to collaborate more effectively with their students. 

The NexGen Email Task Force will consist of the WolfWise Customer Advisory Team (CAT), plus email users representing additional administrative groups. The group will work with existing IT governance committees to evaluate the use of Google Apps Education Edition for faculty and staff email and calendaring. If it is decided that Google Apps is a suitable solution, OIT will proceed with a transition plan for the campus.  Should the committees determine that Google Apps Education Edition will not serve the needs of the entire NC State community, they will quantify which features are inadequate and determine if Microsoft’s Exchange groupware product will satisfy those requirements. Microsoft’s Exchange is the market leader in groupware and the most viable alternative.

For more information, visit the NexGen Email project Web pages.