The past week was an exciting one for the UTO, as ASU and Google announced at EDUCAUSE the first large scale deployment of Google Apps for Education to the ASU student community. As the chronicle of higher ed put it:
Arizona State University is the first to try Google Apps for Education, and it joined up in a dramatic fashion...
The announcement was the culmination of amazing work by a Kari Barlow led team that included James Palazzolo, Ron Page, Nate Wilken, Jason Pratt, Noel Lindner, Jeff Nickoloff, Anish Adalja, Xavier Valencia, and Joe McDonald. In just under two weeks, ASU and Google managed to:
- Integrate ASU’s single sign-on, allowing students to use their existing ASURite UserID to login to Gmail for ASU
- Modify the EMMA client to allow student users to convert to Gmail for ASU with a single click.
- Create a staggering 65,000 new Gmail for ASU accounts
- Create clear messaging to communicate the news to the ASU community and to the world
On the day of the announcement, students were converting to Gmail for ASU at the rate of 300 an hour.
At the announcement at EDUCAUSE, I told the group that this was a story of speed. In addition to providing an exciting new service for students, ASU’s UTO was using the Google alliance as a way to demonstrate the agility of the New American University. The feat that Google and ASU achieved in the past fortnight displayed a nimbleness that rivals the best of what Silicon Valley can do. Building a reputation for agility is critical to the success of our technology alliance strategy, and we made a big stride this week.
But perhaps more importantly, by partnering with Google, ASU was able to dramatically accelerate its technology development curve, an acceleration that will be core to achieving the New American University Vision.