Why did PCC Choose Google Apps?
Our previous PCC email was an aging system with an unclear, and likely expensive, upgrade path. We currently support over 500,000 email accounts and on busy days can see over 40,000 active users online. Email performance had degraded significantly and became almost unusable on peak days.
Many other institutions across the country have migrated their email systems to the Google Apps for Education system, including Portland State University. We observed this process at those schools and conversed with many of them about their decision and their migration. As a result of those discussions, college-wide feedback, and a formal evaluation process conducted in spring 2011, we came to believe this was the right choice for PCC.
The Google Apps for Education suite is free to colleges and universities and provides storage and functional capabilities that can not be replicated within the college’s resources.
The "Google Apps for Education" suite that we have adopted has some key differences from publicly available Gmail. It is a secured and enclosed environment and does not contain advertising. It is covered by a signed contract between PCC and Google that provides explicit safeguards. All data within this environment is owned by PCC and Google's role in supporting and securing that data obligates them to act in the role of a school official as articulated under FERPA regulations.