Tuesday, January 27, 2015

February is Data Privacy Month

Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day is celebrated annually on January 28 and is an international effort focused on "Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust." 

EDUCAUSE takes Data Privacy Day and extends the effort for the entire month of February. To help raise awareness about Data Privacy, our very own subject matter experts, Marvin Shullenberger and Scott Taber, from the Security Services Team will be delivering an interactive and engaging presentation that will explain how to reduce your vulnerability of experiencing a data privacy incident.

Join the Staff Center for Training & Development and the Security Services Team for a special session on how to detect and avoid Internet scams, in addition to the data privacy dangers of using USB drives.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
from 1:00 to 1:50 p.m.

Michigan College of Optometry building, room 210

When in Doubt, Throw it Out
presented by
Marvin Shullenberger

Rule of Thumb on Thumb Drives
presented by
Scott Taber

Learn how to check your privacy settings for email, social networks, e-commerce sites and many more applications hereFor more tips and facts regarding data privacy, please visit Stay Safe Online and EDUCAUSE.

Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data, Enabling Trust

Friday, January 16, 2015

Verismic Power Management Program Update

The Verismic Power Management Program continues in Phase I of Implementation. The project has been going well and we will continue to keep you updated as the project progresses. 

The TAC Automation and Continuity Team has been gradually deploying the power management profile to the first floor of FLITE and on January 19, the profile will be deployed to the Timme Center for Student Services (CSS). Buildings that have already received the power management profile include the Physical Plant and Granger.

This power management profile will affect office, classroom, and lab computers. Once a computer receives the power management profile, it will enter sleep mode after two hours of inactivity. To learn how to wake up your computer from sleep mode, click here

Some specialized use computers may need to be excluded from this program, for example, those that are critical to building controls, digital signage, or printing for a computer lab – that’s okay. To request an exception, call 231-591-4822 or write an email to TAC@ferris.edu with the subject of “Computer Power Management exception request”. Please provide your name, building code, room number, phone number, computer name, and barcode number of the computer(s), as well as a description of why the computer needs to be excluded. Leadership will review each request on a case-by-case basis.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact TAC at 231-591-4822 or toll free at 877-779-4822, or by email at TAC@ferris.edu

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sign Up to Receive Emergency Text Alert Information

It's a new year and new semester! Have you signed up to receive text message alerts on your mobile phone in the event of a campus emergency?

Students and employees are strongly encouraged to set up or verify their mobile phone information to receive text message alerts in the case of an emergency and to receive weather updates.

Emergency Text AlertPlease log into MyFSU and on the MyFSU tab, look for the Emergency Text Alerts channel. Click on the Emergency Text Alert Link and follow the instructions on that page to subscribe to the University's emergency alert text system. If you have done this in the past, please verify your mobile number is still correct to receive the emergency text alerts.

To see Frequently Asked Questions about the service, click here.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Network Maintenance Schedule

To keep our systems up and running, it is necessary to apply patches, install upgrades, and perform equipment maintenance. We schedule one or two Thursday nights a month, starting at 10 pm, to do most of this work. Other Thursday nights may be used if the work cannot wait. All systems should be functioning by 6 am Friday morning, if not earlier.

However, if a vital network system is not working well, we may need to take it out of service to repair it outside of our regular time. We will let you know of planned system work and status via announcements on the MyFSU login page, in FerrisConnect, on MyTechSupport News, and/or through email.

2015 Maintenance Nights
  • Jan 5 (Monday)
  • Jan 22
  • Feb 5
  • Feb 19
  • Mar 11,12,13 (Spring Break)
  • Mar 19
  • Apr 16
  • Apr 30
  • May 14
  • May 28
  • Jun 11
  • Jun 25
  • Jul 9
  • Jul 30
  • Aug 13
  • Aug 24 (Monday)
  • Sep 10
  • Sep 24
  • Oct 1
  • Oct 15
  • Oct 29
  • Nov 19
  • Dec 3

In addition, Banner Services are usually unavailable at the end of the month for processing of business records. Please see this page for more information.

**After reviewing network usage, we found that Thursday nights, from 10 pm to 6 am, are low usage times. In addition, the technicians doing the work will be able to contact our vendors during their standard business hours the next day if needed.

PC Vendor Change FAQ

1. Why are we switching?
After reviewing our current and alternative vendors, the decision was made to switch based on hardware reliability, and cost savings.

2. If it is a cost-savings, how much do we expect to save, percentage wise? 
Expected cost savings will be around 10-20%.

3. How many computers do we buy a year?
According to our overextended computer count, we should be purchasing 1,500 computers per year.  However, we are currently purchasing about 800-1,000 computers per year with the majority being Windows based.

4. How much do we expect to save per year switching to HPs/SEHI?
We can expect to save approximately $90,000 per year by using 750 Windows based computers per year, at an average desktop/laptop cost of $1,200 and figuring 10% savings.  This number is likely conservative.

5. Will shipping still be free?

6. Will there be a different delivery time line for new purchases? Repairs?
No. Orders should maintain the current timeline.  Standard orders will ship the same day the order was placed and arrive the next business day.

7. Will any efficiencies be gained?
We have had several examples of hardware issues that Dell has accepted responsibility.  Hundreds of small form factory computers had defective power supply capacitors.  Battery recalls is another example.  Close to 100 defective monitors in our summer PCR phase. SEHI and HP have committed to using resources from SEHI or HP to address hardware issues on-site.  This should save technician time and aside from someone helping to coordinate, the majority of the labor is on the vendors.  I believe this will make their quality check program more valuable since they would want to minimize the number of these types of occurrences. For other aspects, time will tell.

8. Is there anything technologically different in the HP items compared to Dell?
There will be subtle differences between the systems, but most of the customer expectations will still be met.

9. Will anything be different in the warranty?
No. We will maintain a four (4) year warranty. 

10. Will the purchasing process be different?
No. A person wishing to place an order will use the the Technology Service Portal.

11. How often does HP change models?  Is there a consumer line and a corporate line like Dell's?
They have consumer and business lines, just like Dell, with comparable lifelines of 18 months on the business side.

12. If I plan to purchase a computer soon, would I be better off to wait until January?
At this time, it is too soon to tell.

13. Will we have similar packages, like those with dual monitors?

14. How will PCR be affected? Will they all be Dell this year still?
Yes.  PCR16 will be HP purchased through SEHI.

15. Will we be getting rid of Dell equipment that we have soon?  How will the roll out go?
We will continue to use any Dell equipment until the end of its life.  The HP equipment is for new purchased starting January 2nd.  However, we may elect to do some experimental purchasing to test the waters and refine processes.

16. Will the mixed environment cause support problems? 
There may be some unanticipated challenges, but most of the transition should be smooth.

17. Will Dell still let us do warranty repairs? Will employees and students with personal Dell computers still be able to take their computers to STS for repairs? 
Yes. Employees and students will also be able to visit STS for repairs on their computing devices.

18. Will prices of Dell toner go up for us?  Servers?
We are still unsure a this time.

19. What about tablets?  Will an HP one be recommended?
Tablets were removed from the evaluation and will be reviewed separately at a later time.

20. Is HP an American based company?  Are the computers made here?
HP is a global company based out of Palo Alto, California. The company's US operations is headquartered in Harris County, Texas.

21. What about the discount for personal purchases?  Can they still get a discount from Dell?
Expect discounts  from Dell to last through December 31st. HP discounts will begin on January 2nd, 2015.  

22. What is the HP student/personal purchase plan? Is it a similar percentage off?
The pricing for student/personal purchases will be around the same as the University discounts. Yes, it will be a similar percentage off.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Windows PC and Laptop Vendor Selected

In a cost-saving and service improvement measure, the University is changing computer providers. Beginning January 2, 2015, we will be switching from Dell to Hewlett Packard (HP) as the preferred manufacturer for our Windows PCs and laptops, and for office printers. SEHI, a HP reseller in Michigan, will be the vendor we work with. This does not change anything related to our Apple vendor relationship.
The Ferris Desktop and Classroom Standards Committee formed a subcommittee to reevaluate our current Windows-based desktop and laptop provider and to explore other options for the University. Three vendors responded to our requests for review, including our current vendor, Dell. Over the several month process, the subcommittee considered many factors to make this product decision, with the main objective being to deliver the best overall value to members of the Ferris community. The HP products and services offered through SEHI best matched our needs. This new contract will allow us to save 10-20% on the cost of desktops and laptops for the University, which means approximately $60,000 in savings based on the previous year’s purchases.
We are working with SEHI to ensure our processes and procedures are ready to go in January. We have a web page where you can check out FAQs here about the change. We will update the University when we finalize the details.
If you have any additional questions, please contact the TAC at (231) 591-4822 or toll-free at (877) 779-4822.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sharon DelBello, New TEO Coordinator

Technical Education and Outreach logo.

Sharon DelBello is replacing Jody Gardei as the TEO Coordinator.  For the time being, she will be serving as liaison between the University community and ITS.  Please feel free to call Sharon with suggestions, questions, or concerns.  Her contact information is listed below.

Office:  West 108
Phone:  231-591-3025
Email:  SharonDelBello@ferris.edu