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BlueSky email system to launch next fall

Over 247 billion emails are sent around the world each day. The system Drake students use to add to this number is being replaced.

Zimbra email accounts will be transitioned to Microsoft Outlook at the end of the current semester. With a new program came the need for a new name—something catchy and exciting to launch.

Opportunity came to take part in the christening of the new system in the form of a social media question, asking students to help name the platform in exchange for a prize.

Jon McDonald, a junior marketing student, was the first to suggest the new name, BlueSky.

“I saw the message and just thought of cloud computing and then tried to pair that with what current students are used to, with blueView,” McDonald said.

The imaginative pairing earned McDonald a Xbox 360 Kinect gaming system; the hand free motion sensor console that recently hit record sales at 535,000 in February, according to an article posted on Bloomberg.com.

“Honestly I had forgotten that I even entered, so it came as a nice surprise when I heard the announcement that I won,” McDonald said.

Michael Riebel, technology liaison for Student Senate, said that the process for choosing a new email system has been a long time coming.

“I know the university has been thinking about this email migration for a while,” Riebel said. “When the university found that students wanted something else as well, they moved forward into research.”

Throughout the process the search relied heavily on Chief Information Technology Officer Ann Kovalchick and student input. Both students and faculty were invited to attend presentations by different email providers, like Google and Yahoo.

BlueSky email will hold up to 18 megabytes of information per message and is mobile accessible. Skydrive is a function of the email that will allow collaborative, simultaneous work on documents. More office apps will also be available to email users for enhanced communication.

“Microsoft Outlook may not have been the first choice for a lot of students, but it will bring many new resources for situations like group projects,” Riebel said.

With new features and easy implementation, the sky is looking blue and limitless for the future of electronic communication at Drake.

Visit drake.edu/bluesky for more information and to view a diagram of the new platform


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