Lakehead U Deploys Google Email for Education Campus-Wide
(Thunder Bay – December 14, 2006) Lakehead University recently aligned with Google to be the first large-scale deployment of Google Apps for Education in Canada. Google Apps for Education is a platform entirely hosted by Google that will provide Lakehead University students, faculty, and staff with email, chat, and web calendaring – all without the hassle of installing and maintaining software and hardware on campus.
The partnership with Google is a feat that involved the moving of 38,000 student, faculty, staff and alumni email accounts from existing systems to Google Apps for Education in a week’s time. According to Shahzad Jafri, Chief Information Officer and Director of the Technology Services Centre at Lakehead University, “The traditional way of looking at technology use and its management is coming to an end. Organizations have to continue to reinvent themselves and the services they provide to enhance the value of technology in education.”
Adds Michael Pawlowski, Vice President Administration and Finance, “This is the core reason we have aligned with Google – to prepare ourselves for a brave new world of technology in education. And there is no company today better than Google at ensuring Lakehead is strategically prepared for the future in this regard.”
The move to Google’s Gmail also effectively and permanently resolves recurring email issues Lakehead University had continually faced under its previous email system, including server overcapacity, non-delivery, and slow response time. Although steps had been taken repeatedly in the past to address overcapacity and slow response time by asking users to delete old files, these steps were short-term fixes that did not address strategic issues, prompting administration to seek a more permanent solution. The migration to Google Apps for Education took place in phases starting Monday, November 27, and was completed in one week.
The three-year arrangement with Google gives Lakehead University enhanced services for email, calendaring, and instant messaging; one of the quickest delivery times on record; and a very stable system based on Google’s record of performance. Most important to account holders, each Google user is getting 2 GB of storage space, compared with 60 MB with the previous email system. This means that each user has virtually no limit on storage capacity. The partnership is also planned for growth, which means that Lakehead University is reassured of continued service from Google no matter how large Lakehead grows.
In addition, and a real coup to the University, Google’s services are provided to Lakehead University at no cost. The free service throughout the three-year agreement means that Lakehead will be saving an estimated $2-3 million annually on maintenance and another $6 million in infrastructure costs based on the current volume of users. And the annual savings are expected to increase as the number of account holders increases.
Furthermore, the management of all email users is handled by Lakehead University, such as the provisioning of accounts and password changes. Shahzad Jafri stresses: “We are very confident in this partnership and know the confidentiality of our users and their information will be completely protected and will remain sacrosanct.”
Matt Glotzbach, Head of Enterprise Products, adds, “We are delighted with this partnership with Lakehead University. Lakehead has set an example of progressive thinking, and we are looking forward to working with students, faculty and alumni of this Canadian institution.”
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Lakehead University’s main campus is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Superior. With a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a worldwide reputation for innovative programs and research. Lakehead has over 7,500 students and 1,600 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University has been named Canada’s Research University of the Year 2006 in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca.
Media Interviews – Lakehead University: Michael Pawlowski, Vice President Finance and Administration, or Shahzad Jafri, Chief Information Officer and Director of Technology Services Centre.
Last updated December 14, 2006