The 2019 IT Sparta Awards

Hello, colleagues:

It’s important to celebrate the hard work, dedication, and the successes of our division. But it’s equally important to celebrate the people in our team that make this success possible.

Nominations for the 2020 IT Sparta Awards are open now. If you have a team or individual you would like to recognize please click here to fill out the form.

All 2019 IT Sparta Award WinnersThe IT Sparta Awards
The IT Sparta Awards are given to one team and one individual each year to recognize those staff members who serve our campus with distinction and work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep SJSU amazing. They bring out the best in each other through a collaborative spirit, a commitment to innovation, and everyday leadership. They provide consistent and exceptional service, whether working with students or building something with a campus department.

Every member of the IT Division has the opportunity to nominate employees through an open call. From there, I work with the IT Peer Consultation Group to choose the most outstanding project, program, team, or individual to win the award. The selection process is designed to raise our employees, increasing staff members’ visibility to work every day and get it done.

2019 IT Sparta Award Team WinnersTeam Winners
Last year’s Team Award was granted to the NextSteps App project Team, which includes Nolan Liu, Debashish Basak, Sean Davis, Steve Chang, An Nguyen, Lam Vu, Mona Hall, Elma Arredondo, Eric Matthews, Jane Wang, Kirk Nguyen, and Lor Vang.

The NextSteps App is an integral part of student orientation and the undergrad admissions process. It not only helps manage the orientation planning and registration process, it is also one of the first digital experiences that students encounter on campus. This team helped to define the App experience and make it a positive one!

The team is split into two groups. The Infrastructure Groups set up new virtual machines and OS software, networking, new databases, load balancer configurations, and all of the back-up work to make NextSteps run smoothly. The Application Group set up the software, including testing, Qualys web app security scans, system configurations (for IIS, PHP, FileMaker, file shares, etc.), upgrading to new software versions, and more.

Working with NextSteps represents a multi-department collaboration with many moving pieces operating under hard deadlines. Customer service, efficiency, and precision were all requirements for success.

2019 IT Sparta Award Individual WinnerIndividual Winner
Mario Rivas won the individual award last year because he consistently provides exceptional user support and customer service to an extensive range of users and technologies. He receives high praise and spectacular feedback from his customers and co-workers by going well beyond expectations and raises the bar for IT service levels. Mario has elevated the “can-do” attitude up to the “will-do” level.

He was a critical driving force behind numerous successful projects in 2019. He was instrumental in several different departments’ physical move, including Finance, HR, and our own SJSU IT folks from Clark 500 to Clark 140. For each of these moving projects, Mario exhibited careful advance planning, attention to detail, dedication to getting things done right, and quick responsiveness to issues. Because of his work, each of these moves were completed smoothly and efficiently, ensuring that customers experienced minimal disruption and downtime in the process.

Presidential Recognition
Plaques for both winners are now on display on the Computer Center’s Hall of Fame Wall. Please come by after when things settle down and take a look.

 

Best regards,
-Bob

New SJSU Event Calendar

Dear SJSU Campus Community,

Our campus will be implementing a new university-wide Event Calendar on July 29. 

You have shared with me the need to replace our existing calendar because it’s over a decade old and it’s missing a lot of features that have become standard over the years. It is not mobile friendly, it’s difficult to search, and it doesn’t integrate or work with social media or personal calendars. That’s why SJSU IT collaborated with groups from across the university to identify a solution that meets the needs of our students, faculty, staff, and university community in a major way. 

The first thing you’ll notice is the look. It’s updated with better design, it’s mobile friendly, and it’s much more visual. Each event can now include images, a flyer, or an embedded map. 

But the biggest new feature, by far, is the updated categories and hashtag system for better filtering so you can find the events that matter to you. You can filter by date, event type, topic, audience, trending, and more. You can subscribe to these feeds and get notifications and updates when a new event is posted. So, if you’re a student who lives on campus, you can set up a feed of events that are student-focused and on campus. Or if you’re faculty, you can set up feeds for events in your field or professional development opportunities. 

The new calendar integrates better with existing communication and calendar platforms, too. Events are now exportable to personal calendars like Google Calendar and Outlook, so event details are carried over without any copying and pasting. Hosts can also link events to their social media accounts, giving groups another route to drive engagement. 

If you’re using the calendar while you’re logged in with your SJSU ID, you’ll find a “My Events” profile page, accessible from an icon in the top right of the calendar page. There, you can view your feeds, see which events you’ve registered for, and view past events as well. 

Available on July 29, you can reach the new calendar in the same way as the prior calendar — from the Events Calendar tile in one.SJSU, or at events.sjsu.edu. Additional information and training is available at www.sjsu.edu/eventcalendar.

I also want to take a moment to thank all the folks who have worked with us together to identify and implement this new event calendar:

Campus Unit Individual Campus Unit Individual
Student Affairs Donna Mae Rizando Strategic Communications Monica Bosque
Student Affairs Rob Drury Strategic Communications Felicia McKee-Fegans
Student Affairs Jordan Webb Strategic Communications Michelle Frey
Student Affairs Erlinda Yanez Athletics Ryan O’Rourke
Student Affairs Angela Iraheta Athletics Blake Sasaki
Academic Affairs Gina Marin Hammer Theatre Chris Burrill
Academic Affairs Bethany Winslow Hammer Theatre Maria Bones
Academic Affairs Sally Ordonez Hammer Theatre Anthony Sutton
Academic Affairs Jennifer Redd Hammer Theatre Hannah Hudgins
College of Science Cher Jones MLK Library Lynda Nguyen
College of Humanities and the Arts Fred Cohen MLK Library Sylvia Guel Ruiz
College of Humanities and the Arts Lucy Yamakawa Cox MLK Library Leslie Seacrist
College of Graduate Studies Jennifer Nathan MLK Library Mariah Ramsour
University Personnel Tamela Sullivan Office of Diversity Fernanda Perdoma-Arciniegas
Associated Students Trevor Large Student Union Amy Guerra-Smith

If you have any questions about the Event Calendar, please don’t hesitate to contact the IT Service Desk online or by phone at 408-924-1530.

Regards,
Bob Lim
Vice President of Information Technology
and CIO at San Jose State University

 

Google Chat Replacing Hangouts

Dear SJSU Campus Community,

As you may have already heard, Google will soon be retiring Hangouts in favor of Google Chat. SJSU IT is making this transition early so that you’ll have time before the semester starts to adjust.

Starting in the evening on July 16, we will be enabling Google Chat as the default chat application for SJSU. You’ll see this change when you login on Friday, July 17. Google Chat will replace the older Classic Hangouts and appear in the bottom left of the web Gmail client. With this change, chat on your SJSU account will now look similar to and include all the features of the newer Google Chat application.

Google Chat is an enterprise-grade collaboration solution with a modern UI, team rooms that support better team collaboration, emoji reactions to make work fun, bots to help you be more productive, and much more. Besides showing in the Gmail client, you can use Google Chat on:

Google Chat training and help is available from Google at https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9247502?hl=en.

If you have been using Classic Hangouts, all history of one-on-one chats will be carried over to Google Chat. Any group chats from Classic Hangouts will not transfer, but the chat history of your Hangouts groups will still be accessible at hangouts.google.com. If you had a chat group in Hangouts, you’ll need to re-create it in Google Chat. In addition, there will be a Hangouts folder in Gmail where these Classic Hangouts will be archived.

If you have any questions about Google Chat, Hangouts, or the transition, please don’t hesitate to contact the IT Service Desk online or by phone at 408-924-1530

Thank you,
Alex Wong
Interim Associate CIO and Senior Director
Enterprise Solutions, SJSU IT

Summer 2020 and the SJSU IT Recovery Plan

SJSU IT Colleagues,

I know It’s been a challenging two-and-a-half months for all of us, but you’ve managed to do some incredible work while telecommuting. Your flexibility, dedication, and positive spirit to SJSU have not gone unrecognized. I appreciate everything you’ve done and I know that all these changes to remote work will help protect you, your families, and the campus community. Thanks to your hard work, our students were able to connect with faculty and complete the Spring semester.

I also want to recognize the anxiety many of us are feeling. The state of California has reported a $54 billion shortfall, which will have consequences that impact all of us. I can’t speak to what that fallout will look like for our division or our campus, but I can tell you that SJSU’s leadership understands the important role technology plays for our campus and will play moving forward.

Now I want to share what’s coming next. There’s a lot of uncertainty about the “New Normal,” Fall 2020, and beyond. One of the biggest questions was answered when Chancellor White announced that all 23 CSU campuses will be a hybrid model and mostly online through Fall 2020. The Chancellor’s announcement is in line with the current digital transformation we’ve been engaging in for the last 3 years to allow our students, faculty, and staff to teach, learn, and work anywhere. This plan builds upon our 3-year journey of transformation by focusing on six key areas critical to SJSU’s ongoing success. The goal is to give us a roadmap for continuing to support the university throughout this crisis and beyond.

1. Online Transition and Process Improvements
First off, we’ll continue to provide the best solutions for students and faculty for online learning, for employees working remotely, or for those that come to campus. We’ve been successfully digitizing processes across departments, thanks to Ryan Campbell, Jocelyn Tom, and Leon Nguyen. The OnBase and DocuSign team has been doing great work in this area (they won the Team Sparta Award). We need to ramp up that collaborative spirit to help other departments operate remotely more efficiently.

2. Teaching and Learning
We are evaluating key technology solutions that enable a flexible approach, given our hybrid model. Faculty have done an admirable job with the sudden switch to online, including their ability to move the classroom experience online with virtual labs, thanks to the work done by Tristan Orlino. We’ll be looking into a number of tools to further enable that online teaching experience, including enhancing virtual labs. We’ll also be working very closely with Academic Affairs to expand PeopleSoft integration so our university can offer more online degree programs.

3. Customer Service
We’re enhancing our customer service model to improve hybrid teaching and telecommuting experiences. Thanks to the entire customer service team, including Jason Ferguson, Sharon Watkins, Mario Rivas, Alfred Eclipse, Bruce Gardner, Kirk Nguyen, Lor Vang, and Patrick Ho, who have already built some of this structure. Enhancing this area means expanding coverage hours with instant virtual communications and developing basic remote support for home networks and home devices. We’re also building on the success of our Personalized Zoom Security Checkup by expanding it beyond Zoom and opening it up to both students and faculty.

4. Engagement
The goal for engagement is to create and expand a digital communications platform that supports both on-campus and remote engagement. Thanks to Andy Trembley’s work as our Google and Zoom admin, we’ve been able to finish the semester with Zoom and Hangouts Meet. As we look forward, we need to provide even better tools to replace at least part of the campus experience. That means looking into virtual event management platforms for things like job fairs, onboarding, commencement, and more. Joel Johnson and his team are looking into queue management systems to let people get in line virtually, ping them when it’s their turn at the window, and let them step back in line. This has obvious uses in light of COVID-19, but would be a useful tool when we’re back on campus well.

5. Information Security
We’ll also be continuing to increase layering beyond our campus walls to enhance the information security program for remote learning and remote working. Cybersecurity is going to be a very large part of our behind-the-scenes work, and we’ve already made lots of progress thanks to Michael Hastings and Janice Lew. We need to extend our strategy to be even more comprehensive and think about how we can help protect our students, faculty, staff, and researchers beyond the workspace and into their homes. For summer, we’ll be looking to use Okta single sign-on in more places and start rolling out Duo for students, a project being coordinated by Maggie Panahi.

6. Hardware, Software, and Infrastructure
We’ve made great strides in this area thanks to Cuong Doan, An Nguyen, Sean Davis, Steve Chang, Tam Vu and the entire infrastructure service team. But obviously, we never expected our new infrastructure to be utilized so heavily and so quickly. Like in every other area, COVID-19 has changed everything in this area. We are accelerating our existing technology and infrastructure strategy through innovative, cutting-edge solutions. We’re expanding our virtual storage environment, our licenses, and our Desktop-as-a-Service capabilities.

As you may have noticed, a lot of these projects are just building on what we’ve already been doing. Our strategy has always been to increase the agility and mobility of our university. Now we need to amplify and accelerate that strategy to support SJSU moving forward. Folks across the university will be looking to SJSU IT to provide innovative solutions that enable their success. Let’s show them how we’re building on the success we’ve already achieved.

I hope you all continue to stay safe. Please reach out to me or to your manager if you need anything.

Thank you.

Best regards,
Bob-

Critical Zoom Updates

Dear SJSU campus community,

As we move into summer and as we’ve mentioned in previous communications, SJSU IT is implementing improvements to Zoom. As usual, we hold off on any changes through finals to minimize any possible disruption for our faculty and students. Both of the items in this email will greatly enhance the security of Zoom for our university and both will impact how you use Zoom.

Authentication with SJSU

Your Zoom meetings have passwords by default, but anyone with the meeting link can still join your Zoom. That’s fine until your link gets shared with a malicious person outside your class or meeting. This is where authentication comes in, providing an additional layer of security on top of using meeting passwords.

Zoom meetings hosted by SJSU users can now require that all attendees be authenticated through SJSU’s single sign-on. Authenticated attendees are individuals who have signed in to Zoom and been verified as valid Zoom users. For SJSU authentication, this means they’ve logged in to Zoom using the SJSU single sign-on portal. SJSU authentication is a great security precaution when everyone in the meeting or class is an SJSU. We’re implementing this setting to enhance security at SJSU. Remember to double-check this setting whenever you schedule a meeting, as different Zoom clients have different default settings.

LEARN MORE

There are a number of cases where you may not need or want to use authentication and may consider changing this setting: classes with a visiting lecturer, meetings with off-campus vendors, or collaborative research discussions with other institutions, to name a few. To read about how to change this setting, please visit our Zoom Authentication website.

This change will go live Thursday, 5/28/2020. Take a moment before then to review our Zoom Authentication website so you’ll know the extra steps you may need to take before joining a class or meeting. It’s also a good idea to give yourself an extra couple minutes before meetings and classes once this change goes live, just in case.

Zoom 5.04

Beginning May 30, Zoom will require everyone to upgrade to the newer version of their client, Zoom 5.04. This new version has a handful of new features, but most importantly it uses a more secure encryption standard.

If you’re using a university machine, then the update will be automatically installed for you. If you’re currently working remotely on a home device, Zoom will notify you of the new version and help you download and install. You can update early by visiting Zoom’s Download Center and downloading and installing the latest Zoom Client for Meetings.

You’ll still be able to use Zoom without updating, but it will launch in the web interface. Zoom on the web is much less secure and has a very restricted feature set. That’s why SJSU IT is recommending that everyone update Zoom to this new version.
Student Conduct & Ethical Development
Lastly, I want to let you all know that we will be sending an email to students shortly informing them of our university processes around disciplinary action for Zoom Bombing. SJSU IT and the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development have been working closely on the issue of Zoom Bombing. Our university has only had a handful of cases, a testament to the integrity of our student population.
If you have any questions about the updating process or need help, please contact the SJSU IT Service Desk online or at 408-924-1530.
Thank you,
Bob Lim
VP of Information Technology and CIO