To keep students, teachers and academic staff connected to each other and to online resources, University College Dublin must offer easy access to email, and productivity tools – without increasing the burden on IT. 'We have to provide a very open network, which isn’t tied to a particular device, and where everything works off of wireless,' says Brian Morrissey, the college’s Head of Web Services. With 32,000 students and 6,000 staff, there can be as many as 40,000 computers, tablets and smartphones on the campus network, using email and sharing documents. 'Our campus community wants always-on capability, and doesn’t want to worry about registering their devices or connecting to email,' Morrissey says.
The university’s Sunmail email system was labour-intensive for Morrissey and his IT colleagues, and not very user-friendly for students and staff. 'It was an expensive draw on resources in terms of cost and management – both things we try to avoid,' Morrissey says. IT staff had to maintain and monitor several large email servers, as well as spam and antivirus software running on even more servers. Students and staff complained about the limited account quotas, which forced them to often delete messages. 'We were looking at a six-figure sum to renew the architecture for a system that was still behind the curve in terms of features,' Morrissey says. The IT team decided to switch to a cloud-based email system that would be easy to implement and manage.