February 22, 2024
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Information Technology Services, summer 2023

The last three months saw regular system and software updates being applied, hardware upgrades in networking and computer systems, and support throughout the semester up to and concluding with the largest Commencement to date.

The Information Technology Services (ITS) Communications team is well into the preparations for summer 2023 New Student Orientation sessions held during June and July and into August. In collaboration and support for all areas of ITS, we are prepared for our busiest Orientation summer since before COVID.

Enterprise Systems and Applications (ESA) Team

Significant ESA accomplishments include:

  • ESA continued to improve information security through cleanup and removal of additional legacy user accounts and reduction of DNS access points.
  • New interfaces were built for the Broome County Bus system, Slate and the new occupational therapy program.
  • Grading and student registration modules were implemented in Banner 9 during the spring term; this included a new Ellucian delivery platform. The change impacted how we build modifications into the student SIS.
  • The Applications and DBA teams worked to build out a new infrastructure designed to support future program developments.
  • Implemented new version and features for Oracle database 19c.
  • Implementation of a new data backup architecture for the University continued on schedule. The new backup solution will replace an aged backup solution and will meet the emergent backup needs of our newer virtualized systems/platforms.
  • New redundant storage solution implementation is continuing.
  • Infosilem was upgraded as was Campus23. Both systems were moved to a newer server operating system.
  • As part of the evaluation and service consolidation/improvement for the Mathematics Department, new fully interactive SAS dashboards were written to replace an outdated/outmoded data extraction process.

Operations and Infrastructure (O&I) Team

Significant O&I accomplishments include:

  • Determining the next generation of wireless access points we will use in the near future by conducting live testing of new generation access points from three different vendors in select buildings. The testing is expected to be completed this summer, which will lead to a multi-year equipment replacement project.
  • Deployed outdoor Wi-Fi in the Dickinson Community and Hinman College quads, based on student survey feedback. The Wi-Fi coverage in these quad areas now provides stable, outdoor Wi-Fi access for our students.
  • Permanent firewalls were implemented between the student networks and the internet. The added layer of security on the student networks further protects our students from vulnerabilities and attacks external to the campus.
  • Networking ensured that power interruptions necessitated by the Library renovation project did not impact network connectivity issues for the Library patrons and staff.
  • The Pinnacle (telephone) database was upgraded.
  • Upgrades to the 212 CCTV cameras in ITC were completed. Due to the high profile, scientific equipment and intellectual property within ITC, this area has a higher-than-normal CCTV camera density than other areas of the University.
  • Student Accounts customer counter received the first CCTV camera that is analytic enabled. The camera not only sees a customer queue forming but alerts staff so they can quickly increase staff at the customer counter, thus providing prompt timely service to more students faster.
  • Mobile ID credential testing for door access has begun.
  • Data Center firewall implementation has begun in coordination with InfoSec.

Information Security (InfoSec) Team

Significant InfoSec accomplishments include:

  • The annual HIPAA training was distributed to individuals who work with or might be exposed to HIPAA information. KNowBe4Binghamton University is designated as part of the SUNY HIPAA Hybrid Entity, or a HIPAA function on campus.
  • Worked with other ITS groups to implement a new internal firewall designed to protect the ITS Data Center from unwanted access.
  • Worked with Networking, ESA and the Innovation team to narrow the access aperture for appropriate system access. A separate, Information Student Virtual Private Network (VPN) Segmentation now provides VPN authorized students access to only the specific systems needed for academic pursuits or in support of their student employment duties.
  • Reviewed and advised on self-attestation questionnaires (SAQs) for a physically secure environment for Leon Cosler in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Conducted a Student Phishing Awareness Campaign through the KnowBe4 platform.
  • Addressed 130 service tickets through TeamDynamix
  • Reviewed 28 technical changes with the change advisory board (CAB).
  • Conducted phishing response actions, including deleting 39 phishing messages prior to recipients seeing them and marking 25 messages as phishing in Google.

Technology Support Services (TSS) Team

Significant InfoSec accomplishments include:

  • Completed the University computer bulk purchase order for Dells and Macs. This is the third year of a very successful program. ITS replaced computers in several of the public computer labs prior to the fall 2023 semester.
  • Help Desk saw an increase in tickets from new campus users with 1,200 tickets and 40 loaner requests.
  • Top reported incidents include 2FA, new account, phishing, setup of a new computer, network issues, BingView, etc.
  • Our LMS expert assisted selected faculty with their grading issues, but overall it was a smooth end to the spring semester for the Client Resolution Team.
  • The Help Desk said farewell to eight graduating students and welcomed several new student assistants.
  • Rick Shumaker, the ResCon Director, interviewed and hired a whole new crew of ResCons (Residence Hall Tech Support) for fall 2023.
  • Client Support Services staff hosted a TeamDynamix workshop for ITS, the University Center for Training and Development, Educational Communications and the Center for Learning and Teaching.

Research Computing and Support

Based on the success of the Research Storage pilot last quarter, the Research Computing and Support Team has turned on research storage for productional use. his is a critical step forward for Binghamton University as we further support all of our researchers. Presently, we have 13 different labs utilizing the research storage system, with new labs being added monthly. Additionally, in support of the new fMRI center, the Research Computing and Support team set up a new DICOM server to facilitate the transfer of fMRI data files between UHS and Binghamton University. Finally, the team is actively developing a computing infrastructure plan in support of the 2019 Data Science Initiative, with an expected implementation timeline in late 2023.

Innovation

The Innovation Team, members of ITS and the Provost’s Office worked extensively to implement the new Faculty Reporting system. The new application will help significantly with Binghamton University Contributions to Mission, and a variety of other efforts that utilize data collected by the Faculty Reporting application and related processes. The Innovation Team also completed Phase III of the larger Identity and Access Management (IAM) effort, integrating the IAM system with the my.binghamton portal, Zoom, and a variety of other first- and third-party systems. This ongoing effort to extend the capabilities and integrations of the IAM system continues to streamline and simplify the onboarding and offboarding of student, staff and faculty access and permissions within a plethora of different systems. Finally, the Innovation Team made a number of software enhancements to the Name Display system for the 2023 Commencement ceremonies, and continued its ongoing tradition of volunteering for and supporting those ceremonies.

Staff promotions and new hires

ITS welcomes new/promoted employees:

  • John Ziemba was hired to the Network Administration team.
  • Michael Putano was hired to SIS (Door access) as installer/technician.
  • After an extensive search, Gennie Vallerga was selected and promoted to the Director of Technology Support Services.

Training

A large percentage of ITS employees participated in the campus CPR and “Stop the Bleed” health emergency workshops.

ITS kudos

  • Kudos and congratulations goes to Patrick Doyle, who was recognized for six years of service as a senator at the 194th SUNY University Faculty Senate Plenary.
  • The first week of April was Student Employee Appreciation Week. ITS thanks all of our student staff for their contributions. The end-of-semester student party was a success.
  • In mid-April, as a part of the Global Alumni Days of Service, ITS staff set up a bin in the Technology Hub to collect donations for the Binghamton University Food Pantry. At the conclusion of the drive, a large bin of food and supplies were delivered to the food pantry for our students in need.

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