Collaborate, Create, Communicate

To CGXchange.org users: change to your Google Apps account coming soon

As Google announced a few months ago, Google Apps users will have access to an expanded set of Google services. This means  Google Apps accounts will work more like regular Google Accounts (i.e. more tools will be available).

CGIAR staff have access to the  Google Apps platform at  cgxchange.org.

The transition will not change the set of tools available at cgxchange.org: current users will just have to go through a one-off process to validate the transition.

Here is how.

When is the transition planned for cgxchange.org accounts?

The date scheduled for the cgxchange.org transition is Tuesday, March 15, 2011.

What will happen when the transition is complete?

Starting March 15, 2011 when accounts are transitioned to the new infrastructure, CGXchange users:

  • Upon first sign-in:  will be required to agree to the Google Policy notice. This in essence, specifies that all data in a ‘cgxchange.org’ Google Apps account, continues to be owned by the CGIAR. This is correct and users should click on “I accept”
  • After the first sign-in:
    • cgxchange.org users will not see any major changes. Everything will look the same and users can continue working on the tools as usual. We will be informing CGIAR users on the CGXchange home page to look out for any new changes.

Will I have problems?

The CGXchange team has been testing what happens when the accounts are transitioned to understand the potential issues and be prepared to support users during this period. So far, we have not seen any major issues with the transitioned accounts.

What does this transition mean for CGXchange.org users?

Today, users with a cgxchange.org account can access Google Docs, Sites, Groups, Calendar and Video, the core communication and collaboration business tools in the Google Apps suite. This set of tools will remain available and functional after the transition.

With the transition, over 50 Google  services and applications become potentially available to Google Apps users, if enabled by the Google Apps administrators. Selected additional applications may then be released on cgxchange.org.

Which of these additional tools will be enabled on cgxchange.org?

The CGXchange team wants to be cautious with this transition and will not release any additional Google products starting March 15, 2011. Any additional tool we would enable on our Google Apps domain is not covered by the Google Apps Service Level Agreement (SLA). This means that if our users have any problems with the tools enabled, we do not have anyone to call at Google (at least for now)! In addition, we are not in a position to predict how much additional support we should provide.

Why transition then?

The Google Apps accounts transition is not optional. Google will automatically transition all their Google Apps customers worldwide at the end of the first half of 2011.  On the contrary, enabling additional tools on the Google Apps domain is optional.

What will happen after the transition?

We are planning to undertake an internal consultation with CGXchange users: before enabling any additional tool, we need to understand better our users’ preferences, collaboration needs and be ready to provide the support that our users would need.

Look out for more transition updates on the CGXchange home page: http://www.cgxchange.org