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Communications Education

Choosing a Replacement Email System For a University? 485

SmarkWoW writes "The university I attend is currently looking to change the way in which is provides its students with an email service. In the past they used a legacy mail system which can no longer fit their needs. A committee has narrowed the possibilities down to three vendors: Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Representatives from these three vendors will be coming to our college and giving a presentation on the advantages of their systems. We're looking at other services these companies provide such as calendaring and integration with existing software that our university runs. What questions would Slashdot readers ask during these Q&A sessions? Which of these three companies would you recommend? Why? What advantages would each have that college-level students would take advantage of? What other aspects should we consider when making our decision?"
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Choosing a Replacement Email System For a University?

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  • by Ron_Fitzgerald ( 1101005 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:28PM (#25333335)
    Are you from Microsoft? Yes? Well thank you for your time.
    • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @07:37PM (#25334131)
      Do you mind if we move the chairs out of the room before we start?
    • A committee has narrowed the possibilities down to three vendors: Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

      Three vendors? You must be new here; everyone else on this board only sees two! :D

  • Google: least harm

    microsoft: most lock-in

    Yahoo!: possible lock-in

    • by Gewalt ( 1200451 )

      Yahoo!: Possibly won't be available next semester.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Yahoo started offering perpetual licenses in response to the Zimbra scare. Zimbra is also open-source, but you have to pay for the Outlook, iCal, and Mobile connectors.

        It's easily one of the best collaboration packages with a few loose ends. Don't equate Zimbra with Yahoo just because Yahoo has lost its touch. I don't think Zimbra has lost its touch.

        • by nicolas.kassis ( 875270 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @07:06PM (#25333737)
          I fully agree, I think out of the choices, Zimbra has to most usable interface and some nifty tricks. With outlook and blackberry/activesync connectors this would fully replace Exchange. And if you hear about grumble (as I heard happened at my university when they picked sun's JES email system) about public folders and such, tell them to use Sharepoint instead. (not much better but you keep the crap features in crappy software ;0p)
          • by sortius_nod ( 1080919 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:04PM (#25334447) Homepage

            Oh god... not Sharepoint. Seriously the worst fucking system on the planet for it's intended purpose. I've seen a whole Sharepoint system rendered useless purely from some tool techie connecting with an updated version of Office. The entries become useless after that unless you upgrade the whole network to the latest version of MS Office.

            As for Zimbra, never used it, but it sounds like a nice system. I'd be going between that and Google (I already run a domain bar the web presence via Google docs).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by FictionPimp ( 712802 )

          You don't just have to pay, you have to pay a LOT. When we did our study we found that Exchange was cheaper then Zimbra when it came to those features.

          Then when we told the salesmen that if we selected their product we would just use the open source version, he told us their free product sucked. At that point we just ruled them out and decided to go with google. It's hard to say no to free.

    • I dont understand your rational..
      google least harm ? they take all the email off site and you cant control anything and they have downtime (everyone does but least its in your control...) : Blame it on google

      microsoft ? most lock in ? there are loads of tools to get data out of the exchange system live same problem as gmail : exchange is expensive

      yahoo : hosted there may be a lock in to standards... zimbra best solution out of these what stanford went with : again expensive for zimbra clients

    • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:46PM (#25334889) Homepage

      I am fond of Google-based solutions, but I think it bears noting that both Gmail and Google Docs are still tagged as "beta" by Google. I don't know if it's because they have impossibly high standard for a release, or because the "beta" flag indemnifies them, but at the end of the day, you'd still be hitching your star on something that the vendor has technically described as not completely ready for prime-time.

    • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @02:52AM (#25337219) Journal

      Google: least harm
      microsoft: most lock-in
      Yahoo!: possible lock-in

      Google least lock-in? No way - they'll own your calendars, your email accounts, your social networking, your website if you let them... Try shifting your online identity away from Google once you've been with them for a bit. I'm still waiting for the day someone loses their job because their Gmail account is suspended and the person has all their work stuff run through Google. I see some businesses trusting all their data to Google's external servers sometimes! And if the institution is considering Google, they need to ask serious questions about where its hosted, privacy and marketing, etc.

      Shifting from one solution to another will always be a substantial piece of work, but if you own the data, it's under your control, it's going to be more viable than a setup where you don't.

  • by pwnies ( 1034518 ) * <j@jjcm.org> on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:31PM (#25333369) Homepage Journal
    Verizon. I hear they do wonders when it comes to email security.
  • If Possible (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Make Sure the Calendar system also Verifies that there are no overlapping so that way a student can get a copy of their Class Schedule. Another thing that would be nice is to see what kind of programing APIs they offer for you to allow the Staff/Students to add links to things for specific classes like notes/MP3 recordings/Handouts, and allow them to future proof their systems.
  • We use ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by the real darkskye ( 723822 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:34PM (#25333403) Homepage

    We use a combination of Squirrelmail and some homebrew imap and smtp servers, which ultimately are going to be tied in to a Shibboleth SSO solution.

    Most of our systems are homebrew and rely on cron jobs to update the AD (or the mysql db with an AD dump .. i'm not sure which way round it goes these days)

    If you've always used out of the box software then outsourcing your services is probably the best idea, even if it would be more cost-effective to hire a couple of beardy unwashed hackers for a few months to put something together and keep one on for long term support.

  • Specific questions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moderatorrater ( 1095745 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:35PM (#25333407)
    Questions that are tailored to your specific needs. Things about ease of administration, scaling, storage space, etc. I don't see that there are any general questions to be asked that aren't painfully obvious. The questioner didn't even specify whether the software was running on their own servers or on Yagoosoft's servers (I'm guessing the latter, since I haven't heard of a yahoo on-site solution). In the end, only you know what's most important to the university and, therefore, the things you need to ask about.
  • by bluelip ( 123578 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:35PM (#25333413) Homepage Journal

    You may end up w/ an in-house system.

    Let your CS dept run it.

    • by larien ( 5608 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:56PM (#25333631) Homepage Journal
      Amen - if you go with something you can't get out of, you're limiting future choice. If you get something you can transfer into another system (even if it needs scripting to do so), you've got a stick to beat them with; "fix this or we'll move to another solution".
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by drpimp ( 900837 )
      My school did just that somewhat with our registration system. As well as our mail system was Exchange and grew too large, I am assuming disk space was the problem just maintaining. They dumped it for google mail. As far as the registration system, it got hammered at the beginning of every semester with 30K+ people registering. So they dumped it for some People Soft portal type system (????). While the UI is marginally better, I don't find it any more confusing than the home brew stuff, but it seemed to han
    • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @07:31PM (#25334063) Homepage

      Don't. The CS department is interested in education and research. They may come up with an innovative solution and write a few papers about it - then abandon it, leaving it with poor documentation, a bad interface, hundreds of bugs, and idiosyncratic and non-standard elements.

      IT is not CS. IT is a service.CS is a discipline. Asking the CS department to run the academic IT systems is like asking the English department to run the library. It's a non-starter.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...a legacy mail system which can no longer fit their needs.

    I can see where this is going already. Enjoy your Exchange server farm.

    Protip: Don't let your IT department work with anything sharp. That way they can't kill themselves.

    • Protip: Don't let your IT department work with anything sharp. That way they can't kill themselves.

      You know, any IT professional who needs sharp objects to commit suicide is sadly underqualified. "Down, Not Across" might be the ASR Mantra, but where's the fun in that? Oozing over a few things. Hell, if you've got super-sized UPSen and diesel back-up generators and a whole lot of cables and a leatherman I'm sure you can find more exciting ways to de-install both yourself and Exchange.

      Hell, if it came down to

  • what happens if... (Score:5, Informative)

    by johnjones ( 14274 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:36PM (#25333423) Homepage Journal

    Hi there

    first how do I backup the system ?
    ( what your really asking is if your software system fails and it will all systems fail (e.g. gmail outage for a day) how quickly can I recover?)

    we get attacked by a certain type of worm can I insert a rule into everyones policy to get rid of that ?
    (its been delivered the filters did not catch it I want to reach in and take it away)

    how do i get a log and bodies of the email sent out of the system for legal ?

    how do I control the sending policy ?
    (I dont want just anyone sending mail on behalf of my domain some people i want to restrict to only email inside the domain )

    how can I add all the address's before people arrive ?

    how does it work with mobiles ?

    there's a start


    john jones
    http://www.johnjones.me.uk [johnjones.me.uk]

    disclaimer : I work in groupware but for a different vender my blog reflects this

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Dear Mr. Jones:

      These e-mail services will all be provided to you on the cloud. You don't need to back up any data since it will be maintained on at least 2 commodity servers in different data centers. You won't be vulnerable to worms through our mail apps run only in your browser under javascript, and it's not complex enough to corrupt. You won't need a log, as no data will ever be purged, merely "deleted".

      The sending policy is simple... You log into the server and send your mail. You are a college kid, you

    • by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @07:00PM (#25333681) Homepage
      Agreed outside of saving the mail logs and bodies. This is a college, not a corporation. At mine, they preferred to log nothing to avoid getting pulled into legal disputes. AFAIK, it isn't required by law, so it's all headaches for no gain on their part.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Most state universities are bound by the data retention policies that the state government adheres to. Thus, many times, the mail logs and bodies are very much needed.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jconley ( 28741 )

        Agreed outside of saving the mail logs and bodies. This is a college, not a corporation. At mine, they preferred to log nothing to avoid getting pulled into legal disputes. AFAIK, it isn't required by law, so it's all headaches for no gain on their part.

        This argument won't hold water for long. 2 reasons:

        1. The university is most likely also a corporation (or even more likely a set of may corps). The set of rules the are subject to are WAY to broad (state, federal, union, blah blah blah) to be summarized into a single line document retention policy ("log nothing to avoid getting pulled into legal disputes")

        2. Choosing not to archive on an ongoing basis doesn't remove the need to have a "legal hold" when an organization learns about pending litigation. Being

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:37PM (#25333425)

    I work for a small-ish university in Canada and we run our own mail systems. With the proper software and expertise it's not that difficult to do.

    Is there some reason that you're looking at external vendors? Not enough staff? Not enough internal expertise with email? Cost? Something else?

    If you did decide to host it yourself, you could go the traditional route with a Unix-based mailserver, and something like Horde's IMP for Webmail. Or you could look at something like Zimbra, which has all your mail basics plus extra goodness like calendaring built-in.

    As for who I would go with from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft - as a former sysadmin I would avoid Microsoft. This isn't because I'm some kind of Unix bigot - it's because in my experience they tend to oversell the capabilities of their products ... the true limitations of which you discover after the deal has been signed.
    That may have just been the reps we had back in Ottawa, but YMMV.

    • Pfft. Until the hard drives in the RAID array corrupt in such a way that nothing is recoverable.
    • For centralizing email features in Universities you need groupware, do most student need this? not really. But the administration does. Students could care less about those futures since they have it in Blackboard/Moodle/WebCT/..... But administrators love their outlook and mobile push. Quite frankly if you need to run seperate systems one for the administration and one for the regular students then do so. Centralizing doesn't reduce complexity. Exchange gets harder to manage as the object count grows.
  • I've used Yahoo mail since pretty much day one since they have offered it. Needless to say, I get close to 50k spam messages a day. If my primary inbox (after sorting and spam filtering) gets over about 20k messages, the whole systems dies. I get error message after error message "An error has occurred. A technician will be notified.". Then maybe a day later I can actually log back into my mail and use it. But the problem comes back... and it has been this way for as long as I can remember.

    I also have mail
  • On Site (Score:5, Informative)

    by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:38PM (#25333441) Homepage

    If the university requires/forces students to use their .edu email account, then I feel that having the hardware and service on-site is a bare minimum. A lot of private information can _sometimes_ be required. So the organization requiring the use of the email account should be directly responsible as much as possible.

    On a side note have secure SMTP and IMAP is a big deal for me. I know Microsoft tends not to offer IMAP support for their new, Live (offsite) service. So Microsoft's Live Mail service has two big NO-NOs for me.

    • yes I have to agree legal and the ability to control your own world

  • by Freaky Spook ( 811861 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:40PM (#25333473)

    I would be be asking either of these rep's is what service integrates best with your existing student directory service(AD, OpenLDAP eDirectory etc), and how do they go about managing mass account creation, recipient policies, group membership.

    Its one thing to bring in a new mail service, but ongoing management and maintenance of users and mailboxes, it and how it interacts with other internal systems would be the most important thing to me from an administrative point of view.

    • by IronChef ( 164482 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:41PM (#25334861)

      This sounds so crazy. Mass account creation? Directory services?

      Back in MY day, if you wanted a school email account, you went to the lab underneath the library and tried to get the alpha geek's attention. If he found your manner pleasing, and if your papers were in order, you might get a VAX account.

      Or, he might turn you into a newt. You took your chances.

      It's kind of sad today, now that the magic is gone.

  • IMAP and SSL (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:43PM (#25333499)

    The most important : support both POPS and IMAPS, as well as SMTPS.

    There is no reason not supporting this in any system deployed in the 90's or later.

    A good webmail such as gmail (and not like outlook web access) is also worth considering.

  • by JSBiff ( 87824 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:44PM (#25333509) Journal

    I would be concerned about the privacy implications of using Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, or GMail for your student and faculty email. Now, granted, a lot of college students will be using one of those three for their personal email accounts *anyhow*, but for faculty in particular, and even some students, there could be some real downsides to using a third-party email provider.

    For example, I don't know what Uni you're from, but a lot of Universities have faculty and students who are involved in research which might be of a nature where it might not be good to have them sending emails through a third-party. For example, professors and/or students working on Defense dept, Energy department, or CIA/NSA research (although, it might be that in such a situation, they would be using a more secure email system run by the government agency they are collaborating with, instead of the University email, anyhow, so maybe that's not such a concern).

    Still, in general, I don't like the privacy implications of using Yahoo, Microsoft, or GMail for university email systems.

    You might ask the representatives what guarantees of privacy they are willing to make to the University and it's students, faculty, and staff. I think I would hold them to a higher standard than what the normal Yahoo, MSN, or Gmail privacy statements offer.

    • very true i would hope that yahoo is pushing zimbra and microsoft exchange for exactly these reasons !

    • Basically, you're saying you can't trust an outside email provider to respect your privacy. If that's true, who do you trust? Your organization's own IT department? That's foolish. If you've followed the news at all, you've seen a lot of news stories about in-house IT providers failing to support their user's privacy, either because of sloppy security practices or actual snooping by IT employees.

      Unless you maintain your own email server, you have to trust somebody not to look into your mailbox. If you have

  • For what it is worth (Score:2, Informative)

    by doit3d ( 936293 )

    I certainly hope you are not leaving the students out of the loop, for they are your customers after all. Let them know what is on the table and discuss it with them. Their input could be valuable in many unseen ways.

    The university I am attending here in the US is using gmail, but it is renamed and using a .edu address. I like it much better than other accounts I have had from other providers (Yahoo, MS, ect). It is much easier to filter/manipulate/read than the others, and also better at filtering spam. 99

  • The "problem" that seems to plague all email systems is that they wind up being used as a replacement for a non-existing network file system. Users share ten's to hundred's of copies of the same word file. (If you think hundred's is hyperbole, the administration at the community college broadcasts announcements and then the group admins re-broadcasts the same.) No one deletes email because they cannot save/retrieve files as they move from one computer to another. Before picking an email system, pick a n
  • Take a look at PostPath. Email is only one piece of the system as you are looking at your communication needs. Don't overlook the integration with other collaboration products. Needless to say, I think a system should have lots of openness but also many of the features that our new students are demanding. Think VoIP, Mobility, Video Mail, Blogging tools, Video conferencing, and online collaboration tools I guess similar to WebEX or others. Put this all in a comprehensive manageable system, that gives t
  • 99% Chance you should go with MS due to the integration requirement and familiarity people have with MS stuff. If you're dead set against being locked down to MS stuff though (often policy driven), it might not be doable unless you can get it in writing, on video, and with a pinky promise.

    Google probably has some fun cloudy online app ideas, but they probably violate all sorts of policies about access to data, storage of confidential data, etc.

    Yahoo? Is this like when you invite the ugly girl/boy to go wi

    • Gmail has awesome calendaring. It allows you to share calendars. Your events can be emailed to you to remind you of them. It fully integrates with the email system. Lastly you can invite other people to your events through the calendar. What more do you need?
  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:58PM (#25333655)

    You need a professional IT staff with real experience with LDAP and Novell Groupwise. If you are a big university, don't fuck around with Exchange. Universities have serious IT Needs and require elite administrators.

  • by karl.auerbach ( 157250 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @06:59PM (#25333663) Homepage

    I looked over a contract between Google and a large university and found it to be very dangerous to the intellectual property rights of the university and to the privacy rights of students, faculty, and staff.

    For example, because email is being disclosed to a third party, such as Google, it could affect the dates of disclosure (publication) of information and could, thus, cause a patent application to fail because of an excessive time lapse between publication and the application. It is necessary to bring the provider into the tent of protection so that patent rights are not harmed.

    And in these days of litigation, consider who will get subpoenas, the university or the provider, and who will get notice in time to go to court to contest the delivery of the materials.

    The terms in some of these contracts make the provider the copyright owner, or at least give a perpetual non-revocable license to the provider, even beyond the lifetime of the agreement. That can lead to some rather unhappy faculty who find that their publications, and their notes and discussions, have been licensed away, forever.

    Also consider whether the university can get the email back at the end of the contract. There is a good chance that it will not be able to do so.

    And consider whether you think it is a good idea for students, who tend to experiment with life's options, to begin to build a lifelong dossier that contains their university life emails.

    The number of issues of this type is huge and most university lawyers are either not equipped to comprehend them or don't care to do so.

    Most people I know who have deeply considered these things tend to find it a really bad idea to outsource university email without very, very strong contractual protections that think through the issues of now and the issues that might arise in the future, particularly when the university wants to terminate the agreement or move to another provider.

    • For example, because email is being disclosed to a third party, such as Google, it could affect the dates of disclosure (publication) of information and could, thus, cause a patent application to fail because of an excessive time lapse between publication and the application. It is necessary to bring the provider into the tent of protection so that patent rights are not harmed.

      Are there no telephone precedents for this?

  • by genericacct ( 692294 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @07:02PM (#25333701)
    If they don't give you a blank stare, you might have a viable vendor. It's like a tech vendor selling to a hospital needs to know what HIPAA is.
    • How interoperable is it with popular e-mail security mechanisms? (SMTP-over-SSL/TLS, SMIME, POP-over-SSL/TLS, senderkey mechanisms, and so on)
    • What is the uptime rating? (3N's? 5N's? They didn't look?)
    • Are there known performance, security or reliability issues? (Don't expect an honest answer, it's the uncomfortableness you should be concerned with. Also, check beforehand the better security websites for known issues and ask about any that aren't closed, if they deny any issues exist.)
    • Is the system highly
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @07:11PM (#25333791)
    Forget all that junk. Use the Blackboard http://www.blackboard.com/ [blackboard.com] system. I must warn you; it's a proprietary system.
  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @07:11PM (#25333803) Homepage

    Does your service support encrypted protocols?
    Does your service support a standards based access for sending and receiving email (IMAP, POP3, SMTP)?

    Hint: only GMail supports these two crucial features.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Microsoft solution is probably Live@Edu (http://get.liveatedu.com/Education/Connect/) which does do all those things.

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @07:13PM (#25333823) Homepage

    If you go with Google, make sure their proposal has phone support for administrative accounts. Their service is wonderful, their support wanks. And I'd stand on that. No support, no deal. Which ever one you go with, make sure you have an exit strategy in writing. How they're going to help you transition, including message migration, if the relationship sours. I expect Google to have a good option there, don't know about the other two.

    Half your students are probably already using Gmail anyway.

  • What browsers and operating systems are supported for webmail? Keep in mind that even if the university has a standard browser, people will be accessing their mail from elsewhere (home, conferences, etc.). Saying "Just use IE" is not acceptable.

    Is there a way to access mail using encrypted POP or IMAP. POP or IMAP is essential because college users are incredibly mobile. Constant connectivity cannot be assumed. On a related note, how do users check mail from cell phones?

    When users access mail from a br

  • Ask them how they could possibly think that changing words (as opposed to script tags) in emails was a good idea:

    http://news.cnet.com/2100-1023-944315.html [cnet.com]

    It's an old story, but it's the same company.

  • Will the client side work (well) on a variety of platforms?

    What are the back-end requirements? Do they lock you into a particular vendor, architecture, OS?

    Is there support for handheld devices? For a variety of operating systems? On cheap phones or only (expensive) smart phones?

    Support is important, but the relative need for support is also important. What have user's experiences been for these products?

  • Ask how well the products can interoperate with various 3rd party clients, including open source and different operating systems.

    At work I have nothing but trouble trying to reliably use our Exchange server with Linux for calendar support.
  • The joys of anonymous cowards. Hey, Can support means "with the right person and talent" not "If the idiot programmers did it right." More often than not it's the end-user that has to make workarounds for getting a product to do what they want it to do.

    And for the poor guy working for International Paper - boohoo. Go back East of the Mississippi where you belong. I left you idiots behind for a more reasonable and less corrupt state out West.

  • We went google (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FictionPimp ( 712802 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @07:57PM (#25334365) Homepage

    I work at a mid-sized community college. We are in the process of migrating our calendars, chat, and email to google (from iplanet/luminous). So far it is very promising and best of all basically free.

    Not to mention our servers no longer get hit with incoming spam and we do not need to maintain a antivirus server to scan incoming email. Going exchange was way overboard cost wise, and going with zimbra proved to be MORE costly then exchange (go figure). Our requirements were to be able to use outlook for people who want to, have a great web UI, be usable from pda's, iphones, and other smart devices, and integrate well with our current web portal. Google met all those goals with easy.

  • 25 questions (Score:3, Informative)

    by pz ( 113803 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @10:41PM (#25335757) Journal

    1. How well does your email system work with non-Windows operating systems?

    2. When a user is not running Windows, does he have access to full features?

    3. Does every user, independent of operating system, have the ability to search his mail?

    4. Does every user, independent of operating system, have the ability to download his mail in a seamless fashion without having to call IT for instructions?

    5. What are the names and contact information of 5 of your best installations?

    6. What are the names and contact information of 5 of your worst installations?

    7. Why should we hire you?

    8. Why should we hire your competitor?

    9. When your system has failed in the past, what is your mean time to restoration of operation?

    10. What is your worst time to restoration of operation?

    11. What is your mean delivery time?

    12. What is your mean delivery rate? If it is not above 99.99999% (seven 9s) provide details of the failures, and the protocols you have in place to track and correct them.

    13. What is your archival plan?

    14. What is your plan for retiring accounts?

    15. What is your disaster recovery plan?

    16. What is your tech support plan for our IT department?

    17. What is your tech support plan for our users?

    18. What is your training support plan for our admins?

    19. How healthy is your company? Can we expect you to be in business for 5 years? 10? 20?

    20. What happens to our data if you fail before our contract is up?

    21. What happens to our data after our contract is up and you're still in business?

    22. How recently has your system been broken in to? How long did it take you to detect it? And to respond? Is that typical of break-ins to your system?

    23. What privacy and security controls to you have in place?

    24. What would you do, or have you done, when faced with a subpoena for data on your users, who will be our students, faculty, and administrators?

    25. What authority will you give or not give to our faculty and administrators over student data?

    And that's just off the top of my head. Be sure to get the answers in writing.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik