LSAIT Monthly Status Report - April 2014


By David Sweetman
Apr 16, 2014 Bookmark and Share

Below is this month's status report for significant projects which LSAIT is leading or broader Michigan IT initiatives that may be of interest to you. Feedback and questions are always welcome.

Heartbleed and Password Management — In response to the Heartbleed bug, IT staff within LSA and all across the University have worked diligently to ensure our systems are protected. This bug provides a good reminder and encouragement to change your password if you have not done so recently. Go to the Change UMICH Password page to change your U-M password, and see also UMICH Password Change Tips. As a general password tip, you should use different passwords for the various websites you use, and each of those passwords should be long and complicated. If the prospect of remembering all those different passwords feels daunting, don't worry, there are apps to help you manage all those passwords. Tools available include Dashlane, KeePass, and Lastpass — all of which work with Windows, Mac, and Linux. All three are reputable offerings and we do not have a recommendation of one above another. Contact LSAIT if you'd like assistance with setting up any of these password management programs.

Faculty personal and lab website development available — Following a successful pilot, we are now offering faculty personal or lab websites development at no cost to the department. Interested? Contact: lsa.web.support@umich.edu.

Potpourri of Google and other tech tips — A random collection of tips that may be of interest to you: Add a Google Calendar event directly from email, 4 tips for finding files in Google Drive, do more with Google Docs and Sheets add-ons, explanation of mass email options, and more tips.

Annual Hard Drive Secure Shredding — Over the past two years, LSA has provided secure shredding services for over 3,200 hard drives and other media. We will again be offering shredding services this year. All drives are due Thursday, May 15, 2014. If submitting drives, deliver them to the LSAIT Service Desk (LSA 1112) in sealed boxes, clearly labeled with the number of drives and your contact information, and not weighing more than 40 lbs. The vendor will provide us with a certificate of destruction once the job is completed. This program is being paid for by LSA, and should be used to dispose of LSA property only (Contact: Greg Beyer).

Easily view all your IT support requests — You can now see the status of support tickets you have submitted through email, phone, or online. Check out the new portal. Here you can see the current status, add additional comments, or ask a question about any of your tickets. In addition to your support tickets, you can also find the current status of core IT services. The portal also includes a search of the knowledge repository for answers to frequently asked questions and common issues. Stay tuned for more features coming soon to improve your IT support. (Contact: Erin Dietrich)

ServiceLink Notifications — Based on feedback we've received, effort has gone into revamping the notifications received from ServiceLink. As of April 24, you will begin to see these updated communications. Highlights of the changes include: 1) reformatted so the information you need the most is emphasized, 2) the subject line includes pertinent information about your ticket, and 3) you can access your ticket directly with a link in the notification. (Contact: Erin Dietrich)

Welcome new staff. This month we welcome Benjamin Butler and re-welcome Mark Champe to LSAIT. Benjamin has joined our East Hall Technical Services (EHTS) group as a full-time desktop support specialist, focusing largely on Mac and Linux platforms. Benjamin is new to the University and comes to us from Bowling Green. Mark is a familiar face to LSA and will begin transitioning from out Research Support North (RSN) group at the end of the term to begin providing high performance computing (HPC) support as part of the Advocacy and Research Support (ARS) team. Please join us in congratulating Benjamin and Mark on their new roles.

IT satisfaction survey update: timeliness of support. As mentioned last month, following the recent LSAIT satisfaction survey, we will cover a different topic related to the results over the coming months. This month's topic relates to elements of effective IT service. When asked to rank a variety of elements of effective IT support, faculty and staff both consistently ranked timeliness of problem resolution as priority number one, including the ability to prioritize support for especially urgent situations. LSAIT is espousing this as a top priority in our support and are looking for ways to continue to sustain and strengthen our ability to provide timely support (Contact: dsweetma@umich.edu).

ICOS Big Data Summer Camp — It is a good bet that within a few years, a standard part of graduate training in the social sciences will include a hefty dose of "how to make use of big data,". ICOS, with sponsorship from ARC and LSAIT ARS will offer a one-week "big data summer camp" for doctoral students interesting in organizational research, with a combination of detailed examples from researchers; hands-on instruction in Python, SQL, and APIs; and group work to apply these ideas to organizational questions. The dates of the camp are all day May 19-22 and the afternoon of May 29 for group project presentations. Enrollment is free, but students must commit to attending all day for each day of camp, and be willing to work in interdisciplinary groups. Sign-ups are no longer available. (Contact: Nancy Herlocher)

U-M Amazon Web Services (AWS) available — Following a successful pilot, the U-M enterprise offering of Amazon Web Services is now available to all faculty, staff, and students, and staff via the "M Cloud" service. M Cloud is the U-M offering of public cloud services to the U-M community. You can read more about M Cloud on the Michigan IT Services Portal and learn how to request an account to use AWS under U-M's enterprise agreement and master billing account (Contact: Terry Houser, Bob Sabourin).

New and Updated Software Available — Since last month's update, we've released the following upgrades to titles: ArcGIS 10.2.1, PyMOL 1.7, SigmaPlot 12.5, Intel Composer XE, and LabVIEW Spring 2014. We have updated license files and keys for the following: IMSL/PV-WAVE, NAG Compilers & Numerical Libraries, and Intel Composer XE. Maintenance contracts for the following titles in the catalog were renewed: NAG Compilers & Numerical Libraries, and Mathcad. Complete list of all titles. (Contact: Crystal Borgman, lsa-license@umich.edu).

Verizon coverage expanded — Through partnership with Verizon, cell phone coverage has recently been expanded in many areas throughout campus, with further updates planned by July 1.

Field Equipment Consulting and Check-out — We can help you plan for your IT needs in the field, whether that is conducting door-to-door surveys or gathering scientific data atop a mountain. We can consult with you on your requirements, provide demonstrations and recommendations on viable options, and even loan out ruggedized IT equipment for evaluation purposes. Interested? Contact: Peter Knoop, lsait-ars@umich.edu.

Google Glass — LSA researchers can borrow Glass for up to one week at a time to explore this exciting, new technology. Glass excels at hands-free, first person photography and videography for uses like field reference photos, creating instructional videos, documenting field experiences, and giving live, interactive tours via Google Hangout. It also provides personal digital assistant capabilities, and access to a limited, but evolving collection of apps. Give Glass a try and find your own inspiration to explore and develop new applications. For more information, to arrange to borrow our Glass, or for assistance demonstrating Glass, please contact LSAIT's Glass Explorer, Peter Knoop, at lsait-ars@umich.edu.

ArcGIS for Server Service Pilot — LSAIT is now running an instance of ESRI's ArcGIS for Server (Version 10.2.1). This service will provide LSA researchers with support for 1) enterprise geodatabases, which can handle larger data sets than standard geodatabases and offer collaboration enabling capabilities, such as versioning, replication, and distribution; 2) server-based geoprocessing for resource-intensive geoprocessing needs; and, 3) web services for GIS, such as Map Services, Feature Services, WCS, WMS, WFS, Mobile Data Access, KML, Schematics, Network Analysis, and REST and SOAP interfaces. This service can also be utilized as a backend for our organizational instance of ArcGIS Online. Participation in the ArcGIS for Server Service Pilot is limited. Interested? Contact Peter Knoop, lsait-ars@umich.edu.

IT Service Request Satisfaction Ratings — Below is a summary of customer service interactions for LSAIT. February to March comparisons should a slight increase in customer satisfaction upon closer of a request. (Contact: Greg Beyer).

Measure Jan 14 Feb 14 Mar 14
Total support requests across all LSAIT 3,220 2,646 2,670
Satisfaction that the reported issue was resolved 96% 98% 100%
Overall Customer Satisfaction 98% 99% 99.9%
Calls to LSA Service Center 687 541 437
Calls answered within 30 seconds 83.7% 88.0% 86%