May 10, 2012: Summer Changes to IT Services
In addition to our usual Summer refresh of classrooms and computer labs, there are a two other projects that will improve your UW Oshkosh campus IT services this summer.
- TitanMail will transition from Sun/Oracle to Google Apps.
- The central login authorization will transition from Email to NetID.
The recommendation to switch from TitanMail (powered by Sun) to TitanApps (powered by Google) has been reviewed and approved. This change will provide more storage and mobile support for users.
The username and password you use to login to HRS, D2L, TitanFiles, Wireless Access, Plone and other systems will be renamed to NetID and switched from your email username and password to the username and password you use to access your U: and S: drives.
Both transitions will be phased over the summer, completing well before the beginning of the Fall semester. We will communicate the changes with you with plenty of notice and via several different delivery mechanisms. More details are provided below.
Questions, Concerns and Compliments?
Please reply to:
Laura J. Knaapen
Director of Academic Computing
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901
TitanMail to TitanApps Details
In the Fall of 2011, faculty, classified staff, and academic staff representatives were charged by the Academic Computing User Group (ACUG) to review possible replacements to the current Sun Mail and Calendar service. Driving the need to find a new solution - the current Sun and Alumni systems are in need of a large and costly upgrades to the servers. Complicating the need to upgrade - IT has not been able to hire a new email administrator with the very rare Sun Administrator skill set.
After a thorough review of Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365, the recommendation of the advisory group was to move forward with Google Apps for Education.
The group reviewing options researched trade and popular press on each option. They carefully weighed costs, risks, and benefits.
Their recommendation for Google Apps was reviewed and discussed twice with ACUG to confirm support for this decision. In between those two dates representatives were asked to inform their constituencies and get their feedback. The feedback was very positive. One area of concern - data security - was expressed.
Further research and discussion was conducted regarding the contract and data security:
- PeopleSoft SIS Users Group
- Campus Data Security Group
- UW System Legal services - confirmed data security coverage in contract
- Google Apps for Education representative to clarify contract language
When all concerns were addressed a group was formed to see if implementation this year was feasible. A project plan was begun so that system testing could confirm project feasibility. The recommendation and project plan were discussed with:
- Enterprise Executive Committee - in favor with concerns about email client
- Alumni Office Staff - unanimously in favor
- Faculty Senate - in favor once data security concern confirmed
- Academic Senate Executive Committee - unanimously in favor
- Past and Current OSA Executive Committee - unanimously in favor
- Classified Staff Advisory Council - unanimously in favor
Benefits of Google Apps - Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Docs
- Large email attachments (25MB/message) and lots of mail storage (25GB/user).
- Mail, Contacts and Calendar will sync to mobile phones and tablets from all vendors.
- Excellent web-based calendaring, makes arranging meetings, office hours, appointments and sharing calendars easy to do.
- Use of Google Docs with @uwosh.edu accounts, makes classroom document sharing and collaboration easy and safer than individual instructor and student accounts.
- Contract protects UW Oshkosh intellectual property stored in Google Apps services. There are no ads. There is no datamining. We share FERPA responsibilities.
- Google Apps is provided free to UW Oshkosh, and costs much less in time and labor to maintain over time than current system.
- UW Oshkosh alumni get a new campus-branded benefit in a feature-rich email/calendar system.
Ideally the students and faculty will be informed of the anticipated service change before they leave campus at the end of the Spring semester and all changes will be made before the beginning of the Fall semester.
This project is a continuation of our move from Novell to Windows as well as the transition away from Sun Email/Calendar. The Sun Email/Calendar directory, list of users, was selected to be our campus authoritative source for usernames many years ago because not all users had Novell or Windows accounts. As the "authoritative source" we were able to use our Sun Email usernames and passwords to access D2L, TitanFiles, HRS, Library Resources, Wireless Access (WOOSH), Plone Web Sites, Lab Printing, ImageNow and several other systems, instead of having separate usernames and passwords for each.
Since shutting Novell down, all users now have Windows accounts (even Mac users). When we transition from Sun Email/Calendar to Google, we will not maintain the Sun directory of users. The only directory which lists all users is the Windows directory. However, to make this less confusing for people who don't have a Windows computer, we're changing the name to NetID. This also reflects that this username and password is used for much more than just Windows.
There are about a dozen different systems that need to be switched from the Sun directory to the NetID. We will keep all users informed about the timing of these changes. We will schedule the D2L change during the already planned update of D2L in June.