SIS Replacement Project Update
IT Computing Survey:
UW has been working to decide on a replacement for its aging Student Information System, or SIS. Previous newsletter articles have chronicled this effort and are available at www.uwyo.edu/Infotech/aboutit/news/newsletter/.
On March 30, 2004, after many months of planning, hard work, and negotiation, UW signed contracts with SCT (www.sct.com) to purchase its Banner Student product including Banner Student, Financial Aid, Workflow, Luminis portal (including new student email and calendaring systems) and Operational Data Store. These products, described on the project Web site at www.uwyo.edu/infotech/sis, will greatly benefit all of campus and put UW in a position to improve the services offered to our students and faculty.
While the project timeline is still being developed, all system components should be operating within 18 to 24 months. The project is very large and will involve many UW departments. The project will cost approximately $5.3 million to implement and another $2.9 million to support, upgrade, and enhance the applications for five years after implementation.
Implementation plans are underway. Efforts in this area include:
Once these steps have been completed, training of UW employees will commence, and the ongoing effort to analyze, document and improve university business processes, particularly as they relate to students, will accelerate. From there, the team will begin to integrate new and existing business processes into the system.
This project is very important to UW and will lead the way in making positive changes for students, faculty and staff. More information on the SIS Replacement Project is available on the project Web site or from Jim Berrigan, IT project manager, at 766-2636.
Sandy Warvi, longtime IT employee and IT’s Business Manager, Executive retired April 30, 2004. Sandy was a tremendous asset to IT and UW. Her extensive contributions and her focus on customer service significantly improved IT’s operations. She will be dearly missed. The IT staff wishes her the best and the fondest farewell.
In recent years, usage of the MS Exchange servers at the university has grown significantly. Both the number of users and the number and size of the messages has increased exponentially. As email has become an integral part of most faculty and staff work and as the size and volume of email grows, many users have found that the disk allocation for email is no longer adequate. In addition, the workload of the Exchange servers has grown to the point where problems with response time are regularly observed. In order to address these problems, IT plans to install more powerful Exchange servers with increased disk space. It is expected that the 30MB base disk space for Exchange users will be roughly tripled once the upgrades are completed.
For specific steps you can take right now to improve the performance of Outlook, visit the How To section (www.uwyo.edu/askIT/default.asp?parentid=1) of the Ask IT Web site and browse the Outlook-specific titles under “Email” and “Software/Microsoft Outlook," including How to Setup Microsoft Outlook to Increase Performance (www.uwyo.edu/askIT/displaydoc.asp?askitdocid=157&parentid=1).
What is Phishing? WebopediaTM (www.webopedia.com) offers the following definition:
Variants of the spam-borne phishing scam, also referred to as “carding” or “brand spoofing,” are on the rise despite increased public awareness. In past months, fraudulent e-mails appearing to be from eBay, PayPal, AOL, MSN, Citibank, and other highly recognized and legitimate online organizations have shown up in inboxes world-wide, warning that a person’s account may be disabled unless he or she provides or updates his or her account information. Many individuals continue to be scammed by these e-mails. They do look very authentic, often including a recognizable format and corporate logo from the actual organization.
As phishing e-mails increase and as their perpetrators use ever-more deceptive methods, it is necessary for individuals to determine whether an e-mail or Web site is legitimate. Following are a few tips to help you avoid being “taken in” by an e-mail scam:
The following Web sites provide information and tips on protecting yourself from phishing and other e-mail scams:
Through a U.S. Department of Education grant, the University of Wyoming has recently acquired infrastructure to support H.323 (Internet) multipoint video conferencing. This system will be used for a number of research, academic, and administrative purposes that require, or benefit from, live video conferencing among remote locations. It is expected that the new H.323 system will eventually replace the current H.320 (or “compressed video”) system.
The new system was recently installed at UW; implementation and testing will proceed throughout the summer. Creating connections with the older H.320 systems is somewhat difficult and requires the use of expensive leased, dedicated or slow dial-up telephone lines. Creating connections with the new H.323 systems is easier. H.323 uses simple Internet connections. The connections are made using Internet addresses in a similar fashion to connecting to a Web page.
In the future, it will be possible to connect to a video end-point just as if you were dialing another telephone extension. In fact, video end-points will function just as if they were normal telephones, except that they will have video capabilities. If someone calls an H.323 end-point from a normal telephone, a voice connection will be established between the telephone and the video end-point. If one video end-point calls another, both a video and voice connection will be established. Additional video end-points can be connected in a “conference call” in the same way voice conference calls are made today. Watch for more announcements on UW’s new H.323 capabilities and demonstrations. For more information, please contact Robert Morrison, IT Director, 766-4880, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The university receives a substantial amount of email that contains virus attachments. Virus attachments are removed by the central email gateway, and “[VIRUS REMOVED]” is appended to the message subject. Information Technology has considered simply discarding email messages that arrive with attached viruses; however occasionally such emails come from legitimate senders. Currently, there is no method to verify the validity of a sender’s email address. Because there is no consensus about whether to deliver or discard email with viruses, all such emails are delivered, after removing the virus, letting the user decide what to do with the email. Often such messages are also tagged as “SPAM” depending on the content of the message.
Users may want to consider using filters in Outlook to automatically move SPAM and messages with removed viruses to a “holding” folder for later review or have Outlook move the messages directly to the Deleted Items folder. See How to Create a Rule in Microsoft Outlook to Manage SPAM E-mail (www.uwyo.edu/AskIT/displaydoc.asp?askitdocid=155&parentid=1) for instructions, or call the IT Help Desk at 6-4357 (6-HELP) for assistance.
Have you ever received a returned message you never sent in the first place? Many people receive email from remote mail systems that indicate messages are being returned for various reasons. Most of this email was never sent by those who received the “returned” message. People get these returned messages because their email addresses were used (that is, forged) as “sending” addresses when the messages were originally created, usually by a virus residing on someone else’s computer. This is a common problem and requires no action by the recipient of the returned email other than to delete the email. Unfortunately, email standards currently provide no method of verifying that a sender’s email address is legitimate; so the central email gateway cannot identify such illegitimate emails.
In the future, you may also receive email with the subject “[WARNING: ATTACHMENT NOT SCANNED FOR VIRUSES].” This subject will be added to email received with attachments that for various reasons can’t be scanned. Often, unscanned attachments are untrustworthy. Users should carefully consider whether to open them. It is becoming quite common for a virus to be attached as an encrypted Zip file that can’t be scanned. Unless the user knows the sender and expects to receive such a file, it’s likely the attachment is dangerous and the message should be deleted.
Due to the hard work and long hours of many people across campus, both PeopleSoft applications, HRMS and Financials, have been successfully upgraded. HRMS version 8.3 was put into production in October 2003. Financials, or PISTOL, version 8.4, was put into production at the end of April 2004. HRMS and PISTOL are now Web-based applications available from anywhere (although a VPN connection is required if the user is off-campus). Both the HRMS and PISTOL teams continue to work with customers to perform post-production support and to work on enhancements to the systems.
The PISTOL conversion process required a two-week downtime and moved all past data to the new system. Many people wondered why PISTOL was not available for the two weeks during the conversion period. There were a number of reasons for this:
Unfortunately, as can be expected with most major system upgrades and replacements of this scale, there have been some performance and reliability issues, primarily in PISTOL, since the new software was made available to campus. Those issues are being aggressively tackled by the implementation team in conjunction with consultants from PeopleSoft and, at the time this article was written, significant progress has been made towards their resolution.
The PeopleSoft at UW (www.uwyo.edu/peoplesoft) Web site has information on both applications. If you require additional information, please contact Chad Marley, IT project manager, at 766-4874 or email@example.com.
If you plan to upgrade to FrontPage 2003, please be aware
that you must also upgrade all of your Microsoft Office products
to the 2003 version. If any of your Office applications are not
upgraded to 2003, you may encounter security setting errors when
trying to use an Access database within your FrontPage 2003
site. If you have any questions, visit the
WebNews site (www.uwyo.edu/WebNews)
for more information.
Because of security and management issues, all wireless access points installed on the UW data network are required to be registered and approved for use by Information Technology. Numerous problems arise when unplanned and/or improperly configured wireless access points are connected to the university network.
One of the main concerns with unregistered access points is security. To a large extent the security of access points depends on the configuration of the hard-wired network jack to which those points connect. Therefore, it is important that all wireless access points connect to the network through a data port specifically configured to accommodate them.
Improperly configured access points disrupt network access to wireless network users within the signal range of the mis-configured unit. In some cases this problem has even disrupted network service to wired users. Also, wireless access points must be configured to use frequency spectrums that do not conflict with other wireless units in the same general area. Without central management and registration of wireless access points, the UW wireless network will not function properly. Consequently, all unregistered (“rogue”) wireless access points will be disconnected from the network.
To register new wireless access points, go to the New Wireless Access Point Registration Form (www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/network/wireless/waprequest.asp) on the UW Wireless Web site.
Information Technology distributed the “UW Home Computing Survey” in January of this year. Some of the results indicate our customers may not be aware of all the services available to them. Please visit the Personal Services Available to Home Users Web page (www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/support/homeservices.asp) for an overview of IT’s home computing services and more detailed information about the following topics:
IT provides low-cost or no-cost software solutions for a few general “productivity” software titles that can be used at home. For example, users can take advantage of the Work-At-Home program to acquire Microsoft Office or the Windows operating system. Additionally, IT provides free email services as well as free antivirus software to faculty and staff to protect their home computers.
Users may also connect to the university via our dialup modem pool (a free service), low-cost UW DSL, or other, third party, Internet service providers. A VPN session (see www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/network/vpn/) may be required to access specific university computing resources.
UW students, faculty, and staff are eligible to receive special discounts on the purchase of Dell computer hardware. UW recently became part of Dell’s Educational Purchase Program so that we could extend benefits of this partnership to the UW community.
For assistance with any of the above personal services, please contact the IT Help Desk at 766-4357 (6-HELP), option 1; email Userhelp@uwyo.edu, or contact your assigned IT user consultant.
During the week of March 29, the Office of the Vice President & CIO for Information Technology, along with the Business Services Dept., moved from Old Main to the second floor of the Ivinson Building. IT is now assembled mostly in the same building. New locations include:
Information Technology PC Sales and PC Maintenance currently provide sales and warranty service for HP Compaq computers. We are pleased to announce that we have added Dell desktops, laptops, and servers to the list of computers that can be purchased and repaired on campus.
Computer sales information, baseline or standard configuration information, and current pricing may be reviewed on the IT Computer Specials Web page (www.uwyo.edu/InfoTech/services/support/compspec.asp). Discounted prices have been secured for standard computer lab, office, and laptop equipment. Options are available to meet the various needs of users.
For computer hardware repair of Dell and HP Compaq systems please submit a hardware service request by going to the Ask IT Web site (www.uwyo.edu/AskIT) and clicking on the Service Request Form link at left; or contact our Help Desk at 766-4357 (766-HELP), option 1. Please have the make, model, serial number, and property number available. If the hardware is still under warranty, please inform the Help Desk consultant or indicate that in the IDR Number field on the Web form. PC Maintenance will pick up the computer, run diagnostics, order necessary parts and repair or return the unit for replacement under warranty if required. Once the item is repaired it will be delivered back to your office.
If you have questions regarding model standards, pricing, or placing orders for Dell and HP Compaq computers, please contact Kirk Brown by phone at 766-2875 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.