Thursday, 18 August 2016 12:31

TechConnect services

TechConnect offers a variety of services, from virus removal to computer backup.

TechConnect Services Table
The UAB network will experience one, and possibly three, 2-4 minute outages between 6 and 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 20, as UAB IT performs annual network upgrades.

UAB IT has scheduled the outage while classes are out of session to lessen the impact on campus.

The UAB Hospital network will not be affected by the outage.
Tuesday, 02 August 2016 12:26

IT Update for August 2016

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August 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.

Investing in you

$2.5 million will help improve speed for UAB network

Upgrade will create a competitive advantage for researchers and improve performance for students, faculty and staff. More improvements are under way or planned to strengthen network connectivity across the university and UAB Healthcare. Read more about your network here.

CAMPUS
May we help you? AskIT improvements a priority for UAB IT
If you call AskIT in the near future, you might receive help from Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver. Department leadership will be taking an active role in assessing how AskIT can improve how we serve campus — in some cases by answering calls and helping customers. A team from HDI, an association of technical support professionals, has been auditing AskIT to make recommendations on improving service. The goal is to provide quick, reliable assistance to students, faculty and staff. Learn more about the planned improvements.

Don't stay stuck on UABStartHere; switch to UABSecure
When you are using WiFi on campus, make sure you log on to the UABSecure network, which will provide greater security and stability for students, faculty and staff. Need help to get your device to "forget" UABStartHere? We have instructions in the IT Service Portal's knowledge base to help so that you can log in to the secure network every time.

Last name, first name: Searching email addresses now easier
A change in the email system global address list has modified the user name search order to Last Name, First Name Middle, Suffix. This will make it easier and quicker for users to find the correct email address on campus and at the UAB Health System. Learn more here.

RESEARCH
Research computing aids team investigating Parkinson's
Parkinson’s disease symptomatically affects more than 1 million people living throughout North America. There are many researchers throughout the world searching for ways to prevent and cure this degenerative disease. A major step towards a breakthrough would be the discovery of something called biomarkers. A research team on the forefront of this search is being led by a fellow Blazer. Neurologist Frank Skidmore of UAB is the project principal investigator as part of the Extended Collaborative Support Services (ECSS) program component of the National Science Foundation’s eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). This is a joint effort between computational scientists at the University of Tennessee and medical researchers from UAB. This partnership exemplifies the deep support for science teams that UAB Research Computing has been working to provide. Other researchers from UAB include Thomas Anthony and Jon Marstrander of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Yuliang Liu of the Department of Biostatistics. 
TEACHING & LEARNING
Get a $200 gift card with Notebook Program purchase
For a limited time, students who purchase a laptop through the TechConnect Notebook Program can also receive a $200 Dell gift card to use toward additional technology purchases. The new Notebook Program offers students discounts on laptops bundled with on-campus service and support. TechConnect's web site also offers a variety of other options for discounts on technology purchases, and the store — located at the Hill Student Center — takes both Apple Pay and Android Pay in addition to major credit cards.

UAB IT to help new Blazers on freshman move-in day
When freshmen arrive on campus to move into residence halls, UAB IT will be there to help greet them and answer questions about technology on campus — everything from logging on to the network to tips on secure computing. UAB IT has already met many of the incoming freshmen through participation in new student orientation throughout the summer.
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION
SharePoint form system saves time for School of Nursing
UAB IT's SharePoint team was able to create a new form for the School of Nursing that saves time and effort for students, faculty and staff. The new preceptor planning form system, created in SharePoint, offers a better solution to route the forms through multiple offices, making it easier to perform placement for 600 students per semester located across the country. "This saves faculty and staff a tremendous amount of time," said Dr. Ashley Hodges with the School of Nursing. "Documents are secure and we don’t find ourselves looking for lost forms. We now have a system to archive old PPFs. Faculty and staff who are part of the PPF approval system can now track progress in the PPF approval system and easily determine where it is in the process."
COMMUNITY
Birmingham, UAB highlighted at new Sloss Tech event 
"The genesis of ideas happens when you least expect it." That sentiment from Andy Grignon, speaker at the inaugural Sloss Tech hosted by TechBirmingham, was among the messages shared at the day-long event designed to highlight Birmingham's growing technology community. Not only did tech entrepreneurs share their stories of success — and some advice on failure — they also showcased what Birmingham and UAB have to offer. "UAB is a hotbed of good ideas," said UAB neurosurgeon and entrepreneur Dr. Bart Guthrie, who added that the university is a great resource for people thinking "there must be a better way." The technology summit was a kickoff for the second annual Sloss Fest music festival, and TechBirmingham President Jennifer Skjellum said organizers hope to grow Sloss Tech into an event similar to Austin's South by Southwest, or SXSW.
SECURITY
Security tip: Protect yourself online
Browsing web sites, shopping online, playing Pokemon Go — there are dozens of ways we go online every day. While no browser, app or device can be perfectly secure, learning safe browsing habits and practicing them every day can help you be safer and more secure online. For more tips on how to protect yourself online, click here.

Don't get hooked by phone scams
With new and returning students arriving on campus this month, we want to remind students, faculty and staff that students and parents have been targeted by phone scams over the past year, with malicious callers impersonating police and university officials and trying to steal money or personal information. No one at UAB or law enforcement agencies will call to ask for your password or demand money. Learn more here
TECH CORNER
Co-designed software download solution coming next month
Campus IT professionals have been working with UAB IT to co-design a new solution for institutional software downloads for UAB-owned computers. In coming weeks, UAB IT will be scheduling training for the new solution, which uses Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). When the new download solution debuts next month, the current software download site will remain live as UAB transitions to the new system for UAB-owned computers. For software downloads for their personal home computers, students, faculty and staff can go to On the Hub.

UAB IT updates Java recommendations for UAB systems
UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for the version of Java as for use with UAB's administrative systems. Java 1.8.91 is the currently recommended version.

UAB continues partnership with Auburn on IT ideas
UAB IT leadership met last month with counterparts at Auburn University to share ideas and discuss areas of mutual interest. Representatives from both schools have found common ground for a partnership that will benefit both institutions and their students.
DID YOU KNOW?
PASSWORD TOOL: UAB IT offers a new password tool to help better protect . Learn more about those improvements to technology at UAB here.

30th ANNIVERSARY: The University's .edu domain name turns 30 this year. UAB was the first university in the state — and the 40th in the nation — to secure a .edu domain name when the internet was in it early stages. UAB.edu debuted a new look earlier this year.
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Monday, 25 July 2016 10:55

IT Update for July 2016

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July 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.

Empowering UAB

IT Strategic Plan co-authored by campus is published

"Our call to action" is how UAB Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver describes UAB's new IT Strategic Plan, published after an extensive process involving input from 14 town halls and eight committees, made up of more than 100 people. That feedback allowed the campus community to co-author the plan that will guide UAB IT's work for the next three years. The goal is a plan of work that allows UAB IT to empower students, faculty and staff and creates value for the university. Read more about the plan here.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Rivers joins UAB IT as chief information security officer
Brian Rivers will join UAB IT on July 11 as assistant vice president and chief information security officer. Rivers has 20 years of experience in information technology in higher education and business industries, most recently as University Information Security Officer at the University of Georgia. Learn more here.

New tool helps keep users' passwords secure
As part of an ongoing effort to help better secure UAB employees’ passwords, faculty, staff, and students now have access to an account in Keeper, a secure and easy-to-use password management system that allows users to have more complex passwords and easily use them in web applications. Learn more here.

Email change will make it easier to search for users
A change in UAB’s global address list for the campus and UAB Medicine email systems will make it easier for users to search for email addresses across UAB. On July 22, the global address list change will modify the search order to Last Name, First Name Middle, Suffix. Learn more here

Give us your input on on software distribution design
UAB IT is committed to making institutional and home-use software more accessible for the UAB community by simplifying the software distribution process and streamlining the approval path for fee-based orders. There will be an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to review and provide feedback on the new software distribution design on  Friday, July 8 from 1:30-2:30pm in the Hill Student Center room 318. Questions can be directed to Shira Fogel at sfogel@uab.edu or 996-6274.

Office 365, UABbox login page look is changing
UAB IT is updating its login page for Office 365, OneDrive and UABbox. The limited single sign-on login page for those cloud-based storage systems will change July 8. The change simply reflects an upgrade of the system that underlies the sign-in method. 
CAMPUS
TechConnect Notebook program bundles service, support
TechConnect, the tech store powered by UAB IT, has launched a new Notebook program, which allows students to purchase a Dell laptop bundled with on-campus service and support as well as a loaner program. The laptops are available at a variety of price points and with educational discounts from Dell. Learn more here.

Many SPARK ideas now part of IT Strategic Plan
A year after debuting the SPARK site for crowdsourcing ideas, UAB IT has incorporated many of the ideas not already implemented into its strategic plan. In coming weeks, UAB IT will update the campus community on the status of those ideas.

RESEARCH
Board of Trustees approves funds to improve network speed
The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees last month granted UAB IT's request to approve $2.5 million in funding to improve network speed on campus. The funding is part of UAB IT's plan to grow the network capacity to 100GB.

UAB research computing cluster largest in state
UAB's research computing cluster is now the largest in Alabama, with a capacity of 110 teraflops and more than 6 petabytes of storage, giving researchers a greater competitive advantage. Funding for the research computing cluster has come from institutional funds, including grants from the university's Mission Support Fund, and an Alabama Innovation Fund grant.
TEACHING & LEARNING
TechConnect offers variety of payment methods
UAB student Madelyn Taylor last month was the first to make an in-store purchase at TechConnect, UAB IT's technology storefront at the Hill Student Center. UAB students and staff can now make purchases in store using credit cards, Blazer Bucks, Apple Pay or Android Pay. Taylor purchased a new laptop as part of TechConnect's new Notebook program. Students and staff can find discounts on hardware, software and accessories through the TechConnect store and web site.

HireABlazer launches for student employment opportunities
UAB's new system for student job and internship opportunities, HireABlazer, launched last month. HireABlazer replaces DragonTrail and allows students to create a visual profile and search for jobs and internships, and companies to post jobs and seek student employees and interns. UAB IT assisted with the implementation of the new system.

Faculty program selects grant winners using SharePoint site
The 2016-2017 winners of the UAB Faculty Development Grant Program were selected in late April using UAB’s newly updated SharePoint site. The FDGP provides money for research, teaching and service related projects and allows faculty to undertake new efforts for which funding is not generally available, and enables faculty to develop, publications, grant applications, future research initiatives, new skills, and overall enhanced effectiveness as faculty. UAB’s SharePoint site, which was upgraded this spring, provided the platform for the application process and even allowed applicants to edit their submitted form until the deadline. The Research Committee of the Faculty Senate then reviewed the applications and scored them in a list form also created in SharePoint, which allowed the committee to easily rate the applications and select top candidates. 
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION
UAB launches Campus Kronos for timekeeping
UAB Human Resources partnered with UAB IT on implementation of the new Campus Kronos system for timekeeping. Kronos is a cloud-based system accessed via web site using single sign-on. Training on the system for nonexempt employees began last month, and employees will begin using the system July 10. For details, including system requirements for Kronos, click here.
COMMUNITY
TechBridge, UAB IT host successful Screen on the Green 
On Thursday, June 9, TechBridge and UAB hosted “Screen on the Green,” a free outdoor showing of “The Incredibles” on the UAB Campus Green. Families enjoyed dinner from a variety of local food trucks as they set up their lawn chairs and blankets on the Green. Dr. Curt Carver, vice president and CIO, kicked off the event by welcoming the families of the technology community. “[You] are the real Incredibles,” he told the gathering crowd. “Your superpower is that you care. Your mission is simply to change the world.” TechBridge is a nonprofit that drives community impact by bringing affordable business and technology expertise to nonprofits on the frontline of alleviating poverty. Partners for the event included TechBirmingham, Innovation Depot, SIM Alabama, InfraGard, and the Economic Partnership of Alabama.

UAB IT exceeds Benevolent Fund goal
UAB IT was one of 12 units at the university that exceeded its 2016 campaign goal for the Benevolent Fund. Overall, the Benevolent Fund raised more than $2 million this year to support 120 non-profit organizations in the region and also to help employees needing assistance.

Carver co-chairs CIO Executive Summit
Dr. Curt Carver, vice president and CIO, co-chaired the 11th annual Atlanta CIO Executive Summit held on June 2. Carver served as a speaker in an interactive discussion titled “Volume and Variety in Big Data – Asking the Right Questions. The summit, built “by CIOs, for CIOs,” combined exclusive content and networking to benefit attending IT executives.

'Surviving the IT Talent Crisis' publication features Carver
A new report from Harvard Business Review and the Enterprisers Project, a community of CIOs discussing the future of business and IT, focuses on "Surviving the IT Talent Crisis." Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver is among the CIOs quoted in the report, which highlights best practices for dealing with IT talent challenges. 
SECURITY
Security tip: Don't get hooked by phishing scams
Phishing attacks, or attempts to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, or credit card details, pose a major risk to you and to UAB. These attacks may come in the form of e-mails that seem trustworthy, but may convince you to install malicious software or reveal your personal information under false pretenses. Look for indicators like threats or spelling/grammar errors, and avoid clicking on any links in suspicious e-mails. For more tips on how to protect yourself from phishing, click here.
TECH CORNER
HDI team analyzing AskIT help desk to help improve service 
UAB IT is engaging a team from the HDI, an association for technical support professionals, to conduct interviews with customers, examine internal processes, and observe the AskIT help desk. The HDI team will measure UAB IT's service desk maturity level and make recommendations to improve service.

End of support deadline approaches for Microsoft products
July 12 marks the next Microsoft End of Support deadline. After this date, the following Microsoft products and Service Packs will no longer be supported: BizTalk Server 2006, BizTalk Server 2006 R2, Commerce Server 2007, Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2005, SQL Server 2014 RTM, SCCM 2012 R2 RTM, Dynamics CRM 2013 RTM, and Dynamics SL 2011 SP2.

Panel to test registration form for firewall changes
As UAB IT continues its plan to update and modernize its campus edge protections, five departments and schools have been identified as beta testers for a new registration form and process to request external user access. UAB is modifying its border firewall posture later this year to what is known as default-deny, a best practice for enterprise environments. This posture will improve the security of the campus network, information systems and any private or sensitive data stored at UAB. Any server or service which requires external users to access, such as a public web site, will need to be registered. If you are interested in joining the beta testing group for the new registration form, please contact UAB IT Information Security at datasecurity@uab.edu.
EXPLORING NEW IDEAS
ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE: UAB It has commitments from the university and is moving forward with a plan to design a BlazerID-based system for electronic signature. 

OPTIDOC: Plans for replacement of the system are moving forward after overcoming previous roadblocks.
DID YOU KNOW?
MORE THAN 100 WINS: Over the past year, UAB IT has partnered with constituents across campus to achieve more than 100 wins for the university community. Learn more about those improvements to technology at UAB here.
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Friday, 17 June 2016 14:16

Where to find TechConnect

ContactUsIcon
Contact Us

Email techconnect@uab.edu
Phone 205.934.8333
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Where to find us

TechConnect is located
in room 135
on the first floor of the 
Hill Student Center
TimeIcon
Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
Monday-Friday
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 08:17

IT Update for June 2016

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June 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.

UAB IT for the win

In one year, UAB IT has notched more than 100 wins for campus


When Vice President and CIO Curt Carver arrived at UAB, he promised that UAB IT would deliver 100 IT wins for campus in one year. The department has delivered — and then some. More than 100 wins, large and small, have been accomplished in partnership with departments and individuals across campus. You can explore these UAB wins here. Meanwhile, we have many more improvements to make — and we're counting on another 100 wins this year to help support our world-class university in its mission to be a first choice in education and health care.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Review, give feedback on the IT Strategic Plan
After months of committee meetings and town halls, the draft of the IT Strategic Plan for UAB has been published. Students, faculty and staff are invited to review the plan and provide feedback on IT priorities. Learn more here.


Pruitt named AVP for Enterprise Applications
After a national search, Ken Pruitt, interim assistant vice president for Enterprise Applications and Solutions, has been named to the position. Pruitt, who has been with UAB since 2007, has an extensive career in management and information systems, including work at Accenture and BellSouth. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi and an MBA from Millsaps College. "Ken has a proven track record of building a strong, loyal team and maintaining strong customer relationships at UAB," said Vice President and CIO Curt Carver. Pruitt, who has two sons with his wife Pam, is active in the Boy Scouts of America.

Join us for a free movie on the Campus Green
Because we have such an incredible campus community, UAB IT has joined TechBridge in hosting a free movie on the Campus Green. Students, faculty and staff are invited to join us Thursday, June 9, to watch "The Incredibles." Bring your families along with lawn chairs, blankets and coolers of snacks. We will also have food trucks on hand with a variety of dinner and dessert options. Learn more here.
CAMPUS
WiFi upgraded at new locations around campus
New WiFi hotspots will continue to make campus life easier for UAB students. Over the past several weeks, UAB IT has made a number of improvements to its WiFi coverage across campus. These improvements came as a result of a top 10 list of technology needs from the Undergraduate Student Government Association. New hotspots will be located at Lister Hill Library, the School of Optometry, Campus Green, Hill Student Center, Unity Park and the soccer field.

Automated password reset helps protect students, staff
UAB students, faculty and staff have made a successful transition to the automated password reset feature in BlazerID Central, a process that makes it easier for users to reset their password. Automated password reset allows users to bypass AskIT when they need to reset a forgotten password; with an enrolled phone number, users can get a text message to help reset the password.

UAB to seek approval for funding to improve network speed
The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees will hear from UAB IT leadership June 16-17 as UAB seeks approval for $2.5 million in funding to improve network speed on campus. The funding is part of UAB IT's plan to grow the network capacity to 100GB.

RESEARCH
IRAP vendor CEO visits UAB, looking forward to expansion
The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and UAB IT hosted a visit by Eddie Johnson and Nacole Simonds, president and vice president of InfoEd Global, May 2-5. UAB is implementing its Integrated Research Administration Portal (IRAP) based on InfoEd Global research administration software. The company, which is based in Albany, N.Y., is exploring the possibility of establishing a secondary office in Birmingham. Johnson met with UAB President Ray Watts and visited the Innovation Depot as part of his visit. Johnson said he appreciated seeing how UAB's vision for technology is being accomplished. "Many places are talking about doing the things that UAB is actually already doing," Johnson said. "What they are implementing is beyond what others have even thought about yet. We are excited to see the results of our strengthening partnership. They have an incredibly strong team of resources, and it is exciting to be a part of that family. I expect great things from our partnership and look forward to being a part of UAB as they implement their vision." UAB leaders are looking forward to continued collaboration. "We think he was favorably impressed by both the business opportunities and the nice weather Birmingham has to offer," said Dr. Lauretta Gerrity, senior associate vice president for research administration.

UAB IT collaborates with CITI to bring data to IRAP portal
UAB IT Research Support and UAB IT Application Consulting Services have been collaborating with UAB CIRB to interface with CITI Research training. CITI the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative was established in 2000, CITI Program's mission is to provide educational content that promotes the quality of and public trust in the research enterprise. UAB employees' and cohorts' CITI training data will be automatically flowing into IRAP the Integrated Research Administration Portal as a result of this collaboration.
TEACHING & LEARNING
UAB IT helps welcome new students during orientation
UAB IT is helping to welcome new Blazers and their parents during orientation this summer. In addition to participating in the student activity fair, UAB IT is sponsoring a parent reception and providing technology information. Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver is presenting information to students at each session held throughout the summer for new freshmen, transfer students and non-traditional students. UAB IT staff is also available at TechConnect, UAB IT's storefront at the Hill Student Center, to answer questions for incoming students and their parents.
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION
Security Challenge helps protect employee information
UAB's new Security Challenge helps protect employees' personal and financial information in the Oracle system. Beginning June 7, users logging in to Oracle will be required to sign up for the Security Challenge, a set of questions with user-unique answers. UAB and UAB employees have experienced institutional and personal loss as a result of phishing emails, which prompted the extra security. Learn more here.

UAB IT helps support Benevolent Fund in reaching goals
UAB IT Application Consulting Services participates annually in the technical support for the Benevolent Fund database and donor contribution application during the annual fund drive and throughout the year. UAB IT's role is to provide customized administrative reporting and support. "It is also our honor to work with the Benevolent Fund office, a group truly dedicated to the success of the fund and always a pleasure to support," said Bill Laughlin, director of Application Consulting Services.
COMMUNITY
IT Town Hall coming for Birmingham tech community
UAB IT will be partnering with TechBirmingham to host a town hall for the Birmingham tech community to discuss how UAB can help strengthen economic development and help expand the tech industry in in Birmingham and beyond. Details will be published to the UAB community and the area technical community.

State's CIOs meet to discuss possible partnerships
Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver met with CIOs from around Alabama last month to discuss areas of mutual interest. The meeting is intended to develop stronger partnerships among chief information officers from public and private institutions.
SECURITY
Network firewall protections to be strengthened
To safeguard UAB’s network, UAB IT is planning to update and modernize its campus edge protections over the summer to limit the impact of attempted intrusions by external attackers. Campus IT professionals will need to take action to ensure the changes do not negatively impact the normal activities of students, faculty, staff and researchers. UAB will be modifying the border firewall posture later this year to what is known as “default-deny,” a best practice for enterprise environments. This posture will improve the security of the campus network, information systems and any private or sensitive data stored at UAB. Any server or service which requires external users to access, such as a public website will need to be registered. UAB IT is developing a registration form, and IT leaders around campus are co-authoring the process for implementing the changes. More details will be communicated throughout the summer. Please note that this change does not apply for systems within the UAB Health System network. HSIS utilizes the default-deny firewall policy at their network edge already.

Security tip: Always secure your devices
Mobile devices have become one of the primary ways we communicate and interact with each other. The power of a computer is now at our fingertips, allowing us to bank, shop, view medical history, attend to work remotely, and communicate virtually anywhere. With all these convenient features come added risks, but click here for some tips to protect your devices and your personal information.
TECH CORNER
UAB IT co-sponsors Microsoft Education Tech Days
UAB technology employees had an opportunity last month to attend Microsoft Education Tech Days, a chance to connect with Microsoft specialists and partners to learn more about how education leaders in the Southeast are using technology. The event was co-sponsored by UAB IT. 

Dell to present lunch and learn session
UAB information technology professionals are invited to attend a lunch and learn Thursday, June 2, featuring Dell representatives. The event, which offers lunch provided by Dell, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cudworth Hall room 140. Dell will present information about printing and printer management roadmap.
EXPLORING NEW IDEAS
EMAIL ADDRESS LOOKUP: President Ray Watts has charged UAB IT and HSIS to examine email options that will be sensible, non-redundant and cost-effective. This initiative looks to address long-standing issues with addressee lookup (moving from lookup by first name to lookup by last name) and calendar visibility.

TECHCONNECT REPAIRS COMING: TechConnect, UAB IT's technology storefront at the Hill Student Center, will soon offer repairs for technology equipment. Repair services are expected to begin by mid-summer.
DID YOU KNOW?
BE AWARE OF PHONE SCAMS: UAB officials and law enforcement will never ask for your password, personal information or payment over the phone. Be aware that phone scams have targeted students, parents and employees over the past year. Learn tips to protect yourself.
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InfoEd president
UAB has a strong research team, the president of IRAP parent company InfoEd Global said following a recent visit to campus.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and UAB IT hosted a visit by Eddie Johnson and Nacole Simonds, president and vice president of InfoEd Global, on May 2-5. UAB is implementing its Integrated Research Administration Portal (IRAP) based on InfoEd Global research administration software. The company, which is based in Albany, N.Y., is exploring the possibility of establishing a secondary office in Birmingham.

Johnson met with UAB President Ray Watts and visited the Innovation Depot as part of his visit. Johnson said he appreciated seeing how UAB's vision for technology is being accomplished.

"Many places are talking about doing the things that UAB is actually already doing," he said. "What they are implementing is beyond what others have even thought about yet. We are excited to see the results of our strengthening partnership. They have an incredibly strong team of resources, and it is exciting to be a part of that family. I expect great things from our partnership and look forward to being a part of UAB as they implement their vision."

UAB leaders are looking forward to continued collaboration. "We think he was favorably impressed by both the business opportunities and the nice weather Birmingham has to offer," said Dr. Lauretta Gerrity, senior associate vice president for research administration.
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 08:39

IT Update for May 2016

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May 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.

Empower UAB: Next steps

Ideas from town halls, SPARK will be incorporated into strategic plan

Over the past three weeks, UAB IT customers have taken an active part in shaping the IT Strategic Plan — voicing their opinions in 14 town hall meetings and eight committees, even jotting ideas on Post-It notes. As the next phase of strategic planning begins, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to continue sharing their ideas on the SPARK platform. By the end of May, an executive committee will approve the draft of the plan before it is shared with the campus for a 30-day review period. Learn more here.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Sign up for automated BlazerID password reset
Forgotten your BlazerID password and need to reset it? The easiest way is to have already signed up for automated password reset through BlazerID Central. Those who are signed up will get a code via text message to reset their BlazerID password, bypassing the need to talk to AskIT. For those not enrolled during the next time you reset your password, you will be prompted to enroll during that reset process. As of May 2, enrollment in the automated password reset tool is mandatory. Learn more here.

New feature adds new layer of security to UAB systems 
UAB has deployed a security challenge in Oracle, adding a layer of security to the system that houses employees' personal and financial information. The security challenge is a series of questions for which Oracle users will provide unique answers. Each time a user logs in, he or she will be presented with a random question. Learn more about the security challenge and other new security improvements here.

Adobe Creative Cloud now available at half price
Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions will now be available to UAB faculty and staff at half-price for a 13-month subscription. UAB IT is reducing the price of Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions from $300 to $150 — and including an extra month subscription. Learn more here.

FBI phone scam targets universities across country  
A phone scam targeting college students across the country is spoofing the FBI's phone number, threatening students and parents that they will be arrested if they do not pay thousands of dollars for such alleged debts as tuition, student loans or parking tickets. Similar scams have affected UAB students and parents, who are advised to be alerted to the new scam. Learn more here.
CAMPUS
WiFi better at library, athletic fields, mini-park; more coming
UAB IT continues to make improvements to its WiFi coverage across campus, with new outdoor WiFi hotspots installed in a number of locations over the past several weeks. The undergraduate Student Government Association requested improved WiFi coverage in a top ten list of technology needs presented to UAB IT leadership in March. New hotspots are located at the baseball and softball fields; Sterne Library; the Education Building mini-park; and the tennis courts. Plans also call for more hotspots at Lister Hill Library, the School of Optometry, Campus Green, Hill Student Center, Unity Park and the soccer field. Improvements have also been ongoing at the Administration Building, with new WiFi access points installed on 11 floors so far.

Praise & Progress recognizes UAB employees
UAB IT has launched a new internal program that recognizes the successes of employees both inside and outside the department. Monthly Praise & Progress sessions will give UAB IT employees a chance to recognize their own accomplishments and their fellow employees. In the first session, a third of the participants recognized employees outside UAB IT. Learn more here.
RESEARCH
IRAP change reduces processing time for research staff
The reporting tools available through IRAP — the Integrated Research Administration Portal — allow UAB research staff to analyze workflow and identify changes that might further streamline procedures. A recent change within IRAP has reduced processing time for the staff of the Material Transfer Office, from five days to 1.5. The office staff of the Material Transfer Office recognized that Addgene, a plasmid repository that accounted for 28 percent of all initial receiving agreement records for calendar year 2015, allowed electronic signature approval by the institutional official. The standard operating procedures for the office were modified to adopt the online signature and expedite review. It is worth noting that the Addgene agreements often involve materials from multiple institutions; however, there is only one IRAP record for the transaction. Thus these numbers underrepresent the actual number of agreements and do not reflect the true time savings.

New IRAP module deployed for Animal Care and Use panel
Deployment of a new IRAP module that supports the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee has reduced the administrative burden of investigators, reviewers and the IACUC office. Implementation of IRAP modules usually begins with converting the central administration office into the system followed by introduction of electronic forms for use by the campus. The IACUC and its support Office made the transition from a legacy system into IRAP in December 2014; however, there was no change at that time in the Word forms used by investigators to request approval of research animal use. After extensive testing, a single, web-based Animal Use Request/Registration (AUR) form was made available April 1, 2016. It replaces eight Word forms and includes many features to reduce the administrative burden of investigators, reviewers, and the IACUC Office. An associated, online handbook is hyperlinked to the form to allow users ready access to explanations about the reason a question is being asked, examples of possible responses, and where additional help may be obtained. The rollout of this form involved two Town Halls and multiple training sessions in computer labs at various locations on campus for the convenience of investigators. Training continues to be available by registering for an IRAP Help Session in the Learning Management System of by scheduling one-on-one or group training with the IACUC Office. With the changes in procedures made possible by IRAP, the IACUC’s processing time for initial submissions has been reduced by approximately 30 percent. The new, online form is expected to further reduce the time to approval.

Research storage funding approved by UA Board of Trustees
The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved funding for improvements to the research computing infrastructure. Funding from the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering will allow UAB IT to increase UAB's research storage tenfold, from 0.7 to 6.7 petabytes. Learn more about research computing.
TEACHING & LEARNING
UAB IT will take active role in New Student Orientation
In addition to participating in the student activity fair, UAB IT will sponsor a parent reception and provide technology information at this year's New Student Orientation sessions. Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver will also present information to students during each session, which will be held throughout the summer for new freshmen, transfer students and non-traditional students. UAB IT staff will also be available at TechConnect, UAB IT's storefront at the Hill Student Center, to answer questions for incoming students and their parents.
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION
Budget Works offers online submission, approvals
The UAB Budget Office recently contracted with UAB IT Application Consulting Services to build a new and enhanced budget model tool, Budget Works. The legacy product referred to as BMS (Budget Model System) had reached end-of-life and the need for a custom application to continue the method used to create and submit departmental budgets was determined. The UAB Budget Works budget model application is a budget development tool used by UAB employees to create and submit budgets through an online application and uses a built-in approval process. Budget Works is used to establish departmental budgets for the next fiscal year and can be used to print or download reports as needed throughout the year. The new application was completed in time for testing and training prior to the start of the new budget season. Training is currently ongoing.
COMMUNITY
Gift keeps mother's memory alive
A gift from the family of Deputy CIO Robert Howard will establish the Cynthia Howard Endowed Support Fund for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research, an opportunity to fund research into the disease that took Howard's mother's life and a chance for Howard and his family to give back to UAB and the Birmingham community. Learn more about the gift here.

Join UAB, TechBridge for outdoor movie on Campus Green
TechBridge and UAB will host Screen on the Green, a free outdoor showing of "The Incredibles" on the UAB Campus Green on Thursday, June 9. Families are invited to bring lawn chairs, coolers and blankets to enjoy the film. Admission is free with registration. Click here to register. Doors open at 7 p.m., and showtime is at 8 p.m. Partners for the event include TechBirmingham, Innovation Depot, SIM Alabama, InfraGard, and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. TechBridge is a nonprofit that drives community impact by bringing affordable business and technology expertise to nonprofits on the frontline of alleviating poverty.
SECURITY
New classification system will help secure UAB data
Classification of data is central to building a secure computing environment for UAB. UAB IT will soon introduce a data classification standard that uses a common three-level system for identifying data: public (green), private (yellow), and sensitive (red), which will require the most security. Each classification level will have minimum security requirements. The goal is to identify the location of UAB’s most sensitive data so that the required controls for protecting it can be implemented. 

Keeper password security tool coming for campus
Later this month UAB IT will deploy Keeper, a best-in-class password management software tool that allows users to securely store and manage passwords and logins. The service will be available to all UAB faculty and staff. The software has been in beta testing for several months.
TECH CORNER
More than 200 improvements made to IT Service Portal
After meetings with campus IT and focus groups with students and staff, UAB IT has made more than 200 improvements — both large and small — to the IT Service Portal. Input from customers and IT professionals has been essential in making these changes to help improve the user experience. While the pace of changes being moved to production will change over time, UAB IT will continue to seek areas of improvement to the portal and in how services are delivered to campus. Details about completed and upcoming improvements resulting from user input are available at campus IT feedback sessions and student and staff focus groups.

UAB IT recommends uninstall for Quicktime for Windows
Apple has ended support for Quicktime for Windows, leaving the software vulnerable to exploitation. UAB IT recommends that user unintstall Quicktime for Windows. Instructions can be found here

Microsoft Education Tech Days coming May 18-19
UAB IT is hosting Microsoft’s Education Tech Days event on campus May 18-19. The event is open to both internal and external attendees, so registration is required. Space is limited so register early. The event will be held in the Hill Student Center, ballrooms C and D. Registration can be accessed here.

TechBirmingham events available to IT employees
Through UAB's institutional membership with TechBirmingham, all technology employees at UAB are entitled to free or significantly discounted access to the events, networking opportunities, training and other events sponsored by TechBirmingham. Learn more about upcoming events.
EXPLORING NEW IDEAS
TECHCONNECT REPAIRS COMING: TechConnect, UAB IT's technology storefront at the Hill Student Center, will soon offer repairs for technology equipment. Repair services are expected to begin by mid-summer.

ALUMNI EMAIL: UAB IT continues to work on a solution that would provide alumni with UAB email accounts.
DID YOU KNOW?
UNLIMITED STORAGE: UAB IT offers two services to faculty and staff for unlimited cloud storage, UAB Box and Microsoft OneDrive. Wondering which one would work better for you? Learn more here.
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Tuesday, 17 May 2016 13:11

TechConnect Notebook program

Notebookprogram logoThe TechConnect Notebook program combines a laptop computer that meets or exceeds individual school or program requirements with the on- and off-campus support and service students need. The offering is available only to UAB students who choose to purchase a program laptop through UAB TechConnect. 

Products can be ordered and paid for online now, with pickup availabie in August 2016, prior to the start of the fall term. Customers will be notified when the notebook is available for pickup.

Some limited products are available for immediate purchase and pickup at the TechConnect store in Hill University Center. Call ahead at 205-934-8333 for availability (do not order below). 



DellInspiron Touch2 DellInspiron Touch 2 DellInspiron700 2
TIER 1
Dell Inspiron 5000
15.6" non-touch, Intel i5,
8GB RAM, 1 TB SATA,
DVD R/W, Windows 10

Dell hardware price: $797.99
TIER 2
Dell Inspiron 5000 2-in-1
15.6" touch, Intel i7, 8GB RAM,
1 TB SATA, NO DVD,
Windows 10
Dell hardware price: $1,047.99
TIER 3
Dell Inspiron 7000
15.6" touch, Intel i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB hybrid with 128ssd, NVIDIA 4GB GTX 960M, no DVD, Windows 10
Dell hardware price: $1,497.99 
TechConnect price
$699.39*

Order


You save $98
*Price includes $26 fee to fund
loaner program
TechConnect price
$899.39*

Order


You save $148
*Price includes $26 fee to fund
loaner program
TechConnect price
$1,259.39*

Order

You save $238
*Price includes $26 fee to fund
loaner program
 


The Notebook program includes:
Laptops pre-configured for UAB.
TechConnect Notebooks are selected to meet or exceed the recommendations from UAB IT and the academic areas. Each one comes ready for use at UAB and includes the main required software and access to UAB services and network. In some cases, TechConnect has worked with individual schools to include additional software to support that school's unique requirements.

On-campus service and support. Assistance with setup, software installs, WiFi network setup and coordination of warranty hardware repairs comes with each TechConnect Notebook.

Loaner laptops. Students with TechConnect Notebooks needing prolonged service will be provided a loaner laptop to use until their notebook is returned. The purchase of each TechConnect Notebook includes a one-time fee of $26 to support the loaner program. (Should loaner demand exceed supply, a wait list will be maintained to provide a loaner as quickly as one becomes available.)

Extended hardware warranty. A three-year manufacturer's hardware warranty comes with each TechConnect Notebook.

Full service warranty. Warranty hardware support for your TechConnect Notebook is covered off campus as well. TechConnect Notebooks can be repaired by any certified Dell vendor in the United States.

Accidental damage protection. TechConnect Notebooks come with three-year manufacturer's damage protection, which covers repair or replacement for liquid spills, drops, falls, electrical surges, damaged or broken LCD due to a drop or fall.
Thursday, 12 May 2016 14:46

Parent TechList

Parents of new students: Learn more about the services offered by UAB IT and get started with technology even before your student arrives on campus.

Check your email. Don't miss out on important information from UAB. Every student has access to a free 50 GB e-mail account through Office 365. Your UAB email address (BlazerID@uab.edu) is the place to look for all official correspondence from UAB.
Help pack your student's computer. Check out the recommended computer specs before bringing yours or buying a new one. 
Learn which systems are recommended for your school or department.
Learn how to get your computer ready for UAB here.
Connect on campus. Find out how best to connect to WiFi on campus here. Residence halls use a separate network called Apogee ResNet; learn more here.
Get free and discounted software. Through their Office 365 accounts, all students get Microsoft Office software for free. Many other software offerings are also free or discounted. Learn more about Office 365 here (BlazerID login required). Download other software at the IT Service Portal.
Secure your student's computer. Students have access to free antivirus software for Windows and Apple. 
Students also have access to Keeper, a password manager software.
Uninstall peer-to-peer software. Downloading copyrighted materials puts students at risk for fines, university sanctions and even criminal charges. Remove peer-to-peer software such as BitTorrent, FrostWire and similar programs from student computers. Students should use legal alternatives to obtain music, books, movies or software. Learn more here.
Check out TechConnect for new tech equipment. Through UAB IT's TechConnect web site, you can get educational pricing on computers, laptops, tablets, accessories and more. Visit the TechConnect storefront at Hill Student Center for advice on your purchases.
Contact AskIT if you need help. Visit askit.uab.edu to request IT services, report problems with IT services, or read knowledge articles aabout IT services. You can also email, call or visit us.