googlebadgeWe hope you’re enjoying the power and mobility that Google Mail, Google Calendar and Google drive bring to your working lives. Every day, we’re hearing great stories from people who are finding new features in the Google products and applying them to the way that they work.

As the Google products are very new to the University, we want to pro-actively reach out and trial holding ‘Google Clinics’ at regular intervals over the next few weeks.  The idea of a Google Clinic is you can come along and ask anything you want – about any of the Google products or the way you use them. They won’t be formal training sessions, just simple drop in sessions designed to give you quick fixes or new ideas.

You can find the Google Clinics at the following times/locations:

  • Tuesday 30th April, 12-2pm (Senate House reception)
  • Wednesday 8th May, 12-2pm (Chemistry cafe area)
  • Wednesday 15th May, 12-2pm (Langford Cafe)


We’ll be wearing our blue Google tshirts so will be easy to spot and we look forward to meeting you!


Mally Mclane
Communication and Collaboration Services Manager
University of Bristol

Dear Colleagues

Over the past 12 hours we have successfully moved all our staff and shared mailbox accounts across to Gmail. You will now need to access your email by going to Also at that site you will find details of our online suppport materials, FAQs and other ways  to access further support over the Easter period.

We are just about to begin the migration of historical emails (those received after 01/10/2012) from individual accounts and also from the delegated mailboxes.


Any questions? !


Mally Mclane
Communication and Collaboration Services Manager
University of Bristol

Dear Colleagues,

Unfortunately we need to postpone the IT Services migration by
approximately one week. Planned new date is Weds 28th November
instead of the original Tues 20th November.

We’ve already got 150 people across the University migrated to Google,
but IT Services will be our first big pilot migrating a whole
department. Prior to this migration we had to complete a large body of
work that was necessary not only for the IT Services pilot, but the
Google project as a whole. One of the major changes we are making is
the rollout of new email relays. We’ve uncovered an issue with the
mail relays* which we can fix, but need time to do so.

In the meantime some info that may be helpful for you:

* A series of blog posts from Tim Phillips about his migration
* info specifically for the IT Services pilot at
* A printed guide to Gmail which will be distributed next week,
* hands-on 1 hour introduction to Gmail from the training team (dates
to be confirmed soon)

Sorry for the delay, especially if this affects your plans for Tuesday
and inconveniences you personally. Furthermore feedback from support
staff and academic early adopters so far is very positive, and the
whole university wants us to get on with Gmail as soon as possible. So
any delay is frustrating, but it is important that we get it right.

As ever if you have further questions, please contact us via email: or speak to a member of the project team.


* more details: issue is related to how we route mail for people on Google
who have both an individual email address and a role-based email address,
but treat the role-based address as their ‘main’ one and hide the individual one
such that it doesn’t appear in the contact directory.

If we had made the planned changes to the mail relays this problem would
only have affected three people, but three is three too many.

Actually changing the mail relays involves actions over three consecutive days,
hence requirement to delay by about a week.

Quite a few IT Services staff have already moved to Google Mail, including many staff in Zone C, Zone F, the Service Desk, and half of the senior management team. We’ve also done pilot migrations of shared mailboxes.

For everyone else in IT Services we will go live with Google Mail on Tuesday, 20th November. From this date on, all new emails will be delivered to the new service. IT Services shared mailboxes will also be moved on this date.

On the same date we will start migration of existing emails from the old service to the new. For some people this migration will happen very quickly overnight, for others with larger mailboxes it will take a few days. (Note: we will be using a different & quicker migration process on G-Day for most of the University next year, which will mean most emails are there and waiting for the go-live day)

Calendar for IT services staff will move at the same time as the rest of the University next year, so we can continue to book meetings with colleagues in other departments.

Why are we moving IT Services before most of the University? Firstly, so that we as IT staff can be familiar with the tools and be in the best position to support the rest of the University. Secondly, because as IT staff we are great at testing things thoroughly, anticipating issues and giving feedback, all of which will be very valuable for the project and improve the service for other staff.

But at the same time we also recognise that as IT staff we aren’t typical. So we’ve also tested Google out with small groups of users in Biosciences & Maths and other staff around the University over the summer and had very helpful feedback. We’ll also be doing two larger pilots, with one academic school and one support service unit after the IT pilot.

For more info see

We’ll also be doing a series of roadshows where we will be demoing the Google products and taking questions from the audience. As soon as we have rooms booked for these, we’ll let you know.

In the meantime if you’ve got any queries please contact the project team at or come and see one of us for a chat.

Nick Skelton,
Assistant Director IT Services (Infrastructure)

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.