Productivity Tools & Services

Strategic Statement

OSU students, faculty, and staff expect to be able to use cloud-based productivity services and tools, such as Google Apps and Office 365, for academic and research collaborations. These tools and other cloud-based services align with IS’s strategic direction to provide students, faculty, and staff with the ability to access their information, share their files, and collaborate with others from any device, anywhere they can access the Internet.


OSU implemented Google Apps for Education during the Summer 2013 term for the purpose of offering a suite of cloud-based collaboration tools for the entire OSU community. Additionally, in Fall 2013, IS began a collaborative effort with the College of Business to test a Microsoft Office 365 pilot implementation during Winter 2014. The purpose of this pilot, which will be conducted with a specific number of carefully chosen business classes, is to gather information that will help guide our decision-making and lay a course for a potential campus-wide offering of Office 365.

In alignment with the 2013-18 IS strategic plan, our intention is to offer these and other cloud-based tools and services in a thoughtful way that is driven by business analysis and product research. Our intention is to create a professional faculty position that can be dedicated toward performing the necessary work to own the management of these tools and services, as well as perform the necessary work that will ensure the appropriate tools are available to meet the specific needs of OSU's students, faculty, and staff.

Timeline - Productivity Tools & Services
2013 2014
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall
Planning, Office 365 Test        
  O365 Pilot in COB      
    Evaluate O365 Pilot Results    
    Identify Productivity Tools Service Owner  


  • Implementation of a campus-wide identity management system in order for OSU to sustainably provision cloud-based productivity resources.
  • A holistic approach to our assessment, planning, and implementation, including campus-wide participation from OSU's diverse group of IT leaders and other stakeholders.
  • The creation of a permanent service owner who can research and analyze these resources in alignment with IS's strategic direction.


Failure to make these services available in the cloud and appropriately support them presents several risks for OSU:

  • Lowers the profile and "image" of OSU
  • Negatively impacts our ability to recruit the best and brightest faculty and students
  • Develops a lack of trust in IS's ability to move OSU's technology landscape forward: These tools are already available to users and have been implemented by our peers and other organizations on an enterprise level.
  • Faculty and students are already using cloud-based tools that are NOT under contractual agreement with OSU; this is an ongoing risk
  • Potential loss of data due to information being saved locally and not in the cloud


  • Scott Emery, Director of Client Services

Google Apps Implementation

This administrative page provides information about the project structure and processes. Information for customers can be found at

The Charge

Information Services (IS) provides ONID email and file storage services for students and employees. Following an investigation by the Google Apps Task Force and subsequent input from campus groups, the Vice Provost of Information Services and the Information Technology Steering Committee launched the Google Implementation Project in January 2013.

For Phase I, the Implementation Team is tasked with enabling Google Apps for Education for all members of the OSU community. Implementation shall occur in the 2013 calendar year under the University's formal agreement with Google. The implementation is being made in consultation with key groups across campus and in consideration of evolving contexts, particularly the needs of users.

The purpose of the implementation is to:

  • enhance collaboration among students, faculty, and external partners
  • facilitate students' personal and team-based calendaring
  • increase "anytime, anywhere" access to well-secured data
  • help achieve lower operating costs for departments, where possible, and
  • provide a foundation for future enhancements to security and OSU identity management

Google Apps Implementation

Current Email Opt-In Adoption

Project Scope, Phase I (through Dec. 2013)

Google Apps for Education

During Phase I, Google Apps for Education will be made available to OSU employees and students via CAS authentication, using existing ONID login credentials. Additionally, a six month opt in period will allow students and employees to provision Google Mail and migrate any email from the ONID email server to Google. A major outreach and training component will communicate the change to the community and documentation will be developed as needed.

Services Affected, Services Not Affected

ONID email services for students will be migrated to Google late in December of 2013, at the end of Phase I. ONID email services for employees will continue to be routed through the OSU-hosted ONID server unless the individual employee opted in to Google service.

Email addresses are not changing; email sent to valid and addresses will still be delievered to the user's mailbox. ONID mailboxes hosted at Google will continue to use the @onid addresses – they will not use addresses.

No other ONID services will be affected; access to ONID file space, ONID class groups, and other ONID services will be unchanged. No non-ONID services will be changed, e.g. Exchange-based email and calendaring services associated with accounts will not need to be migrated.

High-Level Requirements

  • Google authentication must use CAS / LDAP for security
  • Must be able to provision accounts automatically
  • Must be able to remove accounts as students leave or when deemed necessary
  • Must recommend ADA compliant tools where native web interfaces do not meet ADA standards
  • Must have support staff trained to be able to serve student, faculty, and staff

Deliverables and High Level Timeline

Feb. 2013 Project start
March 2013 Peer institution consultation
Project plan and finalized scope
April 2013 Launch communications and outreach campaign
May 2013 Launch training series
May 30, 2013 Launch pre-sync email migration process
July-Aug, 2013 Enable Google Apps for OSU for the entire OSU Community
Enable opt-in email migration tool
Summer 2013 Ongoing training and outreach
Fall 2013 Ongoing training and outreach
Nov. 2013 Recommendations for Phase II
Dec. 2013 Migrate all ONID email to Google
Sunset ONID mail services

Implementation Team

Executive Sponsor Lois Brooks, Vice Provost for Information Services
Project Sponsor Lucas Turpin, Interim Director, Technology Support Services
Project Manager Hollie Pitts, Enterprise Computing
Technical Lead Andy Morgan, Enterprise Computing
Communications Lead Mike Hinds, Information Services
Lead Trainer Rich Giesige, OSU Computer Helpdesk
Consultants Dann Cutter, Hatfield Marine Science Center
Doug Weir, College of Business
Chris White, University Housing & Dining Services

Google Apps Task Force (2011)

Please note that this page described the foundational planning and recommendations for providing Google services to the OSU community. This work was completed by the end of 2011. For a description of the year 2013 implementation of Google, please see the Google Implementation project page.

The Charge

Google Apps Task Force

Many colleges and research units have expressed a strong interest in moving to Google tools, particularly as Google apps are already in use for teaching and learning. However, strong concerns have been expressed about the purpose, the legal issues, and the operating realities of adopting Google tools at a university level.

With this in mind, Lois Brooks, the Vice Provost for Information Services, convened a task force representing a broad cross-section of the university to explore the interests, issues, practical concerns, and technical concerns associated with adopting Google tools. The task force's ultimate charge is to offer a proposal for what services, if any, OSU should move to Google.

The Process

The task force considered the issues described above and learned from the experiences of schools that have already adopted one or more Google tools. The task force was required to justify proposed action, note any objections and concerns, and recommend any legal, policy, or management review, as needed.

Following the recommendation, campus stakeholders including the Faculty Senate, Disability Access Services, and ASOSU will have the opportunity for input. A formal review will be conducted by a legal and policy team and by IT governance committees, and a final decision on any recommendation would be executed by the IT Strategy Committee and subsequently the Provost's Council.

Task Force Recommendations

The Google Apps Task Force completed its work and recommended that OSU formalize an agreement with Google that would transition student (ONID) email to Google and allow faculty/staff the option of using Google Apps, but pend this agreement until Google Apps are ADA compliant. The Committee also recommended that University Records Custodians determine what data can be stored/shared via Google Apps and what data should not, under any circumstances, be transmitted or stored via Google Apps.

The Records Custodians are reviewing policies and identifying changes, as well as needed guidelines, that are necessary to implement Google Apps.

Next Steps

  • Follow up evaluation of ADA compliance
  • Campus forums for information and input
  • Referral to IT Governance for review and decision
  • Referral to Provost's Council for review and decision

Task Force Members

  • Michael Henthorne, Student Affairs (chair)
  • Chris Sinnett, Information Services (task force operations)
  • Mike Altimus, Forestry
  • Scott Austed, Agriculture
  • Dennis Bennet, Writing Center
  • Dann Cutter, Hatfield Marine Science Center
  • Ben Danley, Alumni Association
  • Haris Gunati, Disabilit Access Center
  • Rob Holman, COAS
  • Dan Hoynacki, Extension
  • Kevin Hulse, Undergraduate student
  • Clif Johnson, Science
  • Karra Johnson, very recent alumna
  • Roger Leigh, Horticulture
  • Bill Loges, Communication and New Media
  • Jane Nichols, Libraries
  • Robin Pappas, Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Todd Shechter, Engineering
  • Catherine Williams, Information Services