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June 25, 2008

Putting the 'new' into New South Wales' schools - outsourcing email to Google

So schools in New South Wales become the latest area of education to migrate their email from an 'in-house' solution (Outlook and Exchange in this case) to Google.  And a pretty sizable migration it is by the sounds of it - Australian schools dump Outlook for Gmail for 1.3 million students.

Wow!

On the face of it, the transition brings significant benefits, not just in terms of cost (the Education Department are reputedly saving something like 11 million quid over three years) but also in the amount of storage available to each student (6GB instead of 35MB).  But the Google garden isn't to everyone's taste and one certainly hears some grumblings about limitations and performance issues with the Google Apps offering.  How significant they are I'm not sure?

Outsourcing email to Google was one of the areas touched on in discussions at our symposium last month.  As some of you will already know, we are currently funding a series of snapshots tracking the use of Second Life within UK higher and further education.  I wonder if now would be a good time to start doing a similar series of snapshots around institutional outsourcing of services like email?

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