TEMPE, Ariz.–Arizona State University has partnered with Google to allow the university’s 65,000 students to use Google Apps for Education, which includes Gmail to manage ASU student email accounts, as well as Google Calendar and Google Talk. The new system brings many benefits to ASU students, including indexed email search, enhanced spam filtering, calendaring, tagging capabilities for tracking emails, and an extraordinary two-gigabyte quota per student for storage.

ASU is one of the first large universities in the country to implement Google Apps for Education.

The new relationship reflects a deepening of the ties between ASU and Google, which opened an office on ASU’s Tempe campus last March.

“We are excited to be working with Google to bring their unique brand of communication and collaboration tools to the ASU community,” said Adrian Sannier, ASU vice president and university technology officer. “We believe that strategic alliances with technology leaders like Google are key to accelerating the contribution that technology can make to ASU’s academic enterprise.”

“ASU is at the forefront of smart use of technology for education,” said Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager for Google Enterprise. “By using Google Apps for Education, they are able to free up internal resources for more pressing technology projects that benefit the school and students.”

The conversion from EMMA, ASU’s homegrown email client, will occur over the next three months, without any interruption to students’ existing asu.edu email addresses. Student addresses will transfer to Google’s system, ensuring uninterrupted email delivery and retention of current asu.edu email addresses.

“I enjoy using Gmail because it lets me keep a lot of my emails, especially those with attachments, without going over my quota,” said David Aniuk, ASU student. “I really like the layout too; it’s not overwhelming to look at so it doesn’t strain my eyes. And I have not received a single spam email in my Gmail account.”

ASU students will use their existing usernames–called ASURITE User IDs–to sign onto the new services and students’ EMMA archives will be available after the service transition.

ASU students are not the only beneficiaries of the partnership. Under the terms of the agreement, Google will provide email, calendar and instant messaging services free of charge to the university, allowing ASU to refocus resources to accelerate the research and learning enterprise.

The complete transition to Gmail and decommissioning of EMMA services will occur in January 2007, but students won’t have to wait that long to enjoy the benefits. Beginning Oct. 10, students logging into the current student email system will be presented with the option to begin using the new services from Google immediately.

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