The project team and colleagues across IT Services are working hard to get Google mail launched for the new intake of students arriving this autumn. These students will be the first to receive email addresses on the new email for life service @my.bristol.ac.uk. The two key dates are 7th Sept, when an application for students to choose a mailname is due to launch, and 15th Sept, when the bulk of students carry out online registration. We have a series of check points between now and then to assess progress and make sure we are on course.

Following that, we will move on to the first pilot deployment of Google mail for staff. We already have lots of departments wanting to pilot the service, and were speaking with one of them this morning. We will be piloting with at least two 2 but no more than 4 departments, including at least one academic department and one support service unit. The rough timetable for this is November to January, but we’ll decide the full timetable only when we’re good and ready.

There are lots of other exciting areas, including calendar, mailing lists, and shared mailboxes, but this is a very large project and we have to resist the temptation to do everything at once. So we are doing some early planning on those but the major work won’t start until summer 2012.