A simple technology change provided by UAB IT’s telecommunications unit helped the office better serve potential donors — and helped UAB’s Annual Fund collect more philanthropic gifts to support schools, departments and libraries across campus.
Initially, the Office of Annual Giving asked UAB IT to change its unlisted number projected on caller ID to a live number that would direct back to the office, said Randy Kinder, senior director of Annual Giving for UAB. In just one day, UAB IT fulfilled the request.
“Be careful what you ask for,” Kinder said.
The result of the change was positive — but had the Annual Giving staff, who typically fielded two to three calls a week, trying to keep up with a much greater volume of returned calls from potential donors.
“The result was approximately 50 calls per day to Annual Giving regarding a missed call from our department,” Kinder said. “Most folks just wanted to know who we are and why we were calling, but several also made philanthropic gifts to the university during the return calls.”
In fact, the volume of calls prompted another request to UAB IT.
“We needed these calls to be directed to a different number, with a custom voicemail, and for the voicemails to be sent to an email account,” Kinder said. “This way, we could manage returned calls without drastically impacting our resources.”
That request was also fulfilled quickly, allowing Annual Giving and student phonathon staff to focus on seeking gifts for the Annual Fund, which provides funding for scholarships, programs, out-of-classroom learning, curriculum enhancements and more.
“This has been a monumental addition to our operations, which has allowed us to provide superior donor relations and transparency,” Kinder said.
To learn more about the Office of Annual Giving and the UAB Annual Fund, click here.
Each month, the chief information security officers for UA, UAB, UAB Medicine and UAHuntsville publish a monthly electronic newsletter to help users avoid IT errors.
Summer 2015 | Issue No. 8
March 2015 | Issue No. 6
February 2015 | Issue No. 5
January 2015 | Issue No. 4
December 2014 | Issue No. 3
November 2014 | Issue No. 2
October 2014 | Issue No. 1
Begun in 2014, the project has built a new fiber hub building inside the 16th Street parking desk and includes alternate network paths that will help provide greater network protection for the east side of campus.
"The end result is that we will be able to reduce risk and outage time" if there is a network problem, said Skip Peckham, director of telecommunications services for UAB IT. "We'll be able to provide redundancy for critical research and administration needs."
The first phase of the project involved building the structure to house cables in the 16th Street parking deck, with the next phases including installation of fiber cables beneath the streets surrounding the deck and other buildings on the east side of campus. In all, the project will have 19 phases, with nearly half of those phases completed or nearing completion.
UAB IT expects to wrap up the project by the end of 2015.
The SPARK initiative, which in two months has crowdsourced more than 70 technology ideas for UAB and attracted more than 1,700 votes, will help UAB IT respond to technology needs on campus.
In addition, UAB IT is seeking greater involvement from campus IT professionals in departments, schools and libraries across UAB. Campus IT employees have been invited to express interest in a set of task teams that will help advise UAB IT on the reThink Project, the campus network and active directory.
“Input and involvement from all areas of campus will help us to be more responsive to our customers and partners,” said Dr. Curt Carver, UAB chief information officer and vice president for information technology. “We want to build up the shared governance structure so that people feel empowered to participate.”
Ultimately, the goal is to build a world-class IT organization that drives innovation for UAB, Carver said.
UAB IT has new recommendations for antivirus software for both home use by faculty, staff and students and for campus users.
Microsoft Forefront is no longer supported by Microsoft, which means there will be no new updates to guard against new viruses.
UAB IT recommends that faculty, staff and students use Microsoft Security Essentials on their home machines that have Windows 7 and Vista. Machines using Windows 8 or higher have Windows Defender built in.
Mac users should continue to use Sophos anti-virus, which faculty, staff and students can download for free through UAB IT.
Learn more about antivirus software here.
While Windows 10 will add many new features, Windows 10 does not work with many applications at UAB. Most software developers have not released compatibility updates or new versions of their software for Windows 10, and many software incompatibilities are expected.
Because of these issues, UAB IT recommends that Windows 10 not be installed at this time. If Windows 10 is required and is used on a touch-enabled device, UAB IT recommends you use Windows 8 "classic view."
- UAB IT will offer only limited support for Windows 10.
- New systems that are ordered from Dell may included Windows 10 by default in the near future, but departments/schools should consider re-imaging those decices using an approved Windows 7 image prior to deployment.
- Upgrade support for special business cases and exceptions will be evaluated as needed.
- Windows 7 should remain the primary operating system on university-owned computers until the issues with Windows 10 are resolved.
- We foresee retiring Windows 7 within three years and moving to Windows 10 as the primary operating system on university-owned computers.
Results of our compatibility review of Windows 10 and UAB IT services.
|Service||Compatible with UAB IT services?||Notes|
|Adobe Creative Suite||No||All Adobe Creative Suite products are not currently compatible with Windows 10. During installation, the applications stalls and must be ended manually.|
|Internet Explorer 11||Yes||Internet Explorer (IE) 11 is one of two browsers available on Windows 10. The other is the new Edge browser.|
|Microsoft Office 2013||Yes||No published issues.|
|Banner||No||Possible use of IE 11 in enterprise mode — no guidance from Banner or Microsoft.|
|Oracle||No||On Microsoft compatibility list. This does not include any UAB applications in the Oracle system.|
|Software Center (SCCM)||No||Software Center and other software management tools do not successfully install on Windows 10. (They will be available on the next update from Microsoft.)|
UAB IT will continue to test the subsequent releases of Windows 10 with the various services and most frequently used software titles. Once we have confirmed that Windows 10 is compatible with most, if not all, services and software that the product is ready for mainstream distribution, this section will be updated with information on how to obtain the new operating system.
If your school or department IT professionals are interested and available to participate in any evaluation and testing related to Windows 10, please contact Sterling Griffin.
Anticipated hardware requirements
Recommended minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10:
- Processor: 1.5 Ghz (gigahertz) dual core or better
- RAM: 8 GB (gigabytes) or more
- Free hard disk space: 30 GB or more
- Graphics card: Microsoft Direct X 9 graphics deveice with WDDM driver or better
After July 28, users of Adobe FormsCentral will no longer be able to create new forms or collect responses using FormsCentral. Adobe recommends that users immediately export responses to a file type of your choice — and convert your FormsCentral forms to PDFs, if desired. You will NOT be able to do so once FormsCentral expires.
Adobe Acrobat can be used to collect form data automatically and compile it in a table format. Data can be exported to a spreadsheet for further analysis or to create charts for summary reports.
Adobe Acrobat is offered through UAB IT. Learn more here.
To learn more about the retirement of Adobe FormsCentral, please read the Forms Central FAQ or Adobe Forums.
The update fixes a vulnerability in Windows that could allow an attacker to execute code on a system if they can convince the user to open a specially crafted document, or have them visit an untrusted webpage that contains embedded OpenType fonts.
The update, which requires a system reboot, was released to all UAB IT Desktop-supported machines at 4 p.m. Monday. Users have 72 hours to let the patch install and reboot the system. Users should get a notification bubble pop up at the system tray. After 72 hours, if a user has not allowed the patch to install, it will install automatically and the system will be forced to reboot.
UAB IT urges users to find an opportune time to let the patch install and allow the reboot occur to help protect UAB systems and information.
The UAB Dropbox will now accept single file uploads as large as 4 Gb, doubling the previous size allowed.
Ed Harris, assistant director of systems and server support for UAB IT, said he was inspired to increase the limit by a comment on SPARK from Dan Willson, senior systems analyst for the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
The easy fix is the kind of win for UAB that Curtis A. Carver Jr., vice president for information technology, was hoping for with the new SPARK site — along with bold new ideas in technology.
“We invite everyone in the UAB community to share your ideas with us,” he said. “We’re looking for at least 100 technology-related wins for UAB, and those ideas can be small or large.”
Dropbox allows campus users to share documents that are larger than the size limit allowed by campus e-mail.
The UAB Dropbox averages about 10,000 uses per year, mainly to transfer spreadsheets and other office documents.