IT Update July 2015

July 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.

Focused on the future

UAB IT strategic imperatives will improve service, security

New CIO Curt Carver's vision for UAB IT is "a world-class IT organization that effectively balances cost efficiency, agility, and innovation. We are an organization that values its employees as our most precious resource, and thus we create an environment that thrives at a pace of sustainable innovation over the long term."

Learn more about UAB IT's new set of strategic imperatives.

TOWN HALL MEETING: Distributed and Central IT professionals are invited to an IT Town Hall meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. July 13, at the School of Nursing Auditorium. Please encourage your IT staff members to attend. Register here.

AskIT CLOSED FOR HOLIDAY JULY 3-4: To report an emergency, call 996-5555 and follow the instructions. Standard issues can be submitted at any time by sending an email to or by visiting the website. A technician will respond when regular hours resume Sunday, July 5.

SECURE MEDIA DESTRUCTION: UAB IT has a new procedure for secure media destruction. Distributed IT personnel will need to make an appointment with AskIT and fill out a new form that ensures all media is properly accounted for before being destroyed. Learn more here

ORACLE REDFLAG ALERTS: Central administration has partnered with UAB IT to send employees notifications via text and telephone when their personal information changes in Oracle HR and Finance applications. The service will work similarly to B-Alert. Effective July 1, employees who have completed the Identity information at BlazerID Central will begin receiving RedFlag notifications.

PHONE SCAM AFFECTS STUDENTS: Be aware that several UAB students have been targeted by a phone scam that has affected campuses across the country. Despite threats about alleged debt, there has been no breach of secure information at UAB. Learn more here.
SPARK helping UAB crowdsource new technology ideas
We're looking to the UAB community for bold new initiatives and feedback on technology-related improvements. Faculty, staff and students are invited to share their ideas on the new SPARK platform. Learn more here.

UAB IT is rethinking processes to better serve customers
The reThink Project will give UAB users one door into IT to request services or report problems. Distributed IT professionals on campus are encouraged to get involved with the project. Learn more here.

Upgrade improves network in Admin Building 
UAB IT upgraded network equipment in the Administration Building during the weekend of June 13-14. The network upgrades have improved performance, increased capacity and added reliability to the network throughout the building.

Links to eLAS, LMS have changed
UAB IT took advantage of an unexpected service interruption to upgrade the servers that support several campus systems, including eLAS and LMS. With the upgrade, any previously bookmarked links to LMS and eLAS will no longer work. To ensure seamless login to key systems and to receive alerts or messages, UAB IT recommends that users bookmark the Administrative Systems page. Learn more here.

UABFile technology replacement complete
UAB IT recently transitioned UABFile services to newer technology. The solution provides future growth capacity and geographic redundancy. Departments across campus assisted with the project.
Largest compute cluster in Alabama coming to UAB
Building on a commitment to world-class research, UAB IT is expanding its research compute cluster thanks to a donation from the university's Mission Support Fund. Equipment for the new compute cluster arrived in late June, and when it is integrated into the existing environment will increase capacity to 50 teraflops, making it the largest in Alabama.

Research Administration resources will be expanded
UAB Research Administration and UAB IT are hiring additional staff to support the new clinical trials system, OnCore. In addition, software partner InfoEd has agreed to locate personnel here to help guarantee the successful implementation of IRAP, UAB's Integrated Research Administration Portal. Learn about IRAP here.
Customers will get transparent look at IT finances
The UAB IT Financial Transparency and Accountability Project will give IT customers a chance to better understand their IT costs and better plan for the future. Learn more about the Financial Transparency and Accountability Project here.

Employee reimbursements to be made via direct deposit
Financial Affairs has partnered with UAB IT on a project to allow employee reimbursements to be direct deposited instead of being reimbursed with a physical check. The project, which will expedite the reimbursement process and make it more convenient for employees, was implemented June 29.

UAB IT helping to clean up old Oracle reports
HR and Financial Affairs have partnered with UAB IT to clean up old and orphaned reports in the Oracle Report Viewer. Reports executed by departmental users will be deleted after 30 days. This effort will help improve performance and reduce storage costs.

UAB IT working to be more inclusive of campus IT
UAB IT is developing ways to include Distributed IT in its governance structure. This could include advisory groups for security, technology, projects and changes.
Faculty Profiles adds new features
In conjunction with the Provost's Office and Research Administration, UAB IT released the next phase of the Faculty Profiles system on June 29. The "Teaching and Learning" and "Professional Activities" sections give faculty a single system where they can manage their accomplishments. Courses, assigned advising and graduate committee participation data has been extracted directly from the student system. Rollout of Faculty Profiles continues with departments in six schools participating so far. Learn more about Faculty Profiles here.
Microsoft SCCM available to all areas on campus
As part of the initiative to protect UAB's assets and inventory servers and workstations, UAB IT is making Microsoft SCCM available at no cost to all areas of campus. A kickoff meeting will be held at 2 p.m. July 9 at the Finley Conference Center. IT managers should contact UAB IT about who will represent their areas at the kickoff meeting.

Windows Server 2003 reaches end of life July 14
UAB IT personnel are actively working to migrate or retire systems that are running on Windows Server 2003, which will be unsupported after July 14. Learn more here

UAB increases PCI compliance
Financial Affairs and UAB IT have worked with merchants on campus to meet requirements set by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. UAB has made significant progress in reducing risk in the past year: In 2014, 83 percent of revenue from UAB merchants met requirements, up from 15 percent in 2013.

Discounted security training available
UAB IT has contracted with one of the premier information security training organizations, the SANS Institute, to offer a number of discounted training opportunities to the UAB community. Departments that want to be included in this summer's purchase should contact UAB IT before July 30. Learn more here.
ALUMNI EMAIL: The Office of the Vice President for Development, Alumni and External Relations and the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology are researching options to provide email accounts to UAB alumni.

UNLIMITED STORAGE: UAB IT is considering a new potential service for unlimited storage for staff, faculty and students. Possible partners include

BIG DATA: UAB is seeking to partner with the National Science Foundation in the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub coordinated by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. If accepted, UAB would take a leadership role in a regional consortium, sharing infrastructure resources, tools and expertise with other member institutions.
You can sign up for easy password resets at BlazerID Central.

UAB IT has a contract with a HIPAA-compliant data recovery service.
Last modified on May 29, 2018