FAQs

 

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General Transition

Q:Why are we transitioning to Google’s Gmail?
A: In the opinion of the Archdiocese Communications Division, our current provider has not shown any indication that they are putting substantial resources into this technology.  In fact, the Communication Division hasn’t seen evidence that they are putting substantial resources into their existing platform. This has us concerned about the future while we recognize more efficient solutions are available in the present.

Gmail (and the other offerings in Google’s “G Suite”) will provide a newer, feature-rich solution that many of us are already using both personally and professionally.  This transition in email software will allow the archdiocese to communicate with greater efficiency through newer technology with lesser financial commitments.

Q: When are we transitioning to Gmail?

A: On July 11, 2017 all users will officially use Gmail to send and receive email. Some users will have been “phased in” to Gmail before this date. A complete transition timeline can be found here.

Q: How long will it take to move my FirstClass files to Gmail?

A: The length of time will depend on how many files/emails you bring over.  Archiving old files and deleting unnecessary mail will greatly reduce the time. See How to archive/delete email from FirstClass.

Q: How will I access my email?

A: You will go to www.GMail.com once you have received notice from archdiocesan staff that your email has transitioned.  Training will be provided throughout the archdiocese in April and May of 2017. A complete transition timeline can be found here.

Q: What if we are ready to move now?

A: If you feel that for any number of reasons, your site’s staff can quickly make the transition from FirstClass to Gmail, please contact Jeremy Jones at dbqcit2@dbqarch.org.

Q: Will there be training for the new Gmail email solution?

A: Yes, a group of archdiocesan trainers will travel to six or seven locations throughout the archdiocese in April and May of 2017. Trainings will be led by Jeremy Jones, the IT Administrator of Email, Software and Websites at the archdiocese. The training sessions will be all day with breakfast, lunch and snacks provided.  To signup for training click here.

Q: What steps should I take before the training?
A: Deleting and archiving the appropriate files will make for a smoother transition. Although users retain access to files in FirstClass through July of 2018, now is an appropriate time to delete unnecessary files and archive necessary files out of FirstClass and into a more appropriate storage solution. Our IT staff have provided online instructions for accomplishing both these tasks.

Security & Privacy

Q: Is the Google Cloud secure? Will our data/information be seen by Google?
A: Google meets or exceeds all industry security standards:
Network:
Google deploys systems for monitoring internal and external network traffic, employee action and outside vulnerabilities. All traffic within google’s network is encrypted from end to end.
Physical:
Google data centers feature a layered security model with safeguards such as electronic access cards, alarms, vehicle access barriers, perimeter fencing, metal detectors, and biometrics, and the data center floor features laser beam intrusion detection. Data centers are monitored 24/7.
Application:
Unlike Google’s Consumer products, Google for Nonprofits does not scan our data for advertising purposes. Data that is stored in Google for Nonprofits belongs to the user, not Google.
User:
In any network the weakest point is the user. Google provides tools for users to keep their accounts safe, such as 2-step verification, Security Key, Single sign-on (SAML 2.0),OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect. Additionally, the Archdiocese runs a monthly password audit report. This audit alerts the IT team to accounts that may be using weak passwords. We will send emails to those who were flagged in the report requesting that they update their password.
Q: What about advertising and the privacy of our user data?

A: Contrary to personal Gmail accounts, Google for Nonprofits users will not experience ads in G Suite Services or the Google Cloud Platform. Google has no plans to change this in the future. Google does not scan the email content of its Nonprofit customers for advertising purposes nor do they collect or use data in G Suite services for advertising purposes.

Email Address

Q: Will we have new email addresses that end with @gmail?
A:No. Our @dbqarch.org email addresses will remain and will continue to be managed by the archdiocesan information technology staff.
Q: What about the old @arch.k12.pvt.ia.us email addresses? Sometimes I still use mine.
A: We will phase out this email suffix by July 2017.  The vast majority of our SPAM email is due to these old @arch.k12.pvt.ia.us addresses.
It’s important to note that some people might still have this old email address listed as your contact information instead of the newer @dbqarch.org.  If you think this is possible, please send a message to those who may have this old address and inform them that it should be changed to @dbqarch.org.
The archdiocesan IT office will help by creating an auto-reply message to all @arch.pvt.k12.ia.us emails informing the sender that the new email address of the intended recipient has changed to @dbqarch.org.

GSuite Product Line

Q: What if I already have a Google account?
A: Great! You have a head start on how to use gmail for the Archdiocese. There will be training on how to properly alternate between your personal account and your Archdiocesan account. While the formats are similar, it will be important to distinguish between your personal information and work information because of increased privacy and security.
Q: I know Google has products that don’t apply to this email transition but function similarly to Microsoft Office products. Are all users supposed to use these Google applications instead of Microsoft Office?
A: No. There is no formal directive from the archdiocese about what software a site should use.  We suspect that users will appreciate the ability to share some online Google documents with others instead of saving, attaching and opening via an email.  As users become more familiar and comfortable in time, some sites might recognize that certain positions can make do with Google’s free word processing, spreadsheet, online video chat and presentation software.  Some positions will always need the more-robust Microsoft Office products. For example, most finance staff will need Microsoft Excel and will find that Google Sheets is not a suitable replacement. Staff who do not rely on Excel for complex formulas may find that Google Sheets is, in fact, suitable for their needs.

GSuite Vs Firstclass

Q: What will happen to FirstClass and how long will our accounts be available?
A: Users will stop using Firstclass to send and receive email by July 11, 2017. However FirstClass Software will be accessible until July of 2018.  This means that all the files, contacts, calendar events, etc. in FirstClass will remain accessible for the next 18 months.  We encourage users to begin to clean out their inboxes in late 2016 and early 2017. A combination of deleting and archiving the appropriate files will make for a smoother transition and follows industry best-practices.
Q: What happens to the Conferences section of FirstClass where important files are stored?
A: Conferences will become Google Groups. Access will no longer be limited to those with archdiocesan email addresses.  Parish/school council and committee members can access necessary files.  More information will be available in the near future.
Q: Is there an alternative to the FirstClass Calendar?
A: Yes. Google Calendar will be introduced as part of the Gmail transition to ensure that primary functions available through FirstClass are also available through GSuite accounts.

Financial Commitment

Q: How much is this costing the archdiocese?
A: We enjoy a Google for Nonprofits account. This means we receive products and features at no cost while for-profit companies must pay for them. Users will also receive benefits, like more storage space, at a fraction of the cost to the archdiocese.

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