In 2012, the UM-Ann Arbor campus transitioned to the Google suite of collaboration tools, including Gmail and Calendar. In 2014, UM-Dearborn also made the same transition. UM-Flint ITS has maintained our campus Microsoft Exchange infrastructure until now in order to maximize the value of the significant initial capital investment made in the physical infrastructure, however our current email and calendar infrastructure is now nearing end-of-life. Either a new capital investment or a strategic change in direction will soon be required. Because of this, earlier this year ITS proposed to the Chancellor’s Cabinet that the UM-Flint campus follow suit and also transition to the Google suite for email and calendar services. The plan was approved and this transition will soon commence.
UM-Flint will find the same benefits, as noted by Alan Levy of UM-Ann Arbor ITS: “U-M’s transition to Google is part of a growing trend toward cloud computing — applications and services provided on-demand over the Internet instead of by locally operated servers or data centers. Google offers a suite of integrated online collaborative tools such as e-mail, calendar/scheduling, document sharing and instant messaging. Google tools will encompass all of these features, among others, when fully implemented. U-M will continue to use Microsoft Office products for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations.”
A key highlight of this initiative is that, once transitioned, UM-Flint Faculty, Staff, and Students will use the email address firstname.lastname@example.org as their primary email address. Email sent to email@example.com will still be received. Another key will be the increased use of MCommunity for creating and managing email lists. Both of these factors will facilitate communication and collaboration across all three campuses. For more information regarding the details and timeline of this project, please visit the UM-Flint Google Transition website at https://google.umflint.edu.
On December 5th at 11:00 AM and 12:30 PM, and again on December 19th at 4:00 PM and 5:30 PM, ITS will host town hall information sessions in the Happening Room in UCEN. Please join us for light refreshments and a presentation followed by a Q&A with members of ITS from both the Flint and Ann Arbor campuses. In the meantime, please send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and a member of the Flint ITS team will respond as soon as possible.