Information Resources Update


The University is about to go through one of the most extensive campus-wide technological changes in its history: changing its e-mail systems. This spring faculty and staff will begin using the Microsoft Exchange platform for e-mail and messaging, and by fall all students will begin using Netscape. Last fall, the Enterprise Systems Committee and Target 2000 recommended both Netscape and Microsoft Exchange messaging systems.

The new systems will provide for the efficient exchange of documents among faculty, staff, and students, as well as collaborative possibilities such as on-line "chatting" and sharing and editing of files. The new systems will also provide increased reliability, performance, and improvement in communication and transport mechanisms.

New directory services will be available, providing easy access to all e-mail addresses. Staff users who primarily use e-mail for text communication between other staff members will not see major changes beyond greatly improved reliability. Others will see dramatic improvement in the ease of document transport and communication between platforms.

The first several months of migration to the new systems will be difficult because not everyone can be changed over at once. Until all users are on the new systems, the interaction of old and new systems will be complicated, but the end result will be well worth it. PC users already using Outlook for e-mail will not have to change desktop programs and will only have to point to a new server. Some faculty and staff PC-users and all Mac-users will have to change their e-mail client.

Most faculty and staff should find the new program functions easy. Training will be offered in the use of additional features. We have consulted with industry experts and other campuses that have successfully implemented these solutions for their faculty, staff, and students. Factors that recommend this solution for Chico include

• a stable and reliable e-mail solution for faculty and staff

• a stable, reliable, and scaleable solution for students

• an easy exchange of messages and documents between faculty/staff and student e-mail systems

• a desktop interface for faculty and staff that is smoothly integrated with current, standard Microsoft applications such as Word and Excel

• an opportunity to take advantage of potential CETI developments by implementing technologies that also meet our technical and functional requirements.

Vicky Banes and Linda Post, Information Resources


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