news Queensland’s Griffith University has become the latest educational institution to shift its staff email accounts into Google’s cloud, announcing yesterday that it would ditch IBM’s troubled Lotus Notes/Domino suite as it did so.
The university had previously shifted its 120,000 staff and alumni onto Google’s Apps platform in early 2010. However, up until now, the institution’s staff had still been using Lotus Notes/Domino, hosted on-premise in its own datacentre. According to a statement issued by the university last week, however, all that is about to change. Pilot groups of staff will move to Google Apps this month (October), the statement said, and most staff will move after the University’s examination period in November. All staff will be migrated by March 2012.
Google Apps will provide opportunities for staff and students to enjoy deeper, richer collaborations and tap into “the world’s latest communication innovations, according to Griffith’s pro vice chancellor (Information Services), Linda O’Brien.
“We were drawn to the fact Google shares similar characteristics to Griffith, with both organisations being innovative, youthful, fast moving, and committed to advancing knowledge — Griffith through its research and teaching, Google through making the world’s information and knowledge accessible,” O’Brien said. “Griffith is a leading research university that cares about its students and staff, so it makes sense to create an environment that places our staff and students in the same space, facilitating collaboration and learning.
“Our academics need the ability to collaborate globally, to communicate, share, and build strong research relationships if we are to advance knowledge and solve the world’s biggest problems. Google makes this borderless collaboration easy,” she said.
Griffith will give its staff access to the complete Google Apps suite, with 25GB of email storage space being unlocked and tools like Google’s Docs office suite, calendar and Talk collaboration suite being made available.
“We are very happy to see yet another leading University in Australia adopt Google Apps,” said Stuart McLean, Google’s Head of Enterprise, Australia and New Zealand. “Education cannot be restricted to the walls of a classroom, it is when ideas can be quickly expressed, shared and developed that learning takes a whole new meaning.” Google Partner Dialog IT will aid with the migration.
A number of major Australian educational institutions have migrated both their staff and students to Google Apps over the past several years. However, Microsoft has won more business than Google in the sector over that period, with its Live@EDU and Exchange platforms proving more attractive than Google Apps for most organisations.