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SO: with a "hosted" email service what would be the guarantee of
confidentiality and records of email transactions? Do we not have an
obligation to keep logs of school email communication?

Eric


> I checked this service out - at least in a cursory fashion - and it seems to
> have (or will have) some attractive features.  And the idea of being rid of
> email administration is always appealing.   However, though I didn't go far
> enough to experience the "look and feel" of the apps,  I did go far enough to
> see that the "FREE!" is not forever.  Though they state they will continue the
> free service indefinitely to those users created during the beta period  -
> "[p]rovided that Google continues to offer [the service]", after that beta
> period ends (and they decide when it ends), the service will presumably become
> fee-based.  
>  
> So what happens if you get your school all set up with this service and then,
> a few months later, they let you know that the beta period is ending and there
> will be a fee for any new users - a more substantial fee than you anticipated?
> Perhaps it will be substantial enough to make this service, in a couple of
> years, much more expensive than your previous system.  What if your budget
> can't handle it?  Or what happens if they just discontinue the program?  In
> either case you would be spending a whole lot of time re-establishing your
> in-house system, and your users would be experiencing a whole lot of
> aggravation.  After getting used to the Google program, they would have to
> re-learn the old one.
>  
> Still, it seems worth looking into and could prove to be a godsend, especially
> for small schools with one techie doing everything.
>  
> If anyone jumps on, please give us a report.
>  
> -Vince
>  
> P.S.: Here is the "No Fees" section from the Google Apps "Terms of Service"
> page:
>  
> No Fees.  Provided that Google continues to offer Google Apps for Your Domain
> to Customer, Google will continue to provide a version of Google Apps for Your
> Domain (with substantially the same services as those provided as of the
> Effective Date) free of charge to Customer; provided that such commitment (i)
> applies only to End User Accounts created during the period when the Google
> Hosted Services are considered a beta service (the "Beta Period") by Google
> (such Beta Period determination at Google's sole discretion) and (ii) may not
> apply to new opt-in services added by Google to the Google Apps for Your
> Domain in the future. For sake of clarity, Google reserves the right to offer
> a premium version of Google Apps for Your Domain for a fee.
> 
> 
>>>> [log in to unmask] 10/3/2006 3:42 PM >>>
> Glancing through some discussions on the list on email packages and I flashed
> back a few years ago to a conference where we chatting about virus scanning,
> the dawn of spam filtering and all that backup space. I remember one fellow
> raised his hand and said he had 15 kids in a school and they all had accounts
> (email and file storage) on a commercial service and he had zero headaches.
> The room went silent and more than one person was glassy eyed ! Great fun.
> Couldn't install an email server, much less file storage, backups, and
> maintain it for less - especially since he had no time to manage it. Here's
> one along those lines:
> 
> https://www.google.com/a/edu/
> 
> I've been looking at this service for a while and setup a few small businesses
> ( https://www.google.com/a) to use it this summer. Stellar stuff.
> 
> Basically, Google offers to host email and related services - under your
> domain name. No kidding. No servers required, no nothing, except an internet
> connection of course and a well written application for the service. They
> handle spam, virus scanning, 2 gigs of space per user, backups, built in chat,
> an an admin console to run it (import csv files for mass creation etc), web
> client (and supporting multiple browsers), pop integration to other clients,
> all via tons of help files. FREE !
> 
> Add in the calendar with syndication options to create or view your or
> multiple other calendars via RSS, ical, or web: creates interesting options
> for clubs, athletics, drama etc to create their own calendars (gasp *
> distributed web management) and offer them to the community by subscription or
> viewing lists on the school site .
> 
> Toss in Google pages, desktop (aggregator), integration to blogger.com, web
> based spreadsheets and word processor (writely.com) - makes for a pretty
> interesting package - all under one account. No AD or NDS password sync
> options though. No big deal.
> 
> Offer up a Google stock lottery, t-shirts, and drink coasters and you're off
> and running !
> 
> Not many commercial apps out there that offer that sort of feature package
> period - especially for free. Exposes students to some great technology and
> advanced usage practices too.
> 
> Secure, accessible, controllable via an admin console and a well written AUP.
> The fine print is a good read and explains all the details.
> 
> I often pondered if running email servers was worth it compared to commercial
> services - especially for small schools. Reduced prices for some of these
> commercial services have made it affordable vs running an email server,
> backing it up, setting up scanning and spyware tools, and of course that issue
> of time to support it all. There's always that time thing to consider. Now
> there's one option for free.
> 
> Add in ideas like free storage online and the yet to be released Google Gdrive
> (supposedly and unlimited amount of storage per user) and all that time and
> money spent tinkering servers and backups could be used for a quicker internet
> connection and for other things education.
> 
> Bruce Wayne
> 
>  
> 
>