Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bonus Features Key to CatMail

by Jake Young

Days are numbered for Ohio University Webmail as CatMail prepares its takeover. A look at the CatMail website proclaims, "CatMail is Coming!" and that leaves many questions for students and faculty regarding just what makes the change worthwhile for OU users.

Reasons for Change

Until now, users of OU's OAK email system have used the webmail or Mulberry email systems, and both have frequently been criticized for not having enough user friendly features, prompting many users to forward their emails to other hosts. Students like sophomore Robert Nyerges are the type of student that CatMail is targeting.

Outside Email Popular Among Students

The Features

Office of Information Technology Communications Manager Sean O'Malley said the main reason for choosing the CatMail system is the vastly improved features that are offered. A rundown of the new features include:

• 10 GB of inbox memory (webmail has 100 MB)
• a 25 GB "Sky Drive" where users can post documents and files and access them anywhere where a web connection is available
• 5 GB of Microsoft Office storage for collaborative work on group projects
• a personal calendar feature that can synch with iPhones and other Windows Mobile devices
• increased anti-spam and virus protection

O'Malley's goal is to offer students an email system that can compete with the online opposition, and to do it in a cost-saving manner.

Improved Product with Improved Cost

According to O'Malley, one of the best features of CatMail is the ideally seamless transition. In order to switch accounts, the user should be able to log-in using their existing email address, and the existing messages in webmail or Mulberry will move to CatMail, finishing the transition.

For current students, the transition will happen alphabetically between May 13 and May 21, and for alumni, the transition will be June 1. Because of contract limitations, OU faculty will not be making the transition at this time.

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