University department switches to Google Apps

Google AppsThe University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Engineering has switched (or is in the process of switching) to Google Apps.

Last September the university authorities began to carry out what is called a soft roll out of the IT systems so that students at the start of the new term this year would be able to make use of the software without any hitches.

While the roll out still has some way to go, it is expected by the end of January that all engineering and science students within the SEAS department will be hooked up to Google Apps for Education.

Interestingly, only members of staff who are also students will be able to use the system.  I’m not sure when the lecturers etc. will be linked up.

Until now, all students in SEAS had to use the university department’s own in-house servers to send emails and manage documents.  All in all a dozen machines were involved.  However, the switch to Google will take the strain away from the IT management with Google being responsible for its cloud delivery.

With Google offering a much wider range of software than anything the university can offer students and work colleagues, the switch is likely to prove popular.

Speaking with the, Helen Anderson, Information Technology Senior Director of SEAS said: “We are especially excited about having integrated mail and calendar applications.”

Seemingly the Engineering and Science Department is not the first department at Penn State University to migrate to Google Apps.  The School of Arts and Sciences also switched last year after receiving positive feedback from students.

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