Inbox improvements: UIS upgrades email

September 25, 2008

Next month, University Information Services will conduct a major overhaul of Georgetown faculty and staff email services. Undergraduate, Law, and graduate student email accounts will remain unaffected.

“The new email system has greater capability to scale to meet peak traffic, greater resilency, higher [storage] quotas, and the ability to grow over time,” UIS Director Beth Ann Bergsmark said.

The change was originally scheduled to happen over the summer, but parts of the new system took longer than expected to implement, and the University chose to postpone the switch until after the school year began, according to UIS product manager Michelle Lapin.

“The switch and migration involves copying all the existing faculty and staff mail to the new system,” Bergsmark said. She added that faculty and staff can also expect email delays the week before October 25, and that the system will be offline for about two days on two different weekends.

The current email system was implemented in 1999 and was built to handle 250,000 messages a day. GUMail now handles about 7 million messages a day. New spam and virus software were put in place earlier in the year as part of the email system update, but 90 percent of these emails are still marked as spam.

When the University began using GUMail ten years ago, users were asked to move their mail and learn about the new software themselves. The process, Professor Phillip Sze said, was confusing for many faculty and staff members.

Lapin said there are no timelines for other potential changes, including a review of students’ email accounts.

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