Every day, the UAB Office of Annual Giving reaches out to more than 1,000 UAB friends and alumni through its student phone center.

A simple technology change provided by UAB IT’s telecommunications unit helped the office better serve potential donors — and helped UAB’s Annual Fund collect more philanthropic gifts to support schools, departments and libraries across campus.

Initially, the Office of Annual Giving asked UAB IT to change its unlisted number projected on caller ID to a live number that would direct back to the office, said Randy Kinder, senior director of Annual Giving for UAB. In just one day, UAB IT fulfilled the request.

“Be careful what you ask for,” Kinder said.

The result of the change was positive — but had the Annual Giving staff, who typically fielded two to three calls a week, trying to keep up with a much greater volume of returned calls from potential donors.

“The result was approximately 50 calls per day to Annual Giving regarding a missed call from our department,” Kinder said. “Most folks just wanted to know who we are and why we were calling, but several also made philanthropic gifts to the university during the return calls.”

In fact, the volume of calls prompted another request to UAB IT.

“We needed these calls to be directed to a different number, with a custom voicemail, and for the voicemails to be sent to an email account,” Kinder said. “This way, we could manage returned calls without drastically impacting our resources.”

That request was also fulfilled quickly, allowing Annual Giving and student phonathon staff to focus on seeking gifts for the Annual Fund, which provides funding for scholarships, programs, out-of-classroom learning, curriculum enhancements and more.

“This has been a monumental addition to our operations, which has allowed us to provide superior donor relations and transparency,” Kinder said.

To learn more about the Office of Annual Giving and the UAB Annual Fund, click here.
Friday, 31 July 2015 18:32

UAB IT Reports and Publications

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The IT Update is a monthly update to UAB leadership and the IT community about technology projects designed to enhance the work lives of UAB faculty, staff and students. 

Subscribe to the IT Update

IT Update for July 2015

Each month, the chief information security officers for UA, UAB, UAB Medicine and UAHuntsville publish a monthly electronic newsletter to help users avoid IT errors.

Summer 2015 | Issue No. 8
March 2015 | Issue No. 6

February 2015 | Issue No. 5

January 2015 | Issue No. 4
December 2014 | Issue No. 3

November 2014 | Issue No. 2
October 2014 | Issue No. 1

An ongoing project to build a new fiber hub for the UAB campus will help protect network traffic with redundant fiber cable infrastructure. 

Begun in 2014, the project has built a new fiber hub building inside the 16th Street parking desk and includes alternate network paths that will help provide greater network protection for the east side of campus.

"The end result is that we will be able to reduce risk and outage time" if there is a network problem, said Skip Peckham, director of telecommunications services for UAB IT. "We'll be able to provide redundancy for critical research and administration needs."

The first phase of the project involved building the structure to house cables in the 16th Street parking deck, with the next phases including installation of fiber cables beneath the streets surrounding the deck and other buildings on the east side of campus. In all, the project will have 19 phases, with nearly half of those phases completed or nearing completion.

UAB IT expects to wrap up the project by the end of 2015.
Audience2Central and campus IT employees attend a July 2015 IT Town Hall meetingSeeking input and involvement from all areas of campus, UAB IT is taking steps to be more transparent in its activities and communication.

The SPARK initiative, which in two months has crowdsourced more than 70 technology ideas for UAB and attracted more than 1,700 votes, will help UAB IT respond to technology needs on campus.

In addition, UAB IT is seeking greater involvement from campus IT professionals in departments, schools and libraries across UAB. Campus IT employees have been invited to express interest in a set of task teams that will help advise UAB IT on the reThink Project, the campus network and active directory.

 “Input and involvement from all areas of campus will help us to be more responsive to our customers and partners,” said Dr. Curt Carver, UAB chief information officer and vice president for information technology. “We want to build up the shared governance structure so that people feel empowered to participate.”

Ultimately, the goal is to build a world-class IT organization that drives innovation for UAB, Carver said.
Thursday, 30 July 2015 15:18

Digital signage

SignageScreens copy
UAB IT offers an inclusive digital signage solution to campus departments and schools.

Digital signage offers dynamic, vibrant messaging with easily adaptable, branded content. With proper hardware, signs can even be interactive.

  • Multiple layouts to choose from
  • Automatic emergency notification integration (coming soon)
  • Branded content with department name
  • Media flexibility: Videos, slideshows, live TV (with proper hardware), flash content, HTML 5, RSS feeds, weather, news and Web pages
  • Touch functionality (with proper hardware)
  • Easily managed and maintained media via a simple web interface
  • Role assignment for multiple layers of approval

  • A one-time fee includes the TV, PC, mounting, installation, initial configuration, network and power installation. Cost will vary depending on the type and amount of equipment.
  • A small monthly fee per sign will be assessed to cover the cost of server maintenance, player licencing and local PC support.
  • We will assist with setting up new features as they are requested. Any custom requests may be charged an hourly rate.

  • Submit a request to AskIT.
  • Determine the location for your signs (high-traffic areas, indoors and outdoors).
  • Choose the personnel in your department who will manage content.
  • UAB IT will handle the rest with your approval of the cost: purchasing equipment, network, scheduling installation, training your staff on how to manage content.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 16:13

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 AskIT@uab.edu 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 Box.com.

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.
Thursday, 16 July 2015 12:53

Cyber Security Initiative

Protecting UAB's digital assets is one of our core responsibilities. As part of an 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. 

Having all of the asset information in and managed by a single system is critical to maintaining a secure computing environment.

Thursday, 09 July 2015 12:08

Windows 10 preview set for July 23

Windows 10 is coming July 29, and UAB IT is hosting a preview of the upgrade with Microsoft representatives.

Those representatives will be on site at noon Thursday, July 23, at Cudworth Hall (CEC 140) for a Windows 10 overview.

Windows 10 has familiar features, including an expanded Start Menu, and your pinned apps and favorites will be integrated in the upgrade. Windows 10 also includes Microsoft Edge, a new browser designed to give users a better web experience.

Learn more about Windows 10 features here.

Portions of two streets on campus will be closed for one more night, Friday, July 10, as part of the completion to a project to upgrade UAB's fiber network.

Crews were delayed and will finish paving Friday night.

From 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., the following roads will be closed: 

  • Ninth Avenue South between 17th Street South and 19th Street South
  • 18th Street South between University Boulevard and Ninth Avenue South

Access to the following buildings may be partially or fully affected:

Rust, Research Support Building, Southeastern Biosafety Lab (SEB Lab), 1715 Building, Ninth Avenue Office Building, School of Nursing, School of Public Health, Learning Resource Center, and 19th Street Parking Deck.

The City of Birmingham will be milling and paving those streets following an upgrade to the underground fiber hub.
As part of the initative 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.

Having all of the asset information on campus managed by a single system is critical to maintaining a secure computing environment. For those areas without any tools UAB IT will work with you to implement SCCM on all systems; for those areas that already have SCCM implemented, we will work with you to integrate your instance with the enterprise; and for those who have implemented a different solution, we will work with you to import information to the Campus SCCM database on a regular basis. 

A kickoff meeting for the initiative will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 9, at the Finley Conference Center.

IT managers should contact UAB IT about who will represent their areas at the kickoff meeting.