Client feedback from the April 2006 Client Satisfaction Survey indicated specific email services as the top areas of dissatisfaction. In particular, all client cohorts (faculty, students, and staff) specified dissatisfaction with webmail features, ease of use, and speed (i.e., performance). When asked to prioritize service improvements that are most related to improving satisfaction, the top items were related to email improvements. Specifically, they suggested email system improvements including better Spam filtering and auto-deletion, improved detection of viruses, and integration of online calendaring. More recent feedback from the SGG and Campus IT indicates the urgency for integrated collaboration — integrated email, calendaring, list management, document management, and web content management.
The project goal was to select and recommend an Integrated Email & Calendaring solution to be adopted as the predominant campus-wide solution.
This project focused on identifying and piloting integrated collaboration solutions for e-mail and calendaring lists for the entire university. Document management and web content will be added in a follow-on project. We built requirements based on recommendations from a cross-University Project Governance Group, and recommended Zimbra taking into account the needs of the students, faculty, and staff.
Note: A companion project “Email Infrastructure Fixes” is funded by IT Services. This project addresses the issues around SPAM and improved email performance.
The project team met with many stakeholders across campus. This included senior management from schools and major business units across campus.
A special meeting — Email and Calendaring In Focus — was held to solicit feedback from the broader user community. Invitees included all major cohorts — faculty, students, and staff. Meeting participants were invited to give feedback regarding what isn&rquo;t working today, what is working, and what they want for the future.
- In Focus: A Closer Look at Email & Calendaring at Stanford [PowerPoint]
- Email and Calendaring in Focus — Discussion Notes [PDF]
A Request for Proposal (RFP) was drawn up based on the results of these meetings. It was submitted to several vendors and responses were received from six vendors for eight candidate solutions. An informational Brown Bag session was held for IT Services staff on April 17th. 2007. The presentation notes were sent out to meeting attendees and IT Services Directors and Managers.
- Brown Bag Presentation [PowerPoint]
Functional testing of three candidate systems was held April 19–24 with participants from schools and business units across campus. Testers came to the computer labs and tried out Google, Microsoft Exchange 2007, and Zimbra in a controlled environment using a test script to compare functionality. The classroom survey results were reviewed and analyzed.
Extended testing was offered to the classroom testing participants, In Focus participants, IE&C Selection Team members, C-ACIS members, IT Services Directors and Managers, and to students via the RA campus announcement list. Selection Team members were encouraged to invite at least ten additional testing participants.
Vendor demonstrations were held the week of May 7th, 2007. Notes from the presentations are available in Docushare.
The discovery project culminated in a recommendation from the selection team and from the IT Services collaboration team. Final selection will occurred in the last week of May and a recommendation was made to the SGG in June. Purchasing negotiations took place over the summer concluding in the fall.