I have been doing school-based Google Apps for Education rollouts for a few years now, but I am now  to do a…

I have been doing school-based Google Apps for Education rollouts for a few years now, but I am now  to do a district-wide rollout with a significant hitch. The district I am in will not be moving away from their exchange-based email system. I would love to hear from other folks who have rolled out GAFE without getting the full “value” of gmail. I know it will get messy from a support perspective, but I would love to hear from others who have been here.

39 Comments

  1. We did it that way, too. We also still have MS Office for everyone, too. The difference for our staff is that they do not have email associated with their GAFE account–students do (staff are on Exchange). Staff accounts are with our parent domain (tahomasd.us) and for students we added a subdomain (go.tahomasd.us). It’s working great. No real confusion, although occasionally a staff member tried to log in to our GAFE domain through Gmail and can’t (of course). And, there’s the issue of staff having previously created personal Google accounts with their school email address . . . but that doesn’t really have anything to do with them still being on Exchange. 

  2. We did it that way, too. We also still have MS Office for everyone, too. The difference for our staff is that they do not have email associated with their GAFE account–students do (staff are on Exchange). Staff accounts are with our parent domain (tahomasd.us) and for students we added a subdomain (go.tahomasd.us). It’s working great. No real confusion, although occasionally a staff member tried to log in to our GAFE domain through Gmail and can’t (of course). And, there’s the issue of staff having previously created personal Google accounts with their school email address . . . but that doesn’t really have anything to do with them still being on Exchange. 

  3. We did it that way, too. We also still have MS Office for everyone, too. The difference for our staff is that they do not have email associated with their GAFE account–students do (staff are on Exchange). Staff accounts are with our parent domain (tahomasd.us) and for students we added a subdomain (go.tahomasd.us). It’s working great. No real confusion, although occasionally a staff member tried to log in to our GAFE domain through Gmail and can’t (of course). And, there’s the issue of staff having previously created personal Google accounts with their school email address . . . but that doesn’t really have anything to do with them still being on Exchange. 

  4. I am interested in this conversation also.  I would like to ask, why are they staying with Exchange for their email?  By doing so it really hinders the tight integration of Google Apps.  Our school did the same and it has caused the adoption of Google Apps to pretty much come to a standstill.  The reason I have been given is the fear of eDiscovery and not owning the physical server that has the schools’ email.  I am aware that Gmail can be configured to send email to two different servers as well as forward all Gmail to different servers (I have this set in my personal gmail account to keep a ‘back up’ of all my mail).  Do you think this could possibly  solve the eDiscovery issues some people are afraid of?

  5. I am interested in this conversation also.  I would like to ask, why are they staying with Exchange for their email?  By doing so it really hinders the tight integration of Google Apps.  Our school did the same and it has caused the adoption of Google Apps to pretty much come to a standstill.  The reason I have been given is the fear of eDiscovery and not owning the physical server that has the schools’ email.  I am aware that Gmail can be configured to send email to two different servers as well as forward all Gmail to different servers (I have this set in my personal gmail account to keep a ‘back up’ of all my mail).  Do you think this could possibly  solve the eDiscovery issues some people are afraid of?

  6. I am interested in this conversation also.  I would like to ask, why are they staying with Exchange for their email?  By doing so it really hinders the tight integration of Google Apps.  Our school did the same and it has caused the adoption of Google Apps to pretty much come to a standstill.  The reason I have been given is the fear of eDiscovery and not owning the physical server that has the schools’ email.  I am aware that Gmail can be configured to send email to two different servers as well as forward all Gmail to different servers (I have this set in my personal gmail account to keep a ‘back up’ of all my mail).  Do you think this could possibly  solve the eDiscovery issues some people are afraid of?

  7. Michael O’Shaughnessy That is sometimes the reason given, but more often than not some high level administrator doesn’t want to give up exchange 🙂 

    As you stated, you can configure to dual delivery which is what was done at my last school. Exchange became the repository for all email archiving. However, Vault pretty much solves that issue, but it costs $. Often there’s no way to pay for that, but for letting the Exchanage manager go ;^)

  8. Michael O’Shaughnessy That is sometimes the reason given, but more often than not some high level administrator doesn’t want to give up exchange 🙂 

    As you stated, you can configure to dual delivery which is what was done at my last school. Exchange became the repository for all email archiving. However, Vault pretty much solves that issue, but it costs $. Often there’s no way to pay for that, but for letting the Exchanage manager go ;^)

  9. Michael O’Shaughnessy That is sometimes the reason given, but more often than not some high level administrator doesn’t want to give up exchange 🙂 

    As you stated, you can configure to dual delivery which is what was done at my last school. Exchange became the repository for all email archiving. However, Vault pretty much solves that issue, but it costs $. Often there’s no way to pay for that, but for letting the Exchanage manager go ;^)

  10. Ben Wilkoff I’d be happy to speak with you–send me an email and we’ll set something up. I was responsible for the PD/Teaching & Learning side of our roll out and I am our main admin on the cpanel. I didn’t actually do the techie part. We contracted with a 3rd party to configure accounts using Active Directory, etc. Michael O’Shaughnessy We are sticking with Exchange largely because we are basically a Windows district and there was no interest in abandoning our MS servers or products. We didn’t even consider moving staff email. Digging deeper, I’m sure e Discovery would be an issue for us, too . . . we just never even considered it. Our adoption has been great so far and the staff having an Exchange email has not really hurt things from what I can tell. Our real motivation for GAFE was collaboration tools, email, and sites for students. Teachers also get these things too (except email), but we weren’t looking to replace our MS Windows and Office environment. Hope that makes sense.

  11. Ben Wilkoff I’d be happy to speak with you–send me an email and we’ll set something up. I was responsible for the PD/Teaching & Learning side of our roll out and I am our main admin on the cpanel. I didn’t actually do the techie part. We contracted with a 3rd party to configure accounts using Active Directory, etc. Michael O’Shaughnessy We are sticking with Exchange largely because we are basically a Windows district and there was no interest in abandoning our MS servers or products. We didn’t even consider moving staff email. Digging deeper, I’m sure e Discovery would be an issue for us, too . . . we just never even considered it. Our adoption has been great so far and the staff having an Exchange email has not really hurt things from what I can tell. Our real motivation for GAFE was collaboration tools, email, and sites for students. Teachers also get these things too (except email), but we weren’t looking to replace our MS Windows and Office environment. Hope that makes sense.

  12. Ben Wilkoff I’d be happy to speak with you–send me an email and we’ll set something up. I was responsible for the PD/Teaching & Learning side of our roll out and I am our main admin on the cpanel. I didn’t actually do the techie part. We contracted with a 3rd party to configure accounts using Active Directory, etc. Michael O’Shaughnessy We are sticking with Exchange largely because we are basically a Windows district and there was no interest in abandoning our MS servers or products. We didn’t even consider moving staff email. Digging deeper, I’m sure e Discovery would be an issue for us, too . . . we just never even considered it. Our adoption has been great so far and the staff having an Exchange email has not really hurt things from what I can tell. Our real motivation for GAFE was collaboration tools, email, and sites for students. Teachers also get these things too (except email), but we weren’t looking to replace our MS Windows and Office environment. Hope that makes sense.

  13. What moron made that decision? You should not even consider going through with a deployment like that, it is a seriously flawed decision.

    If this is a district wide deployment, surely you can get someone from Google Edu to meet with the decision makers?

  14. What moron made that decision? You should not even consider going through with a deployment like that, it is a seriously flawed decision.

    If this is a district wide deployment, surely you can get someone from Google Edu to meet with the decision makers?

  15. What moron made that decision? You should not even consider going through with a deployment like that, it is a seriously flawed decision.

    If this is a district wide deployment, surely you can get someone from Google Edu to meet with the decision makers?

  16. Ben Wilkoff Come on!  What’s next, they want to use GAFE but not Google Search … they want Bing instead?!  I would question how much you really know about GAFE if you could seriously suggest deploying/using it without GMail.

    If they want Exchange, then use Micro$oft Office 365 Education.

    This post likely “reads” harsh, but what you’re asking is non-sensical, and would likely result in lots of frustration for your larger user community.

    There are lots of Services to select from in GAFE, but the Core Services form the basis of the integrated product for Education that Google is offering.

  17. Ben Wilkoff Come on!  What’s next, they want to use GAFE but not Google Search … they want Bing instead?!  I would question how much you really know about GAFE if you could seriously suggest deploying/using it without GMail.

    If they want Exchange, then use Micro$oft Office 365 Education.

    This post likely “reads” harsh, but what you’re asking is non-sensical, and would likely result in lots of frustration for your larger user community.

    There are lots of Services to select from in GAFE, but the Core Services form the basis of the integrated product for Education that Google is offering.

  18. Ben Wilkoff Come on!  What’s next, they want to use GAFE but not Google Search … they want Bing instead?!  I would question how much you really know about GAFE if you could seriously suggest deploying/using it without GMail.

    If they want Exchange, then use Micro$oft Office 365 Education.

    This post likely “reads” harsh, but what you’re asking is non-sensical, and would likely result in lots of frustration for your larger user community.

    There are lots of Services to select from in GAFE, but the Core Services form the basis of the integrated product for Education that Google is offering.

  19. Sorry Ben a bad decision is a bad decision. Why go Google at all, they could use Live@edu? Oh and Bing….

    Google are the biggest players in the Edu market, MS are still focused mainly on their Corporate customer base. Google listens to what Educators ask for and introduce changes regularly and rapidly (around 300 changes to GApps in the past 12 months)

  20. Sorry Ben a bad decision is a bad decision. Why go Google at all, they could use Live@edu? Oh and Bing….

    Google are the biggest players in the Edu market, MS are still focused mainly on their Corporate customer base. Google listens to what Educators ask for and introduce changes regularly and rapidly (around 300 changes to GApps in the past 12 months)

  21. Sorry Ben a bad decision is a bad decision. Why go Google at all, they could use Live@edu? Oh and Bing….

    Google are the biggest players in the Edu market, MS are still focused mainly on their Corporate customer base. Google listens to what Educators ask for and introduce changes regularly and rapidly (around 300 changes to GApps in the past 12 months)

  22. I think ya’ll are being a tad harsh, fact is for many of us these decisions are made by business office/executives whose comfort level is with Microsoft and it is a huge accomplishment to even get a GAFE domain approved.

    We’re in the same boat, I am at least happy that our students have access to everything. Teacher use of collaborative tools is growing exponentially. Am I happy that they do not have access to gmail? No, of course not. But there comes a point in time when you take the victories you can and move on. Prior to this battle even access to personal gmail accounts was blocked for staff in our district… Now at least we have access.

  23. I think ya’ll are being a tad harsh, fact is for many of us these decisions are made by business office/executives whose comfort level is with Microsoft and it is a huge accomplishment to even get a GAFE domain approved.

    We’re in the same boat, I am at least happy that our students have access to everything. Teacher use of collaborative tools is growing exponentially. Am I happy that they do not have access to gmail? No, of course not. But there comes a point in time when you take the victories you can and move on. Prior to this battle even access to personal gmail accounts was blocked for staff in our district… Now at least we have access.

  24. I think ya’ll are being a tad harsh, fact is for many of us these decisions are made by business office/executives whose comfort level is with Microsoft and it is a huge accomplishment to even get a GAFE domain approved.

    We’re in the same boat, I am at least happy that our students have access to everything. Teacher use of collaborative tools is growing exponentially. Am I happy that they do not have access to gmail? No, of course not. But there comes a point in time when you take the victories you can and move on. Prior to this battle even access to personal gmail accounts was blocked for staff in our district… Now at least we have access.

  25. Ben Wilkoff I apologize if my comments were interpreted by you as “harsh criticism” — that was not my intention despite how others may have read it.  Certainly I’m frustrated to read of your situation and obviously it pressed my buttons on decision-making like this.  Good luck to you in your efforts.

  26. Ben Wilkoff I apologize if my comments were interpreted by you as “harsh criticism” — that was not my intention despite how others may have read it.  Certainly I’m frustrated to read of your situation and obviously it pressed my buttons on decision-making like this.  Good luck to you in your efforts.

  27. Ben Wilkoff I apologize if my comments were interpreted by you as “harsh criticism” — that was not my intention despite how others may have read it.  Certainly I’m frustrated to read of your situation and obviously it pressed my buttons on decision-making like this.  Good luck to you in your efforts.

  28. Hey Ben,

      We’ve been doing a slow rollout of Google Apps district-wide.  We still use an exchange based email system as the primary system for adults. We’ve mostly worked with schools on Google Docs and Sites. The email piece hasn’t been a big part of what people ask for in the first place and its definitely not what they ask for support on after they’ve gotten started. I know we’re not getting the full “value” of gmail. 

  29. Hey Ben,

      We’ve been doing a slow rollout of Google Apps district-wide.  We still use an exchange based email system as the primary system for adults. We’ve mostly worked with schools on Google Docs and Sites. The email piece hasn’t been a big part of what people ask for in the first place and its definitely not what they ask for support on after they’ve gotten started. I know we’re not getting the full “value” of gmail. 

  30. Hey Ben,

      We’ve been doing a slow rollout of Google Apps district-wide.  We still use an exchange based email system as the primary system for adults. We’ve mostly worked with schools on Google Docs and Sites. The email piece hasn’t been a big part of what people ask for in the first place and its definitely not what they ask for support on after they’ve gotten started. I know we’re not getting the full “value” of gmail. 

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