IT Update for January 2016

January 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.

Unlimited email

Upgrade will give campus faculty, staff greater email storage 

An email upgrade being rolled out for UAB faculty and staff this week will support much larger mailbox sizes with a web interface similar to that of students. Faculty and staff members will be transitioned to the new email system gradually over the coming weeks.

Learn more about the email change.

Connect with IT staff in new space at Hill Center
TechConnect, a new space in the Hill Student Center that opens later this month, will give the campus community a chance to connect with IT staff and get help with their personal computers and answers about software and services. Learn more here.

Older versions of IE no longer supported after Jan. 12
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. If you are supported by UAB IT's Desktop support, they have already updated your browser. If you have questions, contact your IT support.
New portal will help customers find services, report problems
UAB IT customers will have an easier way to order services, search for knowledge articles and report problems with services. The new self-service portal, which is on target for an early 2016 launch, is the customer-facing centerpiece of UAB IT's transition to ServiceNow, an industry-leading tool that incorporates best practices for IT service management. The initiative is part of UAB IT's reThink Project, an organization-wide effort to rethink how UAB IT serves customers and approaches its work.

Box consultants to help optimize storage solution for UAB
UAB IT is working with a consulting team from Box to help implement deployment of the cloud storage solution for UAB faculty and staff. Box consultants will be working with UAB IT through March and will meet with several constituent groups across campus to see how those groups can best optimize this storage solution.

UAB's technology SPARK ideas to be put into action
UAB IT is set to launch the next phase of its SPARK campaign: putting the ideas of faculty and staff across campus into action. More than 90 ideas were generated during the six-month campaign, and, in the coming weeks, UAB IT will be forming teams to address those ideas that best support the UAB community.
Enhanced services for researchers coming in 2016
Researchers who use IRAP — the Integrated Research Administration Portal — will see an upgrade to the software that powers IRAP in 2016, as well as a new schedule for adding modules to the system. The human subjects module will be added more quickly than expected, and eForms is scheduled to go live before the end of the year. In addition, an on-site team of experts from the IRAP vendor will be located at UAB beginning in February as the company moves to locate a satellite office in Birmingham. 

UAB IT assisting researchers with security compliance
UAB IT is working closely with IT staff in the Department of Preventive Medicine to help ensure compliance with federal security requirements for two important projects, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, to study coronary artery risk development in young adults (CARDIA). The project is led by Dr. James Shikany and Dr. Elizabeth Lewis of UAB. The information systems collect subject data and provide important facts for researchers concerning the long-term risks of heart disease. In December, Dr. Richard Marchase, vice president of research and economic development, approved authorization to operate to both groups to continue work on progressing on their security plan documentation and control implementation to comply with the Federal Information Modernization Act (FISMA).
Parents can now access BlazerNET for tuition payments
Parents can now access tuition payment options in BlazerNET. Previously, students could provide access to registration, grade and transcript information to their parents, but the new option expands that functionality to tuition payments. UAB IT partnered with UAB Financial Affairs on the new option. 
Pilot program allows faculty to post grades to BlazerNET
Faculty members from three schools participated in a pilot program for the fall 2015 semester allowing them to pull grades directly from Canvas to BlazerNET. UAB IT partnered with the Division of eLearning and Professional Studies and the registrar’s office on the program, which included 21 faculty members in the School of Health Professions, College of Arts and Sciences and Collat School of Business.

New partnership to increase international recruitment
UAB IT is assisting with the University's partnership with INTO, a private global educational company that will help increase access for international students at the university. "Our students, faculty and staff exhibit a relentless dedication to improving our global society," said UAB Provost Linda Lucas, Ph.D. "This new partnership will further strengthen our ability to internationalize this campus to the benefit of the UAB community and beyond." Learn more about the INTO partnership here.
UAB generosity powers successful Toy Drive
The UAB community gave generously during the 22nd annual UAB Toy Drive, organized by UAB IT. We appreciate all of the individuals who donated toys and all of the volunteers who coordinated drives in buildings, assisted with pickup and helped bag up the toys for the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots. 

UAB IT is a 'force awakened'
To celebrate a successful year, UAB IT staff saw "Star Wars: A Force Awakened" as a team on opening night. Learn more here.

CIO available to speak to UAB groups and departments
Vice President and Chief Information Officer Dr. Curt Carver spoke last month to the Department of Computer and Information Sciences and to the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics. Carver is available to speak to UAB departments. Learn more here
Phone scammers still targeting students
As students return from their winter break, they should be aware that scam artists don't take a break. Learn to protect yourself from potential phone threats.
Campus IT professionals invited to Town Hall on Jan. 7
IT professionals across campus are invited to an IT Town Hall meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, in the Cudworth Hall auditorium. Vice President and CIO Dr. Curtis Carver will discuss upcoming IT initiatives.

SANS training available through UAB IT
UAB IT has purchased into the SANS Institute security training offerings with special pricing. Campus IT professionals who are interested should contact UAB IT by Jan. 28.
CELL PHONE STIPENDS: UAB IT is partnering with the Department of Human Resources to explore the possibility of cell phone stipends for eligible UAB employees. An update on the possibility of stipends will be announced by the end of March.

INTERNET SPEED UPGRADE: 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.
CLOUD STORAGE: 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.
Last modified on February 19, 2016