Published Fall 2018
A Message from the Vice President / Chief Information Officer
Greetings from the Division of Information Technology (DoIT)!
I am pleased to present our 2018 Fall Newsletter. In this issue, we provide updates about our Smart Campus Initiative. The goal of the Smart Campus Initiative is to leverage technology to enhance campus services and facilitate teaching, learning, research, and public service. Several Smart Campus Initiative projects are being implemented in partnership with a number of offices on campus.
We are also excited to announce that our campus Technology Help Desk (THD) opened a second location, thanks to the collaboration between DoIT and the University Library. The THD is now located on the fifth floor of the University Library and in the Horn Center. With two THD locations, technology support services are now available on both upper and lower campus.
Other newsworthy items in this newsletter include:
- improvements to our online campus directory services (PeopleSearch)
- a new and streamlined employee onboarding experience, using paperless processes and eSignatures
- our new, one-stop technology service website and service request tracking system to help improve customer service and efficiencies
We hope you will enjoy reading this edition of the DoIT Newsletter.
Min Yao, Ph.D.
Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Updates: Smart Campus Initiatives
DocuSign is a cloud-based eSignature solution that can be accessed anywhere and anytime on most computing devices, including smart phones and tablets. Docusign allows for secure digital delivery of official University documents that are valid and legally binding. It reduces turn-around time for routing and approving documents, reduces the usage of paper, and raises the efficiency of business operations on campus. It also provides an audit trail of signatures. DocuSign is now available for general use. So far, more than 1,600 documents on campus have been digitally routed and signed by using Docusign.
Digital Displays and Wayfinding
We continue to deploy Digital Signage – a network of electronic displays on a shared common technology management platform. Digital Signage offers the flexibility for campus offices to manage and update the content of their digital displays to communicate important information to the campus community and visitors. Digital signage displays text, graphics, webpages, streaming video or video messages. In addition, the digital signage platform allows the University Police Department to broadcast emergency messages when needed. The Division of IT provides the Digital Signage management unit to campus offices interested in using Digital Signage to present events, marketing messages, or general information. Digital displays can provide interactive electronic campus maps used in conjunction with directional wayfinding around campus. Digital signage has been deployed in over 40 locations on campus, including the College of Business, Division of IT, ASI, College of Engineering, College of Education, College of the Arts, the new CCPE building, and the Office of University Relations and Development. Other planned locations include the remodeled PH2 building, and the entrances to Academic Technology Services, President’s suite, Provost’s suite, and Student Affairs suite.
Starting this fall, Beachside housing students are now using the next generation OneCard / campus ID card to access their dorm rooms as well as pay for laundry services. Beachside is our campus’ first proof-of-concept deployment of the next generation OneCard, allowing students to access their dormitory rooms using their campus ID card as a “tapcard”. Our campus ID card is already used as payment card for services such as student meal plans and print services. OneCard also has the ability for students to transfer money onto the card (“BeachBucks”) using a mobile app. More functions will be added to the campus’s ID card, in phases and as funding allows, to move the current campus ID card toward being a multiple-function unified access card to campus services. Other possible functionality being considered for OneCard includes paying for Uber or Lyft, tracking attendance at campus events, and allowing students to provide their own photo submissions for the card.
Student Virtual Lab
Through a partnership between the Division of Information Technology and Academic Technology Services, the Student Virtual Lab (SVL) service is now fully operational. The SVL is a technology service that provides students with 24 X 7 access to university-licensed software used for classroom instruction and assignments. With SVL, students can conveniently access campus software programs, using an array of common computing devices, without physically being in a campus computer lab. At the time of this writing, the following software programs are available in SVL:
- Office 2016 (including MS Access)
- Web Browsers (Internet Explorer and Google Chrome)
If you are interested in accessing the SVL for your classes or have campus licensed software you would like to be added to the SVL, please contact DoIT-ServiceManagement@csulb.edu.
High Performance Computing Environment
The Division of Information Technology has built a campus-wide High Performance Computing (HPC) environment for faculty who conduct research projects needing high performance computing power. This service is now in use by a number of faculty and researchers. A faculty governance group has been established to guide the allocation of this HPC service. Unlike traditional computers or stand-alone servers, this campus-wide HPC environment is a shared research computing cluster managed through a scheduling system to prioritize and process research-oriented computation tasks. Scheduled computing jobs will be queued, coordinated, and executed based on an agreed priority order. This campus-wide HPC environment features a robust and expandable configuration and is located in a Tier-3 data center maintained by DoIT. While this HPC research service will be available to all CSULB faculty, the principle investigators (PIs) who financially contributed to this HPC facility have priority to use the HPC resources in addition to the idle computing capacity that may be available.
Cloud-based Email/Calendar Service
The campus’ email and calendar service has been relocated to the cloud. Microsoft’s Office 365 is the provider of this cloud service free of charge. The cloud-based email and calendar service reduces the footprint of our on-campus server infrastructure, saves money, and improves the efficiency of delivering email and calendar service . Additionally, beginning this semester, students are required to use their campus email addresses to receive official campus information. This change provides faculty and staff more email storage and reduces the risk of phishing attacks.
Other Notable Information
New Online Campus Directory (PeopleSearch)
A new searchable Campus Directory was placed into service on August 10. Name fields are automatically updated with users’ preferred names from the campus Employee Center database to ensure that the directory listings are consistent with other campus information systems. Other features include the use of HR employee status information, so that employees with inactive status will automatically be dropped from the directory and new employees will be automatically added to the directory. Requests for changing telecommunication information will continue to be processed as usual using the Telecom Request Module (TRM). Faculty and staff may still have multiple listings upon request. Mail stops have been removed from directory listing. Postal mail packages are delivered according to the individual listed and/or department addressed. Multiple searches in a short amount of time on the new directory will be flagged to prevent data harvesting.
New Employee Onboarding
Beginning this semester, a paperless onboarding process has been launched for new employees joining the University. All new employees will be directed to use the DocuSign clickable button in the campus Single Sign-On (SSO) webpage to retrieve and sign campus employment forms prior to their first day on the campus. Staff members involved in hiring new employees will be required to take training for using DocuSign by their respective ASM. The ASM will also submit requests authorizing these employees to access DocuSign. Upon completion of training, approved employees can create digital forms using eSignature (DocuSign) service. The new paperless onboarding process is a result of the collaboration among Staff HR, Office of Faculty Affairs, and the Division of IT.
New Campus IT Service Website
The Division of IT is pleased to announce the launch of a new IT service website. This website is a one-stop service for locating campus IT services, reporting technology issues, and requesting assistance in using campus technology services. On this new IT service website, faculty, students, staff may look up a campus a campus IT service and find answers to their technology problems through the new and consolidated campus IT Service Catalog, and report a technology issue, request for assistance, and track the status of their previous requests in the new integrated IT service request and tracking system.
New Review Process for Technology Procurement
The Office of Contracts and Procurement, in coordination with the Division of IT, now performs a Procurement Compliance Review (PCR) for all campus technology purchases. This new PRC process facilitates technology purchases that ensure IT accessibility, security, and effective campus-wide service coordination.
Enhanced Connection to the Internet
Partnering with the Chancellor’s Office IT staff, we have recently enhanced our Internet connection capacity from 10 gigabit per second to 100 gigabit per second. The increased Internet capacity will enhance the learning, teaching, research, and business operations on campus.
Did You Know…?
- Over 800 students in 12 courses have used the campus’ new, convenient, web accessible Student Virtual Lab (SVL) since it was launched in FY 2017/18.
- OneDrive is available to the entire campus community to securely store your electronic files and documents, share them with others, and access them from anywhere.
- Our campus’ annual TechDay will occur on November 7, 2018 this year. It will be located at the Quad on upper campus. We hope to see you there!!
You can open and create new tabs within the campus’ Single Sign-On (SSO) service and re-arrange them by dragging and dropping your frequently used SSO service buttons there.