Entries tagged with “implementation”.

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

You may remember that back in our last post we commented how we were working hard to get Gmail ready and launched for our 11/12 intake of undergraduate students. Well, in record time, we did it! Gmail was given to every new student who registered after September 6th – giving them access to an email address for life, a 25GB mailbox, a clean and modern interface and the famed search power that Google offers.

As of today, (December 8th), we have a total of 6,759 accounts on our my.bristol.ac.uk service. Apart from some minor hiccups, the overall launch was successful and since then we’ve been seeing on average 4722 users logging into Gmail and checking their email at least once within 7 days.

We’ve also been interested in which email client our students have chosen to use. We’ve not pushed anything onto them, we’ve let them make their own choices and simply given them the information they needed to connect software to Gmail. The graph above shows from 1st October to 30th November the activity we’ve been seeing from our Students on the Gmail service. The blue line is our total number of accounts, the green line is those using Gmail’s web interface to access their email and the red line is those accessing their account. As you can see, the red and green lines match, showing that the vast majority of our students are happy to use the web interface.

One amusing trend in the access we see is the dips on the green/red lines – they directly correlate to weekends in the 2 months, showing our students have a rest from email on weekends 😀


Now that we have such large mailboxes (everyone by default gets 25GB), it’s interesting to see how quickly people are using up their quota, rather than trying to fit themselves into the small quotas that we’ve previously been able to offer:






Our students are using on average only a small fraction of the quota available to them, but are already close to what would have been the limits had they been given email on current UoB systems – apart from the one student in the middle who has already taken 1/5 of the quota available to them! This is good to see, we want users to use their email and not worry about quotas or limits.

But we don’t stop here – we still have the remainder of our student base to migrate, all of our staff to migrate, Google Calendar to launch – all coming in 2012.


As always, we are keen to hear from you – if you have any queries about the new Gmail service, or our plans for 2012, please get in touch: new-email@bristol.ac.uk










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.