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Johnson C. Smith University Partners with Google™ to Improve Student E-mail Service

Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) announced plans to deploy "jCmail," a new student e-mail solution that will utilize the power of Google™ to give JCSU students the ability to work with more freedom and flexibility than ever before.

Beginning in the 2010 fall semester, all students will receive new e-mail addresses that will allow them to log into a specially designed version of Google's e-mail, calendar management, instant messaging and word processing tools. This will allow JCSU students to easily access their e-mail from anywhere they have an Internet connection by using their e-mail address and University password.

Students also will enjoy a big boost to their inboxes, as the new system allows for more than 140 times the space of their old inboxes.

"Over the last few semesters students have been asking us for more space for e-mail, but it is a never-ending cycle of us adding more servers and coming up short of students' requests for more space," said John Norris, director of information technology for JCSU. "The process is expensive and time-consuming for our staff. Through this partnership with Google, we can give students the space they want, and we can get out of that rat race."

Through Google, students will also get access to collaboration tools that will allow them to connect in ways never before possible. "Really it is a win-win. We can focus on what we need to focus on - serving our student customers - and we let Google do what it does best by providing storage and cloud-based technology," said Norris.

The University has partnered with Google for this service by signing up for Google Apps Education Edition™, a program that allows the University to provide Google's Internet-based connectivity and collaboration services for free. All services are hosted by Google and are available to users via any Internet-connected computer and many mobile devices. The Google Apps™ service includes the following tools:

  • Gmail™ - provides gigabytes of e-mail storage, highly effective spam filtering and powerful search
  • Google Calendar™ - allows easy coordination of work or class schedules, meetings and events online
  • Google Talk™ - supports free PC-to-PC voice calls and instant messaging
  • Google Docs™ - allows users to create and collaborate on documents and spreadsheets in real-time

This is just the latest technological initiative for the University, which has traditionally been a leader in connecting students with technology. In the early 21st century, the school became the first historically black university to loan each full-time student his/her own laptop computer, a program that continues to fulfill the institution's commitment to student success by allowing all full-time JCSU graduates to keep their laptops after graduation.

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