During those long days of waiting for much-needed responses from professors – or when last-minute meetings pop up seemingly out of nowhere – students will no longer have to wait for mail-carrier pigeons. Instead, Gannon University students will now benefit from a new email server that allows for enhanced accessibility.
Mark Jordano, director of Gannon’s Information Technology Services, said that the new email system, Microsoft Live@edu, is a cloud-based service.
“Cloud-based simply means that it runs on Microsoft servers and is accessed via the web,” Jordano clarified.
Essentially, Jordano said that Gannon’s Student Government Association made this project possible to address particular student concerns in response to the recent SGA Technology Survey.
According to this survey, many students expressed issues in regard to limitations such as the small mailbox size and its essentially non-existent features.
In order to resolve these concerns, ITS looked to the Microsoft Live@edu system. Jordano said that, with the new system, each student has 10 gigabytes of storage for email, many robust features, and the ability to access email from mobile devices.
This is a significant difference in comparison to the Web mail system. Its storage capacity ends at a mere 100 megabytes.
Sarah Meister, a senior nursing major – and helpdesk technician at ITS – also praised the advantages of the new email system.
“With the new system, you can get email directly to your phone, whereas, before if you wanted to do that, you had to set up a Gmail account and forward your mail,” Meister said.
Beyond just an ordinary email system, Microsoft Live@edu includes a calendar that fundamentally acts as a planner and allows students to accept invitations from both peers and faculty alike.
Other nontraditional features include a file storage unit entitled SkyDrive that will enable students to save vital class projects and documents without having to email attached files. “It just has more capabilities than the old system,” Meister said.
Lauren Steidel, a junior physician assistant major, expressed interest in the idea.
“Instead of using the calendar on My Gannon and then checking my email on GU Web mail, everything will be on one page,” she said.
“It eliminates the need of having three Web pages open at one time.”
There is good news for upperclassmen who display caution when it comes to change.
Not only will the old Web mail system still be available for student use, but Gannon has guinea pigs currently testing the new system.
Since the class of 2015 is already using the Live@edu server and the new email address networkID@knights.gannon.edu, there will be a painless transition for those who are familiar with the Gannon Web mail system. On a tentative date in October, ITS will make official plans to switch upperclassmen over to the new system.
For the time being, Jordano advises that upperclassmen delete unwanted email and empty the “deleted items” folder to clear extraneous data. In the meantime, students may gather information about the Microsoft Live@edu by clicking on the cloud icon in the lower right corner of the my.gannon.edu login page.