UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

Summary: UC Berkeley is planning to make Google Apps for Education their new campus calendar and email system, having compared Google and Office 365 using their 'Assessment Matrix'.

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After several months of evaluation and in the aftermath of recent CalMail outages, UC Berkeley is now planning to make Google Apps for Education their new campus calendar and email system, according to campus officials.

This move is part of 'Operation Excellence' -- a cost cutting initiative designed to save the educational institute $75 million annually.

As part of their Productivity Suite project, UC Berkeley currently offers their campus faculty, students and staff access to commonly used Microsoft software, as well as access to Adobe Creative Suite free of charge.

On December 21, campus officials signed an agreement to begin providing Google Apps for Education in January, as well as moving their main calendar and email systems over to Google.

(Source: Flickr)

An email sent across the campus community Wednesday evening stated:

"While both products are feature rich and offer advantages over our current environment, the analysis concluded that the Google offering was the better overall fit for the campus at this time. The selection of Google Apps for Education does not impact the campus’s recent announcement to provide Microsoft software under a site license agreement. In fact, the products are complementary in many areas and we expect University-wide deployment of both Google’s online offerings and locally installed Microsoft software."

In their evaluative studies, Google Apps for Education was chosen over Microsoft Office 365 on the basis of 'items of particular interest to UC Berkeley'.

One tool used to to assess whether or not to move over to Google services was the 'Assessment Matrix', a study focusing on components including service improvement, operating cost, deployment speed, architectural issues, accessibility, storage and security.

Email, calendar cloud and local solutions:

Google's email services were the clear winner, based on these factors:

  • Web-based interaction: Google was considered to possess better migration facilities and optimization for online use. The trade-off is that to fully take advantage of the cloud facilities, more resource output would be required by CU Berkeley.
  • Office 365's integration and performance records are not considered 'exceptional'. Maintaining a central infrastructure and operations are more expensive than Google's Education Apps.
  • Functions: Google has significant advantages that UC Berkeley can implement quickly and cost-effectively. Its main weakness is a lack of integration with an on-premise solution that Office 365 offers, allowing password and authentication information to remain on-site.
  • User familiarity: Google is better known and used by students as an online application. Gmail and Google calendars are already in use, and the interface is familiar. A previous analysis of CalMail revealed 25 percent of students forwarded email with Google, with the corporation claiming the largest percentage share by far.

Calendar functions:

Calendar users on campus were divided between three main user categories; those who do not use an online calendar or don't schedule with others, 'average' CalAgenda users who only use basic functions and may schedule items occasionally, and 'power' CalAgenda users who used the schedule facility frequently.

Google Calendar was considered an acceptable alternative for the first two categories, and allowed easy adaptation in conjunction with a familiar interface.

The third category would probably find the transition to Google Calendar more difficult, especially within the transition period. It could cause the most disruption to university administrators who are the frequent users of CalAgenda.

Transition problems with a move to Office 365 were estimated at being less than a migration to Google would cause. There is generally more experience in the area of transition to Exchange, and fewer areas of solid incompatibility between Exchange/Office 365 and Oracle Calendar than between Google and Office 365.

Security and privacy:

Google was found to be 'inferior' in every category in comparison to Microsoft, if only by a small margin.

Microsoft offers a better AUP policy, better e-Discovery options, and better terms on data location.

Contractual factors:

Microsoft was considered to contain a 'superior contract' due to the following factors:

  • A suitable business associate agreement in place for HIPAA.
  • Data transfer and storage. The majority of data will remain in within U.S borders according to Microsoft.
  • Account suspension: Microsoft gained the upper hand due to Google's policies on rights to suspend accounts due to Acceptable use policy violations.

Google's 'superior' area in conjunction with contractual obligations was evaluated to be limitations on liability. Where Google does not limit their liability in terms of Confidential information, Microsoft caps 'free' services liability at $5000, including any damages related to Institution Data short of Gross Negligence or Willful Misconduct.

The decision will not effect the current agreement arranged through the Operational Excellence scheme, and students will still be able to download Microsoft Office software free of charge from early January. CalMail and CalAgenda will remain in use until the transfer is complete.

Integration of the new systems are due to begin in early 2012.

Topics: Google, Apps, Microsoft, Software

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33 comments
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  • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

    Stunning. its only a cost savings measure. I will hold my breath till they quit. Google is only slightly less ready than prime time. Their UI is abysmil. I have used both ( Offpfice 364 and Google Ducks), and Im going with Open Office.
    fembot44
    • Slightly less ready than prime time??

      @fembot44 Man you must be feeling like being nice for Xmas ...

      Google Apps are no where near ready for prime time. They are so far away from the target that "alpha quality" is not even in the current status.
      wackoae
    • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

      @fembot44
      "abysmil"? Is that IE?
      kirovs
  • They will never go back.

    Temple converted from Outlook to Gmail a while ago. Virtually everyone is dancing in the streets. I've been in so many companies with Outlook and it was horrendous. Employees had to call IT once a week and request more space for their inbox because it constantly became full and emails were rejected.<br><br>I have Google personal Gmail which was started in 2005 and I now have 68,495 archived emails, many with attachments of approx. 8 MB. I'm only at 62% capacity. I have labels and filters automatically archiving reference information. It's ultra reliable and most importantly, absolutely no "Privacy" issues. I use the Calendar a lot.
    Joe.Smetona
    • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

      @Joe.Smetona
      The Outlook space problem sounds more like an IT decision than an Outlook problem. I've used Outlook and the associated calendar heavily at my current job and gotten rid of very little in ten months--and what I've kept is a whole lot. Can you expand on what you mean?
      Bill4
    • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

      @Joe.Smetona I agree with Bill4. Those sound like IT choices and not fundamental problems with Outlook. And Outlook's rules and folders should be able to do the same automatic tasks that you now do in Gmail.
      I.S
      • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

        @I.S
        We have Outlook and it is true horror. Outlook ate my meeting is a common phrase these days around here.
        kirovs
    • You are not being truthful. I know people that work at Temple

      @Joe.Smetona
      and they are [b]very[/b] disapointed and unhappy. I imagine you did not factor that someone here would have access to that information before you posted.

      I doubt you have been in any company where you have seen employees calling IT once a week and request more space for their inbox because it constantly became full and emails were rejected.

      Once again, it sounds like just another one of your manufactered scenerios.


      :|
      Tim Cook
      • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

        @Mister Spock
        You might want to re-read what he wrote before jumping to a conclusion. He did not say the issue with space happened at Temple. The real Mr. Spock would have logically thought this out correctly.

        Because you don???t believe him does not mean it has not happened some where.
        daikon
      • daikon, I commented on two assertions he made

        @Mister Spock
        the first: [i]Temple converted from Outlook to Gmail a while ago. Virtually everyone is dancing in the streets.[/i]

        Which was my relply to those I know who work at Temple, with first hand testiment that no one is actually happy with the outcome.

        The second: [i] I've been in[b] so many companies with Outlook and it was horrendous.[/b] Employees had to call IT once a week and request more space for their inbox because it constantly became full and emails were rejected[/i]

        As you can see his statements always follow the same patterns, but with different subject matters, yet the occurance of these issues do not fit the statistical information obtained through various sources.

        Hence my logical conclussion that his "horror stories" of the multitude of individuals and companies that he sees, that have such disasterous issues with Microsoft software is fabricated, as statistical information do not support his claims.
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

        @Mister Spock
        yet the occurance of these issues do not fit the statistical information obtained through various sources.

        You do have links to this information correct?
        daikon
      • I see where Spock's coming from

        @daikon
        I agree with him, in respect to what he is saying. I have noticed that the same handfull of people (like Joe.Smetona, itguy10, kirovs, just to name a few) always claim that no matter what the Microsoft related story, this handful (itguy10 the most) know of [i]multiple[/i] companies that are having the absolute worst experiences imaginable with their Microsoft software.

        Yet many readers here, others I speak with, even myself, never seem to experience these problems to their extremes, and when we do they are few and far between, and relativelly easy to repair.
        I have seen regular admins and their team install and deploy Sharpoint servers, while itguy claims that his company had MS and their developers in and could never get theirs to work.

        If I would make the claim that we had Red Hat and their code developers in our company and could not get their Enterprise software to run, would you beleive me? Now, what are the chances that these same people always have, or know of many, whose MS software failed, while so many others have never seen, nor heard of these issues? Now you can understand why what they say is suspect, and in all likelihood, fake.
        John Zern
      • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

        @John Zern
        I do not recall saying multiple companies. I always speak about my own experience in the company I work for.
        I no longer speak of my personal experience with Win, since I have dropped it completely from all of my home systems (thank you Vista).
        So care to point where I have talked about multiple companies?
        kirovs
    • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

      @Joe.Smetona <br><br>Absolutely shameful. To force all their students into the Google spyware network. If you willingly give all your personal information to Google, that is your own foolishness. But, to be forced by any organisation to use a company whose prime goal is spying on its users should not be allowed. <br><br>You say "no Privacy issues". Well wait til someone in Google starts leaking user profiles, as they inevitably will. Google has more profiles on more people than any organisation in the world. We are going to see identity theft on a massive scale.
      jorjitop
      • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

        @jorjitop
        When did Google take any of your personnel information?
        daikon
      • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

        @jorjitop[i] Well wait til someone in Google starts leaking user profiles, as they inevitably will[/i] you mean like Microsoft already has? What amazes me is people that rants about Google and privacy, are so willing to trust Microsoft. Are you people soft? Microsoft is the worst when it one to data mining. Their whole idea of the cloud is to charge monthly access to you of your data, while selling your data to whomever is willing to pay for it.
        Rick_Kl
      • jorjitop: Apple does this all the time, whether by inserting carrier IQ

        @jorjitop
        into theiriOS code, or claiming a "software bug" was the reason the iPhone collected data and transmitted it back to Apple for reasons they would not disclose, yet people still use Apple products.

        It appears that people are ot concerned about privacy, so companies like Google and Apple will take whatever data is beneficail to them, regardless.
        Tim Cook
      • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

        @daikon,@Rick_KI,@Mister Spock
        Google takes personnel information all the time. They started by profiling your searches, then scanning your Gmail and etc.

        The difference with Microsoft or Apple is that these two make money selling software and hardware. They don't need to spy on their users. Google makes all their money by spying on their users and targetting ads at them based on the profiles they build.

        It is a question of business model. Google's business model is based on spying on their users. They could not make any money otherwise since they give everything away. Apple and Microsoft make $billions by selling their products. They might accumulate information, but they can survive without it.
        jorjitop
  • Duplicate, deleted.

    Duplicate, deleted.
    Joe.Smetona
  • RE: UC Berkeley's email system: Microsoft to Google

    Colleges that have implemented an Outlook/Exchange system in recent years have found that the majority of their students and even staff were only using it mostly for forwarding email to their Gmail accounts.
    JustCallMeBC