When you’ve got 34,000 students on your mail servers, then it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to make tough decisions on the services you provide to them. Alqonquin College, in Canada, had to limit their student mailboxes to 60Mb of storage, and also limited where and when students could get access to their email. And these kinds of limits didn’t sit well in an organisation that was striving to expand its horizons by recruiting more ‘virtual’ students, as well as those traditional students sitting on campus.
Those are just a couple of factors that played a part in their decision to move their student email to the Cloud with [email protected]. And as well as improving services for students, they also reduced costs. Robert Gillett, the President of Algonquin College, summed it up when he said:
|We’ve basically found a way to offer superior service to our students while reducing our IT administration costs. That’s hard to beat for a university working within a tight budget.|
The college’s new service, internally called [email protected], was deployed in August 2010. The transition of 34,000 existing student email accounts to the new system was completed over a single weekend. “It’s one of the smoothest transitions we’ve ever gone through on any internal or external server,” says Gillett. “It works, and it works well.”
It’s worth reading the full story on our worldwide case studies website, as there are many parallels to Australian Universities and TAFE’s, with distance learning courses, highly mobile students, and a mix of full-time and part-time students (Algonquin has 40,000 part-time students in addition to their 19,000 full-time ones).