CTO Updates September 2015

The fall semester is in full swing. Football games against MSU and OSU set the tone for what is turning into a very exciting school year. We all live in an Internet of things culture so please don't hesitate to reach out to the Office of Information Technology if you feel your Internet and/or technology needs are not being met. I can be reached at tom.wolf@wmich.edu,  (269) 387-3838 or @tomwolfjr and I love discussing technology needs and desires with enthusiastic students, faculty and staff. Good luck with those midterms!

Bronco Bash: 2015 marked our second year in a row participating in Bronco Bash. The 2015 event and our IT Help Desk themed tent were both a huge success. The weather was a perfect sunny and 70 degrees. Within a few short hours we ran out of our supply of 1,000 cell phone wallets and Help Desk cup giveaways, leaving the team ample time to remind the WMU students, faculty and staff who stopped by that they are entitled to multiple copies of Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus free. The day concluded with our drawing first, second and third place prizes from the nearly 1,000 names who had successfully registered. Special thanks to Help Desk staff Dylan, Missy and Tyler for taking the lead and making Bronco Bash 2015 a huge technology success!

Our booth at Bronco Bash 2015

Elearning copyright materials: Extended University Programs and the Office of Information Technology would like to remind the campus elearning community that all materials uploaded into WMU's Elearning system must adhere to both the copyright law and the TEACH Act. If you would like to upload materials but are unsure about the rules, policies and laws, you are encouraged to contact media services, Extended University Programs, or the faculty technology center for clarification. See also the media conversion policy.

GoWMU upgraded: Our portal support team spent the final weekend in September migrating WMU from its outdated Luminis portal software to a new Ellucian Liferay based software solution. The new GoWMU offers responsive design and makes it much easier to use on mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. 

Help Desk trouble ticket replacement: In August we replaced our aging open source trouble ticket system with ITDirect. ITDirect is powered by ServiceDesk Plus, which is an industry standard compliant IT service management system. We plan to expand the use of ITDirect to all units of information technology to improve the way we receive, prioritize and manage work requests as well as provide WMU users a single point of entry for submitting and tracking their requests. ITDirect was selected because of its low cost, baseline functionality and extensibility.

Senior Director of Infrastructure Services named: Gaurav (G.D.) Dave has been named information technology's new Senior Director of Infrastructure Services. Former interim director of infrastructure services Matt Tomczak will be transitioning to full time research support with a dotted line reporting relationship to the new Senior Director of Infrastructure Services. Please join me in congratulating G.D. on his new position and in thanking Matt for nearly nine months of service in the interim position.

Video phones: Video conversations are rapidly becoming this generation's preferred communications medium for business interactions as video adds a much desired human element to business communications. With that in mind, our telecommunications team recently activated the video function on the almost 800 video-capable VoIP phones currently installed across campus. If you own one of these phones, you should have received emails pointing you to information about using this service. If you are interested in upgrading to one of these new phones, please contact your phone services representative.

Did you know? The Office of Information Technology had seven employees at the WMU-MSU football game making sure technologies like wireless ticket scanning, instant replay, and press box network connectivity were working correctly throughout the event and another three employees filming the game.