The decision to select Office 365 rather than Google Apps for the U-Mail service platform was based on a number of factors. In our evaluation of the two products, both were found to meet both the business and technical requirements for UCSB's student communication and collaboration needs. In some areas, Google was found to be superior, and in others Office 365 shined. We elected to move forward with Office 365 for the following reasons:
- The Office 365 platform had already been selected for the forthcoming faculty/staff communication and collaboration service platform. By choosing the same platform for the student service we'll enjoy more seamless collaboration opportunities between students and instructors as well as economies-of-scale gained by managing a single platform for both services.
- Many U-Mail customers (about a third) already forward their U-Mail to their personal Gmail accounts. In the course of our testing, we discovered that Google's handling of multiple logins (e.g. being simultaneously logged in to a personal Gmail account and an edu Gmail account) was cumbersome at best. By selecting Google Apps we would have inflicted this inconvenience on a large fraction of our customers. Instead, those customers who prefer to use Gmail can continue to forward their U-Mail to their personal Gmail accounts.