Google to take over FlashMail

Glennis Siegfried

FlashLine to transition nearly 100,000 accounts in October

Soon students’ inboxes will no longer read “Welcome to FlashLine.”

Starting in mid-October, FlashLine e-mail will begin a gradual transition period during which almost 100,000 accounts will be switched to Gmail accounts.

“The goal is to stagger students,” said Roberta Sikula-Schwalm, associate vice president for information services, enterprise support and application services.

Once the process begins, students, alumni, part-time and emeriti faculty will have the option of logging into either their FlashLine account or the new Gmail account. Details on how to the transition will work will come at a later date.

The Gmail transition is supposed to continue into mid-December. At that point, accounts that haven’t been switched will be changed automatically.

“The students will get more features (of Google),” Sikula-Schwalm said.

Some of those features include access to the built-in chat, an advanced spam filtering system and a larger inbox capacity. Even with the switch, student e-mail addresses will remain the same.

The Division of Information Services will also feel benefits from the change. Currently this department oversees changes or developments of the FlashMail system.

Instead, Google will take care of the management of e-mail accounts and the features.

Kent State is not the only educational institution to implement Gmail on its campus. Indiana University, Arizona State University and Sarah Lawrence College are some of the schools that have already made the transition or are in the process of doing so.

Sikula-Schwalm and Christa Skiles, public relations and marketing/internal communications specialist, are encouraging students to check out the Facebook group “ Powered by Google” and a FAQ page which give more details of the project.

“We want students to know what is going on,” Skiles said.

Throughout the semester, Skiles and Sikula-Schwalm will release more details and dates as the Gmail transition takes place.

Students can access the Web site to see a preview of the new e-mail system.

Contact technology reporter Glennis Siegfried at [email protected].