UIS explains why we’re getting minimalist Gmail
Last week, University Information Services gave us some more details of the upcoming switch to Gmail-backed Hoyamail. Just as you were getting giddy about leaving antiquated GUMail behind forever, though, there was this disconcerting announcement:
Hoyamail is only accessible through the web at this time … We are launcing Hoyamail as an e-mail only solution and not opening access to other Google services such as Chat, Calendar, and Docs.
Wait—what? UIS is giving us Gmail but without any of the bells and whistles? What gives?
According to UIS Director Beth Ann Bergsmark, the stripped-down Hoyamail is only temporary. The want to get everyone transitioned to the new system and then in late September/early October they will put together a group of students, faculty ad staff to discuss which extra services to add.
Bergsmark also said that UIS wants to be careful in choosing which Google services to add to avoid creating confusion or overlap with services already provided by BlackBoard.
One issue in terms of adding extra apps and making Hoyamail more than just a web-based client is giving Gmail access to passwords and NetIDs. According to Bergsmark, Georgetown will be using Shibboleth system to shield students’ info, and UIS is still “waiting to see how these future applications interact with Shibboleth.”