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  Email selection questionnaire. Systems
Email Selection QuestionnaireFor 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 packages.

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 other services.

The following is a survey to help to make this decision.

Survey

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 regular basis.

2. Campus directory listing - must be able to import formatted directory listings such as LDIF into the address book.

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 scheduling package.

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 marketplace.

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 very quick.

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 manually.

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.

 
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