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Why Google Apps? And Other Frequently Asked Questions

So Why Google Apps?

After the 2011 Technology Audit and various pieces of feedback over the past year plus, we knew that replacing the current HUSD mail system with a newer beefier but essentially same system didn’t really change anything.  So we looked for an email and calendar solution that could provide some serious benefits:

  • Lower infrastructure costs -- All your email will be stored securely on Google's servers, so we'll no longer need to maintain email servers on-site.  And that’s staff time spent supporting you not it.

  • Flexibility -- Because Google hosts the email and calendar services with world renown designers improving the web interface, we can provide flexibility for those who want to go 100% web-based or continue to use the tried and true Outlook software.

  • More collaboration features -- With Google's next-generation applications, we can collaborate with colleagues, customers, and partners more easily and efficiently than ever before

  • Access to services from anywhere, anytime -- A key benefit of the Google-hosted solution is that we can access email, contacts, and calendar from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection, anywhere in the world. It’s nice to work with #1.

  • Future pathway for student collaboration -- Because Google Apps grows with us, we can leverage the great work some our school sites are already doing with their students and make HUSD Google Apps available for everyone.

Which Google Apps Services Do We Get?

While we’ll have most all of the services turned on, we’re focusing on the big two: Gmail and Calendar which bring the following benefits:

  • Lots of storage -- You get a full 25 GB of online storage for your email (that’s over 170 times larger than the standard HUSD mailbox size!), so you can archive all of your email online. You'll no longer need to worry about deleting messages or saving them in offline folders.

  • Enhanced message organization and retrieval -- With Gmail, you'll spend less time managing folders and looking for messages. For example, you can add one or more tags, or "labels," to your messages to organize and store them more efficiently. And with the Google-powered search feature, you can find any message quickly and easily, whether it's in your Inbox or stored in your message archive.

  • Easier calendar sharing -- Google Calendar lets you and your team members quickly and easily share your calendars with each other and specify the details you want to show. Calendar sharing is a great way for you and your coworkers to keep each other informed about your schedules. Now it's easier than ever to find out if someone is in a meeting, on a business trip, or on vacation.

  • Better mailing lists -- With Google Groups, you can manage your own subscriptions to mailing lists -- called groups -- without the need to make requests to the IT Department. You can even create your own groups for your projects, teams, special-interest groups, and more. Not only do groups make it easier to send email and calendar invitations to groups of people but they also simplify access management for your shared Google documents, files, sites, and calendars. And you can even use groups to create full-featured discussion forums!

  • File storage and sharing: With Google Drive, you can store just about any type of file, open them right in your web browser, and share them with others.  And if you use Google Docs - it won’t count against your quota!

  • Real-time collaboration -- Using Google Docs, you can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and you and your team members can view and edit them at the same time. You can still use Microsoft Office and other software, but now you'll have more options for storing and collaborating on your documents. In fact, take a look at how Purchasing is using Google Docs to provide updates on where your requisition is in the chain here.  HUSD Purchasing Track Your PR/PO

  • Easy-to-build team web sites -- With Google Sites, your team can quickly publish a robust internal web site on which to gather all sorts of shared information, such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, files, and videos. You can even embed Google calendars and other gadgets on your site!

  • Automatically Get Improvement and New Apps -- Sure, we’ll review the new Apps before turning them on, but as Google continues to refine and improve, add and change, you’ll always get the updates!

I already use Google Apps for my personal email and calendar. Are we getting the same applications?

They are similar, but we'll be using the business-class edition of Google Apps, which provides more features, more support, and an "up-time" guarantee.

Will my email address change?

No, your email address won't change! You'll continue to receive all your email at your current address.

Are you migrating my email and calendar to Google Apps?

Yes, we'll migrate all of your email messages, calendar events, and personal contacts to Google Apps during non-business hours, so they'll be ready for you when you log in to your new Google Apps account.

Do I need to do anything after I get my Google Apps account?

You'll just need to complete a few simple tasks to complete your migration:

1) You have to reset your password. We know, changing password stinks, but this allows us to sync your current password and automatically give you access. The other option is making you remember another password and that stinks even more!

2) You need to plan to recreate any email rules you used in Outlook

3) Make plans for setting up your mobile device.

Will you provide assistance during the transition?

Absolutely!  On the day of your site’s migration, we’ll have EIT team members there waiting to help you!  Before, during and afterwards, you can check out our HUSD Google Webpage, Google Learning Resources and of course, you can always email with questions.

How much time will it take to set up and learn how to use Google Apps?

You'll be able to master the basics -- sending and receiving email and viewing and scheduling meetings in no time flat! However, the time required to completely move over to Google Apps can vary, it all depends on you.  For example, if you are a heavy user of your mobile device for mail and calendaring, or use lots of rules in Outlook, it may take a little to get everything back to how you like it.  With the numerous resources for learning, we have no doubt you’ll soon be a master!

We think you'll enjoy your new Google Apps services, and we're committed to making this a smooth transition. Please look for more information to come!  Until then, check out the HUSD Google Page here!