URI is “Going Google” for faculty and staff email and collaboration

urigoogle-logo-newURI + Google is a multiphase project ranging from establishing services with Google, to migrating our email services to Google, to enhancing features and integrations with our URI Telecom and networking system.  The University has a contract with Google to provide the Google Apps for Education, a suite of online “in the cloud” tools such as email, Docs, Drive (online file storage), chat, messaging, video messaging and many, many more.  Over 59,000 student accounts have been established since 2010, and now faculty and staff will be joining them by “Going Google” during the 2014-15 academic year.

In addition to benefiting from a shared collaboration platform with students, the entire URI community will be able to use the same system for sharing documents, files, calendars and using the numerous Google tools building a community of experience that will help provide more seamless means of collaboration.  Using the same tools means there is more knowledge sharing of “how to” use the various tools and share the results created by URI faculty, staff and students.  Besides tools and services available to faculty and staff, additional benefits include: 30 gigabytes of storage space for email and documents, improved security and spam filtering, and one of the industry’s best guarantees of availability at 99.9% with no scheduled down time.

Information Technology Services (ITS) is in the process of determining how best to conduct the migration and training that will be part of this effort.  Colleges and departments will be notified in advance of their migration and provided with details of what they need to do when and what to expect.  Currently, ITS is in the organization and detail planning stage of the project.  Exchange users will be migrated first, followed by Zimbra users, and then specialized accounts such as etal.uri.edu.  More information may be found at http://web.uri.edu/urigoogle/ that will be updated as the project progresses.