Why Georgetown Went Google

DRIVING SCHOOL: Lisa Davis, VP and Chief Information Officer of Georgetown University (and previously CIO of the U.S. Marshals Service) is again singing praises for Google after having transitioned the school's 20,000 students, staff and faculty to Google Apps three years ago. One big reason--the school saves $120K each year on software licenses. Beginning with email and calendar, all Hoyas now use Google services like Drive, Docs and Hangout for classes, clubs and other campus activities.

Key to completing the transition in a mere 90 days, Davis told EdSurge, was extensive "stakeholder change engagement, good project governance, and communications." While students are more accustomed to trying new technology platforms, "the more difficult change management was bringing along the full spectrum of faculty--tenured and young--who don't understand technology the same way." Every department faculty was trained thoroughly on how to migrate existing data and make use of Google's services. "It also standardized and simplified our IT architecture," Davis added.

Google now claims "more than 40 million students and teachers worldwide actively use Google Apps." A Google representative says the company does not have numbers of higher-ed institutions using Google Apps, but notes that 5,000 organization customers sign up for Google Apps for Work everyday. 

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