Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tegrity is moving to the Cloud!

Tegrity

On July 1, 2015, Tegrity will be moving to the Cloud!


If you haven’t heard already Tegrity will now be hosted in the cloud environment as opposed to being hosted on campus. This move should be very transparent to the user. All of the recordings that are currently in our hosted environment will be in the cloud environment. In order for this to occur, Tegrity will be unavailable starting at 1am on July 1st and will be unavailable until 8am. 

What will be different is the use of Tegrity on Mobile devices. You will need to generate a new Connection Code on or after July 1st in order to view the recording on your mobile device. Please use this link to help you with how to generate a connection code: https://help.tegrity.com/how-to-find-your-connection-code.html.

If you experience any issues with Tegrity after July 1st, please contact the Technology Assistance Center at one of these methods:

Online Chat: Chat With Support Specialist
Support Form: Online Support Form
Email: tac@ferris.edu
Phone Toll Free: 877.779.4822
Phone Local: 231.591.4822


We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, and appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this process.

Sincerely,
The Blackboard Team

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Adobe FormsCentral will be Retired July 28, 2015

AdobeFormsCentral will be fully functional up until June 22nd. As of June 23rd, access will be restricted to “read only”. You will still be able to log in to the service, but will only have the ability to download or delete forms and data. Please begin to backup your forms and data within FormsCentral as soon as possible to avoid potential loss. To learn how to download your existing forms and data and find an alternate solution to FormsCentral, please go to FormsCentral: Retirement FAQ.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Remote Support Using Bomgar

What is Bomgar?
Bomgar is a secure remote support appliance that enables support representatives to access, diagnose, control and fix remote computers.

Why would we want to use Bomgar?

Bomgar has been able to successfully shorten support calls by as much as 75 percent, while also being able to increase the resolution of first contact calls by an average of 30 to 60 percent. The increase in these numbers means that less problems will have to be escalated to second level support, which allows them to focus on other issues. It also means that we solve your technology problems faster allowing you to move on with your day.


Along with an increase in efficiency, Bomgar is also more secure than the previous remote support system that was in place. Both the customer client and support representative must connect to the Bomgar appliance, which resides under the internal campus security, which is already in place, and does not pass any information to a third party. 


How does this affect me?
Have you ever called the Technology Assistance Center for support and had to have a second level support technician dispatched to your office to perform the work? Bomgar allows the support representative answering your phone call to also perform the work remotely instead of having to locate a second-level support technician to send over to the physical location which could potentially take valuable time away from our faculty, staff, and students.
How does it work?
The most common way to begin a Bomgar remote support session is through an email generated by the support technician. You'll receive an email with a link to begin a new support session. When you click on the link, the Bomgar client is downloaded to your computer so the support representative can connect to your computer remotely. It is important to note that the support representatives can NOT connect to your computer remotely without you granting permission. You are able to control exactly how many permissions you wish to give the support representative, so you are in complete control of the session.





Microsoft Lync Replaced by Skype for Business

Skype icon
As you may have noticed, Microsoft Lync (our previous messaging application) was replaced with Skype for Business during the month of April. You'll notice that all of the features you previously used are still there with a much more streamlined look and simplified controls. If you've ever used Skype for personal use, you'll notice that many of the features are now also being used in Skype for Business.

Many improvements have been made with the transition from Lync to Skype for Business. Some of these include content sharing and telephony. You can now transfer a call with one click instead of three. Also, video calling now allows you to call anyone with a Skype account on any device. Check out all the new features of Skype for Business, watch a short video tutorial, and download a Quick Start Guide using the links below and discover new ways of collaborating with your colleagues today!




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Open Sessions for the Next University Plan for IT 2015-2018

We Want You!
Now is your chance to attend an open session and provide your input for the next University Plan for IT. Help us prioritize what is important to you and learn how we can improve our services. We want to hear your voice!

Attending the open sessions is important but don't forget to take part in the surveys. There are two surveys, one for the current IT plan (2012-2015) which includes questions about infrastructure initiatives, University applications initiatives, and customer service initiatives and one for the future IT plan (2015-2018) which has a few demographic questions and space to write in any ideas you may have for the next IT plan. All survey results are confidential and will only be used for the purpose of this study. The results will be reported in aggregate form and cannot be identified individually.

You can find everything you need to know about both IT plans on the IT Planning website. Hope to see you at an open session!


Open Sessions
April 8, 2015 - Main Campus
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
UCB 203 (Founders' Room)

April 17, 2015 - Main Campus
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
UCB 213

April 22, 2015 - Kendall College of Art and Design
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location TBD

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Who ya gonna call?


Call 4822 for all your technology needs
Do you ever have problems with the technology you're using and get frustrated? Never fear, the TAC is here! The Technology Assistance Center is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No problem is too big, or small, for us to handle. Just call extension 4822 and let us make your day better. You can also go to the My Tech Support site and chat with a support specialist, request remote assistance, or email us. Who knew there were so many ways to get help with your technology needs! Let us be your superheroes and save your day!

Ext. 4822 | TAC@ferris.edu | 877-779-4822 | 231-591-4822

TAC

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ITS Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey

Each Spring semester, Information Technology Services sends out a university wide satisfaction survey to all employees to determine how well we are providing "Knock Your Socks Off" service to our customers. We urge you to participate in this survey so we can receive your valuable input on our current support and initiatives and compare it to previous years' data. 

We certainly hope that we are providing you with superior customer service but if we aren't, we can't fix it unless you tell us it's broken. It is only with the direction of our customers that we can truly provide the "Knock Your Socks Off" service that you deserve.

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." 
-George Santayana

Print Management Services Program

At the beginning of 2015, the Admin and Finance division entered into a print management contract for networked printers with Michigan Office Solutions (MOS). The intent of using print management services is to gain visibility and control of printing, which helps you save money, and streamlines service and support for end users. Here are just a few of the benefits of print management services.




Cost Analysis Example
This example shows how much a department can save when enrolled in the MOS print management service program. The department currently prints 1000 black & white pages and 400 color pages per month. The cost per page on the MOS plan decreases to $.012 for black & white pages and $.10 for color pages which results in a cost savings of over 62%.

Cost Analysis Example

Please take a few minutes and read about the additional benefits of the MOS print management service and some frequently asked questions.

Contact Sharon DelBello at ext.3025 or sharondelbello@ferris.edu for questions regarding the MOS print management service program or if your department is interested in signing up and saving money!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Verismic Power Management Program Update

The Verismic Power Management Program continues in the Implementation Phase. Buildings that have already received the power management profile include General Services, Granger, CSS, first floor of FLITE, Ice Arena, Sports Complex, and Prakken.

The power management profile will affect all computers in these buildings that connect (permanently or temporarily) to the wired network. Wireless networks will be included at a later date. Computers 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. 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.

Note: A University wide exception has already been made for Microsoft Surface Pro, Dell Venue, and HP Pro x2 tablets. We understand that the typical sleep time for these types of devices is much less than the power management program adheres to and this global exception will help conserve battery life for your device. New models will be added as an exception as University standards are developed. If you have a Windows tablet that is not a Microsoft Surface Pro, Dell Venue, or HP Pro x2, please use the procedure above to request an exception for your model.

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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

March Town Hall - Technology Assistance Center

Miss the town hall? Catch up with the Tegrity recording here.

Technology Assistance Center


Please join us for our outreach effort as the Technology Assistance Center presents a brief overview of what is happening in TAC and ITS and how it affects you.

Friday, March 6, 2015
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Michigan College of Optometry 
Room 210

Presentation Topics:
New PC vendor - HP/Sehi
MyFSU Upgrade
Verismic Power Management Program
File Storage Space
Digital Signage
Free Adobe & Microsoft Products for Faculty & Staff
Q & A session at end of presentation

For more information:
Sharon DelBello
Coordinator of Technical Education & Outreach
Technology Assistance Center
231-591-3025





Time Off Request System - Update

You may recall that Information Technology Services hired a consulting firm to develop the replacement time off request system to work in our new Office 365 environment. As we tested and retested the product that was developed, we felt the functionality and features were not adequate for the university to use. Although much work and effort has gone into the development of the new system, we decided to look at other options.

The good news is that in the past year, many new commercial products became available that have many of the features we have been looking for. Information Technology Services, Human Resources, and Payroll revisited the functional criteria, and developed a short list of potential vendors. This short list should be narrowed down to the top two by the end of February.  Watch for a University Wide Notice for presentations of the top two products, and attend if you are interesting in helping us select a solution.  The goal is to decide on a product by the end of March.

We will keep you informed on the product selection and implementation time lines in future communications.

We know that the current process is difficult to use, and we apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused you. Thank you for your patience.

Written By
John Urbanick
Chief Technology Officer
Ferris State University

Evaluating Windows Tablets for a University Standard

Windows logoAs announced in a December 2014 newsletter article, the University has switched computer vendors from Dell to HP and is now working with a third-party vendor, Sehi, to facilitate our Windows PC and laptop needs. This does not change anything associated with our Apple relationship.

The Ferris Desktop and Classroom Standards Committee has formed a subcommittee to evaluate, test, and select a University standard for Windows tablets. The Tablet Review Team is evaluating the following Windows tablets and will select one as a mid-grade budget option and one as a power user option.

  • * HP ElitePad 1000 G2 
  • * Lenovo ThinkPad 10 
  • * HP Pro x2 612 G1 
  • * Microsoft Surface Pro 3 

Once the Tablet Review Team has made a decision as to which Windows tablets will become a University standard, the tablets will be made available for purchase as a standard purchase request item through the Technology Service Portal link within MyFSU. Stay tuned for more updates!

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



Friday, February 13, 2015

Mac X 10.10 Upgrades

Faculty and staff can now upgrade their personal and University Mac computers to the newest OS X Yosemite 10.10 operating system. Unfortunately our Lotus Notes license does not allow for any new installations, so any new Macs that do not already have Lotus Notes installed will not be able to install the Lotus Notes client in order to use the Time Off calendar. If your Mac already has Lotus Notes client installed and you upgrade, Lotus Notes will continue to work. If you are currently using the Lotus Notes Time Off calendar and you need to submit a time off request, contact the person who processes your payroll, they or your manager have the ability to create a request for you. There is no problem with using a computer with Yosemite on the wireless network anymore.

If you have questions or need any assistance in regards to this upgrade for university computers, contact TAC at TAC@ferris.edu or at 231-591-4822 or toll free at 877-779-4822. If you need assistance upgrading your personal computer, please take it to STS located in University Center 108.

Written by: Susan Cherry

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Free Office Products for Faculty & Staff!


The wait is over! Microsoft Office is now FREE for faculty and staff, you no longer have to pay the $9.95 fee. This is for your personal computers, so please do not download onto University computers. For each faculty/staff email address, you can download Office on up to five computers (PC or Macs), and on up to five different mobile devices (iPhones, iPads, tablets, etc.).

Follow these instructions to download Microsoft Office for personal computers.  
Follow these instructions to download Microsoft Office mobile apps for free. These include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. 

Written By: Susan Cherry

Free Adobe for Faculty and Staff

Adobe Creative Cloud

It has come to the attention of ITS that many of you have received emails from Adobe about a change in their programs. As a result of Ferris and Adobe signing a three year contract, Adobe is offering free home use for faculty/staff cloud software consisting of titles that were previously part of the Master Collection.

In addition, for your office computer, if you currently have the Adobe Creative Suite, you can request an upgrade through the Technology Service Portal, which can be found by going to MyFSU under the Login Links channel, by creating a Purchase Request. This upgrade will be through the Creative Cloud and will include the Adobe Master Collection.

This includes:

Adobe Software Products

Note: Adobe Acrobat X Pro can also be installed separately if you do not wish to have all the other programs.

Adobe is also offering their Master Collection for a limited time free for home use as well. You must use your ferris.edu email in order to receive the one-year free use of these Adobe products. To get Adobe on your home computers go to the web store at https://ferris.onthehub.com/.

To complete the download follow these simple instructions:
  1. Log into the site with your ferris.edu email.
  2. Click the “Sign In” link in the top right hand corner.
  3. Click on the “Register” button right below the sign in box. You will be asked to enter your Ferris email with which you will be verified.
  4. Upon verification, proceed with the registration process and submit the form.
  5. An email will be sent to your account to confirm the address (this is to ensure that users are being verified with their profile and not trying to use another member’s account to register.)
Note

As the University has a limited amount of licenses for University-owned computers, please be sure that you absolutely need these Adobe products. If you do not, please do not request to have them put on your University-owned device.

This software is only for home computers only. If it is installed on University-owned computers it will cause licensing issues with the Ferris owned version and result in errors.

TAC is not responsible for any support related to the home installation and has no ability to troubleshoot registration and installation issues. If you need assistance with the download portion, you will need to contact Adobe for support at (800) 833-6687. You can also find support at http://helpx.adobe.com/support.html

If you have questions about the home use program please contact TAC at 231-591-4822 or toll free at 877-779-4822.

Written By: Baily Darnton

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?
Yes.

6. Will there be a different delivery time line for new purchases? Repairs?
No. Orders should maintain the current timeline.  Standard orders should arrive within 10 business days.

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?
Yes.

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.