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SMC launches new email interface

NATALE KACHUREK | Thursday, September 4, 2003

Saint Mary’s will utilize a new e-mail interface called Aegis this fall. The switch will be made to better accommodate the level of e-mail traffic at the college and will offer many new and useful features to help facilitate communication and organization for the Saint Mary’s community, according to an announcement made Tuesday.Most first-year students were introduced to Aegis last week in the mandatory Information Technology workshops and are already using the new system. Many returning students, however, have doubts about making the switch. Already comfortable with the current interface and frustrated at the need to transfer address books, many say they do not see the need for change. Despite these doubts, Keith Fowlkes, director of Information Technology, claims that the transition will be easy and the benefits will be worthwhile. “I promised the students last year that we would have a better e-mail interface,” Fowlkes said. “That’s why we upgraded the IMP interface. I wanted to keep my promise to the students.”The Aegis interface will be faster, more intuitive and will have a more attractive look, Fowlkes said. It will offer advanced junk mail blocking capabilities for both students and faculty and the ability to easily share e-mail folders between users. There are also new corporate and personal address book interfaces, new “vacation message” options and the ability to easily change passwords, Fowlkes said. Aegis is fully compatible with Netscape Mail, Outlook and Eudora email systems. According to Fowlkes, one of the most innovative features of Aegis is its calendaring function. Users can create multiple calendars that can be integrated with e-mail to send reminders of upcoming events. Users will also have the option to share calendars for group organization or to keep them private for personal use. Information stored in Aegis calendars syncs seamlessly with Palm and Windows CE PDA’s using free software available online.”I think they are going to love it,” Fowlkes said. “The features and speed of this system are going to bring a whole new world of community to our campus. It is our new ‘e-community’ and it will help us integrate, communicate and collaborate. I’m very excited about it.” The deadline for students to switch to Aegis is Nov. 30. All address books and saved mail must also be transferred over by this date.