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Google to provide student Gmail and other services at NC State University. Sign up now for beta testing.

NC State University has successfully negotiated an agreement with Google Inc. that will enable us to provide improved e-mail and other hosted services for students through the free Google Apps Education Editionâ„¢ program. This action was recommended by the Student E-mail Task Force in their March 2009 report (http://oit.ncsu.edu/student-email-initiative/report ).

Outsourcing e-mail is a growing trend in higher education because it enables universities to improve technology services for students while reducing costs. The Google Apps Gmail services will give NC State students more than 7 gigabytes of storage per account, something they have been requesting for years but the university has been unable to afford to provide. Based on the current level of student e-mail services, the Student E-mail Task Force estimated that outsourcing student e-mail would save the university an anticipated $60,000 per year. In addition to e-mail, Google Apps Education Editionâ„¢ offers a suite of popular communication and collaboration applications designed for schools and universities.

OIT has formed a Google Apps @ NC State Implementation Team to plan the  rollout of the new services. While e-mail and related services (calendaring, online document sharing, etc.) will be provided by Google, students will retain their official @ncsu.edu address. We expect to launch a student beta e-mail service by mid semester this spring and are encouraging students to request an invitation to participate by visiting NC State’s Google Web site: http://google.ncsu.edu. The production service will be rolled out over the coming year.

More information about NC State’s implementation of Google Apps Education Edition™is also available at http://google.ncsu.edu.

I should note that NC State Chief Information Officer, Dr. Marc Hoit,  and the Office of Information Technology, spearheaded the effort from the administrative end.  You guys Rock!  Now if you can just help me sync my Gmail account to Groupwise we’ll really be in business.

Passion Rules!.

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