IT Update for March 2016

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March 2016
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.

Wired for success

UAB investing in network to boost connectivity across campus

UAB is investing in technology to increase network speed across campus at least 20-fold. While many changes are focused on the research network, the improvements will boost network strength for all faculty, staff and students.

Learn more about the network investments.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
It's 'yuge': Join us in planning UAB's technology roadmap 
UAB IT is taking 'yuge' leaps into the future, and we need students, faculty and staff to participate in planning our roadmap. Take part in upcoming town halls to voice your opinions as we finalize our strategic plan.

New service portal: Shop for services, report problems
UAB IT's new service portal gives campus users a new way to request IT services, report problems with those services and search for answers about services. Improvements to the portal are ongoing and will incorporate feedback from users.

Accept new mobile device policy; device settings unaffected
Breathe. Calm down. On March 11, UAB IT is automating a function for campus email for mobile devices. The policy will change no settings on mobile devices but will prevent random popups in the future. Email users should click "accept" on the new policy to keep receiving campus email on their mobile devices. Learn more.

Oracle upgrade: Users should trust new certificate
On March 5, the Oracle E-Business Suite will have a certificate upgrade which will require users of the system to “trust” the new certificate. Users will see a prompt when launching Java forms in the system. Users should click the “do not show again” box and click run when the “Do you want to run this application” prompt appears.

CAMPUS
TechConnect customers win big; you can save big 
Two lucky customers of UAB IT's new TechConnect storefront at the Hill Student Center won prizes donated by vendors in drawings held last month, but all customers can win big by shopping with TechConnect through our web site for educational pricing on a variety of tech needs, including computers, tablets, software and accessories. Students and staff will also soon be able to access repair services through the TechConnect storefront at the Hill Center.

New cloud storage services offer choice for users

With two new cloud storage services deployed across campus — OneDrive and UABbox for faculty and staff — what is the best choice for you? Learn more about the differences and how to use the services. 

Digital signage displays emergency notifications
Emergency notifications are now live on all of UAB Digital Signage, allowing more widespread communication of imminent threats to campus. Learn more here. 

Plan to increase campus internet speed ongoing
UAB IT is continuing its plans to partner with internet caching service Akamai, which will help increase internet speed on campus. The project is expected to be under way in the next 90 days. Learn more here.
RESEARCH
Research storage increased thanks to new funding
Funding from the College of Arts & Sciences, led by Dean Robert Palazzo, and the School of Engineering, led by Dean Iwan Alexander, will allow UAB IT to increase research storage tenfold, reflecting UAB's commitment to improving research technology infrastructure on campus. Learn more about the investments in research technology.

School of Public Health funding aids research computing
Funding from the School of Public Health, led by Dean Max Michael, will help improve research compute capacity for UAB researchers, part of UAB IT's plan to build a powerhouse research network that enhances researchers' ability to communicate with colleagues and attract grants.


Get involved in research computing funding
Any researchers who would like to contribute grant funding to assist with research technology infrastructure, or who need help writing grants that reference technology needs, can contact Interim Director of Research Computing Puri Bangalore.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
UAB IT working on Canvas change for student withdrawals
UAB IT is working on a solution in Canvas that will allow student teams to access the work product of fellow students within Canvas even if a student withdraws from a class.

Improvements designed to enhance student success
The Department of eLearning and Professional Studies is partnering with UAB IT to make some changes to enhance student success. Among the changes will be notifications to faculty of high and low student performance and of student class attendance.

UAB looks to find affordable textbook alternatives
The provost's office to explore ways to lower the cost of textbooks through the use of affordable textbook alternatives. To support the effort, UAB IT will be testing sub-$100 tablets that could successfully connect to UAB's teaching and learning technologies and could be sold through the TechConnect storefront.
COMMUNITY
UAB IT, others urge companies to Keep IT Local
UAB IT has joined other technology employers in the Birmingham area as a founding partner in Keep IT Local, an initiative designed to encourage consideration of local technology suppliers as a resource whenever possible. The initiative is led by TechBirmingham and Innovation Depot and fellow founding companies include BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama and BBVA Compass, among others.

Tech partnership to help students get local internships
UAB IT, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs are partnering with TechBirmingham and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama to create an internship clearinghouse for students, designed to help more students get hired locally.

Carver: UAB IT can empower campus to change world
Vice President and CIO Curt Carver spoke to university and business leaders last month at a reception honoring four new UAB vice presidents. UAB IT works to "enable others to greatness," Carver said. Watch a video of his comments.
SECURITY
Connect With Care: The Parallels Between Internet Access and Fine Dining (Without Music)
UAB student Ryan Murphy won our video contest promoting cyber security.
Student wins cyber security video contest 
Sophomore Ryan Murphy used his creativity — along with his drawing skills — to turn cyber security tips into a video comparing online safety to food safety. Watch his video above and learn more about Murphy here.


Trial for new password manager starts this month
A beta trial for a new password manager tool will begin this month. UAB IT has selected Keeper as an enterprise password vault system for campus faculty and staff. Anyone interested in joining the beta trial can contact AskIT.

Chief information security officer search reopened
UAB IT has reopened its search for a world-class chief information security officerUAB IT’s search will be led by Deputy CIO Robert Howard and will seek the best selection to protect UAB’s vital information assets and continually move UAB to the forefront of research, teaching and economic development. In the interim, questions about information security can be directed to Chief Technology Officer Shawn Ellis.
TECH CORNER
Splunk certification classes offered for free
Free Splunk training is available from Internet2. All students, faculty and staff can access the four classes required to become a Splunk Certified Power User for free. Learn more about the free classes here. 

SharePoint User Group meeting set for March 3
The UAB IT SharePoint team will host a users group meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 3, in Cudworth Hall room 140. The agenda includes a discussion of the differences between versions 2010 and 2013 and a preview of the new design for the SharePoint 2013 conversion. 

UAB to host cyber summit in April
UAB will play host to state, education and industry leaders April 13 for a cyber summit designed to highlight the advances Alabama is making in technology and how those improvements will help schools and businesses across the state.

Rust building improvements will reduce risk for UAB
UAB IT is partnering with Facilities and Administrative Services to make improvements at the Rust building to reduce risk to UAB resources. Improvements will include installing cameras and better security for entrances, as well as cosmetic changes inside the facility.

Workshop to address secure payment systems
Representatives from Mitre and the National Institute of Standards and Technology will be on campus March 22 to conduct a workshop on secure payment systems. Mitre is a non-profit organization that operates federally-funded research and development centers.

Java recommendation for administrative systems updated
UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for the version of Java as for use with UAB's administrative systems. Java 1.8 U74 is the currently recommended version.
EXPLORING NEW IDEAS
NEW IT SPACE: UAB IT continues to work with the university on potential plans for a data center for research computing, one of the priorities in the campus master plan. Last month, university leadership toured the Rust Research Center to see how that building currently houses the campus's technology resources.

CELL PHONE STIPENDS: UAB IT continues to partner with HR to determine the possibility of cell phone stipends for eligible UAB employees. An update on the possibility is expected later this month.
DID YOU KNOW?
SPECIAL PRICING ON SOFTWARE: UAB IT has a variety software available at educational pricing for students, faculty and staff. You can browse our software store for what you need. If you can't find what you are looking for in the software category, click on "Additional Software Items."
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Last modified on March 01, 2016