Entries tagged with “gmail”.

Calendar, Docs, Google+ and much more are now available to students when they get the new Google email for life service at the University of Bristol!

After listening to the feedback from our current students we are pleased to announce that today, Tuesday 20 March, we are turning on over 20 apps from the Google Apps suite including Google Docs and Google Calendar. The full list can be found at:




What do these apps offer?

Here’s a quick guide to some of the most widely used and useful:

Google Docs
A suite of products that lets you create different kinds of online documents, work on them in real time with other people, and store your documents and your other files — all online. With an Internet connection, you can access your documents and files from any computer, anywhere in the world. (There’s even some work you can do without an Internet connection!)

Google Calendar
An online calendar that’s available wherever you are, whenever you need it. We are investigating providing iCal feeds for student timetabling via the MyBristol portal, so you will also be able to add your UoB timetable information to your Google Calendar and use the reminder features Google provide.

Google Talk
A instant messaging tool that supports text, voice and video – for free. Use Google Talk to keep in touch with your family and friends back home.

Google Chrome Sync
The University will soon be rolling out the Google Chrome web browser to all UoB computers. With Chrome Sync you can save your bookmarks, extensions, apps, theme, and browser preferences to your Google Account so that they are available on any computer you’re using. That way, you can have the same web experience everywhere.

Please send any feedback to new-email@bristol.ac.uk

Further information on the Gmail project at the University can be found on the IT Services website

Following extensive discussions with our Zonal IT colleagues and others, we  have developed a proposed timeline for the implementation of Gmail for staff across the University. We will be phasing implementation based on the IT zones  and  you can see the full timeline in the image below:





(click to enlarge)




The timeline includes rollout plans for Office 2010.  This is necessary as Outlook 2010 will be the supported client on your University desktop along with the standard Gmail web client, accessible everywhere.   We chose Outlook 2010 over other possible clients (such as Thunderbird) because of the user experience and support from Google for integration with their products.

This activity also supports the aim to standardise the version of Microsoft Office throughout the University to create efficiencies and aid collaboration.  In addition, Google Chrome will be installed alongside Internet Explorer.  This activity is part of the desktop upgrade programme in 2012-13.

What will happen in my migration period?

During each phase of the project communications will be sent to staff explaining the process.  When your zone is due for migration you will be sent a link that takes you to our migration application. When you are ready you can use that link to login to start the migration process for you.

Will I be able to use my new Google account immediately?

Yes – once you begin migration all new email will be delivered to your Gmail account.

Please note:  your existing mail won’t appear there immediately. The migration of your email will begin in the evening of the day that you select to migrate. In the majority of cases all email should be migrated overnight.  Mail is migrated starting with newest first. Until migration is complete you can still access old email through Outlook, but in a read-only mode.

What will be migrated?

We will migrate email kept on our central servers and we’ll migrate your address books (though this includes a simple one step process for this for the user too).

We’re not able to migrate your rules/filters or mail folders stored on your computer (C drive) but can provide you with help and support to set them up again in Gmail.

A list of all FAQs for the Gmail and Google Calendar project can be found on the project website.

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.



In September we successfully provided email with Google to over 6700 students who started this autumn. They get a new email address for life, which will keep working after they graduate, to help their future employability. From early next year, existing students will be able to register their interest in getting an email address for life with Google, and they will then be migrated in groups after that.

After Christmas we are starting pilots of Google Mail for staff in some support service units and academic departments. Staff keep the same email address they have now (they don’t get the email address for life). The first to be migrated will be a few staff in IT Services to make sure the technicalities work. Then we move on to other departments for users to test acceptability, so the project can react to feedback and make any changes before the main rollout.

We’ve had some strong feedback from staff that they would like their email and calendar rollout to take place at the same time, or at least very close together. Unfortunately we can’t do them both quite simultaneously. Calendar needs to rolled out to all staff on the same day (so we can all book meetings with each other), while the huge volume of email is such that we need to migrate it in batches. We don’t want to take on too much too quickly, but we are looking into what additional resources we’d need to bring the email and calendar rollouts closer together.

As ever – we would love to hear from you about our plans – get in touch here: new-email@bristol.ac.uk