Training and Tips

TechFest '09

The third annual OIT TechFest was a huge success. Featuring a technology expo, workshops and training, gaming and more, the three day event offered a little bit of technology for everyone. MORE.....

Help OIT plan for the next TechFest: take a few moments to fill out an evaluation form HERE.

Opt in to Google Apps before the old system goes away

Over a year ago, the process began to consolidate the UAF and Statewide email services. After an evaluation process that included surveys and discussions with end users, Google email was selected. An initial pilot was conducted with a self-selected pool of about 500 users from both UAF and Statewide.

In the spring of 2009, access to Google email was activated. All users had the option of selecting the time to switch. Since August, all new email accounts are automatically created in Google. The process to move all UAF students is underway and should be completed by late fall. The legacy email systems remain in operation for employees.

All UAF and Statewide employees may still choose when to convert to Google email. The opt-in period will end on December 31, 2009. At that time, all remaining individual UAF and Statewide accounts will be converted to Google email. You are encouraged to convert before that date. Department accounts are being handled on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the OIT Support Center if you have questions.

At the same time as the email conversion, UAF and Statewide email accounts will be converted to the UA system wide username. This consists of first initial, middle initial and last name. In the case of duplicate usernames, a sequential number is added. For example, my UA username is slsmith2. This naming convention was adopted several years ago by all MAUs. This is to facilitate communication across the system. UAS has converted all students and employees to this naming schema. With the Google email implementation, all UAF and Statewide students and employees will be converted. UAA is in the process of converting students and employees. It is still possible to use an “alias” for your email such as steve.smith@alaska.edu if preferred. Note that all UAF and Statewide email addresses will now end in @alaska.edu.

After the December 31st deadline, the UAF and Statewide legacy email servers will remain active through at least June 30, 2010 to handle forwarding of messages sent to old email addresses.

At this time UAA and UAS have not indicated any intent of also migrating to Google.

The Google higher education contract provides a number of other applications including a calendar. An evaluation of calendar systems was done last spring and based on a technical review and a survey of UAF and statewide users, OIT is recommending a conversion for all UAF and Statewide departments to the Google calendar. A final decision will be made in September and a timeline will be determined. Unlike the email conversion, a calendar transition will take place on a more rapid timeline. Several UAF departments are in a pilot test mode of the Google Calendar.

Below is a timeline for the transition to Google email for Statewide including upcoming workshops.

Ongoing transition statistic can be found at: http://www.alaska.edu/google/opt-in/reports/.

To sign up for your Google email account, visit google.alaska.edu.

Please contact the Support Center at 450-8300 if you have specific questions or needs.

OIT Tip of the Month

Setting up a canned response to e-mails sent to your old address

How can you notify (and track...) those still using your old email address that you have a new one without spamming everyone?

(These 5 steps take less than 10 minutes, and you only have to do this once...)

1) First, create a label you can use to identify emails sent to your old account:
Go to *Settings *and click the *Labels *tab*.* Create a new label that says something like "Legacy Mail", "Sent to old email address", or whatever makes sense to you.

2) Next, we will activate the *Canned Response* Google Lab function, and create an email message to automatically send (only) to those using your old address:

  • While in *Settings* and in the *Labs* tab enable *Canned Response* lab.
  • Save this. (*Canned Response* allows you to automatically send the notice that you are going to write next.)
  • Now write your auto-reply message notifying people of your new email address
  • Select *Compose Mail* and create a message with info about your change of address.

It could say something like:

This is an automated reply to let you know that you sent an eMail to my old address (<your old address here>) As you may know, the university is changing eMail services to Google Apps for Education<http://google.alaska.edu/>. Consequently our eMail addresses are being updated.
My new address is <your new email address here>. Please update your address book as my old address will be retired by the end of this year. Your eMail was forwarded to my new address, so there is no need to re-send it.

  • After you have finished the mail message (as though you are ready to send it...) select the *Canned Responses* drop down menu located above the content of the email.
  • Then Select *New Canned Response* and name it something like "Legacy Mail Auto-reply".
  • Save this.

4) Now create the *Filter* that ties this all together and makes it work:

  • Under *Settings*/*Filters* create a *New Filter*.
  • In the "To:" field type in your old email address.
  • Click the *Next Step* button
  • Check´┐Ż *Apply the Label:* and select the label you created in step 1, above.
  • Check *Send Canned Response:* and select the Canned Response you created in Step 3.
  • Click the *Create Filter* button (this saves your filter and activates it.)

5) Test your new filter:

Have a friend send a test email to your old eMail address. They should receive the *Canned Response* you composed. In addition, you will notice that your Canned Response is appended to the email they sent you, confirming for you that your auto-reply was sent.

OIT Training Schedule

The highlights this month are (4) one-hour sessions for Google Talk & Mail and Google Calendar & Documents, including an Elive offering for each. For the complete October training calendar visit: http://www.alaska.edu/oit/training/

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