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August 6, 2010

Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium and UMBC Announce Agreement with Google


Tamara Petronka

Eleanor Lewis

All MEEC Institutions Now Able to Contract for Google Apps

The Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have announced an agreement that makes Google Apps for Education available to the 189 K-12 and higher educational institutions in Maryland that are members of MEEC. Google Apps, which is free for educational institutions, currently provides email, documents, group pages, chat and other products to over eight million students.

UMBC was the lead institution working with MEEC, and will be the first campus in the USM to implement the Google suite of products under the new contract. The University worked with MEEC, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office and Google to develop a contract that can be used by any MEEC member.

UMBC’s decision to migrate to Google comes after engaging in conversations with students, faculty and staff. “As we discussed options for outsourcing email with students, they overwhelmingly recommended Google because it works exceptionally well with their mobile lifestyle,” said Mike Carlin, UMBC assistant vice president of IT. “UMBC will immediately set up the 3,000 new students enrolling for classes this fall on Google email and will provide the 10,000 existing students with the option to convert their accounts over to Google in late August 2010. By the start of the spring 2011 semester, we anticipate having all students moved over to Google.”

Through this contract, UMBC also licensed Google Message Security, a secure, hosted service that provides enterprise-grade spam and virus protection and email content filtering for use with the University’s existing email infrastructure for faculty and staff this fall.

Carlin said, “This is an important change that will help keep UMBC IT resources secure. Google Message Security is one of the premier email security packages on the market. Once this is in place, all UMBC faculty and staff should see significant improvement in our ability to filter these messages and other unwanted spam.” Starting this fall, staff in UMBC’s Division of Information Technology will pilot using Google Apps for faculty and staff email and calendaring.

MEEC is now working with Google to provide MEEC members with an overview of the capabilities found in Google Apps for Education and how it can meet each institution’s needs. MEEC is a statewide K-20 Consortium, hosted by the University System of Maryland, that leverages its size to negotiate hardware, software and services contacts that can be used by MEEC members. MEEC has 189 members, including all 24 public K-12 districts, private K-12 institutions, libraries and public and private higher education institutions.

Posted by elewis at August 6, 2010 8:38 AM