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A common email and calendar platform is in the works for Penn.

Credit: Picasa 2.7 , Courtesy of Kevin Galens/Creative Commons

Penn is a very decentralized institution — but the different parts of the University will soon be integrated online as the gaps between them are “buttoned up.”

Penn Information Systems and Computing, which develops IT solutions for Penn’s 12 schools and numerous centers, is currently leading an effort to bring a common email and calendar platform for the entire University. Known as Project ButtonUP, this University-wide effort is a collaboration of more than 50 Penn employees.

“Project ButtonUP is addressing the long-standing desire for a single, opt-in service available to all schools and centers providing email and calendar,” an ISC spokesperson said. “This service will allow for greater school and center collaboration while reducing complexity and costs for the University.”

At last month’s Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting, Tom Murphy, Vice President for Information Technology and the University’s Chief Information Officer, and Joshua Beeman, Executive Director of Information Security, gave an update on IT at Penn. The two discussed, among other topics, how a common email and calendar platform is expected to launch by the summer.

While it will provide an overarching platform for any school or center that wishes to join, Project ButtonUP will emphasize “high-level engagement at the school and center level,” the ISC spokesperson said. This will help ISC ensure that the platform is meeting the needs of those involved and encourage the University’s schools and centers to participate.

“We are currently in vendor negotiations to get the best deal for Penn and are working with the Project ButtonUP team and school/center IT leadership to explore solutions,” the spokesperson said.

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