After only two years, Luminis GoldLink email and calendaring system is being cashed in for a new network on campus, Novell GroupWise.
Network Administrator Fred Nesslage, who is managing the changeover, said that it became apparent to the administration nine months after GoldLink was installed that there would need to be a switch. This summer Information Technology Services got the green light from the Technology Management Committee to migrate to the new system.
â€œThe consensus basically was that it was hurting productivity,â€ Nesslage said. â€œPeople were moving away from using GoldLink email and back to what they were used to, which is hard for us as a department to support. So, if we get everybody in one package, it will make it a lot easier for us to support as well.â€
Nesslage said that most of the complaints from users were concerning GoldLinkâ€™s lack of features.
â€œThere were a lot of things that were missing,” he said. “You couldnâ€™t sort at all with an email. It was slow from time to time. It wasnâ€™t as feature-rich as things like Yahoo!.â€
The big day is Aug. 25 at noon, when the final switch will be made. Preliminary migration began in July, and some staff and Griffon Edge participants have already got to test it.
Russell Ezzell, a fellow network administrator, is in charge of debugging the new system and running the training sessions for staff and students.
There are five scheduled training sessions, three of which are already full. The remaining two are on Aug. 30, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and Sept. 1, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. An RSVP is required to email@example.com.
Students will not be issued a new email address or password but are asked to print off any important personal calendar entries presently stored on the GoldLink system before noon on Aug. 25.
Present emails, contacts and calendar information will not automatically transfer to GroupWise. Users will have until Jan. 31, 2007 to transfer any stored email or contacts from GoldLink.
Nesslage has an optimistic view of the switch.
â€œI think itâ€™s going to be worth it,â€ he said. â€œWe actually had a number of departments on GroupWise before we did the GoldLink switch, and all those departments were very appreciative of it. I think weâ€™ll find that everyone will enjoy it a lot more than the GoldLink email.â€
Western pays $22,000 a year for a licensing agreement with Novell. The Novell package is what drives Westernâ€™s server-based networkingâ€”things such as the Pdrive. Nesslage said that GroupWise was already included in that annual package, so installing it did not require any additional costs.
Aside from major version updates every two years, Nesslage doesnâ€™t foresee having to switch to a new network again anytime soon.