Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Patrick O'Neal
on June 22, 2017

Some school districts still are just starting to give their students access to email, but have relied on a different system for staff email for a long time.

We often work with school districts that have staff using a product such as Office 365 while students get Gmail accounts. It makes sense. For as long as I can remember, faculty and administration have relied on Word, Excel and PowerPoint, while students tend to get the collaboration tools found in G Suite for Education.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind when you have email from more than one system that you want to be part of one email archive.

Migrating email from one system to another.

I’ve never talked to an administrator who enjoys moving email from one system to another. Getting your email into one unified archive will allow this switch to be much easier, enabling you to still use one email system for younger students and another one for older students or, as mentioned earlier, keeping staff and student email on two different systems like Office 365 and G Suite for Education.

Understanding account provisioning.

If you’ve used Office 365 in the past, but switched staff email to Gmail (or vice versa), you don’t want to have email from the same user (i.e., your superintendent) in two different systems. You need to handle open records requests promptly. Spending less time wondering if the email from your superintendent or board member from a specific month or year is in one system or another can delay the eDiscovery process and put you in a bad light with the entire school community.

Creating a hybrid environment.

A common trend right now is to keep your email system on-premise and archive your messages with a third-party service provider. By combining hardware and software, your service provider receives email messages and then sends them to your server. When transitioning to a hybrid environment, you’ll want to make sure that your third-party archiving vendor tests everything along the way and keeps up with your needs.

There are plenty of other scenarios, but the specific needs of your school or district should not prohibit you from archiving email from more than one email provider. In situations where you’re using more than one email system, you still need to archive it all.

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