Staff transition to Google Mail
The transition to the New Email Service is now nearing completion. In 2011 we successfully migrated UCD Student mail to a new service provided by Google. In 2012 a decision was made by the University to transition the Staff mail service to the same service. Following a successful pilot, the transition to the New Staff Mail Service began. Many other Universities are also transitioning large scale services such as email to cloud based services, see the list of case studies here.
Here’s what you need to know
All Staff mail is to be migrated from the existing mail service to a new service provided by Google. You can read about the benefits it brings below. This means that your entire mailbox, including all emails and folders that you have on imap.ucd.ie will reside within the UCD domain in Google. Each individual will receive a MIGRATION REPORT informing them of the number of messages migrated to the new service. This is important because from this point on you need to start using the new service. Your email address won't change. You will always have access to email during the transition and Help and Support will be available throughout this time.
When is this happening?
The migration has been taking place on a phased basis since January 2013. At this point most of the Staff population has been migrated. Your School/Unit will be notified by email prior to the migration. See schedule of migration dates (pdf).
What will I have to do?
There are a few key steps involved in the migration process:
1. CHECK THE MIGRATION REPORT
You will receive a MIGRATION REPORT email once the migration has completed. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS ONCE YOU RECEIVE THIS MIGRATION REPORT, YOU SHOULD FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS AND USE YOUR NEW MAIL FROM THIS POINT ON.
If you continue to use the old system after this point, any read, sent, moved or deleted messages will not be reflected in your new mail account.
2. YOU CAN START USING YOUR UCD CONNECT MAIL STRAIGHT AWAY
You can start using your webmail in UCD Connect straight away, without changing anything. You will notice the "Email" icon of UCD Connect will have changed to point to Google Mail and the email inbox channel will reflect your Google Mail Inbox. Note: If you haven't used Google Apps within UCD before, you will be asked to accept Terms & Conditions.
3. CONFIGURE YOUR OTHER UCD EMAIL ACCOUNTS
Please note, you will need to configure your other UCD mail accounts eg smart phone and desktop client before the new mail service will work on them:
4. MAKE THESE CHANGES ASAP
You will have approximately a week from the receipt of the migration report email before delivery to your old mailbox will be turned off. In the meantime any continued activity in your old account will not be reflected in your new mailbox. It is important that you make the changes to Outlook, Apple Mail or your smartphone mail required above as soon as possible. Please see our FAQs for more information.
Help and Support is available
We will keep you informed of the process along the way, but please make sure you refer to the FAQ section of this website and read the emails you will receive in advance. If you still have queries, you can visit the IT stand which will be located in your School/Unit or nearby during the migration period. Details of the stand location will be posted in the migration schedule above. You can contact the IT Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 716 2700.
Assessment (May - July 2012)
In May 2012 we established a UCD assessment group to determine the best approach for UCD. The assessment group considered the case for and against and was advised by the UCD IT Services Security Officer and by a lawyer specialising in this area with the firm of Arthur Cox.
The assessment group can be viewed here
What we assessed
The transition of UCD staff mail to a service provided by Google. The service will be based on the existing Google Apps for Education Agreement.
The transition of staff email to Google will bring significant service improvements along with considerable cost savings as outlined below:
Every staff member would get 25GB of Storage compared with 4GB available to staff now.
Support outside working hours
Our current arrangements provide for ‘best efforts of available staff’ to rectify issues at night and weekends. Any such issues would be automatically addressed by Google.
The service availability SLA is better (99.9%) than that currently provided (99.5%).
This service integrates with other Google Apps including Calendar and Docs/Drive available within the UCD Connect environment.
There will be no advertisements in Google mail for staff.
We will provide a mechanism where staff can log in using single sign-on through UCD Connect or can log in to their mail directly outside of the Connect environment. Customers using Outlook or other desktop applications can continue as usual with a minor configuration change to point to the new service.
The service would be provided by Google at no cost. It is estimated that savings in the region of €125,000 per annum would be achieved on equipment and running costs. Additional savings would be realised in the redeployment of staff currently involved in managing the mail service.
Assessment Group considerations
There was a group discussion covering various aspects of the service.
- It was acknowledged that whereas security is always a concern, that the security provided by Google is likely to be an improvement on what can be achieved ‘in-house’.
- It was agreed that, regardless of the direction we take with Mail, that we should again advise people about data security.
- It was agreed that the existence of the Patriot Act and safe harbour arrangements, although noteworthy, do not represent a likely threat to staff mail users in UCD.
- We discussed the issue of whether Google could use the information to target communications at members of staff based on their use of mail. We were advised that this type of use is not permitted by the agreement. Google may use usage statistics to improve their services but at a more ‘macro’ level.
Recommendation of the group
The group recommended that we continue with planning the transition of UCD Staff mail to a service provided by Google, and that we forward the proposal to the Web & Portal Steering Group for consideration.