Eastern Michigan University

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Google Apps for Education?

Google Apps is a web-based suite of productivity tools used for communication and collaboration. It brings together email, calendars, contacts and groups, as well as functions such as word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, and file storage.

Why are faculty, instructors and staff moving to Google Mail?

As you may recall, the university began transitioning accounts from Zimbra (EagleMail) to Google Mail in 2014. The first phase included all student accounts and provided faculty and other instructional staff with the choice to opt-in.  Over 27,000 students, faculty, and staff are already using Google Mail.

Our current Zimbra (EagleMail) solution is hosted by Merit Networks.  In 2015, Merit announced that they will discontinue Zimbra hosting services by July 1, 2017.  Upon receiving this notice, I.T. began planning to complete the university’s transition from EagleMail to Google Apps for Education during 2016. Completing the transition to Google Apps by the end of 2016 will allow the university to apply any cost savings to our annual software expenses.

What are my responsibilities during the transition?

During the transition to Google Apps, I.T. will copy your EagleMail messages and folders to Google Mail. You are responsible for exporting your EagleMail calendar, contacts, and briefcase and importing them into Google Apps. See the Going Google! Transition Guide for complete information and instructions.

What do I need to do to prepare my EagleMail account for the transition?

The Transition Checklist will guide you in preparing your EagleMail account for the transition.

What type of support will be available to me during the transition to Google Mail?

Transition support is available through the I.T. Help Desk. 

Does Google use “data mining” to analyze the content of my email messages or documents?

Unlike personal Google accounts, Google does not perform data mining on any educational (.edu) account. Should the terms of this agreement change, the university will be notified. Visit https://www.google.com/edu/trust/ to learn more.

Will my email address change?

No. Your NetID (formerly known as My.Emich username) and email address will remain the same.  Email aliases ([email protected]) will also be retained for those faculty/staff who have them.

How will the transition from EagleMail to Google Mail occur?

Your transition to Google Mail will occur in two steps:

  1. On your scheduled transition date, new email messages will be delivered to your Google Mail account.
  2. Existing EagleMail messages will be retained in Zimbra and copied to Google Mail at a rate of 1 message per second. The contents of your Zimbra Sent folder will be copied to Google Mail first. 
    • I.T. anticipates that mailboxes smaller than 8GB will be copied to Google Mail within 1 business day once the account begins the copy process.  (70% of all mailboxes fit this criteria)
    • Mailboxes larger than 8GB will take additional time (days or weeks) to copy depending on the number of messages.  (30% of all mailboxes fit this criteria)
    • Instructions for determining the size of your current mailbox are included in the Going Google! Transition Guide on the Reduce Account Size page.
Will I have access to email during the transition?

Yes. The transition is performed “live”, allowing you to access Zimbra and Google Mail during the transition.

Will all my email messages migrate to Google Mail?

Google adheres to the industry standard of 25MB per email message and attachments.

  • Messages ≤ 25MB will be copied to Google Mail, including the attachments
  • Messages > 25MB will be copied to Google Mail but the attachments will not
  • Messages in the Drafts, Junk, and Trash folders will not be copied
  • Executable files (.exe, .jar, etc.) will not be copied, regardless of size
How do I identify messages larger than > 25MB and save the attachments?

Review the Download File Attachments section of the Transition Guide for complete instructions.

What will happen to my email folders?

Google Apps uses labels and sub-labels to organize email rather than folders. Visually, however, the structure of your email will appear the same.

During the transition:

  • Zimbra folder names longer than 255 characters will be truncated
  • Google Apps label names will be derived from your folder hierarchy as shown below

Zimbra Folder Hierarchy




Google Label


How will I know when all my EagleMail messages have been copied to my Google Mail account?

You will receive an email notification once all EagleMail messages have been copied to Google Mail.

Will my Zimbra calendar, Address Book contacts and Briefcase be copied to Google Apps at the same time as my email?

No.  All faculty, staff and instructional personnel are responsible for exporting their Zimbra calendar and contacts, and importing them into Google Apps. Some limitations exist; see the Limitations page for complete details.

  • Review the Zimbra Exports page for instructions on exporting your Zimbra calendar, contacts and briefcase. Calendar exports include all recurring and/or future events.
  • Review the Calendar Import page for instructions on importing your Zimbra calendar (in its entirety) into Google Calendar.
  • Review the Contacts Import page for instructions on importing your Zimbra contact file (in its entirety) into Google Contacts. 
  • Review the Briefcase Import page for instructions on importing your Zimbra briefcase into Google Drive.
What happens to documents in a shared briefcase?

By design, a shared briefcase houses documents that are “owned” (uploaded) by several different individuals. Because of this, shared briefcases will not be exported in their entirety; rather, only the files that you “own” will be included in your export file.

Can I use my mobile device with my Google Mail?

Yes. Instructions for setting up your mobile device can be viewed at:


Where can I find additional information about the transition?

Additional information regarding the transition is available in the Going Google! Transition Guide.

Where can I learn more about the products included with Google Apps for Education?