E-mail system switching away from GroupWise
Gmail, Yahoo in consideration as possible providers
Published: Thursday, May 5, 2011
Updated: Thursday, May 5, 2011 10:05
Sick of GroupWise? You're not alone.
A proposition has been issued regarding the substitution of the current Novell sponsored GroupWise e-mail provider.
After receiving several complaints from both students and staff, IT Services has put together a team of experts in order to gather data and information regarding issues and preferred e-mail providers from faculty, students and staff.
"The current GroupWise system does not allow for adequate or efficient usage, and often times many students across campus use alternative e-mail accounts due to their frustrations," said sophomore Kelly Lamble. "One of the main complaints noted is that sent items from the mailbox are unable to be viewed for confirmation."
After surveying students on their level of satisfaction with the e-mail provider, it was found that although two-thirds users preferred GroupWise, one-third of users were dissatisfied, "which is an unacceptable ratio of discontent with the service," said Director of Information Technology Carl Fussell.
The Associated Student Government has also played a large role in pushing for a change in the current system. One of their main goals has been speaking with the administration in order to find an alternative solution that may not necessarily satisfy everyone, but that would satisfy the majority of users.
Their efforts along with the long time efforts of the faculty, have led to the construction of a survey which allows the users to become involved in the solution and provide input on the matter at hand.
"We highly encourage students, faculty, and staff to take the time out and fill out the survey thoroughly. This does not only affect a few of us, but it affects everyone. The school needs to know what the public wants in order to follow through with a solution that would meet our needs and without our participation that will not be possible," said sophomore ASG senator Stella Tran.
According to Tran, the school has been looking into switching to Gmail accounts. However, there have been issues with security with this provider. Information sent and recieved through personal accounts would be accessible to Google and intrusion on students' private accounts could be a possibility. The school is looking to ensure that this would not be a problem before they consider this option.
Sophomore Chris Knauer said, "most students that I have talked to have already linked their Groupwise accounts to Gmail. It would be much less of a hassle for students if the school would use this as their main provider in the first place. It would save the students a lot of time and difficulty."
The survey that has been composed will be administered on Monday through the GroupWise e-mail account, and students will have approximately a week to complete it. The survey will take approximately ten minutes to complete but details are a must in order for the IT Services to get a correct perspectives on users needs.
"Different features and components of the e-mail service vary in importance between students, faculty and staff. Where faculty may use the calendar function, the student population may not find a need for it. Each individual must specify their particular needs, and it is of crucial necessity that everyone participates in the survey," said Fussell.
User preference is spread across a wide spectrum. While some are significantly displeased with the current system, others hold it in high regard.
Sophomore Rache Davidson said, "I find the system to be fine and functional. It does not bother me that I can not see my sent items. I do not want Groupwise to change."
According to Fussell, the current Groupwise system has been in place for the last fifteen years. Once a solution is decided upon for this new system, it too will be in place for over a decade. For this reason, it is highly recommended that all users fill out the survey as precisely as they can.
Sophomore Alexander Zaniewski sai, "ten minutes of our time can save us fifteen years of trouble."
In addition to a survey, the school is planning on hosting an open forum for the public to provide further input on finding a solution. Planning for the forum is currently in place; an estimated date for sometime this quarter has yet to be set.
Various systems have been discussed as potential candidates for the new program. Both Google and Yahoo accounts have potential to become the new email provider. As far as cost efficiency, the new systems would not create too large of an investment barrier for the school. According to Fussell, Novell provides Santa Clara with a very cost effective package. The switch would not require a lot of financial difficulties or demands. The new system will also allow for easier access to files worked on in group projects. It is also important to consider the system's ability to provide adequate programs for other means of usage including smartphones, iPads and other new technologies.
Sophomore Erin Munekiyo said, "one of the major difficulties I have with the account, is that I am not able to send and recieve messages from my Iphone. I've had professor send me e-mails that I would have liked to respond to immediately and I was unable to do so because of this."
No specific date is in place for the implementation of these changes. But an "aggressive ultimate goal" set by the IT team assigned to work on the project is to have a new system in place by Fall 2012.
This quarter the team is looking to gather as much information as possible before students and faculty leave for summer. Once enough information has been gathered to make a concrete decision, work will begin on installing a new system.
Anyone interested in further information or becoming more deeply involved in the process can contact Carl Fussell through e-mail or in person.
Contact Mary Chamaki email@example.com or call (408) 554-4546.