University College Dublin (UCD), the largest university in Ireland, has claimed that its switch to Google Apps from SunMail has resulted in savings of $330,000 (£204,000) a year and vastly improved communications for students and faculty.
"Before Google, we weren't always able to respond to service issues quickly, particularly if they happened on the weekend when IT administrators were off work. Google's tools make service issues less frequent and easier to manage when they occur. Because we don't have all that hardware and software to manage, we can now focus our IT staff on bringing new services to the UCD community. These include collaborative and communications services such as Google Plus and Hangouts, together with improved services through UCD Connect and UCD Mobile," he said.
The benefits of Google Apps for the university's 30,000 students and 6,000 staff, Morrissey said, include the ability to integrate Google Calendar and Drive with Gmail. Google Calendar also enables the university to deliver class schedules and other events to students' mobile calendars - there are currently 40,000 smartphones and tablets connected to the UCD network.
In addition to Google Apps, UCD is using Google Search Appliance to ensure that all of its publicly available documents can be searched through its website, and that internal documents can be searched by university staff on the UCD intranet.
"More than 500,000 documents are in the index and people are conducting more than 60,000 searches per month. We've implemented numerous custom search display pages and targeted directory searches with specific keywords to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for," Morrissey said.
He said that Google appealed to the university because of service availability, storage improvements, easy mobile access and cost savings.
"We're saving about $330,000 (£204,000) a year that would have been spent on servers, maintenance, personnel and power to manage the previous email system, SunMail. Storage was a big concern for us before going Google. We had about 8TB of staff emails alone and were always worried that we'd run out of storage and have to buy more. Now, each person has seven times more storage for mail and concerns about exceeding quotas have disappeared," Morrissey explained.
Overall, Morrissey said that Google had allowed students and faculty to get hold of accurate information quickly, and that this has allowed for better communication and collaboration throughout the university.