North Shore Community College
Google Apps Education Edition Summary
At North Shore Community College we have consistently demonstrated technological vision. We
were among the first colleges to recognize and demonstrate the usefulness of campus portals in higher
education in Massachusetts and are often looked to as providers of educational best practices in higher
One of the new trends in web computing over the last few years has been a push toward a new model of
software deployment, SaaS, or "Software as a Service." Under this model, the application software is
hosted across the Internet instead of being installed locally on a computer's hard drive. Google offers
such a service for educational institutions called "Google Apps Education Edition." Google
Apps Education Edition offers several products free of charge for colleges and universities; these include
email, chat, calendar, docs, start page, and sites. The email service (otherwise known as GMail) and
calendar service (a.k.a. Google Calendar) are widely regarded as among the best in the industry. Each of
these services can be customized to the NSCC look-and-feel and are supported by robust API's which
would allow the college to seemlessly seamlessly integrate Google Apps with our enterprise--allowing for
real-time data synchronization (users, course calendars, etc.) and single sign-on integration.
The advantages of Google Apps Education Edition are significant for the college and are listed in greater
detail below under the "Google Apps Benefits" section. One of the main advantages is that the baseline
services are free to educational institutions. Certain administrative add-ons can be purchased from
Google at a significantly reduced cost.1 Another key advantage of Google Apps is that the college
would be freed from performing software installation, upgrades, disaster recovery, and server purchases
and maintenance on our core email services. We currently support 2 email servers and 2 additional
supporting devices to alleviate spam and provide virus protection. This would no longer be necessary.
Most importantly, Google Apps Education Edition would provide unparalleled and industry leading
functionality for our students, faculty, and staff at a significant cost savings--see "Return on Investment"
section for details.
To date we have had three conference calls with Google representatives and have discovered no high
level (deal breaker) obstacles if we were to move forward.
Current State of Email at NSCC:
With the migration to Microsoft’s Active Directory beginning and the eventual phasing out of Novell
Software, Novell GroupWise is no longer a strategic fit for the college’s longer term plans. Reasons to
seriously consider moving to another email product are:
1. We are migrating away from Novell to Active Directory to enable cost savings and further our
efforts towards a single sign-on to our services. GroupWise iIf we continue on Groupwise, it will
be expensive for us to maintain and provide no longer term advantages.
2. GroupWise does not integrate with our campus portal credential system. With the move to Active
Directory, which integrates with our campus portal credential system, we will be streamlining
access and security for the network but not for email.
3. GroupWise does not integrate well with PDA devices
4. Functionality is not as robust as other products
5. Most colleges that run or previously used GroupWise have migrated to or will be migrating to other
Another considerations is that general support of two email systems (GroupWise and Campus Pipeline)
poses an unnecessary resource support issue for the IS department. Blindly continuing on with
GroupWise is simply not a strategic move by the college and viable options should be investigated.
Two primary options are available:
1. Migrate to Microsoft Exchange with Outlook – this will require significant effort, new
servers and training
2. Migrate to Google Apps – This approach has tremendous advantages which are further described
Google Apps Benefits:
1. Google can be integrated with our campus pipeline credential system providing single sign on.
2. We can do much better than the current campus pipeline email system. SunGard simply cannot
invest the resources to develop a world class system like Google Apps. Moving Campus Pipeline to
this application would provide numerous benefits to all students and adjunct faculty.
3. We could transition both GroupWise users and Campus Pipeline email users to one standardized
4. The cost is actually free believe it or not!
• 7 gig individual storage space
• Another large storage space available for shared documents
5. Spam Filtering is included – this will save NSCC from having to purchase annual maintenance
contracts for its two barracuda anti-spam appliances. It will also save upwards of 30-40k in the next
two years as these devices will need to be replaced and reaching their maximum throughput levels.
Staff time savings will be achieved by no longer having to mMaintain devices and work with individual
6. Significantly enhanced collaboration tools
• Shared calendars (easy to use)
• Shared documents
• Chat is included and available to all users
7. PDA device integration would be much easier than our almost impossible current scenario
8. Fast and easy web interface – no client required
9. Email service should never go down as they have many locations and redundancy. This will ensure
that email is always functioning even in the case of an emergency or business interruption event.
10.Calendars can be shared at a higher level
• College calendars
11.Google email and interface will have a completely NSCC look and feel
• Your email address stays the same (i.e.; email@example.com)
• Interface will have NSCC logo and no advertising
• No client software to install – the browser based interface is easy and very fast
12.Google is best in breed for email – they are the de facto standard and they provide
• Searching (fast and comprehensive)
• Emails of similar nature are grouped together as conversations – basically allows you to follow
the conversation in a forum like presentation
• Spam control is best of breed – user customizable
• Anti-virus is taken care of by Ggoogle - no anti-virus maintenance for email
13.Seamless for virtually all students and many faculty and staff as they most likely already have gmail
14.Email compliance – This solution will allow us to better meet compliance and regulatory measures in
regards to email e-discovery. Sophisticated and easier to use reporting tools allow us to meet these
15.Google has received SAS 70 Type II certification for Google Apps – Gmail, Google Talk, Calendar,
Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Google Sites, Start Page (iGoogle), and Control Panel. This
certification audits the following components:
• Logical security: Controls provide reasonable assurance that logical access to Google Apps
production systems and data is restricted to authorized individuals
• Privacy: Controls provide reasonable assurance that Google has implemented policies and
procedures addressing the privacy of customer data related to Google Apps
• Data center physical security: Controls provide reasonable assurance that data centers that
house Google Apps data and corporate offices are protected
• Incident management and availability: Controls provide reasonable assurance that Google
Apps systems are redundant and incidents are properly reported, responded to, and recorded
• Change management: Controls provide reasonable assurance that development of and
changes to Google Apps undergo testing and independent code review prior to release into
• Organization and administration: Controls provide reasonable assurance that management
provides the infrastructure and mechanisms to track and communicate initiatives within the
company that impact Google Apps
1. Training - IS would need to do this for any migration and as GroupWise is definitely not in our future.
2. Our email will be hosted at an outside company - privacy and confidentiality need to be thoughtfully
addressed. Google however is the best in the business at running, securing and maintaining this core
3. So much is available that we should concentrate on specific objectives initially. We should be
realistic and manage our expectations.
4. Giving up some control over software versions and changing requirements as we are not the ones to
decide when our email system is upgraded.
Return on Investment and Cost Avoidance Estimates:
"Return On Investment / Cost Avoidances FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 FY13 Totals
New Email Server(s) to replace GroupWise 9000 $9,000
Relicense GroupWise for newer Versions 26000 $26,000
GroupWise Annual Software Maintenace 8400 8400 8400 8400 $33,600
New Campus Pipeline Email Server Upgrade 5000 $5,000
Barracuda Anti-Spam Appliances Maintenance 6000 6000 6000 6000 $24,000
Anti-Virus Server Licensing (contract expires
Fy11) 3000 3000 3000 $9,000
Barracuda Anti-Spam Hardware Upgrades 40000 $40,000
Personnel Time Savings
Server Upgrades, Troubleshooting and Security
Maintenance 4,688 4,688 4,688 4,688 $18,750
Training and Documentation Savings 1875 1875 1875 1875 $7,500
Anti-Spam Device Maintenace and upgrades 3,333 3,333 3,333 3,333 $13,333
PDA Integration 2500 2500 2500 $2,500
Other Costs Avoided
Disaster Recovery for Email Systems 10000 $10,000
Disk Storage Savings for Enterprise Backup
System 4000 4000 4000 4000 $16,000
Integrated Calendar Solution 3000 500 500 500 $4,500
1. The Google Apps Education Edition business model is simple: it offers this service for free to allow students to
familiarize themselves with Google Apps so that they will be more willing to pay later when they become