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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Last modified on August 02, 2016