As we begin to move more and more users on to our Google Mail platforms, it’s important to reflect on lessons learned and how users are finding the service. In particular is the new service helping reduce reported incidents to the Service Desk.We log all calls that come into Service Desk, either via email or telephone and this allows to see trends aross the first term:


From the graph above, we can see the usual spikes in support calls at the beginning of term (usually related to password issues), then for Google Mail, the support calls drop to a constant low. During the same period, support calls for our legacy webmail fluctuate quite significantly, but are only at the same level as Google Mail on January 1st!
To illustrate it more accurately, since the end of October there have been 10.6 incidents/requests per 1000 students on the old email service and 4.3 incidents/requests per 1000 students on Google Mail. Why is this happening? Google Mail is more intuitive, easier to use, featureful and massively more reliable. We are giving people a modern email experience fit for 2012 and beyond.

We’ve also been running a survey for those on our Google Mail, in order to understand better what we’re doing right and what we can improve. There were 3 key questions we asked:

Creating your Gmail account during registration – 76% rated this Very Good or Excellent
– Accessing your Gmail account – 73% rated this Very Good or Excellent
– Using your Gmail account – 81% rated this Very Good or Excellent

And we asked users how we could improve their Google Mail experience. 3 key questions were asked:

“Enable Calendar and other Google Apps”
This is something we’re keen to do, but it’s something we want to do right. We’re talking internally about enabling other services for both students and staff and will hopefully have more news later in the year.

“Want desktop client”
We realise this is desired by lots of people and later this year we will be rolling out Outlook 2010 across the University.

“Better links through from MyBristol”
This is one of the major problems that harm the experience users get – i.e. they have to sign into MyBristol and also Google Mail. We were unable to get this working as we wanted before we went live as it depended on  a major upgrade to a core piece of an internal system. We are currently midway through this upgrade and hope to release it over the summer break.