Published Fall 2019
A Message from the Vice President / Chief Information Officer
Greetings from the Division of Information Technology (DoIT)!
I am excited to share with you our Fall 2019 Newsletter. We continue to partner with campus offices and units to further implement and enhance our Smart Campus projects. An update on our progress is provided in this newsletter. Our annual campus Tech Day event will take place on November 6 this year and its planning has been in full swing. Tech Day allows the campus to showcase the various technologies used to help students succeed as well as technologies used by faculty and staff to deliver more effective teaching and services, and conduct research. Additionally, we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of information security and that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
We hope that your semester is off to a great beginning.
Min Yao, PhD
Vice President & Chief Information Officer
New and Improved Technology Services
An Improved Process for Technology Purchases
In August 2019, partnered with the Office of Procurement and Contract Services, the Division of IT introduced a new technology purchase management system to provide a one-stop service solution for reviewing and approving technology purchase requests and contract renewals. As part of the improvement, an online E&IT (Electronic & Information Technology) checklist was created as a front-end interface for initiating technology procurement requests. The online form, when completed, automatically generates a purchase request ticket for requestors to track the progress of their submitted technology procurement request and communicate with the involved procurement and technology staff. In fewer than 8 weeks, various campus offices and units have used this new technology purchase management system to submit over 350 purchase requests for review and approval. The new technology purchase request management system proved to be easy to use and saves time.
Visit the IT Procurement Compliance Review (PCR) Process service page for more information regarding this new technology procurement review and approval process including additional resources.
Coming Soon: IT Help Desk Chatbot
A new artificial-intelligent based technology helpdesk chatbot is currently in development to assist online visitors to the Technology Help Desk (THD) website. The chatbot conducts text-based conversations with visitors to the IT Help website and intelligently provides assistance and needed information. The chatbot will help visitors quickly and easily find the technology service or information for which they are looking. This chatbot will be released soon and will enhance helpdesk service in addition to assistance in-person by phone, email, or by submitting a ticket.
Telecommunications IT Help Ticketing Update
Over 10 new Telecommunication services have been added to the campus IT service catalog, allowing users to make requests and report incidents using the IT Help Ticketing system. This replaces the legacy telecom request system and provides a one-stop service location for employees to submit telecom requests and trouble reports, check on their progress, and search past ticket history. In addition, an automated workflow helps route requests to ASM’s or the delegated authority approver.
Between April and September, over 900 telecom service tickets have been submitted by employees using the online system.
Updates on Smart Campus Initiatives
Wayfinding with Interactive Campus Maps
An exciting Smart Campus service currently in deployment is a web-based campus interactive map. To help the campus community and visitors quickly and easily find their way around the campus, the interactive map will feature the ability to view the campus map with “layers” of information, filtered by individual interest. Some of the map layers include wheelchair accessible pathways, frequently requested services, active construction projects, food and dining options, and virtual campus tours. With the ability to view the campus interactive map on mobile devices, users will be able to embed or share maps via text, email, and other social media methods. This new interactive map will become a convenient method for sharing helpful campus location information.
Student Virtual Lab
The Student Virtual Lab (SVL) is in its fourth semester of use this fall. Using SVL, students and faculty are able to access approved campus software anytime and anywhere (without being on campus) as long as they have an Internet connection. As of the end of September 2019, over 74 classes are utilizing the SVL service - which is double the number of classes that used the service during the Spring 2019 semester. Since last spring, three new software applications - Mathematica, Python, and Orange - have been added to the virtual lab environment. This brings the total number of software applications available in the SVL service to 13.
High Performance Computing Environment
The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) provides a central high performance computing (HPC) service for faculty and their research assistants to conduct computing-intensive research and teaching projects. This service includes shared computing cycles on several high performance clusters equipped with a variety of research software packages. Over the past year, the HPC has been used to complete 36,490 computational jobs. There are currently 41 active users of the HPC service.
Mark Your Calendar for TechDay – November 6, 2019
The 4th annual CSULB Tech Day will take place on November 6, 2019 at Friendship Walk. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend this fun and informative event. Dozens of exhibitors from various vendors, organizations, and campus offices will showcase the technologies used to serve our campus. In addition to a free pizza lunch for the first 600 participants, our Tech Day sponsors generously provide many giveaway items including an iPad, Pro headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and gift cards.
Did You Know…?
- October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Held annually in October, NCSAM was launched in 2004 by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. Please be on the lookout for a series of cybersecurity tips that will be sent each week in October.
- We now have over 2,300 wireless access points across campus. We added more than 100 new Wi-Fi access points during the last fiscal year.
- 51 services are hosted within the CSULB Single Sign-On service, which is a 30% increase over the number of services last year.
- We saw an 8% increase of mobile devices accessing our wireless network on campus on the first day of the fall 2019 semester. A total of 54,472 mobile devices accessed the campus network. This is an increase of 4,243 mobile devices over the first day of class for the fall 2018 semester.
- Over 18 million outbound email messages were sent by students, faculty, and staff during the last fiscal year, which is a 46% increase over the prior year.
Students, faculty and staff can remotely access on-campus networks and computers securely over the Internet while away from campus using the campus’ Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. Please visit https://protect.csulb.edu to download* and install the VPN software to computers or laptops.
*Please note - the VPN service, as well as the download page, are only accessible while off-campus. Because it is not necessary to use VPN on the campus’ already secure network, it is not available while on-campus.
VPN uses encrypted tunnels to ensure data cannot be accessed without authorization. The Division of IT fully transitioned to the GlobalProtect VPN on September 16th. As a result, the Cisco AnyConnect VPN is no longer active for use. Please visit the VPN service page for helpful information and resources.