IT Update for December 2015

December 2015
A monthly report to UAB leadership and the IT community about technology projects
designed to enhance the work and lives of UAB staff, faculty and students.

UAB partners on big data hub

Regional innovation hub one of four announced by NSF

UAB IT, the School of Engineering and the School of Medicine's Department of Neurology are partnering with Georgia Tech and other institutions on the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub.

Learn more about the big data hub.

Ellis joins UAB IT this month as chief technology officer
Shawn Ellis joins UAB IT on Dec. 1 as associate vice president and chief technology officer. Ellis has a broad background in information technology in higher education and various industries and has most recently been interim associate chief information officer at the University of Georgia. Learn more here.

Take part in UAB Toy Drive Dec. 1-16
UAB IT is partnering with the the campus community to make the 22nd annual UAB Toy Drive a success. New, unwrapped toys will be collected in boxes around campus and donated to Toys for Tots on Dec. 16. Find out where boxes are located and how to get involved.
UAB IT to have tech store in new Hill Center
When the new Hill Center opens in early 2016, UAB IT will have a prime location to help reach out to university students and staff. UAB IT's technology store will showcase the services and software available for students and faculty at UAB. UAB IT staff will be on hand to assist members of the UAB community in understanding the technology that is available and how to use it.

Self-service portal set to launch in early 2016
UAB IT is on target for an early 2016 launch of its new self-service portal, the customer-facing centerpiece of UAB IT's transition to ServiceNow, an industry-leading tool that incorporates best practices for IT service management. The new self-service portal will give customers an opportunity to request services, browse a service catalog, find answers in a knowledge base, and report problems with services. The transition to ServiceNow is part of UAB IT's reThink Project, an organization-wide effort to rethink how UAB IT serves customers and approaches its work.
UAB IT shares poster at annual UAB Core Day
Members of UAB IT's research computing team took part in this year's UAB Core and Shared Resources Day last month, presenting a poster along with other departments and organizations across campus. The annual Core Day gives research computing a chance to give campus researchers an opportunity to see the services and solutions available through UAB IT.

UAB increasing internet speeds to 100Gbps
During 2016, the University of Alabama System Regional Optical Network (UASRON), which links UA, UAB, and UAH to the Internet and Internet2, will be upgraded to support 100 Gigabit connections. Learn more about the upgrade plans here.
UAB IT partners to provide departmental IT roadmaps
UAB IT has partnered with the Athletic Department and Student Affairs to evaluate their technology needs and deliver an assessment to help both departments enhance their services and seek better solutions. UAB IT is wrapping up an assessment for the School of Public Health's technology needs.

New telecom carrier will upgrade UAB phone network
UAB IT is moving forward with its plan to upgrade campus telecommunications services. The department has signed a contract with a new carrier to move 30,000 phone numbers and convert the underlying technology to SIP (session initiation protocol), a network-based infrastructure that will be more flexible for campus needs.

Fiber hub project adds more redundant infrastructure
UAB IT has installed fiber for the next phase of its fiber hub project, which is protecting network traffic with redundant fiber cable infrastructure. The latest phase includes the Learning Resources Center, 1715 Building, School of Health Professionals, Ninth Avenue Office Building and Central Utilities Building 5. Learn more about the fiber hub project.
Canvas data can help improve student success
UAB is working toward a more strategic relationship with Canvas, the university’s learning management system, with one of the goals being to harness the tool’s data to support and improve student success. Learn more about a recent UAB trip to visit Canvas representatives.
UAB IT participates in TechBridge meeting
Members of UAB IT's Leader Team recently attended a reception with sponsors of TechBridge, an organization whose mission is to provide IT support and consulting services to nonprofit organizations. TechBridge's focus is on nonprofits whose goal is to alleviate the causes of poverty.

Carver available to speak on UAB's technology roadmap
Vice President and CIO Dr. Curtis A. Carver Jr. is available to speak to university departments and organizations about campus technology and UAB IT's strategy and plans for the future. To request him as a speaker, click here.

UAB IT works with Auburn on technology partnership
UAB IT representatives met last month with members of the Auburn University Office of Information Technology community to discuss ways the two schools can exchange information to benefit both institutions. Among the topics discussed were dark fiber, Skype and VOIP, Duo Security and password management tools. The next meeting is scheduled for spring 2016.

Carver featured in CIO Review magazine 
UAB CIO Dr. Curtis A. Carver Jr. was featured in a recent issue of CIO Review magazine, discussing innovation, agility and cost efficiency in the magazine's education special edition. Read the article here.
UAB users urged to sign up for eNotify
UAB IT encourages staff and students to sign up for eNotify's Identity feature at BlazerID Central, which allows users to reset their password on their own if their account is compromised. The eNotify system will also text users RedFlag alerts if their personal information in Oracle has been changed. Learn more here.
Older versions of IE no longer supported after Jan. 12, 2016
Older versions of Internet Explorer — including versions 8-10 — will go end of life on Jan. 12, 2016, which means Microsoft will no longer provide security updates to those browsers. UAB IT employees have been using Internet Explorer 11 in enterprise mode, with few problems with apps. Click here to learn how to use enterprise modeUAB IT Desktop Support customers will be upgraded automatically to IE11 enterprise mode, and all system administrators are encouraged to ensure that their users have been migrated to IE 11 before that date. For more information on what settings are suggested in enterprise mode, click here.

SharePoint team partners with consultant for design phase
The UAB IT SharePoint team has finalized its calendar for migration of SharePoint sites to an upgraded version of SharePoint. Design work is under way in partnership with consultants, with a goal to make the design more customer-friendly and intuitive. Installation of the core system will begin in December, with site conversions beginning in spring 2016. Setup and testing for the converted sites will take place through next fall. 

Active directory advisory panel convenes
An active directory advisory committee made up of information technology professionals across campus has begun meeting to discuss its goals, which will include reducing the number of active directory domains at UAB. 
UNLIMITED EMAIL COMING IN NEW YEAR: Unlimited email storage will be a new feature when UAB IT upgrades its email system for campus faculty and staff in early 2016. When the upgrade is complete, it will have many new features, including unlimited email for users.

SPARK NEW IDEAS: UAB IT's SPARK platform continues to generate new ideas, and UAB IT is making progress on many of the ideas submitted to the crowdsourcing site, including the replacement of Optidoc.

NEW IT BUILDING IN CAMPUS PLANS: UAB IT has been working with the university on plans for a new IT building, which is one of the priorities of the campus master plan. The proposed plan for the facility would dedicate 25 percent of the space for co-location that could be used by schools and departments.

ELECTRONIC CONTRACTS: UAB IT continues to work with UAB administration on an electronic contract management solution.
ONEDRIVE ACCOUNTS: UAB campus faculty and staff have access to a OneDrive account with 1TB of file storage and the ability to download Office 365 apps for desktop and mobile use. Learn more here.

INTERACTIVE ADMIN SYSTEMS PAGE: UAB's administrative systems page is now interactive. Choose the buttons you want to display in the order you need to access UAB systems. Bookmarking this page, rather than individual systems, is recommended so that you can stay up to date on changes and outages.
Happy Holidays from UAB IT
UAB IT would like to thank all of our customers for a successful year. We have accomplished much in 2015 — from quadrupling our research computing processing power to using a simple technology tweak to boost donations to the UAB Annual Fund — and we would not have been able to do so without you.
Last modified on December 02, 2015