Student email at Fort Hays State University will move beginning to Google June 1.
The move from the Scatcat system in use for more than 12 years was announced by the university's Computing and Telecommunications Center.
"Several possibilities were considered, but the choice basically came down to either Microsoft’s Live@edu product, or Google Mail," said Mark Griffin, assistant director for infrastructure and support services. "Both products offered advantages over the current Scatcat webmail, but ultimately it was decided that Gmail provided the best option for FHSU. We found that Gmail had a slightly quicker response time than Live@Edu, and it seemed to us that the interface was a bit simpler to use."
Griffin also explained that other advantages of outsourcing the email system are an increase in data space for students and savings in hardware resources and technical support that are needed for other ongoing projects.
In addition to Gmail, students will also have Google calendar, Google Docs and other Google apps.
"The new Gmail system will be available through TigerTracks, much like the current Scatcat email is," said Griffin. "Additionally, students will be able to access their new FHSU Gmail account with their mobile devices, like Android phones, iPhones and iPads."
Scatcat users should receive an email with information and instructions on how to move old email to Gmail and how to set up their mobile devices. They will still have access to Scatcat email until the end of the year.
Faculty will still use Lotus Notes as their primary email for the foreseeable future, but, Griffin said, the possibility is there to move all FHSU email to Google.
"I believe this is a very positive enhancement to the FHSU student email system," he said. "Most of the comments I have received from students, so far, have been very positive."