ITS Technology News



ITS Moves to New Office Space!  

4/6/2018 


meetingroom

ITS has finished the move into its new home in the Library Annex, near Accessibility Services and across from the first floor of the Library. This move has been a long-running project , initially planned when ITS was in Warren Hall several years ago and was lead by the previous CIO. The new workspace was designed with the purpose of bringing all of ITS together in one area, and facilitating better collaboration within the department. The new open office environment has eliminated private offices and placed all employees in open cubicles with various communal areas between them. Another feature of the new workspace is the numerous meeting rooms, with around eight being Zoom capable, with up to date high tech, while many are small two person rooms for quick and informal meetings or phone calls. In addition to the move, every section of ITS has also been put into their own designated areas, so all members have the facilities they need, and are easily accessible whereas in the past some divisions had to make do with limited resources.

(Image to the right is of a brand new Zoom-Capable meeting room, one of many in the new ITS workspace)

Tech Lounge

The only department that is separate from the rest of ITS is the Tech Lounge, and that was due to accessibility and noise reasons. Faculty and Staff will now be able to go to the clearly designated Tech Lounge for support, any time from Monday through Friday, from 10AM to 4PM. ITS is also hoping to expand hours in the future to allow for more support and accessibility by faculty and staff. The Tech Lounge also houses a new branch of ITS, the Classroom Technology Services team, or CTS. This group consists of on-site responders to fix tech problems quickly and efficiently, so for example in the event that a professor’s lecture is disrupted by a projector or computer malfunction, they can contact CTS and a member will show up to resolve it in time for the class to continue. 

(Image to the right is of the new Tech Lounge) 

phone room

Transparency is a big aspect both literally, in terms of the large amounts of glass walls making the space feel more open by letting in natural light, and in terms of our view on campus activity. There are several screens throughout the new space which will be displaying important, live content such as event management, downtime, announcements, and Servicenow will even be able to predict such situations in advance. The purpose of this is to keep all of ITS informed in a more active and fluid way than emailed announcements. This new space is one step toward ITS' goal to provide the best services to faculty and staff. With improved organization and communication we will be further able to meet the needs of other departments throughout our university, creating a cutting-edge environment for education.

(Image to the right is of one of our Phone Rooms, a space to make calls, or have small informal meetings) 

More photos from our new space:  

construction      windows   new office
- The first steps of Construction                 - The new open office cubicle layout         - The front of our main office
Information 
- One of our many screens around the
office displaying live information updates


Current and Upcoming Information Technology Services (ITS) Projects for 2018:

1/5/2018

As the new quarter and new year begins, ITS would like to give students, faculty, and staff a preview of projects to look forward to in 2018. This is not an exhaustive list, and only covers some of the more widespread campus projects. Full updates and information can be found updated on a monthly basis here: Current Projects 

New Academic Partners

In the fall of 2017, Information Technology Services began a program that paired an ITS staff member with an academic chair from each of the University colleges to collaborate in an exchange of information. The purpose is for ITS to better understand each academic department and their programs while simultaneously providing possible technology solutions where the college needs it the most. This is one of many initiatives our new CIO, Jake Hornsby, has initiated in supporting the President's goal of improving student success. By gathering and compiling these data points from the departments, ITS hopes to recommend sustainable and effective processes and technologies that promote this goal. A dashboard will soon be published to reflect this information for our campus partners to review.

Classroom and Lab Improvement Program

As part of Provost Edward Inch's initiative to improve learning spaces in the campus that encompasses classrooms and labs, University CIO Jake Hornsby has partnered with Academic Affairs in implementing a program to review and redesign various labs across campus. The goal is to ensure that learning areas such as labs are accessible for students-- even when off-campus-- utilizing up-to-date technology. ITS will employ modern methodologies and infrastructure to improve usability, management, and maintenance cost; while improving software availability and ease of its use in these classrooms and labs.

"With Provost Inch's guidance and the trend of increased need of computer resources in classes, ITS has focused on ensuring that each student have access to compute resources that will allow them to complete their course requirements and tasks via partnerships with the various colleges to improve and upgrade the various labs we have on campus. We feel this is a very good first step in helping students matriculate and progress through their degree courses." said Gene Lim, ITS Director and in charge of coordinating the effort to improve the labs.

VOIP Phone Transition

From 2016 to now, ITS has been working on a campus-wide project to upgrade telephones on both the Hayward and Concord campus from the old standard to an updated “Voice over Internet Protocol” system, or “VOIP.” This new system will have the benefit of running over the campus data network instead of standard phone lines. The project has been rolled out in 2 parts, with Phase 1 consisting of a test roll-out to 150 users across campus that was completed early this year. Phase 2 involves the installment of VOIP phones across both campuses, and is currently in progress. Users can see the schedule for phone installations here, in addition to this schedule, updates, delays, and other information can be found on the VOIP Upgrade Page.

Website Redesign:

ITS is currently working on the 3rd Phase of the Website redesign, where individual departments and other pages will receive the same updated look as the CSUEB homepage. Departments will be contacted by Web Services to redesign their site, or to teach Cascade Server experienced staff how to take the Do-It-Yourself Approach. Taking the DIY approach gives Departments a chance to review their content, ensuring that only up to date content is migrated over to the new website, and allowing them to design their own pages by using the new content types available.

Web Services gives a 1-hour training on how to use the new templates, giving them a clean site shell to start with. Users interested in getting this training and doing a DIY website should contact Web Services.

So far Web Services has completed migrating the College of Science, Student Affairs, is wrapping up the College of Education and Allied Studies, and is starting on the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences soon.

ServiceNow Transition:

More items are being added to the Service Catalog in ServiceNow, such as SARFS/ESARFS. These forms are going to be transitioned from the original paper forms to fully online forms, which will be processed as standard tickets. Permissions such as team drive access, administrator access, VPN Access for vendors, etc. will all be processable through ServiceNow in the future, with an estimated completion of Spring 2018. This transition will streamline the request process, allowing users to view the progress of their requests and be easily notified of any missing qualifications or other steps they need to take.



ITS Alumni Student Assistants: Where Are They Now?

Chris Lagali

3/1/2017

Chris Lagali is an employee of CSU East Bay’s Information Technology Services’ (ITS)  Data Management and Services department and a prior student assistant of the Service Quality team. He studied Computer Science in India as an undergraduate before deciding to come to the US to continue his graduate studies at CSUEB.

Photo of Chris Lagali

What were your responsibilities as a student intern and how did it help you in your professional career?

I worked for the ITS Service Quality department in a variety of roles. I wrote articles for our Knowledge Base, which provides solutions to  customer questions. I also provided testing of the Service Catalog.  My responsibilities were further diversified when I was asked to assist another team with the maintenance and testing of the campus-wide service management platform, ServiceNow. Other tasks included maintaining the IT service pipeline and documenting Google App updates.

These tasks helped me to understand the value of quality in reducing the effort and time spent on re-engineering. In fact, that is the most important lesson that I learned as a student assistant: effective and timely documented solutions are invaluable to me and to my replacement in performing a task without spending too much time in re-learning what is already known. This has helped me to be more efficient in my current role as an analyst.

Tell me a little about what the Data Management and Services group does - what is a day in your life look like?

The Data Management and Services group manages all of the data collected by the university, including ensuring the highest level of information security and developing protocols for staff to access what they need. I personally create report templates and the reports themselves, as well as developing web user interfaces. In addition, we are centralizing our resources and designing a presentable (simple but informative) data dictionary - essentially, a source of information about the information.

How did your time at CSUEB help you develop professionally?

CSUEB’s Masters program is very flexible in allowing a student to design a customized program based on his or her personal interests. My personal academic interests focus on the relationship between computer hardware and data handling. I was able to find classes that interested and challenged me, including a class called ‘Theory of Automata,’ which discussed such topics as the theory of abstract machines and Turing machines.

I also had the opportunity to work in the research lab of Dr. Lynn Grew. There we worked on an app that helped the blind to be more secure when crossing intersections. When pointed at a light source, the app could verbally tell the user if the light was red, yellow, or green. Additionally, the app could sense if the user was veering off course and offer a warning and directions to get back on course. Overall, is was a very gratifying project to be part of.

My role here at CSUEB is constantly changing, expanding, and challenging me in new and interesting ways. I look forward to what the future has in store!



Phase I of Campus-Wide VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Phone System Update Going Well

12/8/2016

Over the summer ITS began an exciting new project to upgrade the campus phone infrastructure. The new system runs over the campus data network (VoIP) rather than using traditional phone lines, allowing for additional functionality (for example, being able to check voicemail from anywhere through your email). As an added bonus, the new system will cost the university less to run and maintain, as well. 

Phase I involves a test roll-out to 150 users across campus - if you're participating in Phase I, you have already received a notification. We are in the process of testing the newly installed equipment before rolling out additional new phones to participants. We expect to complete this first phase by the end of 2016.

Phase II begins right after the holidays with a multi-step building-by-building roll-out across the entire campus. As the date draws nearer, a detailed schedule will be available online for the exact day that your building will transition to the new phone system. You will receive an e-mail in advance, as well.

For additional information about the project including the schedule, FAQs, and contacts, please see the project homepage at http://www.csueastbay.edu/its/voip-upgrade/. Video and PDF guides for all versions of the new phones are available at http://www.csueastbay.edu/its/it/telephones/index.html

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