Northern Virginia Community College

College-wide E-mail Study

This page provides information on NOVA's on going study of college-wide e-mail systems. The study is being conducted by a subcommittee of the Operations and Applications Technology Committeeas part of the College's General Technology Plan.

Report of the E-Mail/Internet Access Subcommittee of the OATC

November 14, 1996

TO:             Mr. Vincent Pizzurro, Chair
                Operations And Applications Technology                                  

FROM:           The E-Mail and ISP  Working Group:
                        Mr. Robert Bruce
                        Ms. Carmen Medina
                        Dr. Jose Montero
                        Dr. Steve Sachs
                        Ms. Jayne Townend
                        Dr. Dave Williams, Chair

SUBJECT:        Progress Report on OATC Committee Assignment

The working group submits for committee consideration its report on Internet access, e-
mail, and dial-in. The working group has met for the past five weeks by audio bridge as 
each member has shared information acquired through individual assignments which were 
made. Our report represents the compilation of these efforts. 

The  E-Mail report is presented in two parts: 

Desirable Features in College E-Mail Systems and a Listing of E-Mail Systems Which 
Were Under Initial Consideration (This portion of the committee report is posted on the 
college homepage and is attached to this document.)

*       NVCC E-Mail Selection Factors and E-Mail Packages Recommended for Review

Selection Factors:

*       Cost is a factor if the college provides access to all faculty, staff, and students.

*       The college should consider selecting an e-mail package which provides various 
levels of capabilities at different costs. The basic operating features of the different 
level packages retain the same basic operational features  (e.g. Eudora Light - 
Eudora Pro).

*       The package selected must operate under Windows 95.

*       The college should select a Astand alone@ e-mail package. An e-mail package 
which comes with a specific web browser should not be considered since browsers 
change frequently and offer different features. 

*       The package the college selects may not be the one with the most features.  

*       Package selection should not be contingent on a LAN based system. The package 
must allow ease of remote site access such as in POP 3 compliant systems.

E-Mail packages recommended for evaluation by the college:

*       Beyond Mail - recommended by computer publications as a result of testing and 
features provided.

*       Eudora Light - shareware currently in use in VCCS and NVCC.

*       Eudora Pro - recommended by computer publications as a result of testing and 
features provided.

*       Pegasus Mail - shareware currently in use in VCCS and elsewhere.

*       Pronto Mail - recommended by computer publications as a result of testing and 
features provided.

The working group recommends that the process for evaluating E-Mail packages occurs 
in the following manner:

*       The OATC working group membership requires expansion.

*       Volunteers are needed to test the indicated packages.

*       The working group needs to establish criteria for package evaluation

*       Evaluation copies must be obtained.

The working group needs to establish  a time frame for the test and to formulate a 
recommendation to the OATC.

Internet Access

The committee agreed that Internet access should be universal for faculty, staff and 
students at no cost on campus.  Dial-up access needs to be available, but there 
are additional considerations that must be considered: 

*       Who will pay for what level service?

*       Will the dial-up capability be provided free or at a cost?

*       Static vs. Dynamic Addressing

*       A significant investment of NVCC administrative support staff will be required if 
an external ISP is not selected.

The working group has not been able within the time frame established to adequately 
address this important issue. The working group must be expanded in order that technical 
input and purchasing and policy expectations be incorporated. The current members of the 
working group have stated a willingness to continue working with others who may be 
appointed to this expanded group and to address the internet related issues.

Desirable Features in a College-wide E-mail System

Global access
ability to check e-mail anytime and anywhere
Maximum quantity and quality of functions
Ability to send attachments for document sharing
Calendar and scheduling capability
File/record capability
word processor interface for document sharing
College record access
students as well as faculty can access needed information
Directory services for user IDs
electronic white pages
Security of data
to provide specific document security through encryption or other means
Collaboration software
to sequence e-mail and more effectively organize its management and use, set up sub-folders. Helpful for task force/subcommittee work.
Graphic interface
Other considerations which will drive the decision on which system to choose
cost to obtain, cost to administer, hardware and associated equipment costs,
technical support (how personnel intensive)
User-friendly, requires little training
SMTP and POP-3 compliant
Free or low-cost
Automatic formatting
Filtering capability

E-mail Systems Under Consideration

INTERNET WORLD MAGAZINE (December 1996) has a comparison of 12 e-mail packages

PC MAGAZINE (October 18, 1996) also has a comparison of e-mail packages.

NOVA Office of Instructional & Information Technology

This page maintained by Steven G. Sachs, Vice President, Instructional & Information Technology

Last update: 7/1/02