JagMail + MyASU
December 1, 2010 | By Chip Matson and Cathy Barner, ITS, contributing writers
The Augusta State community depends heavily on our communications systems – telephone, email, the ASU Report, the Bell Ringer, our websites, Facebook, snail mail, and other tools. It is hard for any of us to remember a time without email. We might yearn for that time, but few of us could get by without it.
Our previous email system had been in place for over seven years and had not kept up with the changes in technology. We also were fairly limited in our email storage capabilities. IT Services began a year ago—fall 2009—looking for different options. We met with the SGA senate last fall and had discussions/briefings with the IT Committee much of last year. We considered buying a new email system and running it on campus; however, it would have been incredibly expensive and still would not have had the storage capacity our students, faculty, and staff need. Furthermore, our portal—Campus Pipeline (Luminis)—was in a similar state; it had not kept up with the latest in technology brought about by the so-called Web 2.0 tools – wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, Google gadgets, etc. We also needed an improved personal calendaring system and better support for mobile devices—the RIM Blackberry, Apple iPhone, Google Android, Palm Treo, etc.
We then looked at “cloud computing solutions”—a fancy name for a computer system hosted (running offsite) and accessed via the Internet; this is a rapidly growing area for higher education and other institutions. (Google and Microsoft are two of the major players in that market.) After significant research and evaluation, we chose the Microsoft Live@EDU email platform. The University System of Georgia (USG) signed an enabling agreement with Microsoft for these services in late 2009; this addressed many of the procurement issues for us. This past summer, Valdosta State and the University of Georgia moved their students, faculty, and staff to the Live@EDU offering.
Portal systems also were researched, and we chose the myCampus system from Campus EAI—another cloud-based system. Within the USG, Albany State is running the myCampus portal, and East Georgia and ABAC are moving to that system as well.
Our new mail system, JagMail, has 10 GB of storage, and in addition to accessing mail from your Web browser, you also can use mail clients and mobile phones such as Outlook 2007, Apple Mail, iPhone, and Blackberry. Webmail access has been significantly improved. There is an Internet-based storage system called the Skydrive that has 25 GB of file space.
The new portal—myASU—has a new look and feel and Web 2.0 features such as wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, links to Facebook, Google gadgets. It also has “deep links” that will take you directly to specific applications—Elroy, grades, Degreeworks, GaView, and much more.
Much work has taken place this past summer and this fall in preparation for this move. There are more changes to come as we implement our new JagMail system and myASU portal. Keep an eye on your email for the latest updates.