EliApps to expand through referrals

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Photo by Sharon Yin.

Students wishing to switch their Yale Horde email to Yale’s Gmail service soon may want to reach out to their friends who have already been using the new system.

Student techs and about 70 early adopters, who volunteered to try the email service this fall, will each nominate up to 10 other students to transition to EliApps, Yale’s version of Google Apps for Education — a set of applications designed for schools and universities that includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sites, Google Chat and Google Docs features. Loriann Higashi, manager of the Student Technology Collaborative, said this method for rolling out the new system mirrors strategies used by Google in the past and aims to ensure a smooth transition.

“This process ensures that we have fully tested the migration tool, the documentation and the processes so that when we begin the larger rollouts, we are confident that most of the kinks have been worked through,” she said.

ITS asked early adopters to make their nominations when they complete a short feedback form, said Chuck Powell, associate chief information officer for Information Technology Services. He added that ITS is also migrating a small number of faculty volunteers.

Danqing Liu ’13, a student tech, said he gave his 10 slots to his friends but still tried to consider who would benefit most from the change from Horde.

“[I] preferred those who at least occasionally use Horde since the early migration may have a higher marginal utility to them,” he said.

EliApps has more than three times as much storage space as ordinary Gmail, Higashi said, adding that other Google services may be added to EliApps in the future.

All 16 students interviewed said they already forward their Horde emails to other accounts. While all 10 who had heard about the upcoming switch to EliApps said they approved of the change, none had decided whether they would actually use the new service or continue forwarding email to their outside email accounts.

Jun Luke Foster ’14 said that he will likely keep using his current Gmail account since some of his more important emails are sent to his Gmail account. Sarah Park ’13 said students have generally grown comfortable with their own methods of managing their email, so a change could be inconvenient.

“I think the general consensus is that most people at Yale have their ways of organizing their mail already, and a lot of people think it’s not worth it to switch over,” Park said.

ITS aims to transition all students, excluding students in some professional schools, to the new service by the end of this academic year, according to the ITS website, though seniors are not required to migrate their mail.

After the referred students migrate to EliApps, ITS will begin selecting other undergraduate and graduate students to make the switch, Higashi said.

“It will be in large waves where students will be invited when we’re ready for them,” Powell said.

Though ITS currently has no plans to offer more information sessions that were held this fall for the early adopters, ITS is likely to ask Google student ambassadors — students who worked for the company last summer — to help with questions after a larger population has migrated, Seluga said.

Horde webmail accounts will be deactivated 30 days after a student migrates to EliApps.

Comments

  • Loriana

    I think it should be quite interesting to know more details about it!
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  • River_Tam

    Why do they have to rename it to EliApps?

  • anonymouz

    Each individual should be given the option of switching to google apps or continuing to use webmail that sucks.