Last March we asked the Ryerson community what you want from Ryerson’s E-mail and collaboration systems. We conducted a survey and many of you also took the time to comment on this blog. Here are just a few of the survey comments we received:
- “Search functionality across all folders, unlike RMail, where you have to search one folder at a time.”
- “Threaded E-Mail to group replies together”
- “large attachment size and storage”
- “I need a system that makes it easy to send things to groups – teacher groups, student groups, research teams.”
- “I want my name and e-mail address protected so that only people with Ryerson accounts would be able to access the information. It should not be readily available to the general public.”
- “Good junk filters.”
- “Almost anything would be better than Groupwise ;-)”
- “If calendaring would allow me to post potential meeting times with students that they could sign up for, that would be great.”
- “SWITCH TO GMAIL! Google Docs is awesome! The calendar is awesome! Google Labs is awesome!
- “Micro$oft Please!!! Gmail sucks especially in China!”
- “The existing system meets my needs; there is no need to change it.”
- “it would be nice to have iPhone sync features.”
- “It is critical that I can control who can see specifics in my schedule versus that I’m simply ‘busy’, but without seeing any details.”
- “I’ve used external Wikis to do group collaboration. It would be great if it could be done internally, instead.”
- “google docs is what I would like to see in house at Ryerson.”
- “Online voice and video conference would be useful, especially for graduate students.”
There were hundreds of other comments. We reviewed them all and incorporated your feature requests into a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a New Collaboration Platform for Ryerson. We also added significant sections on accessibility, security, privacy, ownership of data, mail opt out options, legal jurisdictions, and the Patriot Act. The RFP was posted on August 22, 2011 and closed on October 3rd. The proposals Ryerson received were evaluated by a committee that included representatives from Computing and Communications Services, a representative from faculty, and a student representative.
The committee reached a consensus to accept two proposals based on Google Apps for Education. The only difference between the proposals is which third party system integrator may help Ryerson setup, customize, and migrate mail and calendar events to Google Apps for Education.
Google Apps for Education is not the same as Google’s consumer service. The Apps for Education service allows you to keep your @ryerson.ca address, does not data mine your Email or show you ads. Gmail provides 25 GB of storage space and Apps for education includes a University-wide calendar system, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Talk, etc.
Does this mean Ryerson will replace its Email and calendaring systems with Google Apps for Education? The RFP was part of a larger consultation process. For background information please see:
The proposals that were accepted will help form part of a recommendation that will go to Ryerson’s executive for approval.
However, before we make a recommendation to the executive, we’d like to put a draft recommendation before you to see what you think. We will be holding two Town Halls where we will present our recommendations:
- Monday November 14 at 11:00 AM in L72
- Friday November 25 at 9 AM in L72
We hope you can join us. We plan to record at least one of the sessions and encourage you to participate by posting questions and comments here on this blog.
We also plan to post a draft recommendation for you to review on this site soon.