New service aims to ‘Live’n up SJU e-mails

St. John’s has officially made the transition to Microsoft [email protected], a new e-mail service implemented to offer enhanced electronic messaging services and capabilities.

According to Ken Mahlmeister, Information Technology’s executive director for User Services, 11,170 students have activated their new e-mail account as of the morning of Jan. 20. IT officials said they are happy with the new service, which was launched on Jan. 6.

The new student e-mail system offers 10 GB of space, an increase from the 50 MB limit on the old system, improved spam control and a 25 GB SkyDrive, a feature that acts as a virtual hard drive to store and share files.

Users can also configure their cell phones with the system and read e-mails from their mobile devices.

“We are pleased and pretty excited about the new program,” said Joseph Tufano, vice president for Information Technology. “We’ve been working with SGI and other students to get feedback and, so far, the feedback has been positive.”

Tufano mentioned the IT department has not experienced any major problems thus far with the new [email protected] system and said he felt it was an upgrade over the previous system.

“With the old program, there was limited space, no real spam filter and other restrictions and this new program is an improvement in all those areas,” he said. “It’s a world of difference.”

According to IT officials, all students have been transferred to the new system, but in order to access their e-mails they have to activate the account.

However, despite all students being transferred to the new service, e-mails still on the previous system will remain available for students, who can then forward these messages to their new account.

“We didn’t want to completely do away with the old system because we know students may have important emails in Dec. that they still may need, so they will have access to them for at least the entire Spring Semester,” said Tufano.

Some students said they find the new system to be an improvement.

“I really like it,” said senior Andrew Conti.
“The interface is a lot cleaner and there are things you can do with this system that you couldn’t do with the
old one.”

Freshman Imani Ladson said she had mixed feelings on the new changes.

“It’s ok,” she said. “I had to go back to get my contacts from my old e-mail which was annoying.”

Other students said they have not found the switch to be very enjoyable.

“I think it’s complicated,” said freshman Katrina Smith. “I wish we could have gotten a choice as to which service we could use.”

In an effort to help ease the transition to the new e-mail for students like Smith, a FAQ and “Tip of the Week” feature have been included on St. John’s Central. This week’s tip is how to operate the junk mail filter.

“When we receive multiple inquiries on how to do something or navigate a certain new feature, we put it up as
a tip of the week, so hopefully that will help everyone adjust to the new system,” said Gary Young, associate director for Information Technology.

Overall, Tufano said the new [email protected] service will improve digital interactions among students.

“I think it improves student communication,” he said. “It will allow better and improved collaboration between students, professors and student social groups.”