ITS Workgroup Report May 2016

ITS Semi-Annual Updates by Work Group as of May 1, 2016

Leadership Team

Recent Accomplishments:

  • We prepared for and are facilitating a 12-week IT assessment by a 3rd party consultant firm named CIO Sensei.  Efforts have centered on the production of information technology related data and documentation, clarification of strategic and operational plans, policies and procedures. 
  • ITS has developed and released new technology vendor surveys that capture essential information designed to migrate the risk of vendors not meeting Middlebury’s expectations.  Additionally, essential compliance and legal requirements are identified, data ownership is clarified and an exit plan is established.
  • Notable enhancements to ITS’ project and portfolio planning and management processes have been completed, with streamlining of templated project artifacts and inventory tools.
  • A high-level draft for IT governance has been developed and is currently under review with key stakeholders and advisory teams.
  • Submitted our FY17 operational and capital budgets.

3-6 Month Priorities:

  • We expect the current IT assessment by CIO Sensei to wrap up by the end of May and look forward to evaluating and addressing the opportunities and challenges it will identify.
  • Establishing our FY17 goals based on at least the following information points:
      1. 2016 MISO Survey Results
      2. Approved FY17 budget (operational and capital)
      3. Recommendations from the CIO Sensei IT Assessment
      4. Staff goals identified as part of the annual performance assessment
    • Support and participate in an academic focused IT assessment in consultation with the Offices/Departments of Academic Development, the Provost, Digital Learning, Library and Academic Technology, and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Research.
    • We are partnering with the Office of Communications and Marketing to redesign ITS’ primary web site to make our content more accessible to the Middlebury community, our site easier to navigate and our services easier to identify and take advantage of.

    User Services

    Helpdesk - Call Center and Walkin

    Recent Accomplishments:

    • Mobil Helpdesk soft launch on 04/30 in Bi-Hall 1st of 4 dates through May 11th
    • 17% Reduction of pin resets
      • November 1 2014-April 1 2015 we closed 468 Banner Pin Reset tickets
      • November 1 2015-April 1 2016 we closed 390 Banner Pin Reset tickets
      • The Call Center Call Center staff closed 2,448 tickets between 11/01/15 and 04/01/16. Of those, 968 (40%) were closed on first contact.
      • Professional Development:  Microsoft Office 365 training completed for one of the 3 Call Center staff.

      3-6 Month Priorities:

      • Training newly hired students for summer and into the academic year
      • Providing Mobile Helpdesk in other locations for the summer
      • Planning and providing Mobile Helpdesk for fall startup
      • Completing Microsoft Office 365 training for the rest of the Call Center staff
      • Completing Best Practices Goal 

      Helpdesk - Service Requests

      Recent Accomplishments:
      • 1,695 tickets closed (or completed) from 11/1/15-4/29/16
      • 94 requests for academic software installs and upgrades were completed for the winter and spring term semester startups
      • Provided new computers to 125 staff and 30 faculty
      • Self-Service software installation options for college windows computers implemented
      • Improvements to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure for Kiosk/walk up machines and for Virtual access to services and software were implemented
      • Contributed to the successful PCI Compliance Project
      • Completed the Wireless project in partnership with ISI
      • Microsoft Office 2016 rollout underway, with options for self-service installation on both Windows and Apple computers
      • Upgraded server software related to Casper, KACE, and KeyServer

      3-6 Month Priorities:

      • Complete the FY16 staff upgrades
      • Complete the FY17 faculty upgrades
      • Setup and support the summer languages, Ripton campus programs, and the School of the Environment
      • Windows 10 testing and planning for campus deployments
      • Continue with the Microsoft Office and the 365 portal implementation
      • Complete improvements to our Software information webpages
      • Develop a plan to improve our loaner laptop system
      • Plan the project details for digitizing software files
      • Contribute to planning and implementing more cloud services
      • Further expand the use and knowledge of our Virtual Desktop offerings and infrastructure
      • Plan and prepare the classrooms for the transition from summer sessions to requested fall startup needs

      Media Services

      • Recent Accomplishments
      • 402 Events supported  
      • 68 Recordings supported           
      • 167 Screenings supported          
      • 170 Video conferences supported  
      • 14 projects completed
      • Successfully supported various large events:
        • Spring Student Symposium - extensive tech needs & coordination
        • Board of Trustee meetings
        • IGSE symposium
        • CSE/CCI Symposium events in January
        • Anderson Freeman Center opening events
        • February commencement and first year orientation
        • Talk by Bill Marris (Google GV’s CEO)
        • Fourth annual conference on food
      • Coltrane Lounge is now a fully-equipped multi-purpose space: smart classroom with dual displays (one of which is an interactive smart tv) & performance venue with new sound system.
      • Upgraded videoconferencing and A/V equipment in Monterey’s Board Room and Fletcher Jones conference room.
      • Installed a new, low-cost videoconferencing system in Kitchell House.
      • Improved reliability of screening spaces by installing more robust surge protection &  battery backup, automating systems, and updating documentation.
      • Upgraded the entire video switching and control system in Dana.
      • Upgraded MBH 632 with dual projection to support innovative teaching methods.
      • Installed A/V equipment in Service Building 209 to support meetings and basic video calls.
      • Upgraded A/V equipment in Kirk with a much brighter projector.
      • Upgraded smart classrooms: OCH 206, MBH 467 (interactive smart TV).
      • Upgraded main projectors in MBH 216 and 220
      • Upgraded stage lighting in Dana to improve quality of recordings & performances.
      • Dozens of dorm TVs were upgraded.

      3-6 Month Priorities:

      • Upgrade sound systems at Bread Loaf: Barn and Little Theater
      • Upgrade smart classrooms at Bread Loaf
      • Upgrade the equipment in 10 smart classrooms.
      • Work with facilities, athletics and contractors to upgrade the sound system in Kenyon Arena.
      • Work with the Academic Cyberinfrastructure Transformation Team to find an streaming video solution.
      • Evaluate potential alternatives to Adobe Connect, as cost of Adobe’s products has increased.
      • Complete upgrade of RAJ with improved sound system and videoconferencing.
      • Support the summer programs.
      • Assist with 3-4 high profile videography projects.
      • Support large events:
        • Board of Trustees meetings
        • Commencement
        • Reunion
        • Bread Loaf conferences
        • Summer program startup & commencement events
        • Middlebury Film Maker’s festival
        • Alumni College
        • Orientation
        • Support additional hybrid classes in the Fall.

      Telephone and Printing Services

      Recent accomplishments:

      • Co-project teaming with CSNS on Skype for Business Pilot.  Initial contact to users, server set ups, administrative training, and user equipment purchase completed to date
      • Moved lightly-used public classroom printer to Laforce Hall to better serve student needs.
      •  Replaced 44 Canon copiers and HP printers with Kyocera machines between November 2015 and January 2016.
      • Presented recommendations to Public Safety for removal of unused courtesy telephones in order to reduce number of lines.
      • Negotiated another annual maintenance agreement with E911 on-site notification service provider to continue providing support for end-of-life system.
      • Successfully tested new backup procedures for telephone system and reiterated communications procedures with vendor regarding outages.
      • Engaged a consultant to provide telephone system recommendations for the next one to two years, provided background, and reviewed final report with administration.
      • Researched and reported on more cost-effective alternatives for a telephone system upgrade.
      • 395 Telephone Services tickets closed 11/1/15 - 4/30/16

      3-6 Month Priorities:

      • User implementation of Skype for Business pilot and evaluation.
      • Preparation and implementation of Bread Loaf campus and Language Schools rental printers and telephone relocations for summer.
      • Complete project to remove unused courtesy telephone
      • Plan, communicate, install, test, and deploy fax server for campus offices.  

      Security & Infrastructure

      Information Security

      Recent Accomplishments:

      • Achieved passing Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) scans for PCI enclave
      • Established security operations processes required to maintain PCI compliance
      • Established security operations processes designed to deliver maximum ROI from existing security investments

       3-6 Month Priorities:

      • Introduce multi-factor authentication to protect access to Middlebury’s online services
      • Transition enterprise email message security to cloud-based message filtering services to reduce the amount of unwanted and malicious email coming into Middlebury
      • Introduce whole-disk encryption for Middlebury-managed end-user devices
      • Introduce mobile device management technology to Middlebury-managed mobile platforms
      • Introduce digital rights management technology to protect Middlebury information assets, particularly in cloud environments
      • Begin the transition to Sophos’ cloud-managed endpoint security solution
      • Update existing change management processes and introduce new vulnerability and patch management processes

      Central Systems & Network Services

      Recent Accomplishments:

      • Moved all available legacy PCI systems and serviced into the secure PCI enclave
      • Implemented the new guest account system for guest wireless access
      • Upgraded the DNS and DHCP services for the Middlebury and Monterey campuses
      • Enabled SSO for the Middlebury Office 365 environment and synced all user accounts and groups
      • Deployed Single Sign-On integration for Qualtrics (for surveys) and ArcGIS (for the department of Geography)
      • Synced all user and groups with the Middlebury Google Apps environment
      • Upgraded the wireless controllers serving the VT campuses

      3-6 Month Priorities:

      • Complete a pilot project rollout of Skype for Business as a proof of concept alternative, including unified communication services, for our legacy telephone system
      • Develop a clear statement of work for the project and migrate our on-premise enterprise email environment to the cloud
      • Complete the redeployment of our log analysis application, and continue to develop expertise in its use
      • Consolidate network monitoring and alerting platforms with a new implementation that includes the features to monitor switch port mappings and view network flow analysis
      • Deploy a remote desktop services implementation for the administrative community that supports legacy applications
      • Add new data center switching equipment to increase redundancy for physical and virtual data center based services

      Enterprise Applications

      Administrative Systems

      Recent Accomplishments

      • Completing data feed implementation on new Judicial system, Symplicity Advocate
      • Completed launch of Salesforce to Banner integration for Monterey admissions
      • Completed initial implementation of Content 7 for Advancement
      • Completing conversion of Human Resources to Content 7
      • Completed new student notifications for total loan indebtedness requested by President’s office
      • Worked with Communications staff to develop and deliver e-mail lists for all schools (faculty, staff, students) and MiddNews, allowing MyEmma to be used instead of Lyris for broadcast communications
      • Completing improvements to reporting and data validation for Language Schools Banner integration

      3-6 Month Priorities:

      • Implement Argos reporting system and start to guide conversion from Hyperion EPM11
      • Implementing GitHub for version control and streamlining code approval and promote process
      • Complete upgrade to the next version of Oracle database, Oracle 12c
      • Supporting implementation of StarRez Housing system for September roll-out to students
      • Supporting iDataCookbook implementation by providing input on functional definitions and clear technical definitions
      • Implementing Content 7 for Accounts Payable, continuing conversion of Nolij customers to Content 7

      Web Technologies and Services

      Recent Accomplishments:

      • Completed the recommendations of changes based on the Acquia Security and Performance audits.
      • Aided the Communications team in selecting a Vendor, Digital Pulp, for the website redesign project.
      • Moved our source code from Git to GitHub for better workflow.
      • Upgraded sites to WordPress 4.5.
      • To prep for a future main site migration, team is currently migrating Davis sites to Drupal 8.
      • Completed converting the midd_department Drupal template to Responsive design version.
      • Integrated our work tool, Kanbanize with our communications tool Slack and our source code repository tool GitHub.

        3-6 Month Priorities:

      • Continue working with the Communications Team and Digital Pulp in implementing MIIS Website Redesign.
      • Continued completion of Chef Configuration tool implementation and team training on the tool.
      • Continued upgrading sites when available to Drupal 8.
      • Continued support and implementation of the Canvas / CourseHub integration.
      • Continue to convert sites to be Responsive when possible.
      • Continue working on accessibility improvements.
      • Roll out the Google Tag Manager to the remaining services.

      ITS @ MIIS

      Recent Accomplishments:

      • Network Upgrades – The two-year network upgrade project has been completed with the replacement of a few remaining network switches on campus with new Juniper models.  Upgraded additional fiber backbone between several buildings to new single-mode to allow higher speeds over long distances.  Wiring in Simoneau and 400 Pacific upgraded.
      • Copier Fleet Replacement – Our copier fleet has been replaced under a new 4-year lease agreement to provide reliable copying, scanning and printing services for entire Monterey campus. 
      • Firewall/PCI Upgrades – Additional Palo Alto firewall installed.  This provides enhanced security for new PCI compliant payment stations and credit card machines on the Monterey campus.
      • Computer Distribution – 40 computers were distributed, including the placement of new laptops in Enrollment, and desktops in the new veteran’s center.  This continues efforts to maintain a working computer life-cycle program on the Monterey campus.
      • Help Desk – 400 service tickets closed since December 2015.   Beginning campaign to have move user submitted tickets through WHD portal.
      • Interpretation Lab Upgrade – Replace outdated equipment in SL3 interpretation lab with new Taiden interpretation equipment.  Provides reliability for GSTILE interpretation classes. 
        3-6 Month Priorities:
      • Internet Circuit Upgrade – Upgrading our current 100MB circuit to a maximum of 500MB at a cost less than we are paying now.  Initial AT&T equipment installed and in process of testing.  This upgrade is necessary due to the increased demand on our network for HD video conferencing and other academic initiatives.  
      • Telephone Upgrade – Upgrading our end-of-life telephone system will ensure continued telephone service to the MIIS campus.   While the new core PBX servers have been installed on campus, we are waiting on the installation of the new 500MB circuit to cutover the new Polycom handsets for this open-source telephone system.  
      • Wireless Network Upgrade - Our current wireless controllers will be replaced to achieve greater speed, reliability and integration with Middlebury wireless. High usage classrooms and venues will begin to receive new access points for greater coverage.  Remaining end-of-life AP’s will also be replaced.
      • Power Standby Generator – Installation of power standby generator for McCone server room and network core will provide enhanced network reliability to campus during prolonged power outages. Quotes and engineering in progress for mid-summer installation.
      • Digital fax service - Looking to eliminate old analog fax lines embedded in the current copier fleet.  Goldfax on-campus server and Goldfax Cloud service will reduce operating expenses for analog telephone circuits, and provide reliable fax capabilities with greater PCI compliance.
      • McCone network wiring upgrade – Looking to eliminate sub-standard network wiring on second and third floor of the McCone building.  This will allow full use of the new 1GB network switches in that primary faculty and career services building.