Monday, March 19, 2007

More Useful Info On GMail for Education

The new page for Google Apps for Education site is actually informative (in contrast the previous one). The answers to the potential show-stopping problems I saw seem straightforward:

  • Ads: Optional.
  • Archiving to meet legal requirements: run everything in and out through a gateway you control that handles the archiving (keeps a copy of everything, even if the user deletes it from GMail).

So this means a school can't completely eliminate their in house email infrastructure, but it is limited to running the gateway & archive system, plus any additional filtering or monitoring the district might want to insert at that point. Besides, considering the legal liabilities in play (violating public records laws, etc.), I don't think you'd want to rely entirely on Google for archiving.

I'm focusing on GMail, because it just seems like running email in particular is an ever increasing drain (due to spam, etc.) with very little value-add for a district. Schools should focus on things more closely related to teaching and learning.

6 comments:

Chris Craft said...

This is silly, but I cannot find the same info on ads being optional and the archiving info, can you provide specific links? By email is fine...

Thanks!

Chris

Jim said...

Absolutely right.

As far as archiving and blocking/filtering goes, don't worry. Where there's an opportunity, there's a vendor.

michaelP said...

This is a very interesting topic for me since my company, , has an archiving product and are thinking about working with Google Apps. (Yes, Jim, there is always a vendor when there is an opportunity :) ).

What demand would you say is there in the education market for this? Think school districts would be interested? Anyone doing it already?

Thanks,
Michael Prichard

Tom Hoffman said...

I can say that if I had a consulting business to local schools (which I don't), I would be developing tools for GMail archiving, administration, etc., and looking to undercut everyone else before they undercut me.

Tom Hoffman said...

Also, I think email archiving is exactly the kind of thing schools should outsource, since it is tricky, can easily get expensive if you buy the wrong hardware, etc., and has nothing to do with teaching and learning. My gut says that having someone other than Google do this and paying someone to do it is the correct approach.

Anonymous said...

At the edu rate, Google charges about $15.50 per user per year for up to 10 years of archiving per account. This would also include anti-spam, anti-virus from the Postini service. I "think" you have to have the Postini anti-spam/virus services and then the archiving piece is added on. If you just had anti-spam/anti-virus, then I believe that is a little more than $4 per user account. Everything is administered through an admin console. You have to decide if it is worth paying the annual fee vs purchasing, maintaining, & supporting hardware. From an admin perspective, I'd prefer to deal with the cloud and not have to deal with so much in house hardware. We have "free" MS Exchange server & CALs but are going from Groupwise to Gmail for edu for ease of maintenance/support. However, archiving is something we will have to deal with sooner or later.