Email migration waiting on majority of Yalies

Three months after all undergraduates were invited to convert from Yale Horde email to EliApps, Information and Technology Services is still waiting for the majority of students to switch their accounts.

Though students have received multiple emails from ITS reminding them to make the switch before the end of the academic year, 60 percent of undergraduates have yet to transition from Horde to EliApps, said Loriann Higashi, manager of the Student Technology Collaborative. ITS has not finalized plans for what will happen to students who do not migrate before the year ends, but Higashi said those students will likely have their EliApps accounts created automatically and may lose access to their old emails.

Until they officially switch to the Google Apps for Education platform, students will continue to receive reminder emails from ITS, Higashi said. She added that students who transfer their accounts before the deadline should have no issues maintaining access to old email files.

“We want every student to choose what they wish to do with their existing account,” Higashi said. “We really want students to be happy with [EliApps].”

EliApps accounts give students 25 gigabytes of storage along with access to Google Calendar, Documents and Sites. The one EliApps feature not yet enabled is Google Groups, Higashi said, which ITS has “soft-launched” and is testing. Higashi said an official release date has not been set for Google Groups, which she said will likely serve the same purpose as mailman lists and panlists.

Members of the class of 2012 have the option to opt out of the change, and Higashi said 20 percent of those students have chosen to do so thus far. The class of 2016 will automatically enter with EliApps.

But three of six students from the classes in-between said they had not migrated to EliApps and are fine with waiting for ITS to make the switch, as their Horde accounts already forward to other email systems.

“Even though it would just take a few minutes, I don’t want to have to go through trouble of setting up my Apple Mail again,” Chuyang Wei ’15 said. “Things are convenient for me the way they are.”

Liz Jones ’15, who has not migrated to EliApps, said she is hesitant to switch during the middle of the semester for fear an error could occur. Jones said she would prefer to convert after the semester ends, adding that she is comfortable with forwarding her Yale mail to her Gmail account at the moment.

STC Assistant Manager Adam Bray ’07 said that only approximately 20 transfer errors have occurred among the 40 percent of students who have already switched. He added that ITS successfully resolved all those transfer errors.

Bray said transfer errors occur if Horde accounts have exceeded their two-gigabyte storage limit, causing the accounts to become “corrupted.” Sometimes students experience this problem if they forward their mail to another email server but do not delete the emails from their Horde account, Bray said. If students plan to continue forwarding their email to another account, they must still switch to EliApps and then reforward their email, he added.

David Crosson ’14, who transferred to EliApps in early January, said he finds the new server more user-friendly, noting that EliApps is easier to access from multiple computers. Crosson said he has felt frustrated by Horde since he first began using the system and quickly began forwarding his email to another account. He added that he hopes ITS will launch Google Groups soon.

“I’m hoping if they do a Google version of panlists, new groups will be able to be created and people will not have to be grandfathered into existing panlists,” Crosson said. “Panlists connect students and allows for organizations to run much better.”

Jessica Xu ’15 said she never forwarded her mail from Horde, but now has her phone synchronized with EliApps account, and prefers the new setup.

Of the nation’s top 100 schools, 61 currently use Google Apps for Education, according to the Google Apps for Education website.

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