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College initiates transfer to upgraded e-mail service

Liz Harter | Monday, January 22, 2007

Saint Mary’s will soon complete the transformation to the new Zimbra Collection Server – the College’s primary calendar and messaging system.

Although Zmail was introduced during winter break, students are able to use the previous Aegis Webmail server until Jan. 30 – the posted deadline to swicth to the new system.

“We are looking at keeping both systems up until everyone has gone through the conversion process, so, at this point, we are hoping for little downtime,” Chief Information Officer Keith Fowlkes said.

The migration process consists of clicking a link on the @Home page and entering both the e-mail address and password of the account to be transferred.

As long as there are not multiple accounts in line to be transferred, Fowlkes said, the entire process takes five minutes or less.

As of Jan. 17, 801 members of the Saint Mary’s community – including faculty, staff and clubs – had migrated to Zmail. Notices to complete the process will be sent to users closer to the Jan. 30 deadline, Fowlkes said.

“If students, faculty, or staff do not migrate by the deadline, no mail will be lost,” Fowlkes said, “but the accounts may be suspended until the user migrates.”

He said students, faculty and staff seem to be unaffected by the change in e-mail systems.

“I don’t think we could have asked for a better transition so far,” Fowlkes said. “The response from everyone has been great. The [new] interface is much better [than the Aegis system] and integrates shared calendars and address books.”

Sophomore Lauren Mangiaforte switched systems early this week and did not experience problems.

“I enjoy the new e-mail,” Mangiaforte said. “I worked with [a similar program] at work over the summer and it really helped me to stay organized.”

While the migration process has been stress free so far, Fowlkes advises students to migrate during the College’s Resnet support office hours in case they encounter a problem.

Information Technology is also providing online tutorials and live training sessions focused on the use of the Zimbra server and its components.

The new server is not yet complete because Information Technology is still in the process of moving everything from the Aegis system to the Zimbra server.

“We still have some work to do on migration of old calendars from the old Aegis calendar system to the new Zmail system, but that is in the works now,” Fowlkes said.