most users, email is their most used application. The
selection/change of an email package is a substantial task, both in
terms of choosing the package and the subsequent implementation.
An Email system includes much more than just the software package on
a desktop computer.
It includes standards for document exchange, security, mail groups
and needs to access shared services such as files and printers.
Desktop email packages are highly dependent on the capabilities
provided by an email server and the choice of the server can
radically change the functionality of the desktop package.
Many campus email systems are centrally managed, and have usually
evolved around selecting a standard client package that services
faculty, staff, administration and students. However, the needs of
these groups are often different and some departments or faculties
choose to go in their own direction for both the client and server
Departments may also have different levels of expertise and
investment in their email and scheduling systems and any change also
needs to consider this. For example, consider the following groups
of users where in each case, the decision may need to be modified.
- Email provided centrally.
- Email provided by a simple, local
department mail server.
- Email provided by a proprietary
mail system which provides integrated directory, dial-in, fax and
The following is a survey to help to
make this decision.
The candidate e-mail clients differ in the way they satisfy
requirements. In this survey you will be asked to consider and weigh
their importance of each requirement. You must award a total of 180
points across all 18 requirements, an average of 10 points per
requirement. If you do not consider a requirement important for your
group you may award 0 points. Something that you consider absolutely
critical may be awarded up to 30 points.
1. Stability - must not crash or corrupt data on a
2. Campus directory listing - must be able to
import formatted directory listings such as LDIF into the address
3. Attachment editing without file/save - must be
able to edit attachments and then reply without having to specify a
local file system path - e.g. H:\My Documents\attachment1.doc.
4. Group address books - must be able to share
address book information between users.
5. Journal support - must be able to track e-mail
messages and cross reference with Microsoft Office work journal.
6. Support integrated scheduling - Must support
integrated scheduling with Corporate Time or a different group
7. Shared email folders - Must support multi-user
access to a single shared folder containing e-mail messages or more
using central or different e-mail server?
8. Day-timer and Palm Integration - Must have good
support for Palm OS devices (e.g. Off-line e-mail should be
available on the Palm).
9. Supported by Central Services - Must be
officially supported by the central services.
10. Minimal End User Training - The move to the new
client should require as little end user training as possible.
11. Minimal Cost - Must be as cheap as possible.
12. Alignment to Market Conditions - Must have good
3rd party vendor support and be positioned for future growth in the
13. Ease of data backup and recovery - Must be able
to back up and restore data without complications.
14. Application Load Time - Startup time must be
15. Background Mail Checking Compatible With Central System
- Must be compatible with Central Systems so that the user can be
notified of incoming messages without having to query the server
16. Properly supports paste addressee list into TO: field
from Excel - Must properly support copying and pasting
lists located in Excel into the TO: field of an e-mail message.
17. Quality of Signature Support - Must have very
good e-mail signature support.
18. Meeting of Accessibility Requirements - Must be
able to meet e-mail accessibility requirements.