Migration FAQs

We'll be adding questions here as they come in. Have a question that's not answered here or in the documentation? Find out more about support and workshops. We are here to make this transition as easy as possible for you.

Google Apps

Why are we going to use Google Apps?
We are going to switch to Gmail and Google Calendar, in particular, because outsourcing email and calendar are cost-saving measures. The other tools in Google Apps are added bonuses.

How did we decide to go to Google Apps?
These changes are the product of a lengthy discussion across the University, involving a number of meetings and presentations. Last January, Library and Technology Services (LTS) was asked to identify possible cost-saving initiatives for FY2011 and beyond. LTS offered a wide range of ideas, among them the possibility of adopting Google Apps, which dozens of other universities around the country have embraced. The recommendations were described in the University's Administrative Resource Review Committee (ARRC) March 8, 2010 report.

How much is this new service costing the University?
$0. Google Apps is free for colleges and universities.

Do other colleges and universities use Google Apps?
Yes. More than six million faculty, staff, and students now use Google Apps. Temple University and Macalester College, among others, moved all faculty and staff in addition to students. To see a small sample of schools that have already gone Google, check out this map.

How do I log in to Google Apps?
You will use your Brandeis username and password to access Google Apps.

How do I get directly to each of the Google Apps?

Gmail: go.brandeis.edu/gmail (please only visit this AFTER you have been migrated)
Calendar: go.brandeis.edu/cal
Docs: go.brandeis.edu/docs

What kind of help is available during this change?
LTS will staff a dedicated Google service center that will provide full support for Gmail and Google Calendar. LTS will also provide workshops on Gmail and Google Calendar. See the Support & Workshops page to learn more.

Will my emails and documents be protected?
Google operates one of the most robust networks of distributed data centers in the world. The protection of the data and intellectual property on these servers is a top priority, with extensive resources dedicated to maintaining data security. Protected around the clock and monitored by a dedicated security team, Google facilities are held to extremely high standards. Read more about Google's Security.

The Google Apps suite meets even the federal government's security requirements for sensitive data. Learn more.

Will using Google Apps fall under the Brandeis Information Security Plan?
Yes. Information that members of the Brandeis community put into Google Apps will continue to be governed and managed according to the Brandeis Information Security Plan.



Will I keep my brandeis.edu email address?
Yes, all email addresses will remain the same. Gmail simply becomes the convenient, new container for your brandeis.edu email.

When will we move from Bmail to Gmail?
We will move individuals and departments over the summer and into the fall, and we will notify you when your department is next. For a list of departments already scheduled, see the Timeline.

What will happen to the emails I have in Bmail?
LTS will transfer your email from Bmail to Gmail.

Is any email not going to be transferred?
Email messages over 25 MB, or messages that have been marked as a virus or spam, will not be moved.

Can I continue to use my existing email client?
Yes. Your existing email client (such as Thunderbird or Apple Mail) will work with Gmail.

What if I already have a Gmail account?
The two accounts will not affect each other. You will continue to log in to your personal Gmail account as you do now. To use your Brandeis Gmail account, you will simply log in with your Brandeis username and password.

Will I see lots of advertisements in Gmail?
No. Gmail for higher education does not include advertisements.

What happens to the contacts I have saved in Bmail?
Your contacts in Bmail will need to be exported in order to be imported into Gmail. Visit the Gmail pre-migration checklist to learn how to export your contacts.

Will my alias still work?
Yes. All aliases will continue to work as they do now.

What if my brandeis.edu email currently forwards to a different email address?
No problem. Your email will forward as it does now.

Will Courier accounts be migrated to Gmail?
No, Courier accounts will be unaffected; LTS has no plans to move Courier accounts to Gmail. If this changes, we will notify users of Courier accounts and update this FAQ.

Should I use an email address that ends in gapps.brandeis.edu? 
No.  Any mail sent to addresses ending in gapps.brandeis.edu (for example: jmwilson@gapps.brandeis.edu instead of jmwilson@brandeis.edu) will not be delivered.  We are working with Google to see if these addresses can be removed entirely.



Why is Oracle Calendar going away?
Oracle Calendar will soon no longer be supported by Oracle, and Google Calendar will allow for easier collaboration among University employees.

I don't keep a calendar now. Will I have to start using one now?
No. Google Calendar, like Oracle Calendar, will be available to every member of the community, but it will be up to each user to decide whether or not to take advantage of it.

Will I be able to keep my existing calendar data (past and future meetings)?
Yes. Although Library & Technology Services does not intend to transfer data from Oracle Calendar to Google Calendar, LTS will provide instructions for archiving your already-scheduled meetings.

Can I start using Calendar now?
Yes. Google Calendar is already available to members of the Brandeis community. Go to go.brandeis.edu/cal to try it out or read some documentation to learn some of Calendar's features.

When I'm inviting Brandeis guests I see email addresses ending in gapps.brandeis.edu --Should I be using this to invite them instead of their usual Brandeis email address? 
No.  Adding guests with email addresses ending in gapps.brandeis.edu (for example: jmwilson@gapps.brandeis.edu instead of jmwilson@brandeis.edu) will not be delivered.  We are working with Google to see if these addresses can be removed entirely.



Can I control who has access to my Google Apps documents?
Yes. Google Apps allows you to choose who can view or edit your content.

Can I collaborate on a document with someone from another institution?
Yes, you can collaborate on Google Docs with anyone who has an email address. You can even publish a document so that anyone in the world can see it.

Can I still use Microsoft Office?
Yes. LTS will work with community members who create advanced or complex documents to ensure continued access to Microsoft Office.

Can I add Word/Excel/PowerPoint documents to Google Docs?
Yes. Existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents can be uploaded to Google Docs. From there, you can edit them, collaborate on them with colleagues, or allow people to only view them -- all from any computer with Internet access. Learn more about exporting and importing.

Are there size limits to what I can upload, or limits on the number of the Google Docs that I can store?
Yes. Documents (Word files), for example, can be up to 500K. Each user can store up to 5000 documents and presentations and 5000 images. Learn more.

Can I edit Docs offline?
Yes. If you need offline access to a Google Doc, download the document before you lose Internet access. After you edit the locally-saved copy of the document, you will need to upload it in order to be able to access it online or share it with other users. Learn more.

Are my documents saved if my computer crashes?
Yes. Online storage and auto-save mean your work is saved even if your local hard drive fails.