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Group considers new e-mail, calendar software

A groupware task force is studying new e-mail and calendaring software for the campus. A final recommendation is expected by the end of the spring semester.

Imagine you are a mechanic with the responsibility of maintaining a fleet of 1,000 cars. Now, imagine each car is an antique made by a different manufacturer, with different types of fuel, different parts and different capabilities. Pulling your hair out yet?

In many ways, this is the situation OIS finds itself in these days. Except instead of maintaining cars, they’re trying to maintain e-mail and calendaring systems.

“We have more than six different e-mail and calendaring tools being used on our campus, many of which are now antiquated,” explained Angela Neria, chief information officer. “As our campus has grown and technology has advanced, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to adequately support each tool. It is one of the reasons that we experienced downtime during the fall semester.”

In an effort to improve the situation, Neria has formed a groupware taskforce to perform an in-depth study of the current needs of the campus. The taskforce consists of 19 members from departments throughout campus. Group members were chosen so that the entire campus will be represented in the process.

“The communication needs of this campus have changed greatly over the past decade,” said Neria. “We’re searching for a unified system that is flexible enough to meet the needs of our very diverse campus. It’s a tall order, but I’m confident that this group will deliver a recommendation that fits the needs of PSU faculty and staff.”

Faculty and staff will be invited to a demonstration of potential software selections prior to the group’s final recommendation, which is expected to be delivered by the end of the spring semester.

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