UAB IT has automated the application for degree process, saving hours of manual work previously done by the Office of the Registrar.

Nearly 1,600 applications have been submitted through the program for fall 2018 from the undergraduate and graduate students.

The automated application minimizes manual mistakes, maintains accurate information and allows us to respond more quickly and process the applications more quickly," said Rhonda Stevens, assistant registrar for UAB. "And we have easy access in the system to make changes autonomously."

The new application provides significant automation, replacing a paper-based workflow that touches students, advisors, department chairpersons and associate deans.

Once all approvals are in, the application programmatically enters all pertinent degree information into the appropriate Banner form, replacing previous manual work.

When you need technology help, you need to be able to find it fast — so you can get back to work.

UAB IT has launched an updated IT Service Portal that allows you to more quickly and easily order services, software or equipment; find answers; or report something that’s broken.

The updated IT Tech Help Portal is designed to give you a more streamlined customer experience.

  • The portal is more easily searchable — you don’t have to be logged in with your BlazerID to search the knowledge base or the service catalog.
  • It will take you fewer clicks to get to what you need — whether that’s ordering Adobe Acrobat or reporting that your laptop won’t connect to the network — and browsing is more intuitive.
  • When you are logged in, you get a personalized experience — your tickets are right on the front page, and you can communicate about them to UAB IT more easily within the portal.
  • The portal is mobile friendly.

Next month, UAB IT will stop supporting legacy email protocols such as IMAP, POP3 and SMTP.

This is not a change that will affect most email users on campus.

Beginning Oct. 12, UAB IT will begin provisioning all new user accounts without legacy protocol support for accessing the user’s Office 365 UAB.EDU email account; these protocols include Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI), Exchange Web Services (EWS)
Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), Post office Protocol version 3 (POP3), and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).

Beginning Oct. 19, UAB IT will cease supporting any connections for existing UAB.EDU user addresses using the IMAPPOP3, and SMTP legacy protocols.

While most modern mail clientswill continue to function, we recommend that users connect to their UAB Office 365 email through one of the following ways:

  • Via the Outlook 2013 (or later) desktop client
  • Using the most current version of Outlook App for iOS/Android
  • By connecting to Outlook on the Web ( using a supported web browser

Users who determine that they have a business need for using a legacy protocol should contact AskIT and request a security exception. Please note, this change does not affect appliances (such as printers) sending via SMTP; this is for Office 365 UAB.EDU user email accounts only.

Since Jan. 8, 2018, Duo Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) has been available as an optional protection mechanism for UAB users. Disabling legacy mail protocols is required to ensure that malicious actors cannot bypass 2FA by using a legacy protocol that is not compatible with 2FA.

If you have not signed up for 2-factor authentication, we encourage you to do so at to better protect your accounts and UAB data. As an incentive, if you use 2FA, you never have to change your BlazerID password again (unless the account is compromised).

If you have any questions, please contact AskIT or 205-996-5555.

A unique new phishing attempt is targeting email inboxes across campus, using compromised accounts to reply to existing messages.

The phishing email may be sent by someone you know and have the following message:

Do not click on the image. It is an attempt to steal your information.

To report suspected phishing to AskIT, email it to or download the PhishMe Reporter button for one-click reporting in Outlook.

To better protect your UAB accounts, sign up for 2-factor authentication using Duo.

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UAB employees can get $150 off a new Dell computer at TechConnect, UAB's on-campus technology store.

Celebrate back-to-school and the start of the football season by stacking two promos — $100 off a Dell laptop of $499 or more and $50 off for UAB employees. 

The sale is available in-store only. Just show your UAB ONECard to receive the employee discount.

Visit TechConnect on the first floor of the Hill Student Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

NVivo, a data analysis software, is now available for free for UAB students, faculty and staff.

NVivo is built for qualitative and mixed-methods research. It provides a place to organize, store and retrieve your data more efficiently, save time, and rigorously back up findings with evidence.

With NVivo, you can import data from almost any source — text, audio, video, emails, images, spreadsheets, online services, social and web content, and more.

With advanced data management, query and visualization tools, NVivo allows you to ask complex questions of your data so you can discover more.

Here’s how to access NVivo:

  • For UAB-owned systems used by faculty and staff, contact AskIT at 205-996-5555, or request the software here
  • For personal machines, visit, sign in to the site with your BlazerID and password, and search for NVivo.

NVivo offers online and face-to-face courses to help users get up and running with the software. View available courses and access free learning resources.

UAB IT is offering a new tool through Office 365 to help you connect with teammates.

Microsoft Teams is a chat-driven application that can be used for quick communication, online conferencing, sharing files, and more.

Teams integrates with all Microsoft Office 365 apps, so you can collaborate and share files in SharePoint online, Project and more.

Teams has desktop and mobile apps to make it easier to communicate in the office or on the go, and you can even create different channels within your chats for different projects or subjects — and punctuate them with emojis or even gifs for the right sentiment.

Employees in UAB’s two newest buildings — the Collat School of Business and the redesigned School of Nursing — are among the first on campus to have new internet-connected phones.

The VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) phones will be installed across campus in an 18- to 24-month project to transition from traditional phone lines to internet transmission.

The new Cisco phones offer clear audio quality and special features including voicemail to email capability.

UAB IT is finalizing the schedule for the next phase of installation, which will include buildings on the west side of campus this fall.

In all, more than 8,000 new phones will be installed over the next 18 months to two years. Once the entire campus is outfitted with new phones, new collaboration and mobile features — including Cisco Jabber — will be available.

UAB IT is making changes to make Office 365 Groups easier to create and manage.

A new naming policy will allow any user to create an Office 365 Group from Outlook or Outlook on the web. The group naming policy will enforce the naming prefix of “GRP-“ to newly created groups. Learn more about how to use Groups here.

In mid-August, UAB IT will also add an Office 365 Group Expiration Policy, which will help ensure that inactive groups are removed from the system as usage of Office 365 Groups increases. The expiration policy will be configured with a group lifetime of 365 days. Group owners will be notified via email 30 days, 15 days and one day prior to group expiration. The email notification will include a link to renew the group if desired. If a group expires, it will be recoverable 30 days after expiration.

Because Groups could be created in different ways, such as through the Office 365 Planner app, you may not realize you are an owner of a Group.

Note: When the expiration policy is enabled, any groups currently older than one year will be set to expire in 30 days. The first renewal notification email will be sent within a day of the expiration policy being enabled. Additional notifications will be sent as outlined above.

UAB IT has found a way to reduce costs for University-provided cell phones without sacrificing plan capacity.

UAB IT will be reducing the rate plans for cellular phones with 600 and 1000 anytime minutes, saving customers $13 to $25 per affected line without running the risk of overage costs.

Rate plans for the lines affected will be reduced to 400 anytime minutes, but because minutes are pooled across our academic, business and healthcare units and UAB IT diligently monitors use, there is no risk that overages on minutes will result in further costs. Overall, this change will provide a significant savings for UAB.

These savings will take effect as of the Aug. 1, 2018, invoice cycle.


Brian Rivers has been named associate vice president and chief technology officer for UAB following a national search.

Rivers, who has served as UAB’s chief information security officer since 2016 and as interim CTO since last fall, begins his new role July 1.

“UAB IT hires world-class talent, and we are delighted when opportunities arise for internal candidates who are committed to helping UAB IT reach its highest potential,” said Vice President and Chief Information Officer Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D. “As we continue our strategic roadmap, Brian brings innovative ideas to help empower our campus community.”

Rivers has more than 20 years of experience in information technology and more than a decade of experience in senior leadership roles. He has held a variety of responsibilities in the areas of process control, software development, systems administration, networking, and information security. He has led a multitude of large-scale, transformative initiatives in environments ranging from higher education to 24x7 manufacturing to nationwide sales and marketing. He has always effected significant positive change through building strong relationships, creating understanding and agreement, and consistently following through on commitments.

"Information technology is empowering learning, research and patient care now more than ever," Rivers said. "This is an exciting time and I’m grateful to be a part of it."

The chief technology officer position oversees innovation and operations of technical infrastructures and applications across the enterprise as well as the management of the departments supporting infrastructure delivery, voice and data communications, and academic and administrative information systems.

 “I would like to thank the members of the search committee, led by Jason Johnson, for their hard work identifying excellent candidates for the position,” Carver said.

Members of the search committee included Johnson, executive director for IT client success; Ken Pruitt, assistant vice president for IT applications; Rachel Moorehead, executive director for infrastructure and operations; Dr. Lauretta Gerrity, senior associate vice president for research administration; Dr. Stephen Yoder, associate vice provost for academic administration; Tim McMinn, assistant vice president for financial affairs; and Joan Hicks, chief information officer for the UAB Health System.

New phones that offer clear audio quality, voicemail-to-email capability and other new features are coming to UAB — the first phase of a transition from traditional phone lines to internet transmission.

The new phones will use VOIP technology — or voice over Internet protocol — and will be phased in over 18 to 24 months. Once everyone on campus has a new Cisco VOIP phone, even more advanced features will be available.

New Cisco phones have been installed in a handful of departments taking part in a pilot program, and buildings on the west side of campus, including the new Collat School of Business and School of Nursing buildings, are scheduled to get new phones over the next three months.

Employees in the pilot groups who have received the new phones said the new features and quality

“The audio quality is amazing,” said Joey Jones, information systems specialist for the School of Optometry dean’s office. “They are easy to operate, and recent calls have been especially helpful. The ability to connect a Bluetooth headset is also very nice. … We are very happy.”

While there are a number of new features, those who have the new phones said they are easy to use.

“I love the new phones and they are really simple to use,” said Anthony Purcell, assistant vice president and chief of UAB Police.

UAB IT is nearing completion of installation of the system that will run all of the VOIP phones — a system that will take up a fraction of the space of the current traditional phone lines.

On July 24, UAB IT will hold a town hall meeting with telephone representatives from across campus to discuss the project and begin to co-author the implementation schedule for the new phones. The town hall will be held at 4 p.m. at Cudworth Hall Auditorium.

UAB IT will implement a variety of training methods — including in-person training, videos and print and online guides. As new phones are installed, UAB IT will be on site in each building or department for two days to offer technology support.

In all, more than 8,000 new phones will be installed over the next 18 months to two years. Once the entire campus is outfitted with new phones, new collaboration and mobile features — including Cisco Jabber — will be available.

For a majority of UAB employees across campus, if you don’t have a computer, you can’t do your job.

So UAB IT has put a priority on improving response time to get your equipment fixed or replaced.

In the past six months, UAB IT has improved the problem resolution time of its Desktop Services team to average under one day — and reduced the time it takes to replace a desktop computer to less than two hours.

Those response times, along with a number of other improvements, earned UAB IT a 2.5 maturity rating from industry-leading customer service consultant HDI — up from a 0.8 in just eight months.

“Our employees have always put customers first, but now they have better tools and processes to help them focus their efforts,” said Jamie Witter, associate director of IT Client Services. “I’m proud of their commitment to our customers and the efforts they have made toward improvements.”

Among the improvements in UAB IT:

  • Incident resolution time improved from 3.02 days in September 2017 to less than one day in May 2018.
  • Processes have been improved, including one that helps ensure less than two hours of downtime to replace a desktop computer.
  • Fifty percent of incidents are now resolved remotely.
  • Customer satisfaction improved to 4.8 in May, on a 5.0 scale.
  • Procedures are in place to help improve employee satisfaction.

“Our goal is to get you back to work as quickly as possible, so that computer downtime doesn’t disrupt the work you do to educate students, research problems and run the University,” said Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D., vice president and chief information officer.

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The second of two presentations from candidates for UAB’s chief technology officer will take place at an open forum June 22.

Brian Rivers, UAB’s chief information security officer and interim CTO, will present his ideas for the position from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, June 22, at Cudworth Hall Auditorium.

Rivers has more than 20 years of experience in information technology and more than a decade of experience in senior leadership roles. He has held a variety of responsibilities in the areas of process control, software development, systems administration, networking, and information security. He has led a multitude of large-scale, transformative initiatives in environments ranging from higher education to 24x7 manufacturing to nationwide sales and marketing. He has always effected significant positive change through building strong relationships, creating understanding and agreement, and consistently following through on commitments.

Candidate Tim Brown, executive director of the Northwest Regional Data Center at Florida State University and a former director of IT infrastructure services at UAB, presented his ideas on June 11.

AdobeFlashPlayerStudents, faculty and staff who use Adobe Flash Player are urged to update the program quickly to avoid security vulnerability issues. 

Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Flash Player for Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS. These updates address critical vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player and earlier versions. Attackers could use the vulnerability to gain access to your computer and possibly even your private data. 

These attacks leverage Office documents with embedded malicious Flash Player content distributed via email.

Customers of UAB IT's Desktop Services will receive updates to Flash Player. The new version is being released to Desktop Supported and Campus Supported Windows 7 (Active-X, NPAPI and PPAPI) and Win8+ (NPAPI and PPAPI) browsers utilizing the on-premise Adobe Flash update server.  It is being deployed to Desktop Supported Windows 8+ (Active-X) browsers via Microsoft SCCM or Windows Updates. A reboot of your computer is not expected but could be required based on the activity state of Adobe Flash Player at the time of the upgrade.

If you have questions, please contact your department's IT support or contact AskIT at or 205-996-5555.

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The first of two planned presentations from candidates for UAB’s chief technology officer will take place at an open forum June 11.

Tim Brown will present his ideas for the position from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, June 11, at Hill Student Center’s Alumni Theater. Please enter the theater on the third floor.

Brown has served as executive director of the Northwest Regional Data Center, an auxiliary of Florida State University, since April 2008. He has more than 27 years of experience in IT, with a focus on strategic planning, budgeting, and building and leading support and development teams in academic settings. He served as director of IT infrastructure services at UAB from 2001-2005 and as associate director for computer services from 1993-2001. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University and a Master of Science degree in health informatics from UAB.

Further presentation details for a second candidate will be announced soon.

UAB IT is introducing a new on-premise restricted storage option to serve departments that have a continued need to process Restricted/PHI data in an environment similar to UABFile, a storage solution which is being retired. The new solution will be offered at least until June 2019 but may be extended if there is a continued need on campus.

Individuals who use services provided by HSIS for this similar purpose should continue to do so.

The new service, Secure UABFile, has been discussed by the Storage and Collaboration Working Group, a campus-wide panel of IT representatives.

UAB IT has been undergoing a plan to migrate content from UABFile department shares and UDrive/home drives to the cloud in OneDrive and SharePoint online. Content from individual UDrives has been successfully migrated to OneDrive, but many departments expressed concern about the need to process Restricted/PHI data, which is currently not permitted to be stored in SharePoint.

UAB IT is working to make the experience as close to UABFile as possible while adding enhanced security. Departments will not need to take any action to be transitioned to the new service. The cost will be at the same rate as UABFile through the end of the current fiscal year; future rates will be determined later, but will remain cost-recovery for UAB IT.

This service will allow departments more time to reduce and redact Restricted/PHI data. The new Secure UABFile will remain online for at least a year after UABFile is retired and may be retained longer depending on business demand and funding availability.

To learn more about how to remediate Restricted/PHI data in your department files, visit our web page on data reduction.

If you have questions about the new service, please contact AskIT at or 205-996-5555.

Collaborating within your department or organization can be easier with a new Office 365 feature called Groups.

With an Office 365 Group, you will receive a group email address and Outlook inbox, shared calendar, shared planner, and a SharePoint Online site for document collaboration, all operating under the Office 365 umbrella.

You won’t have to manually assign permissions to each resource because adding members to the group automatically gives them access to each tool.

Groups give teams greater collaboration opportunities than distribution lists under the old on-premise email experience.

Learn more about Office 365 Groups in this knowledge base article and in our Office 365 FAQs.

To request an Office 365 Group, open a request ticket through the IT Service Portal.

If you have questions about Office 365 Groups, contact AskIT at 205-996-5555, or at

To help keep classroom technology up-to-date, UAB IT has formalized its partnership with the Office of the Provost, eLearning and Professional Development, UAB Facilities, and the Center for Teaching and Learning to collaborate on the criteria for classroom upgrades.

The committee of representatives from each organization will meet regularly to form and endorse the strategy for establishing the standard technology needed for each classroom. View classrooms supported by UAB IT here.

“Our goal is to have consistent, updated equipment so that faculty and students in provost-supported classrooms have the same technology experience from classroom to classroom,” said Jason Johnson, executive director for client success for UAB IT.

Faculty and students can check the status of each classroom here.

Learn more about classroom upgrades here.

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Keeping up to date on the latest phishing emails and scams will be easier with a new internal web site devoted to sharing news of such attempts.

The CyberWatch web site at, which is open to all students, faculty and staff who log in with their BlazerID and password, will share the latest phishing email attacks and scams, with tips to help you recognize those malicious attempts to steal your information.

Phishing emails are often an attempt to get your BlazerID and password — which could give thieves access to your personal and financial information, as well as data from across the University.

Log in to the CyberWatch site at to get the latest on phishing emails and other scams. Remember that not all phishing emails will be uploaded here, so use your best judgment and err on the side of caution with suspected phishing attempts.

To report phishing attempts, you can forward the suspected email to or download PhishMe Reporter here for one-click access to report phish.

To further protect your information and your credentials, sign up for two-factor authentication at