Outlook Is Out, Lion Mail Logs In
by Erin Galuppo
The new email system may have its benefits, but adopting it hasn't been problem free.
According to Chuck Chulvick, Vice President of Technology, there are no problems with the system. The trouble is that faculty and students don't follow instructions, Chulvick said.
The school has been promoting the new system since last semester. There have been posters up in the West Building and Somerset to help students set up their accounts and officials held workshops for faculty last semester.
Still, students - and faculty - have been flowing to the MIS desks seeking help. According to Kevin Riche, most simply needed to be walked through the set-up process. That's likely to continue because users can no longer set up their own accounts. But users are also seeking solutions to problems with at least two features of the new Google-based email system, which shares many features available to users of Gmail.
Anyone who has not already set up their email account must go to MIS to log on for the first time. Access to the new logon page was locked on Feb. 8.
School officials are still trying to educate the campus community in the system’s use.
According to Chulvick, lingering problems will be resolved as faculty set up their Lion Mail accounts so "smail" sent there will automatically forward to their old Outlook accounts. Faculty still have access to the Outlook accounts because they use them for more things, Chulvick said, such as organizing and posting materials for classes. For faculty, the new email system can function as a backup.
For students, the Lion Mail offers increased storage and a range of powerful Google-powered scheduling and organizing tools. Students willl also be able to use the accounts after leaving RVCC.
For now, students can still access their old Outlook accounts to view and transfer emails from previous semesters to their new "smail" address. That won’t last. Chulvick suggests that students forward everything they might need to their new account as soon as possible because student Outlook accounts will be eliminated during Spring Break.
Officials adopted the new system to save money, Chulvick said. According to him, the new system will save the school about $30, 000 over two years on software licensing and upgrades. Because the new system uses less energy it’s also “greener,” he said. They considered MircrosoftLive but chose Google because of its range of features, he said.
Although Chulvick insists there are no lingering technical problems, MIS reports that attempting to use the “spell check” feature or send an “attachment” can cause entire contents of the emails to be lost. There is a link on Lion’s Den that explains how to get the attachment feature to work properly. There is no quick fix for the spell check flaw, though, so MIS suggests shutting off the feature until a solution is found and implemented.
To learn more about the new email system, log onto Lion’s Mail and click on the FAQ link.