UT Info Tech Office Studies New E-mail Systems

The University of Tennessee Office of Information Technology is conducting a campus survey to consider the next generation of communication services such as e-mail, voice messaging and online calendars.

UT Interim Chief Information Officer Brice Bible said UT has had e-mail for many years, and it’s time to look to the future.

“UT’s information technology office currently manages four different systems that support e-mail and electronic calendars, and some of these systems have been around for 15 years,” Bible said. “There’s nothing wrong with them, but having four systems is inefficient. We want to find one system that everyone can use.”

OIT is learning what students, faculty and staff want through the online survey, available at http://oit.utk.edu/emailsurvey. Clicking this link gives them the chance to explore what features they might be interested in having in the future.

“We need to know if folks on campus want capabilities such as hearing an audible version of their e-mail on their cellphone, or reading a transcription of their telephone voicemail in their e-mail inbox,” Bible said.

“And perhaps there are things we haven’t thought of, yet, that our customers would like to have.”

Bible said that while the interest surveys are being tabulated, his staff is analyzing different unified communications systems to determine which ones might best serve OIT customers on campus.

An announcement about the system choice should come in January 2005, with students, faculty and staff established in the new system by the start of the Fall 2005 semester, Bible said.

“We want to be an efficient resource on campus and prepare for the next generation of electronic communications and planning,” he said.