New e-mail system met with few problems

Glennis Siegfried

Students, alumni pleased with Gmail, launch went smoothly

Since Kent State Google E-mail launched last week, more than 11,500 accounts have already been switched.

“This is way above what we were expecting,” said Matthew Pahls, applications developer.

Nov. 6, Information Services sent out an e-mail to those who are part of the transition to encourage them to transition to Gmail.

In the first three hours after the e-mail went out, Information Services saw about 700 account transitions each hour.

Nov. 3, the first day of the transition, 2,663 accounts were created.

Despite such large numbers, the Help Desk only had about 30 help tickets opened, mostly from alumni trying to reactivate their Kent e-mail accounts.

“It’s the storm that never came,” said Jay Frye, manager of educational technology outreach. “It’s mostly calls going, ‘We want in! We want in!’ from alumni who just want to use their e-mail.”

Other problems stemmed from users logging into FlashMail. To switch their accounts, users must go through FlashLine.

The transition has turned out better than Information Services expected. Many e-mail account transfers have only taken a few minutes, rather than a couple hours as expected.

“We’ve been getting a ton of positive feedback,” Pahls said.

Information Services set up an information table in the Student Center where students switched their accounts and asked questions about the transition.

Kris Herman of the Late Night Christian Fellowship switched his account using the information table in the Student Center, which he found to be helpful.

“This is great,” he said. “A big plus is there is way more space. It was quick, it was easy, and I got a free shirt.”

Sophomore theater major Lisa Perchinske is also ecstatic about the unlimited space now available to users.

“It’s perfect,” she said. “Before I couldn’t save things. I’d get messages saying, ‘You’re operating at ninety percent quota,’ and I would be, ‘Dammit I hate this!'”

Talia Williams, junior finance major and resident assistant, was a bit surprised when she received the e-mail from Information Services about switching to Gmail. She had originally thought of waiting, but then switched her account at the information table.

“It was easy, and it wasn’t that hard,” she said, adding that the unlimited space would be more convenient for her as an RA, since she is always getting e-mails.

“We want students to do this as soon as possible so they can transfer their e-mails. Otherwise, they’ll have to do it manually at Christmas,” said Christa Skiles, public relations and marketing/internal communications specialist.

Contact technology reporter Glennis Siegfried at [email protected].