Monash University has said that it will be adopting Google Apps for staff, moving them from IBM's Lotus Notes, which will be phased out in a "systematic migration".
Screenshot of Monash Uni's Google Apps page (Credit: Colin Ho/ZDNet.com.au)
The university had been in the middle of a migration to Lotus Notes from Thunderbird for its staff. In November last year, only half of the staff had been moved onto the IBM system. Former CIO Alan McMeekin said that when he left in December, his replacement would continue that migration.
However, according to a roadmap on Monash's site, the university would now move to using Google Apps for staff, with Lotus and the older collaboration systems to be decommissioned by 2011. This year will see the university offering Google Apps for individual staff to opt in to, which will interact with the Lotus calendars. All staff will move in 2011.
The university has been contacted for comment on why it had decided to make the move, with a spokesperson set to contact ZDNet.com.au later in the day.
The decision to offer Google Apps to staff followed the university announcing last year that it would move its students to the suite. Many other universities have been adopting the suite such as Macquarie University and the University of Auckland.
According to the student FAQ on the Monash University website, space and speed were the major considerations in the switch. The staff FAQ has also been uploaded since the publication of the article.
"Advantages of switching to 'Google Apps' from the current in-house email system include increased storage capacity (up to 7GB), instant chat functionality, the integration of email with online calendar and the ability to work collaboratively on shared documents," it said, adding that students could access information and tools "anywhere".
The suite will include a calendar function, an office suite and instant messaging.
According to Monash, Google will not be able to search university emails for advertising and sponsorship. "The educational agreement between Monash and Google prohibits that activity. The advertising or sponsored listings are turned off in Google Apps at Monash," said the FAQ.
Google and Microsoft have been neck and neck in the race for providing email services in educational, government and corporate institutions whilst IBM's Lotus has been phased out by a number of institutions including Qantas and housing loan company Mortgage Choice.