More efficient first line technical support
July marks the opening of the Technical Support & Network Operations Center (TSNOC), a state of the art facility created to more efficiently meet Tulane computer user needs.
(Pictured left to right: Nick Skaggs, Delvin Dumas, and Douglas Duckworth)
"We are responding to the need for improved response time and results for our Tulane computing community" says Allie Hopkins, TSNOC Director. "We understood that users were frustrated with our remote solution for addressing support questions. We have replaced that remote system with on-site staff that has a better understanding of Tulane's infrastructure and user needs. TSNOC employees are Tulane employees. They interact with other Technology Services staff on a daily basis, they are better trained, and much more attuned to our campus needs."
From their location in the Technology Services offices at 1555 Poydras Ave., TSNOC specialists will represent the front line of user support, answering technical support calls from Tulane students, faculty and staff. They will proactively monitor all critical Tulane enterprise servers, software applications, and the university network. Problems that cannot be resolved by TSNOC specialists, which we anticipate will be few, will be escalated directly to staff responsible for that technology containing all the needed information for a quick resolution.
"The TSNOC truly gives TS staff the ability to experience all of the university's systems from the user's perspective. The NOC enables visibility into our network infrastructure and server environments, allowing the specialists to react as our customers would. Now we can identify and remedy potential problems before they affect our users." says Chief Technology Officer Charlie McMahon.
Tulane users will have access to a newly designed online Self Service portal and Knowledge Base. This has been created to be the centralized location to find answers to technical questions, request new services, submit and track incidents, or reach a TSNOC specialist via chat.
Tulane Police Department dispatching will also be relocated to the TSNOC where they will take advantage of situational awareness technology facilitating easier collaboration and response in emergency scenarios.
Dr. Douglas Slakey connects with Clinicians in Vietnam
(Pictured - Dr. Douglas Slakey, Chair of the Tulane Department of Surgery, developed a course to instruct physicians, surgical residents and nurses at the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Vietnam)
Tulane Department of Surgery Chair Dr. Douglas Slakey received a scholarship from the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) to develop and provide a course designed to improve the care and outcomes of patients with kidney disease. In Vietnam the incidence of end stage renal disease (ESRD) is reported as high as 680 per million, nearly twice that of the United States. Because the cost of providing health care to ESRD patients is complex and expensive, many patients in Vietnam are unable to receive the treatment necessary to keep them alive. Slakey's course was designed to provide the students at the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Vietnam with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve care to ESRD patients using a multidisciplinary approach.
Dr. Slakey's course was a blend of in-person lectures and simulation sessions delivered in Hue, Vietnam and live lectures delivered via the Internet. For the Internet-based lectures, Slakey selected Adobe Connect as his tool of choice. After about 90 minutes of training with Don Elbers of Tulane Technology Services, Slakey was off and running.
Teaching this course represented Dr. Slakey's first effort at using Adobe Connect. He says "Using Connect exceeded my expectations. It worked seamlessly. Connect allowed the involvement of a lot of different people at different levels. I engaged Tulane surgical residents by having them prepare a 20 minute presentation as part of each lecture, so many of our students benefited from the course as well."
Because of the 12-hour time difference between Hue and New Orleans, Dr. Slakey delivered his lectures from his home at 8:30 at night, allowing clinicians to view lectures at 8:30 AM in Vietnam. Slakey used a public URL, making the lectures open to more participants. As a result, the course started with 40 students at Hue University and by the end of the series in March 2013, grew to more than 110 participants from other hospitals across Vietnam.
"I could tell that some logged in from classroom environments, some from hospital environments…some folks were logging in from coffee shops." says Slakey.
The course ended with a full-day conference in March of 2013 in which physicians, surgical residents and nurses put into practice what they had learned from the online lectures.
Slakey advises faculty interested in using Adobe Connect to:
Dr. Slakey is currently working on a follow-up study to determine what the participants have put into practice. Want to learn more? Lectures are available at http://riptide.me/slakey
Adobe Connect is available to all Tulane faculty. For more about Connect, see http://tulane.edu/tsweb/services/adobeconnect
Technology Tips for Hurricane Season 2013
Hurricane Season is upon us, and maintaining connectivity and communications through a power outage is a major challenge.
Do you have any Tech Tips for Hurricane Season? Share them with us on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TulaneTechnology
Password enumeration attacks are becoming more common at work and home
It's a worldwide problem. Malicious viruses and hacking incidents are on the rise and computer systems are being exploited. Hackers can frequently get into a system just by guessing all possible combinations of passwords. Once broken, your password may allow someone to access your files. A good password should meet the following requirements:
Passphrases are excellent!
For more guidelines about passwords visit http://riptide.me/password
Tulane continues Internet television pilot
In the spring of 2013, Tulane Technology Services conducted a successful pilot of an Internet television (IPTV) service to the uptown campus residence halls. Viewers were added to the service throughout the course of the semester until all on-campus residents had access. What students saw was an online cable television experience, backed by Cox Communications, with 34 channels of HD content accessible anytime, on any computer, anywhere on the Tulane campus. The first version of the service was Web based, and available on any PC or Mac with a Web browser – even wireless! By the end of the semester, Cox had rolled out an iOS app for iPhones and iPads. An Android app is expected later this year.
Feedback on the service was overwhelmingly positive, with students especially appreciating the anytime, anywhere access to a live television stream. The video image was excellent on nearly all wired connections and was excellent to good on wireless, depending on distance from the access point. The iOS apps deliver an even better image and are very easy to use.
In the fall, Technology Services anticipates offering IPTV as a full service in the residence halls as a supplement to traditional cable television (CATV). There will be no additional charge to on-campus residents for the IPTV service. Tulane expects to retire traditional CATV service to campus after the summer of 2014 and deliver all television programming via IPTV.
For more information on this first of its kind college IPTV system, please visit http://riptide.me/IPTV
New Tool for University-wide Meeting and Collaboration - Free for students, faculty and staff
Tulane students, faculty and staff can now use Lync by Microsoft. Lync is a unified communications platform that allows for instant messaging, video calls, and online meetings. Lync connects to Outlook and Office 365 allowing users to import contacts from Outlook, work on documents simultaneously, and collaborate on Whiteboard and Powerpoint. Lync replaces Windows Messenger. Other features include polling and desktop sharing to collaborate with others in new and powerful ways. Lync is built into the web client for WaveMail but is also offered as a stand alone application.
To install Lync for Mac or PC, go to http://portal.microsoftonline.com and enter your email@example.com email address in the UserID field. The Microsft Lync 2013 App is also available for iPad and iPhone and Android devices.
Technology Services, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 -- TSNOC: 1-866-276-1428 -- firstname.lastname@example.org