DOIT Newsletter

Fall 2023

In This Issue:

  • A Message from the Vice President / Chief Information Officer
  • Smart Campus Initiative Updates
  • Information Security:  Report Phishing Button
  • Noteworthy:  Tech Day 2023 | AI Website


I am excited to introduce the 2023 fall edition of our Division of Information Technology newsletter. This newsletter is intended to keep the campus community informed about the latest technological advancements and how they are being implemented at our university.  The Division of Information Technology is committed to ensuring that our university remains at the forefront of technological innovation.

In this edition, we will be discussing the latest updates on our Smart Campus Initiative projects, our efforts in securing our university’s information systems and digital learning environment, and our exploration and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

We hope that this newsletter will provide you with valuable insights into the technological developments taking place at our university. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for future topics. 

Go Beach!

Min Yao, Ph.D.
Vice President & CIO


Devices showing Microsoft Teams call

Microsoft Teams Calling to Replace Legacy Campus Phone Service

The Division of IT will be introducing a project that will modernize how we communicate. This major project aims to retire our 40-year-old telephone system, replacing it with Microsoft Teams Calling, a modern, feature-rich, and reliable infrastructure that enhances our voice communication services across campus. 

This modernization is more than just a technological upgrade; it is an essential step toward aligning with the evolving landscape of communication and work. With Teams Calling, we will experience seamless voice communication integration with our daily tasks, no matter where you work. As we embark on this journey, our new system will bring numerous benefits, aligning with our campus’ long-term strategic plans and improving accessibility, security, and disaster recovery. 

Learn more about the project's background, its potential benefits, and to get an idea of the steps you will need to take during and after migration by visiting Telephone Service Migration Project.

New Virtual Attendant Service

A new "Virtual Attendant" service is in operation as a direct line to assistance. This new service, currently utilized by both Beach Central and Technology Help Desk, provides virtual in-person support through the use of technology.  Just walk up to the “Neat Frame” display, press a button, and instantly connect via Zoom to pre-assigned contacts. Whether students need guidance on Financial Aid, Admissions, Academic Appeals, General Questions, or Grad/Transfer Credit, the Virtual Attendant streamlines the process. With call routing to specific individuals, this service directs students to the assistance they need efficiently.

Empowering Student Success with Elbee Chatbot

The campus' Elbee chatbot continues to support students, prospective students, and staff with guidance and information to enable decision-making. Since inception, the artificial intelligence driven chatbot has handled over 413,000 questions. Learn more about the chatbot service.

Student Virtual Lab (SVL) Enhances Access to Extensive Software Apps 

SVL has expanded its offerings, now providing students and faculty access to 44 campus-licensed software programs. This expansion of the SVL Service, from 40 apps since the spring semester, opens more opportunities across various disciplines. Recent additions include DataGrip, PyCharm, Autodesk MeshMixer, and Rhino 7. The SVL is a gateway to digital learning, connecting more students and faculty with cutting-edge tools. The environment is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the school year, without ever having to step into a physical computer lab.

Student Remote Labs

This service continues to enable students access to specialized software programs and applications from the Colleges of Business, The Arts, Liberal Arts, Education, and Engineering remotely.  The Student Remote Lab service provides access to the software in these labs without having to physically visit them. The service averages 2,190 monthly logins during the active semester months, which is a slight increase compared to last spring.

DocuSign eSignature Usage

In our sixth year of utilizing DocuSign eSignature on our campus, we are thrilled to report that this service continues to make remarkable strides in efficiency and sustainability. The statistics for 2022 reveal the impressive impact of DocuSign usage on our environment: it was the equivalent of removing 15 cars from the road, sparing 156 loads of laundry, conserving 221 trees, and saving a staggering 709,604 pages of paper.

Looking ahead to 2023, the progress is even more remarkable. This year, DocuSign usage is set to surpass last year's accomplishments, with an average of over 13,400 eSignature emails ("envelopes") sent each month. This translates into the environmental equivalent of removing 17 cars from the road, skipping 171 loads of laundry, conserving 241 trees, and saving 741,800 pages of paper. These remarkable numbers reflect the efficiency of our campus operations and our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint. To learn more about maximizing the potential of DocuSign, explore the DocuSign Help resources.

High Performance Computing (HPC)

The campus HPC environment continues to grow, and as compared to last semester, it features 77 compute nodes (1.3% increase), 2744 computational cores (1.8% increase), and 57,344 CPU CUDA cores (33.3% increase).  These resources provide high computational power and parallel processing, enabling faculty and student researchers to submit long running computational jobs that often take days to weeks to complete.


Phishing button on a keyboard

Combat Phishing and Spam with the "Report" Button

Your proactive actions can play a crucial role in safeguarding our campus against potentially malicious emails. By utilizing the Report Phishing feature, you contribute to the collective effort in enhancing our enterprise email service's ability to filter out unwanted emails like phishing and sales spam. In addition to reporting emails to, in your Outlook online app, simply click the email you would like to report as Junk or Phishing, then locate the Report button on the top ribbon to select "Report Phishing." The suspicious email will be sent to your Trash folder, and Microsoft will be informed to bolster our spam filters. If you are using the Outlook Desktop App, please note that the option to install the Add-in might not be available in all versions. Detailed instructions on how to access and utilize the Report Phishing button can be found in our Report Phishing to Microsoft article. Please join us in fortifying our email security, one reported phishing attempt at a time.


TechDay logo

Tech Day 2023

CSULB’s 5th Annual Tech Day will be Thursday, November 9 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Friendship Walk (map) behind Brotman Hall. Hosted by CSULB technology organizations, Tech Day is dedicated to promoting and showcasing campus technology services for students, faculty, and staff. There will be fun activities, entertainment, exciting drawings with prizes and free pizza lunch while supplies last. See you there!

New Artificial Intelligence (AI) Website and AI Priorities

A new AI Technology website has been created that is dedicated to our university's endeavors in AI. This site serves as a resource for all things AI-related, featuring informative sub-pages, which includes: 

Explore this hub of developing knowledge and stay updated on our AI initiatives, fostering innovation and collaboration across our institution.