College to drop Outlook for Gmail

by Kieran Bauman / Beacon Correspondent • February 16, 2017

Emerson will change its email client from Outlook to Gmail this summer in response to feedback about ECmail from students and faculty.

Francis Frain, director of information technology infrastructure, said that this has been a planned switch for years. He said IT department has been preparing to switch services due to many email providers moving their services to the cloud.

IT has received feedback from faculty and staff that switching to Gmail would be beneficial, Frain said. He said the Student Government Association also requested a switch to Gmail several months ago.

Students can expect multiple changes to their daily email usage, such as the ability to easily switch between their personal Gmail and their Emerson mail.

Frain said faculty and staff would have continued access to the Microsoft Office suite: including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Visio. Students and faculty can also expect more integration with Google Docs, more available storage, and more supported access to the G Suite for Education, Google’s iteration of Microsoft Office.

He said the transfer is solely for the benefit of a more fluid and popular email system.

Frain said that Emerson has been using Google’s suite periodically since 2011, and joins the 70 million G Suite for Education users. He also said that this migration was not motivated by cost, and was instead about keeping with the times.

Wyatt Johnson, a freshman journalism major, said he thinks Gmail is more reliable.

“It’s easier to get notifications and share docs,” he said. “[Outlook] is harder to access on your phone, and overall is just not as convenient as Gmail.”