Macquarie University has become one of the first Australian universities to provide Google Gmail accounts to its staff.
The educational institution began replacing email services to its 6000 administrative, research and teaching employees with Google this month. The rollout will be conducted in stages and is expected to be completed by September.
Macquarie University CIO, Marc Bailey, said it previously had 40 different email islands across campus, 75 per cent of which were based on Novell GroupWise. It considered Microsoft’s Live@Edu solution before opting for Google.
“It’s not that we were dissatisfied with our previous provide, it’s more about moving these services to the cloud,” he said. In a statement, Macquarie’s vice-chancellor, Steven Schwarz, said the initial launch proved so successful, there was a compelling argument to move all staff to integrated services.
While Gmail accounts are free, Bailey said it would pay $15 per user, per year for support services such as virus and spam protection, as well as archiving and data retrieval – bringing total costs to $90,000. He claimed using Google’s services would slash its internal email management costs by 85 per cent.
Macquarie was the first Australian tertiary institution to rollout accounts to 68,000 students in September 2007. In its press statement, Google head of engineering, Alan Noble, said the rollout demonstrated the University’s commitment to providing the latest communication and collaboration technologies to both its students and staff.