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Communication and Collaboration

The broad charge to this Task Force is to identify campus needs for communication and collaboration services and to identify tools and practices to support those needs (click on the Task Force Charge link in the left column for the full description). This is a project blog - the task force will post formal and informal updates here and looks forward to your comments on these posts. Feel free to scroll down for history, search for your topic of interest, or just comment to say what you would like to see discussed.

  •  Berkeley's Decision to Go with Google over Microsoft

    Monday, Jan. 16, 2012

    UC Berkeley has been kind enough to share their evaluation spreadsheet with the world. You can see it here.
    They also provide a general overview of their project.

    We used last week's taskforce meeting to go over the spreadsheet from SCU's perspective. 

    We have yet to get date commitments from either Microsoft or Google for our "deep demos" (this may push back the dates provided in the last post). We are emphasizing with both vendors that we need to make progress given the timeline required for a Fall implementation. More news as we know it.

  •  Next Steps and Anticipated Timeline

    Monday, Dec. 12, 2011

    The break has gotten the best of us. It turns out that vendors are a bit like University folks in that things slow down at this time of the year. We've continued with our strategy of doing our job right, with time for consultation, rather than stick to our last version of the timeline. 

    Our next steps and predicted calendar: 

    Week of 1/9

    Detailed Vendor Demos: Streamed video and then videos with notes available. We anticipate these to be 3 to 4 hours each with Microsoft & Google providing us with chauffeured software demos (vendors will coach, but one of us will work the computer) demos based on the work scenarios the community has helped us develop. We will stream this process live to the community and then will produce a version with "show notes" where topics are highlighted by time.

    Week of 1/16

    Microsft and Google with host open town halls to answer questions from students, faculty & staff. The task force will be working to complete formal requests for technical information (security, pricing, etc.) to hand to the vendors 

    Week of 1/23

    Discussion and outreach following town halls. Waiting on vendor responses to technical requests.

    Week of 1/30

    Town Hall with task force as soon as vendor responses available. 

    Week of 2/6

    Consider whether we need to hear from other vendors. It may be that neither Microsoft or Google supply us with all the collaboration capabilities we need. If so, we will consider whether we need to talk to vendors who provide add-on services.

    The following dates are contingent on not speaking to other vendors:

    Weeks of 2/13 & 2/20

    Crafting recommendations

    Week of 2/27

    Sharing recommendations

  •  Who Do You Listen To?

    Friday, Dec. 9, 2011

    SCU Board of Regents member Tom Kelly (CEO of Moxie Software) talks with Rawn Shah of Forbes about how organizations handle the "social data explosion" created by social networking and greater collaboration.

    Link to Article

  •  Faculty Resource Fair Dec 1

    Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

     I'm very sorry I'm off campus during the resource fair -- what a great opportunity to talk with my colleagues about communication and collaboration resources that we have and that we'd like to have.

    Just a reminder about all the great things at the fair (quoting from Provost Jacobs' email):

    "I hope you'll stop by the Faculty Resource Fair this Thursday, Dec. 1, from 12-2 PM in the Williman Room in Benson.  

    The Faculty Development Program and the Provost's Office are co-hosting the event to raise awareness for: 
    • Support of faculty scholarship 
    • Ways to enhance teaching
    • Benefits particularly important to faculty
    • Approaches to work-life balance and career flexibility
    The event will feature appetizers and beverages in a welcoming atmosphere. Come interact with other faculty members and learn about how Santa Clara University might be able to better support you in your work.   

    I also understand that the Faculty Development Program has a free i-Pad2 to give away."

    ...and doubly sorry about not being there for the iPad2...

  •  Our First Vendor Calls

    Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011

    We had 45 minute calls with both Microsoft and Google this week. Our goal was to be better prepared before creating formal requests for proposal. We sent them our work examples and key feature needs based on the task force's work, the comments made during the town hall, and through other feedback we've received.

    We won't be meeting over Thanksgiving week, but we are prepping for more in-depth calls and demos from collaboration companies (these are generally used in conjunction with basic email and file sharing).

    Please consider using this slower time to comment on the transparency post.

    Have a safe and happy holiday.

  •  Microsoft Links for Reference

    Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011

    Brian Bratonia is the California K20  Education State Alliance Manager, and our contact we've been working with for the Task Force

    He would like to pass along just a few sites that may be of interest to you and the taskforce to peruse to begin becoming familiar with the Microsoft story. 

    ·         Microsoft Unified Communications in Education:  

    ·         Use of web portals in Higher Education:

    ·         Microsoft Office 365 for Education:

  •  What does transparency mean to you?

    Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011

    To me, and this is my personal view not that of the Task Force, it means working in the public to the degree possible. It also means proactively sharing as work moves along.


    This task force does that here; through this blog. We also have the benefit of the University sharing in our interest -- see this great FYI article about SCU 2.0.

    How do other organizations do their work in public?

    What do you think are would be the pluses and minuses of doing more of our work in public?

    I would love to hear from faculty, staff, students, and administration about how their work could benefit or be hindered by being more transparent. Let’s take off the table for the moment issues that are generally thought to be extreme (grades, personal finance, personnel issues).

    Think about your day to day work. Might an error have been caught if others were looking at a work product earlier? Might calendaring issues been seen sooner and resolved more easily? Could costs be kept down if we crowdsourced ideas?

  •  Google comments and links

    Friday, Nov. 4, 2011

    As the TF pursues vendors, Google is one we wish to learn more about.   The Google representative passed on some initial information she thought might be helpful to us.

    • For an overview of Google Apps for Education, you can visit our landing page. At a high level, our EDU offerring is similar to our consumer offering (Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Sites, Groups, etc.), but there are a few key differences.
      • Customizable Domain ( instead of
      • No Advertisements (i.e. your data is not scanned for any relavent advertisements)
      • Customizable logo (no Gmail logo in the left-hand corner of inboxes)
      • 25GB of inbox storage per user
      • Completely free for students/faculty/staff/alumni (and no limit on the number of accounts you can provision) with no need to purchase software, deploy patches, manage on-premise servers, etc. because everything is stored/managed in the cloud.
    • I also recommend looking at the Guide to Going Google, which outlines technical integration, data migration, user provisioning, etc.
    • This link provides additional information on the collaboration tools offerred in Google Apps
    • Here is a link to commonly-asked questions on Security and Privacy
    • Team Accounts occur when a student signs up to use Google Docs/Sites/etc. as a consumer with their account. I've included step-by-step instructions on how to transition from a Team Account to an Education Account.
      • I show that is currently registered under Team Edition. Google Apps Team Edition can be used by anybody with an active email address at a domain and is designed to help students and co-workers collaborate using Google Apps. No one has taken control of the domain. Rather, there are just some users who are using their address as a way to authenticate into Google Docs, etc.
      • Since you own this domain and would like to administer Google Apps for your users, you'll first need to create an account under the Team Edition. You can do this by visiting[] and clicking 'create an account here.'
      • Once you've created a Team Edition account, you can verify domain ownership to begin managing Google Apps by following the instructions at
      • After you've completed these steps, let me know and I will make sure that you've been upgraded to the Education Edition.
    • Postini is a paid, additional service and offers added levels of Security (Google Message Security) and Archiving (Google Message Discovery). You can find more information at this link, and it's important to note that it's sold at a 66% discount that is not reflected in the pricing listed on that site.
  •  Days in the Lives of Silicon Valley Execs

    Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011

    Yammer CEO describes how he works: I haven't laid hands on Yammer, but I do think this is an interesting article describing how communication and collaboration are part of his work day 

    Video of Debra Chrapaty, Senior VP of Collaboration at Cisco.  About 18 minutes long, but she describes a day in her life as a “Radical Collaborator.

  •  Reference Materials

    Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011

    Here are some reference documents that resulted from a Gartner Analyst call, and from Info-Tech industry analysts.