By: Bailey Ballard
GC Emails Move from Google to Microsoft
GC student emails will be moved from Google Suites to Microsoft 365 in the fall. Chief
Information Officer, Susan Kerr, and Director of Operations in IT, Cindy Bowen, are working
together with a small team of eight people to initiate the transfer.
“Particularly with some of the advancements that have happened in the technology space, we felt
like it would be most beneficial to have everyone on the same system,” said Kerr. “So the email
initiative is a project that we have in the works to migrate student email from the Gmail system
to Microsoft 365 that the faculty already use.”
Microsoft 365 offers multiple benefits based on three categories: functionality, collaboration and
For functionality, Microsoft 365 is a common email system for employers and the initiative
would allow students to become comfortable with the platform. In addition, putting students and
faculty on the same system allows for more seamless integration between service of faculty and
students along will faculty can be placed in one directory. Students will also have access to
SharePoint which allows students to use Microsoft tools that they may not have access to
currently and can use OneDrive for storage.
“Particularly mixing students and faculty staff interactions and collaborations are greatly
enhanced with everybody being under the same platform,” said Kerr.
For collaboration, students will have access to Microsoft Teams, a conferencing and chat system
that will allow easier team collaboration, allowing students to share calendars, co-author
documents and more. Students will also be able to create their own calendars that can be shared
across to faculty and other students.
“The reality is that in today’s society, and with the amount of cybersecurity crime that’s going on,
we really have to continue to find ways to enforce that multi factor authentication to keep people
safe and use the best security provided to us,” said Kerr.
For security, Outlook tools for email allows IT to allow email multi factor authentication and
makes it easier for IT to investigate and monitor things like phishing, malware, or spyware
viruses. In addition, to help protect students and staff, IT can use litigation holds to ensure
somebody can not delete traces of something that they’ve done.
The initiative team has been working with Nathan Graham, SGA president, about doing some
Tech Information so that more information can be provided to the public.
“We know Microsoft 365 is going to be the future of things and would like to prepare students
for that post higher education symbols would be better service for the student dollars all together
to move them over to those platforms,” Graham told WGUR.
The initiative team is hoping to transfer the systems over during the summer semester and
currently believe that it will migrate all emails over to Microsoft smoothly. However, regarding
files within student drives, Kerr reports that they have no current way to migrate documents over.
“We are going to provide a lot of documentation out there for this, we’ll have a lot of
communication, we’ll post ‘how to’s, so that everybody knows what’s going on,” said Kerr.
“You’re probably going to need to download those documents somewhere, whether it’s a thumb
drive, an external hard drive, or your local computer, you’re probably going to have to download
those files and save them somewhere temporarily.”
Kerr and her team are confident that the transfer to Microsoft 365 will provide the students and
faculty with greater success in this technologically driven world