SJSU IT Update During Shelter-in-Place

Campus Colleagues,

I want to take this opportunity to provide you with a technology update.

Thank You
Before I begin, I want to thank you for your patience as we worked out the final details over the last couple of months.  We’ve been building our digital transformation Work Anywhere infrastructure and systems over the last three years and the last four weeks’ smooth operation has been a small silver lining for what we’ve all been going through.  Below are some questions we are receiving and I thought it would be good to share with all of you.  

Laptops and Accessories
The SJSU IT Equipment Loaning Program continues to support the needs of students, faculty, and staff.  We have loaned out over 120 laptops and other accessories over the last month.  If you or your student have an urgent need for a computer,  please contact us on this website.   

We are monitoring inventory and planning on keeping up with any new demand, but there is some risk for supply due to the high demand for PCs worldwide.  

Cybersecurity
We are also starting to see an uptake in cybersecurity-related events, which often happens during crisis events. In the next couple of weeks, we will be more intentional on relaunching our training offering on our cybersecurity program again. We wanted to wait until the campus was in a good place before proceeding.

Manage Your Voicemail
Checking and managing your campus voicemail from home is easy. We’ve posted the process to the Work Anywhere website as well.  Here’s how: 

  • Step 1: Dial the Main Number (408) 924-6800 (or 4-6800 from on-campus).
  • Step 2: When the greeting begins to play, press *.
  • Step 3: Enter your extension number, then press #.
  • Step 4: Enter your password, then press #.

Add Voicemail to Email Services
We can also help you set up email forwarding of your voicemails so you don’t have to dial in. Get an email transcript from the message left in your voicemail box.  Just submit a ticket in iSupport asking for the service to get started. 

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)
If you need to use a virtual lab for instruction, you can access Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) at https://desktop.sjsu.edu using your SJSUOne ID and Password. After logging in, you’ll see the labs, desktops, and applications relevant to you. If it’s your first time using VDI, you’ll be asked to install the Citrix Receiver. Accept the default options and complete the installation. 

VDI allows students to access labs or software, anytime, anywhere, from any device. VDI is cheaper and faster to set up than a traditional computer lab and gives our students the flexibility to access lab-grade tools from off-campus. 

Currently, the College of Engineering, College of Social Science, and College of Business have deployed VDI to many of our on-campus computer labs as well as virtual labs for online classes. 

For more information, please read the instructions at How to connect to your SJSU virtual lab. If you have any questions, please contact Atul Pala.

Customer Service
It’s also more important than ever that SJSU IT delivers effective and efficient support. I am very pleased to say that despite the huge changes we have experienced since transitioning to online modality, our overall customer satisfaction remains very strong. For March, SJSU IT Support closed 2,369 tickets, with an average resolution time of less than 2 days and our average customer service rating improved to 4.7 out of 5 (compared to 4.53 over the last six months). I want to recognize all the student assistants, the staff, and the management team in the IT Division. Without their hard work and commitment to SJSU IT’s digital transformation initiatives, we would not be where we are today. 

Zoom FAQ
SJSU IT and eCampus have created an extensive Zoom FAQ, attached to this email, answering questions found on various websites and forums. Ongoing training for Zoom on security, privacy and Do’s and Don’t are available from eCampus.  We are also attaching a quick-reference Do’s and Don’ts sheet. While we use Zoom as part of our CSU-provided and vetted set of online tools, it is up to individual community members to decide if Zoom is the appropriate tool for their needs.

Personalized Zoom Security Check-up
If you’re feeling uncertain or would like to ensure that all of the Zoom security features are set correctly, we are offering a new service:  Personalized Zoom Security Checkups for all faculty and staff.  We will have one of our IT service staff work remotely with you to ensure all your Zoom security settings are correctly set.  

Quick Snapshot
I wanted to give you a quick snapshot of the SJSU IT current usage for some of our key systems. Also, I want to share with you some details about SJSU IT Support to give you a sense of the quality of work that is being done, despite the challenges.  

As you would expect, we are seeing big increases in our external tools and decreased usage of the internal network and systems. Below is a table that highlights some of the largest changes.  

A quick look at some of the statistical changes around COVID-19's shelter-in-place

As always, you can go to the Work Anywhere website to find information and resources to support working, learning and teaching from home. 

 

Thank you,
Bob Lim
Vice President of Information Technology
and Chief Information Officer

Zoom Bombing

Campus Colleagues,

I want to make you aware of a new kind of phishing attack that’s growing quickly in the wake of a global switch toward teaching, learning, and working remotely — “Zoom Bombing.”  

Zoom bombing is when an unwanted participant joins your Zoom meeting. Sometimes attackers are joining just to be a nuisance, but for others, the aim is to slip in unnoticed as you share documents with protected information on them or discuss confidential data. 

While SJSU already has some extra protocols in place to help keep you secure, I want to give you some quick tips to further help you prevent Zoom bombing.

  1. Keep Meeting URLs Private – Don’t share them anywhere that’s accessible to the public. Just keep it to the group of people you’re sure you want to be there.
  2. Keep Meeting Passwords On – These are on by default, so all you have to do is put in a password when prompted and leave them on. 
  3. Lock your meetings – When a meeting is locked, no one can join. Learn how on the SJSU IT Securing Zoom Meetings page. 
  4. Double-check your Zoom Google Calendar invites – If you add a Zoom meeting to your calendar or create a Zoom meeting in your calendar using the Zoom Plug-in, the calendar entry may include the Zoom meeting password. Depending on your settings, this may expose the password to anyone who views your calendar. Make your calendar entry private or edit the entry to remove the Zoom meeting password.

For more details on each of these tips and some more information on staying secure while working from home, visit the Work Anywhere Zoom page. You can also find information on the Work Anywhere FAQ about how to send data securely using DocuSign and safely access SJSU data systems remotely. 

 

Thank You,
Hien Huynh
Information Security Officer
Division of Information Technology

Improving Your Zoom Connection

Hello everyone:

We are monitoring the critical technology issues that universities and businesses are experiencing using Zoom and their networks. We are seeing reports that there are more instances of audio or video in Zoom becoming choppy or distorted. This seems to mostly be issues of local bandwidth, PC activity, or home WiFi setups. So I wanted to send some information about what you can do to improve your online experience. 

Run a Speed Test
The first thing to do is to figure out how fast your internet is currently. You can type “internet speed test” into a search engine.  If your speed is much slower than what you’re paying for, you may want to contact your ISP.

Make sure your system requirements are correct
Make sure that the computing device you’re using supports Zoom. These are the system requirements for PC, Mac, and Linux from Zoom: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362023-System-Requirements-for-PC-Mac-and-Linux  

Use the best Internet connection you can. 

  • Wired connections are faster and more stable than wireless (WiFi or cellular) connections.
  • WiFi connections are faster and more stable than cellular (3G/4G/LTE) connections.

Plan for Zoom meetings, and as often as possible, join Zoom meetings from a location where you can use a fast, reliable, wired Internet connection. 

If you are using WiFi, check your router.
Problems with wireless connections are usually easy to fix. For detailed information about your WiFi setup, please see Enhancing Your WiFi-Powered Zoom Meeting.  Some quick tips for improving WiFi signal include:

  • Try bringing your computer or mobile device closer to the WiFi router or access point in your home or office.
  • Upgrade your WiFI router firmware. Check your WiFi router support site for firmware upgrade availability. 
  • If necessary, consider using a WiFi extender to increase the distance and strength of your WiFi signal.
  • If you use a cable connection, use a DOCSIS 3.0 or higher cable modem to improve internet performance.

Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking.
When your microphone is on, Zoom will devote part of your Internet connection to an audio stream for you, even if you are not speaking. Mute your microphone when you do not need it, and you will allow Zoom to use your Internet connection more effectively.

Stop your webcam video when you don’t need it.
If your instructor or moderator is okay with you doing so, start your video only when you need to show yourself on webcam, and stop your video when it isn’t required.

Disable HD webcam video.
Sending high definition (HD) webcam video requires more bandwidth than sending non-HD. Disabling HD video will free up more of your Internet connection for other parts of your Zoom meeting. How do I disable HD video in the Zoom Client? From within the Zoom Client: 

  • Click the “Home” tab.
  • Click ” Settings.”
  • In the Settings window that opens:
  • Click the “Video” tab.
  • Uncheck “Enable HD.”
  • Close the Settings window.

Close other, unneeded applications on your computer.
Zoom meetings can demand significant memory and processing power from your computer. Closing other applications — ones you do not need during the session — will help Zoom run better.

Avoid other activities that will steal bandwidth.
Don’t start other bandwidth-intensive activities just before, or during, a Zoom meeting. On your Zoom device—and as much as possible, on different computers and devices that share your Internet connection—avoid:

  • large downloads
  • large uploads
  • streaming video (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, YouTube)
  • cloud backups (e.g., Carbonite, CrashPlan)
  • cloud file synchronizations (e.g., OneDrive, Dropbox)
  • other high-bandwidth activities

Communicate with the instructor or moderator of your Zoom meeting.
If the best Internet connection you have for Zoom is a slow one, such as a weak cellular data connection, let the person or people running your session know ahead of time.

 

Best regards,
Bob Lim

IT Updates, Volume 10, Issue 3

A newsletter brought to you by the SJSU IT Division

Hello Campus Community:

For this IT newsletter, I will be sharing with you key customer measures for our IT Services Team along with additional updates about:

  • Virtual Reality
  • Customer Satisfaction Scores
  • New Chat Feature
  • SJSU Wireless (Wi-Fi) Service Update
  • Academic Research Computing

Thank you for your time and please let me know if you have any questions or feedback about the information we are sharing with you today.

Best regards,

Bob Lim
Vice President Information Technology, and CIO

Virtual Reality Technology

SJSU Virtual Reality Program

We have launched the first phase of the SJSU Virtual Reality Program for classrooms by making VR headset loaner kits available to faculty and staff. Each loaner kit has four ClassVR virtual reality headsets and a quick start guide.

Faculty and students can check out the VR equipment from the Classroom Equipment Loaner Service in the IRC for evaluation in the classroom environment. The CATS and eCampus teams are available to provide assistance and support.

Other phases of the program will follow during the summer which will include the mobile classroom solution with 48 VR headsets for use in the classroom environment as part of the teaching process. For a complete description of the ClassVR Headset used in the loaner kits visit:

http://www.classvr.com/school-virtual-reality/student-vr-standalone-headset/

I want to thank James Morgan from the Department of Art and Art History, Robert Bruce Computer Engineering, and Jennifer Redd from the eCampus team, for their important partnership on this project.

For more information about the IT VR Program contact Mike Wardley, CATS/IT


SJSU IT Service Desk.  Photo by Robert Bain

Customer Satisfaction Measures and New Chat Feature

Accountability for Results!  This has become a central focus in both academia and business.  We are challenged to achieve effective and efficient results. Applying performance measurement to this purpose ensures alignment with our students, faculty, and staff.  We see ourselves as accountable for creating and carrying out activities and being responsible for achieving results – meeting goals, effecting change, and improving the quality of our SJSU IT services.

I wanted to reach out and follow up on our discussions about keeping everyone up to date on performance and quality measures for the IT Division and its alignment with the University’s goals.

One of the most critical areas that we manage is the Service Desk.  It has a large footprint in terms of having a significant impact on many of the students, faculty, and staff here at SJSU.  At some point, most everyone has called the Service Desk for technical help.  Whether it’s getting a password reset, software and application support, PC and hardware support, classroom support, etc., the call center touches many folks on campus.  We will continue to survey how well we are responding and solving customer issues and continue to share the information.

We have some analytical results for the last five months from November 2017, through March 2018 for customer satisfaction.  The essential points are as follows:

  • 91.7% of Users of the Call Center were either Satisfied or Very Satisfied with their service.  The industry standard is 90%
  • 85.1% of customer problems have gotten a resolution in our Call Center
  • 79% resolved in less than 15 minutes for Classroom Support
  • 99.3% resolved within the 3-day service level agreements for Classroom Support

I am pleased with the results as they are above industry averages.  Of course, we can do better, and as we continue to move forward into 2018, I will continue to share with you our performance measures.  We are also developing additional analytics to better measure our customer satisfaction and determine areas where we can improve in. I want to extend a special thanks to Sharon Watkins, Janice Lew, Alfred Eclipse and Talanda Williams and all of the hard-working students on the help desk and the classroom support team led by Darlene Bargas and Rod Maciel.

As part of improving the service desk, we have a new Live chat feature which allows you to get in touch with an IT Technician without having to pick up the phone or wait in line.  This new tool has resulted in faster response times and improved customer service.  To access the live chat tool, visit any SJSU IT web page and wait a few seconds for the chat window to appear in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.  I wish to extend a special thanks to Sharon Watkins, Leon Nguyen and Alfred Eclipse for making Live Chat a success!



SJSU Student using Wi-Fi.      Photo by Robert Bain 

SJSU Wireless (Wi-Fi) Service Update 

SJSU Information Technology Division is a data-driven organization, and I wanted to share with you some critical data about our Wi-Fi performance for the Campus.

As background, the CSU Chancellor selected SJSU to be the first of the six CSU campuses to upgrade its internet connection from 10GB to 100GB coming this July. The added capacity will serve SJSU growing data needs well into the future and specifically support the growth of university research and the data infrastructure it requires. This massive expansion in bandwidth will help SJSU to become an even more significant player in research opportunities.

Below are some key measures and details about our SJSU Wi-Fi.

  • During the past six months, the SJSU Wi-Fi network has hosted an average of 20,000 client devices daily.  Some other key statics are as follows:
    • Overall network availability is 99.54%.  This consistently exceeded the established campus benchmark of 99%
    • In terms of support desk, during this six-month period, we have less than 1% of all help desk call/ticket for Wi-Fi outage
  • We have a network of over 2,600 Wi-Fi access point
  • Significantly expanded our network coverage which has resulted in widespread Wi-Fi coverage on the main campus

Also, during this period, SJSU guest access was significantly simplified to conform to standard non-authenticated public Wi-Fi access (such as airports and hotels.)  Users now only need to accept the University’s Acceptable User Policy and online access is immediately available. Overall, it’s essential to all of us that access for guest Wi-Fi is a positive experience at SJSU. It is often the first impression a visitor has of the University.

We have simplified the guest login process considerably by driving improvements including:

  • The elimination of the user authentication requirement
  • Significantly increased the speed and the length of session timeouts during idle activity periods
  • Users of the service now only need to accept the University’s Acceptable Use Policy (Terms of Use) with a single screen click to access the Internet quickly.

A Special thanks to Shai Silberman, Steve Chang, and Steve McAulay

We are not done yet; projects are currently underway to improve/expand Wi-Fi coverage in the Campus Village and the CEFCU Stadium with planned completion by mid-summer 2018.

A High-Performance cluster

Academic Research Activities

The Information Technology Division continues to proactively collaborate with campus stakeholders on research IT computing, networking, and as well as grant initiatives for high-performance computing (HPC).

Part of this effort in supporting academic research activities, the IT Division has created our very first Research CyberInfrastructure plan.  We have put in place the plans to build a high speed, low latency research network on campus.  This network will have speeds of 40GB and 100GB, and this will allow high-speed connections between the two campus’ high-performance computing systems, and the Engineering and Science buildings. The plan is also designing the new ISB (the interdisciplinary science building) to have fiber access for high-speed connectivity for research activities. The build-out of the research network will also help SJSU to attract and receive additional research grants which will leverage our investment in our Research CyberInfrastructure.

A big thank you to Shai Silberman and Atul Pala for their leadership and work on this project.

IT Updates, Volume 10, Issue 2

A newsletter brought to you by the SJSU IT Division

Dear Campus Community:

I am looking forward to an exciting year. As part of our plans for 2018, I will be sharing with you our strategies, as well as the programs and projects ahead.

For our first newsletter, we will focus on productivity. In my discussions with many of you, one recurring topic was how to increase operational efficiencies. Specifically, we are highlighting the progress that the IT Division is making to increase productivity.

By improving and optimizing our systems, we expect to see more investments in innovation. These new resources and capabilities will be a substantial driver of success for students, faculty, and staff.

Thank you for your time and please let me know if you have any questions or feedback about the information we are sharing with you today.

Best regards,

Bob Lim

VP, Information Technology and CIO

DocuSign is an excellent example of a platform that is helping to streamline processes to make life better and more efficient for our SJSU faculty and staff. It has decreased the amount of time, paper, and ink it takes for documents to get processed. It has also shortened the turnaround time from weeks and days to hours or even minutes. DocuSign allows you to quickly and securely make each agreement and approval process digital, from any device, anywhere in the world.

  • It will enable you to sign documents anywhere on any device, a couple of taps on your phone or tablet and you’re done.
  • You can email documents for immediate signature and return.
  • More secure than paper. Documents are encrypted, and a complete audit trail is maintained.

Since implementation in August of last year, approximately 1,000 campus faculty and staff users have exchanged more than 13,000 electronically signed documents.
We are hosting user forums to promote adoption and share best practices. To learn more about using DocuSign visit DocuSign Help.

Many people across the campus have contributed to the success of our DocuSign initiative. I want to individually thank Leon Nguyen and Joel Johnson from the SJSU IT Division for leading this effort. Additionally, a big thank you to all of the departments that have quickly embraced this solution and for making DocuSign a considerable success.

 

Guest Wi-Fi

In our last message, we talked about Wi-Fi improvements based on the feedback from faculty, staff, students, and visitors. The most significant area of concern was the guest Wi-Fi login. Based on your input, we have significantly improved the use and performance of the SJSU Guest Wi-Fi service. We have simplified the guest login process considerably by driving improvements including:

  • The elimination of the user authentication requirement
  • Significantly increased the speed and the length of session timeouts during idle activity periods.
  • Users of the service now only need to accept the University’s Acceptable Use Policy (Terms of Use) with a single screen click to access the Internet quickly.

Overall, It’s essential to all of us that access for guest Wi-Fi is a positive experience at SJSU. It is often the first impression a visitor has of the University.

However, stay tuned, we are not done yet. We continue to improve SJSU Wi-Fi. We are currently working on approaches to significantly expand Wi-Fi on the south campus. We will share more details with you once the planning phase is complete.

I would like to thank Shai Silberman, Steve Chang, and Steve McAulay of the IT Division for their leadership and effort in this successful effort.

 

IT Website

Be ready to see some changes on our SJSU Information Technology Website in the upcoming months.  We are focused on improving the content, look and feel. Our goal is to make our website clear, easy to use, and informative, allowing everyone at SJSU to know what services they’re entitled to and our service levels.

This redesign will help us optimize the IT services we deliver to the campus. It will provide transparency to services and would allow both the University and the IT Division to boost their productivity with a simple and easy to use website.

A special thank you to Cynthia Salinas and Brenden Sparks of the IT Division for leading this effort.