Monday, 01 February 2016 15:08

New IT self-service portal launches

PortalScreenshot
UAB IT has launched a new self-service portal that allows customers to search a service catalog and order services; search for knowledge articles; and report problems with services.

The self-service portal is located at askit.uab.edu and can also be accessed from the green “Need help? AskIT” button on the upper righthand side of any page of the UAB IT web site

The portal replaces the old AskIT page, the A to Z list of IT solutions and the FAQs.

In the new portal, IT service listings can be accessed through the service catalog (searchable by category or constituent group and through an A to Z list), and the FAQs are located within an expanded knowledge base that also has new articles about a variety of software and hardware items.

Users need to log in with a BlazerID and password to access the service catalog and knowledge base and to report problems with services. Users will be able to check the status of their requests and problem tickets within the new portal.

As UAB IT transitions to the new service portal, tickets that had been previously entered in the old system will be moved to the new system. Users may receive emails as those tickets are transitioned. UAB IT hopes to have all old tickets transitioned by Feb. 8.

The interface is intuitive, but a list of frequently asked questions can be found here in the new portal (BlazerID login required). The new self-service site is a work in progress, and enhancements and changes are anticipated post go-live.
DoorsOpenTechConnect opened its doors at the Hill Student Center Wednesday, Jan. 20.Anthony TechConnectTechConnect manager Anthony Truss, center, talks with students at the grand opening of the store.
TechConnect, a new space at the Hill Student Center where students, faculty and staff can connect with UAB IT staff, held its grand opening Wednesday.

The new tech store gives UAB students, faculty and staff a chance to try out computers, tablets and other devices from vendors Apple, Dell, CDW-G and Microsoft, as well as get advice from UAB IT experts. Vendors are also planning on-site visits to demonstrate new technology.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to make personal technology purchases through the TechConnect web site, where they have access to special UAB pricing and discounts on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, gaming systems and other accessories sold by UAB IT's vendor partners.

In coming weeks, TechConnect will add repair services for personal devices. 

Through Jan. 29, UAB students, faculty and staff who visit TechConnect can register to win a new Surface Pro 3, provided by CDW-G, and a Dell Inspiron 11 Series 3000, provided by Dell.

TechConnect is located on the first floor of the Hill Student Center, next to Simply to Go and near the dining area. TechConnect is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
TechConnect
TechConnect, a new space in the Hill Student Center that opens Jan. 20, will give the campus community a chance to connect with UAB IT staff and get help with their personal computers and get answers about software and services. TechConnect Logo

IT experts will staff TechConnect daily to give guidance to UAB students and employees about their personal computers and about services that UAB IT offers.

Students will also be able to order software and hardware through TechConnect, receiving discounts from CDW, Dell, Microsoft and Apple. 

In the future, TechConnect staff will be able to repair students’ personal computers on site.
AskIT will have special holiday hours over the next two weeks.

All operations — including the walk-up help desk and phone support — will be closed Friday, Dec. 25, and Friday, Jan. 1.

Walk-up support at Sterne Library will be also closed Dec. 26 and 27.

Walk-up support will be available at Sterne Library from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-31 but will close early on Dec. 24 and on Dec. 31 at noon.

Phone support will remain available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and from 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays, as well as 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 21-24 and Dec. 28-31.
UAB IT will be rolling out Internet Explorer 11 to its Desktop-supported customers beginning Wednesday. Microsoft will no longer be supporting earlier versions of IE beginning in January, making those earlier versions of the browser a security risk.

IE11 works for all of UAB’s enterprise systems except for IRAP, the Integrated Research Administration Portal. IRAP users can visit uab.edu/IRAP to see how best to access the system.
The AskIT Help Desk will have special hours over the Thanksgiving holiday week, Nov. 21-28, 2015.

Walk-up help desk

AskIT's walk-up help desk in Sterne Library will be closed Saturday, Nov. 21, and Sunday, Nov. 22. The walk-up help desk will be open regular hours Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 23-24, and will close at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

The AskIT help desk in Sterne Library will be closed Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26-28.

Phone support

AskIT's phone support will be available regular hours every day except Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27, when the phone support office will be closed along with the university.
UAB IT has debuted a cloud storage service for campus faculty and staff. OneDrive

Each UAB faculty and staff member can now sign up for a Microsoft OneDrive account, which provides 1TB of cloud storage and allow file sharing. Individual file size limits are 2GB. Microsoft plans to add unlimited storage and increase file size limits to 10GB in early 2016.

Faculty and staff can also use the Microsoft Office programs including Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the cloud, as well as download those programs to their computers. The Office products are primarily made available for installation on the user’s personal/home system, and faculty/staff should consult with their department or school's IT support before installing any Office 365 products on their UAB system. Office products for installation on UAB systems should be downloaded from UAB IT’s software library.

Photos, videos, spreadsheets and other work documents can be stored in OneDrive accounts, and users can also create, edit and share Microsoft documents within their accounts. Users can access files on any device, including PCs, Macs, tablets and mobile phones.

UAB does not permit storage of sensitive data in the cloud. For guidance, refer to:

Microsoft Office 2016 for PCs is now available for download for faculty and staff.

Office 2016 is available from the UAB IT software site.

Office 2016 has new versions of applications including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. The Office 2016 apps are designed for collaboration, with new features that remove barriers for team success and allow co-authoring and Skype in-app integration.

Quick Start Guides for Office 2016 are available here.

Office 2016 is also available for Mac users and is available for UAB students through Office 365.
Microsoft Office 2016 for PCs will be available for download for faculty and staff in early October.

Office 2016 will be available for download from the UAB IT software site, after Microsoft releases it to volume licensing customers.

Office 2016 has new versions of applications including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. The Office 2016 apps are designed for collaboration, with new features that remove barriers for team success and allow co-authoring and Skype in-app integration.

Quick Start Guides for Office 2016 are available here.

Office 2016 is already available for Mac users and is available for UAB students through Office 365.

Monday, 28 September 2015 19:22

Oracle working to address slowness in IE11

A known bug in Oracle systems is causing slowness when using Java 8 update 60 and Internet Explorer 11.

UAB IT has researched the issue and found that Oracle is working to address the known problem. If you are experiencing slowness in the Oracle applications which use Java 8 update 60 in Internet Explorer, there are a few workarounds.

To alleviate the slowness with IE11 and Java 8 update 60, you have the following options:

  • Wait until Oracle patch comes out and is tested and applied to UAB systems (will be after year end)
  • Uninstall Java 8u60 and install a previous secure version of Java (8u51)
  • Use Firefox with the current version of Java
UAB IT's normal recommendation is to use Internet Explorer and the latest version of Java. UAB IT update users once Oracle has resolved the slowness issue and systems have been updated.