bMail and bCal selected as names for UC Berkeley’s Google solution

bMail and bCal selected as names for UC Berkeley’s Google solution
March 28, 2012
Inez Bailey, OE–Productivity Suite

As announced at the March 22, 2012 Operational Excellence Expo, bMail has been chosen to be the name of the campus’s new email system, and bCal has been chosen for the campus’s new calendar solution.

Contest winners

The contest that produced the names for UC Berkeley’s Google solution netted more than 1,150 submissions and the judges had a great time selecting winners.

The names bMail and bCal were submitted by more than 35 different entrants. As the rules stipulated, the prize of the $250 Amazon Gift Card was awarded to the entrant with the earliest submission date and time in each category, email and calendar. The winners are:

  • Saundra Alexander for bMail
  • Pat Mimoto for bCal

Random drawing winners

There was also a random drawing for everyone who entered the contest for two $50 Amazon Gift Cards. The winners are:

  • Carolin Chhor
  • Kenneth Lacsa

Thanks to everyone who participated.

A Little more about the Google Solution

Announcing Google as new campus email and calendar platform

January 5, 2012
John Wilton, Vice Chancellor Administration and Finance 
Shel Waggener, Associate Vice Chancellor–IT and CIO 
Andrew Szeri, OE Program Office Faculty Head, and Dean, Graduate Division

[Editor’s note: This announcement was originally published December 21, 2011, as a Calmessage.]

We are pleased to announce that Google Apps for Education has been selected as the new email and calendar solution for Berkeley. The campus will remain on CalMail and CalAgenda pending an extensive migration during 2012. This decision has been reached after an extensive analysis over the past few months that compared Google Apps for Education and Microsoft’s Office 365 offerings. While both products are feature rich and offer advantages over our current environment, the analysis concluded that the Google offering was the better overall fit for the campus at this time. The selection of Google Apps for Education does not impact the campus’s recent announcement to provide Microsoft software under a site license agreement. In fact, the products are complementary in many areas and we expect University-wide deployment of both Google’s online offerings and locally installed Microsoft software.

The evaluation, conducted by a team led by Gabriel Gonzalez of the Law School, was undertaken as part of the Operational Excellence (OE) sponsored Productivity Suite project and focused on features and requirements to meet key objectives of OE including service improvement, project and operating cost, speed of deployment, architectural alignment, accessibility, storage of data in the United States, and privacy and security issues. As part of the analysis, the team conducted interviews with campus faculty, staff, and students, as well as with email and calendaring teams at other large research universities including evaluating the recent successful deployment of Google at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

Throughout our research and discussions with peer institutions, it became clear that a change of this magnitude will have some significant challenges. There is no way to avoid a certain amount of disruption, but minimizing the direct impact to individuals and departments will be a guiding principle of our migration plan. We also recognize that while Google will meet the majority of the community’s needs, for some members (especially intensive calendar users) the transition may be especially difficult. We will provide additional training and resources to help address these issues and to support the adoption of the new email and calendar service. Our goal is to continue to work with Google, and vendors of components built to enhance the Google products, to create a solution that meets the needs of the broadest number of community members possible.

We anticipate that the campus will move all unit mail and calendaring systems to the Google Apps for Education solution over the course of the coming year. We plan to work with technical groups, student leadership, and department representatives to develop and publish a full project schedule that will have us completing the entire migration during calendar year 2012. We recognize that there are some circumstances where exceptions may be necessary and will be working with the Academic Senate leadership to help identify appropriate circumstances and processes for opting out of the migration.

We are excited about the new direction for this critical campus service and anticipate that initial migrations could begin as early as spring 2012. We will provide more information about the migration project and preliminary schedule in January. For more information about the selection process, please see


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