OneDriveforBusiness Now Supports Version History for All File Types

OneDrive is a great place to store all your important documents.  Prior to the recent announcement from Microsoft, while you could store and edit almost any file type on OneDrive, only Microsoft Office documents allowed you to store and edit multiple versions of a file.

Microsoft today (7/29/2017) announced that version history is available for all (yet to be defined) file types and not just Office files. This allows you to look at and edit previous versions of older PDF and CAD files, for example.

“Previously, version history only supported Office files. Now, version history is compatible with all file types, so you no longer need to worry about your PDFs, CAD files or even your photos and videos getting accidentally edited—you’ll always be able to restore or download a previous version”

See more at this web page:
https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/07/19/expanding-onedrive-version-history-support-file-types/

New Phone System for Sul Ross

After a significant amount of time and effort, I am pleased to announce that on July 26th August 3rd, 2017 (confirmed by AT&T), Sul Ross State University will have a new phone system, complete with many modern features and few old ones, such as Caller ID, that are unavailable to the campus on the old system.

The old Cisco Call Manager system, which SRSU has been using for over 10 years, is being replaced by a new Cisco product that is cloud based.  This new system features Visual Voicemail, Call Blast, Forward Fail Over, Call Distribution Queues, a web page for phone configuration and reporting, and free and unlimited long distance in the contiguous fifty states, to name a few.  But without a doubt, the one feature we will appreciate the most is Caller ID.

When the system goes live on 7/26 8/3/2017, the goal is to provide the current features we all use today followed by the introduction of the newer features over the coming months.

One requirement for the new system is compatibility with the existing telephone handsets already on your desk.  This allows us to roll out newer handsets, the Cisco 504g (pictured here), and other models to the 623 extensions over several years, rather than all in one year.  In this initial year, approximately 100 handsets across the institution will be replaced.  We will continue this approach until all handsets are replaced in years four or five of the project.

As an additional component for this project, we have contracted with Big Bend Telephone (BBT) to provide a low bandwidth internet pipe.  Since this telephone system is in the cloud, internet redundancy is necessary so the desktop handsets continue to speak to the VoIP host.  While this internet fiber connection is only 100mb in size, it prevents SRSU from losing phone connections when our primary connection to the internet is cut or damaged and can no longer provide a connection.

Two items to consider as we make the move to the new phone system.

  1. Old voicemail messages cannot be moved to the new system.
  2. “Out of Office” messages that callers hear when you are not available cannot be moved to the new system.  Information is coming soon that will help you understand how to set up your “Out of Office” message once you are connected to the new system.

Keep your eye on this blog and on email communications from OIT for more information about this new opportunity and chances for training and education on the new set of features.

Follow us on Twitter @SRSUOIT and on Facebook SRSUOIT

Phishing Attempts: Internal Communications Work

I’m not the most consistent blogger around. And when I do blog, it is typically meant for the internal audience at my institution. I’m usually try to tell them about a new feature we’ve implemented or warn them about an issue we see that could impact our computers, network or servers.

In this post, however, I want to turn my attention to those outside of the institution and, in particular, to those inside the various IT organizations, such as CIOs, ISOs, Comm Managers (if you are lucky to have someone like that in your staff), generally anyone that has responsibility for communication from IT to your institution/organization centered on IT opportunities or issues. And, my message is very brief: Communications work!

As the CIO/ISO for my institution, I have responsibility for much of the communication outside of the Office of Information Technology (OIT). When we have a new offering or see an issue on the horizon, I sometimes blog about it, put it in social media (or have my assistant do that), and often wonder if it makes a difference. I also email the campus on a regular basis (at least monthly) and use the various venues I have to speak to the campus about these things. But, still, that small voice in the back of my mind ask that question again, “Does it make a difference?”

I say it does make a difference and encourage you to start or continue your communications practices because they do work. It is also safe to say that if you don’t communicate then you will have no positive impact whatsoever. That much I can assure you of.

Our campus constituencies often see stories on TV, on social media, and other venues that inform them about a major breach, virus infection, or new opportunity from Microsoft, Google, Amazon, or Facebook. My job and a primary reason for the communication from my office is to let them know that I am also aware and that my staff is keeping their eyes on things. The worst thing I can do is leave them wondering if I know or care. I see the same things they see and I want them to know that I am aware and am concerned.

How do I know communication works? As I walk across campus and meet people on the sidewalk, they like to say things to me such as, “I didn’t click today!” which is an obvious reference to the number of phishing attempts we all see on a regular basis. I might also hear a thank you for letting them know about that new software feature or that opportunity to learn more about this or that.

Today, I received another phishing attempt. This one was in Italian. Thankfully, I can still read a few words of Italian from the time I lived there many years ago and knew it was an attempt to get me to follow a link in the message. But, here is the great thing I realized. Due to the communications I have sent over the last few years and the speeches I have given about being careful on the internet, I feel that most of the people at my institution are aware of these opportunities and know not to click. I recognize that not everyone will get it and sometimes people just forget. Stuff will happen. But, I feel better knowing we have communicated to and educated the Sul Ross institution and have confidence that our risk is lowered by taking time to educate our members. And that helps me sleep better at night and have a more relaxing weekend (I’m writing this in Saturday morning after all).

My encouragement to you is to communicate or continue to communicate if you are already doing so. Does it work? Absolutely. Is it a panacea for all our IT problems? Absolutely not. But, I assure you, it helps our institutions and it helps the CIO and the ISO to sleep a little better and enjoy their time off a bit more. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Thanks for reading.

Access to Office 365 and OneDriveforBusiness

We changed the way you access Office 365 and OneDrive for Business.  In the past, it was common to go to the Sul Ross Home Page (www.sulross.edu), and click on Office 365 in the Quicklinks menu.  That link has been removed and access to Office 365 and OneDriveforBusiness is now through mySRSU, the Sul Ross portal.  View these quick videos below for how you access these two helpful web applications today.

Open Office 365

Open OneDrive

 

 

 

mySRSU: Update on Single Sign On (SSO)

mySRSU logo
By now, many of you have logged into and used mySRSU, the portal offering for the campus.  As you have done so, you have experienced that not all of the links and applications within mySRSU use Single SIgn On (SSO).  Here is an explanation for this behavior in mySRSU and information about what to expect going forward.

The goal is for everything we offer in mySRSU is that you only have to log in once and have access to all the content and applications within the application.  As of today, not all of the links to information in mySRSU are working as expected.  Specifically, the Email and One Drive links are challenging because Microsoft uses a different authentication mechanism than mySRSU.  We are trying to figure out how to get these Microsoft application links to align with the vision of mySRSU.  This will happen but will take longer than originally planned.  The Lobo Online link is a similar issue.  We are working with Ellucian on resolving this authentication challenge and hope to have a solution in place in the next two or three weeks.

As for Blackboard, the authentication is working.  If you log into mySRSU and then click on the Blackboard link within 10 minutes, you will be taken to Blackboard without having to log in again (after you hop through the official Blackboard page).  The issue here is that the SSO engine only respects your original credentials for 10 minutes (600 seconds to be exact), after which you must provide your LoboID and password again for any new applications, in this case Blackboard.  Once again, we are working with Ellucian on this issue.  We are asking them to increase the amount of time EIS respects the credentials for your login.  This is actually fairly easy to do.  The challenge is finding the right amount of time so we are not inadvertently leaving apps open for hours at a time, putting your data at risk.  We recognize the timeout as it is today is too short.

As you use mySRSU and find other concerns, please use the feedback button at the bottom of the page.  This feedback helps us improve your experience.

mySRSU Portal Announcement

Better communication and easier access to the technology services offered by Sul Ross are two of the goals for everything we do here in OIT.  The institution’s information resources are scattered across a number of platforms and there is no easy way to get to all of them without going to each application or service individually and logging into those services.

A portal represents a change in the institutional philosophy with regard to the delivery of services, and is a major shift to a customer-centric design of campus-wide IT facilities.  Therefore, beginning Tuesday, August 16, 2016, SRSU is offering a portal environment, mySRSU (https://my.sulross.edu), that brings the institution’s disparate resources together into one place.

portal

There are many goals associated with a portal implementation.  The benefits the mySRSU portal provides to Sul Ross are as follows:

  • Single Sign On (SSO).  One benefit of a portal is the ability to login once, have access to multiple services, and not have to log into each service individually.  SSO allows the user of the portal to focus more on the task at hand and spend less time thinking of where a particular service exists and how to get to it.
  • Aggregation of Services.  Portals bring together information from various applications into a single framework.  This allows the user to focus more on the task at hand and spend less time thinking of where a particular service exists and how to get to it.
  • Web Interface.  Access to courseware, financial aid information, class schedules, grades, communities of interest within the university, such as sports, clubs and community services, as well as other items essential to the life cycle of the student through any standard web browser increases the opportunity for communication to and between students and the institution.
  • Mobile Ready.  The design of the portal allows the content to be accessed and viewed on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.  This allows easier access for the mobile generation reflected in our student body.
  • Business Behind the Wall.  Since most or all of the applications and data viewed through the portal framework represents the business of each individual and the institution, these process and information no longer need to be housed on our public website.  The process of moving these items to the portal allows that public website to be cleaner, leaner and helps better tell the story of the university.

You may access the portal at https://my.sulross.edu or by clicking on the mySRSU link at the top of the home page.

 

iPhone Scam

A recent scam focused on users of iPhones has surfaced. I wanted to share with you to keep you informed. The bad guys are always looking for ways to get you to their sites. The simple message is “Don’t Click” if you weren’t expecting something from Apple or any other service provider. As the article states, Apple (and I’m sure any other reputable company) does not contact users of their products through text messages.

http://mashable.com/2016/04/21/iphone-texting-scam/#AoFj3sIfoiqQ

Password Changes

Sul Ross State University Policies and Guidelines require the institution to achieve and maintain appropriate protection for institutional assets, such as computers and information. A part of that protection is the management of account IDs and passwords. To ensure this standard is followed, each user of information resources at SRSU must create complex passwords and ensure they are changed every 180 days.

Change your password before April 27th to prevent access issues to your Sul Ross accounts and computers.

· Instructions for changing your password
· Link to LoboPass
· How to create a strong password
· Sul Ross Password Guidelines

Affected system include email, Blackboard, access to campus computers, Office365, and others.

SRSU Media and the ASC Tournament

bb9e3954-480e-431f-9b61-b282fec2202f_170x255On February 25 – 27, 2016, Sul Ross State University hosted the ASC Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament.  There are many things that happen during the tournament to make it a success, including the work by the SRSU Media Team, led by Glenn Losoya.  Glenn and his student team streamed the games so that parents and other individuals that cannot attend the games in the Gallego Center can watch the contests.

The students stand for hours at a time behind the cameras at these events, while Glenn directs the effort, ensures all the technology components are in place, provides the Official’s Review monitor, and manages the streaming content from courtside in the Gallego arena.

You can view recordings of the games at the ASC Tournament Livestream.com site and see what an excellent job Glenn and his team do.

Note: The Sul Ross Lobos lost their semi-final match (read about that here) last night (2/26/2016) against the Hardin-Simmons University Cowboys.  We wish to extend our congratulations to the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys on winning the tournament.

Thank you, Glenn, Dominic, Airat and Victor (not pictured) for a job well done.

Glenn Small

Dominic Small

Airat Small

Red Paw Den – 24 Hour Study Area Opened February 2016

During the month of February 2016, SRSU will opened its newest technology space that allows students to have a place to study individually, in a group, and have access to desktop computers, a printer and the campus network. Housed in the Red Paw Den, the building often referred to as “Brick 3,” RPD Exteriorthe space has tables, chairs, three computers, a multi-function printer that prints, copies, and scans, and wired or wireless network access.  The facility is open to students through the swipe of their ID Card 24 hours a day.  RPD Logo
For more information on this opportunity at Sul Ross Alpine campus, read this article from the team at the Skyline.

RED PAW DEN
NEW 24-HOUR STUDY ROOM COMING AFTER THANKSGIVING BREAK START OF SPRING SEMESTER!
BY VASHTI ARMENDARIZ REPORTER
When SRSU President Dr. Bill Kibler noticed a growing need on campus for extended computer lab hours, he thought of providing students with a study room with 24-hour availability. And since Brick Cottage Three was not being used, it became the perfect location for turning his idea into reality.
The project was assigned to Sul Ross’ Office of Information Technology Department. Chief Information Officer David Gibson and Emily Herrera, his administrative assistant, got to work outfitting the 24-hour study room (or cottage).
“This will be great for group projects,” Herrera said, “as well as for off campus-students who do not have access to the study halls in the dorms.”
The “Red Paw Den” will be fully furnished and can accomodate up to ten people. Although equipped with Wi-Fi, students will need to bring their own devices such as iPads or personal laptops to work on.
Both on- and off-campus students will be able to use their student ID to access the room without having to reserve it through Campus Activities or calling UDPS (University Department of Public Safety).
Since the study room will be available at all times, it will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. UPDS will make routine checks to ensure the safety of the room and the students within.
Depending on student usage and demand of the new facility, Brick Cottages One and Two could also be tapped to become 24-hour study rooms as well.
Herrera anticipates a grand opening of the Red Paw Den shortly after the Thanksgiving break start of the spring semester, and all students will be invited to take a look at the new facility.
More information regarding the status of the Red Paw Den will be sent in the coming week via Sul Ross email, so check your account for updates.