Migration from Novell Groupwise Mail Server to G Suite

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Customer Domain: Non profit / School District

Environment Details:  Novell Group Mail server: 8.x 

Users: 850 ( Students + Staff )

Approx mail data size: 2 TB 

Approx groups: 450 

The business challenge:  

A school district wanted to change the way instruction was delivered. They also wanted to take the opportunity to utilize technology more effectively to improve student engagement and learning. 

A need for a more dynamic and integrated approach

The school district was not able to provide the access to online educational resources that they wanted to be able to. If teachers required the use of technology in their classes, they first had to schedule time in a computer lab that was consistently overburdened with requests. Budgeting was also a major issue. The district’s IT team was stretched managing a Novell GroupWise email server that constantly had problems and suffered viruses. The maintenance of the server was taking up funds that would have otherwise been used to acquire new devices for students. 

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G Suite for Education: 

The district signed up for G Suite for Education, which is a collaboration suite with email, calendar, and document creation. It is free for schools, meaning that the costly, high maintenance Novell GroupWise server was no longer needed. The school’s time and resources could be re-focused elsewhere. 

School district also made an additional  investment in wi-fi infrastructure, laying the foundation for the use of online educational resources in the classroom. What they needed was a cost-effective way for students, teachers, and faculty to utilize it. 

Chromebooks for Education: 

Easy access to online resources, affordability, and durability made Chromebook the perfect option for the school district, which piloted 350 Chromebooks in junior high and high school. For students, Chromebook, Google’s laptop running Chrome OS, is a fast, portable, and secure device that allows them to get online easily, find educational resources, collaborate, and learn. For teachers, the convenience of having a device where everything is stored online and boots up at lightning speed means easy and near-instant access to technology in the classroom.  As for the administration, once they looked at the cost of software licenses, server investment, and ongoing maintenance of running regular laptops, they were blown away by how cost-effective and practical the Chromebooks were.

Evonence G Suite deployment approach: 

  • Zero data loss migration from Novell GroupWise server to G Suite platform.

  • Migration of mail, contacts, folders, and groups

  • Setting up dual delivery during the migration process for early adopters.

  • Ongoing change communications with all the staff and students and providing them with product training making the transition easier.

  • Setting up Google sites, Google Drive for collaboration.

  • Setting up Chrome policies for the enrolled Chrome devices.

G Suite Effective Results: 

The school district had wanted to implement an affordable 1:1 program, increase students’ access to digital tools beyond computer labs and add flexible technology for the district’s successful online learning program.  They did so by adopting G Suite for education, standardized on Chrome OS devices, including Chromebook, Chromebox, and Chromebit. 

G Suite added benefits for schools:

The school district has made dramatic progress on reaching their 1:1 goal since the district can now purchase more devices with less overhead. Not only have they made the complete adoption of technology in the classroom more budget-friendly, but they have also:

  • Improved teacher productivity and communication

  • Inspired teachers to adopt new teaching models such as station rotations

  • And increased collaboration between teachers and students using features such as Google Docs comments.

Rahul Keluskar