UW Information Technology

UW-IT Insights — Spring 2016

Coming this summer: Exchange Online available to the UW community

Microsoft’s Exchange Online messaging and calendaring service will be available to all students, faculty and staff starting this July. Once the service is activated, users will be able to set Exchange Online as their primary email service simply by adjusting their UW Email Forwarding.

Exchange Online mailboxes are becoming a standard feature of the Microsoft Collaborative Applications suite, which also provides access to a wide range of collaborative tools such as Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business, Sway (a digital storytelling app) and Power BI (a data visualization tool).

Even if users choose not to use Exchange Online as their primary email service, they still receive additional benefits such as being able to view the shared calendars and scheduling information of those who do use Exchange Online.

While basic support for Exchange Online will be available via help@uw.edu, local support groups will remain crucial for supporting advanced scenarios and business processes that leverage Outlook and Exchange features.

UW-IT’s Amazon Web Services now HIPAA and FERPA compatible

UW faamazon_web_servicesculty, staff and researchers can now use Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform and know that it is both FERPA and HIPAA compatible, under a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) just signed by the UW.

Other benefits of AWS include an Indirect Cost Waiver for UW research grants (a 55 percent savings), Data Egress Fee Waiver and optional technical support available 24×7 (with a 10 percent surcharge on usage). Get details on Amazon Web Services features in the UW-IT Service Catalog.

More IT projects at UW require oversight under revised policy

Hand holding magnifying glass reading documentAre you responsible for managing information technology (IT) projects or acquiring IT equipment, software, services or contracts of any kind—for academic, research or administrative purposes? Depending on the level of risk, impact to the UW or system lifecycle costs, you may need to comply with reporting and oversight requirements under a revised UW policy regulating IT projects and acquisitions.

The updated policy meets the oversight requirements of Washington state and the UW’s Information Technology governance boards. The state’s requirements affect all state agencies, including the state’s public universities. The revised policy also raises awareness of reporting requirements and highlights the responsibility of UW units to ensure they are being good stewards of information technology resources (IT), including addressing information security and accessibility.

All IT projects at the UW must go through some simple steps to determine if they must comply with reporting requirements under the updated Administrative Policy Statement 2.3: Information Technology, Telecommunications and Networking Projects and Acquisitions Policy. The policy breaks down reporting requirements for small, large and major projects, and describes exemptions. As the size of the project increases, so does the reporting requirements.

For more information, please refer to the policy or send your questions to Kerry Kahl, UW-IT Compliance Assurance and Major Procurements. An outreach and education effort is being planned for this fall, and a new procedures webpage is also in development to provide a step-by-step guide for complying with the policy

New launch date for HR/Payroll system

HR/P Modernization with Workday logoThe University’s new integrated HR/Payroll system, Workday, is now scheduled to launch in summer 2017, with an additional budget of $7.8 million to support the needed work.

The extension allows the University additional time to thoroughly review, validate and test the system design, and engage the UW community in preparing for the new system and business process changes.

The new date and additional funding were approved by the Board of Regents May 12. The one-time funding is being allocated from central temporary resources, which comes from a reallocation of existing dollars for administration. There will be no additional request from state funding, tuition revenue, additional debt capacity or student fees, nor will the cost be passed along to academic units.

The HR/P Modernization program is the largest administrative transformation effort in the University’s history. Due to the complexity of the work involved, the program did not meet initial timelines set for implementation. It now has new leadership with extensive experience in HR/Payroll system implementations; a new organizational structure that significantly improves coordination, oversight and transparency; and a new plan for ensuring the system design meets the University’s business needs.

The new system is essential to supporting the UW’s large and diverse workforce and will strengthen compliance, reduce risk, provide better data for decision making and improve service across the institution.

New UW-IT team helps faculty make better use of technology in the classroom

A new Instructional Design initiative is looking at ways to help faculty keep up with the ever-changing world of technology to support classroom instruction—and how to leverage these tools to enhance student learning.

The initiative, launched by UW-IT this spring, involves a team working closely with UW partners to develop tools and approaches to improve teaching and learning through the use of classroom technology.

“We are working directly with faculty on campus to help them better understand how to use our services,” said Nathan McKee, Director of UW-IT’s Learning Technologies. “We are designing custom workshops, training materials and templates to make it easier for UW instructors to utilize our available technology while exploring new and innovative ways to deliver instruction at the same time.”

Outreach team highlights so far:

  • Hiring Instructional Design and Outreach Manager Julie Cruse to lead the team
  • Focusing on outreach strategy; new workshops and training programs; and best practices for using Canvas, the University’s learning management system
  • Continuing to establish partnerships with departments to help them transition into using supported instructional technologies and pedagogical concepts like ‘Flipping the Classroom’

If your department is interested in partnering on the Instructional Design initiative, contact Learning Technologies’ Julie Cruse.

UW-IT temporarily waives certain costs for infrastructure services

UW departments and units seeking to replace older IT systems or reduce use of local server rooms by adopting centrally managed infrastructure services—including servers, storage, and data backup and archiving—could see significant savings thanks to a new Infrastructure Program launched by UW-IT.

Under the program, UW-IT will waive startup costs and fees for consulting and engineering for certain UW-IT infrastructure services (see list below). The program is supported with funding from UW’s Transforming Administrative Programs (TAP) initiative, which is focused on increasing efficiency and effectiveness of administrative units.

“If you have IT infrastructure that you’re planning to replace or upgrade, or you need some assistance to help you figure things out and identify solutions, we will be happy to work with you,” said Rich Stewart, Assistant Director with UW-IT’s Computing Infrastructure.

Funding for this program is limited, so UW-IT is handling requests on a first-come, first-serve basis. The waiver does not apply to a service’s monthly recurring costs. Some of the services covered by the program include:

  • Consulting on IT infrastructure design and operations
  • Data Center Co-Location (hotel and full rack)
  • Virtual Servers (managed and hosted)
  • Storage Services (SAN, NAS)
  • Web Publishing
  • Public Cloud Subscriptions (Azure and Amazon Web Services)
  • Research Computing

If you’re planning a technology refresh or migration of infrastructure, or would like engineering consultation services, submit a request to help@uw.edu (with the subject line: “TAP Computing Infrastructure Engagement Services”).

In brief:

  • Husky OnNet, UW-IT’s secure connection from remote locations to the UW network, is now available for students, faculty and staff. It is provided by UW-IT via UWare, where you can download the Husky OnNet application for Windows and Mac operating systems. The service allows users to access resources not available through the public internet, such as research databases, departmental servers, specialized applications, licensed journals, desktops, printers, etc. Husky OnNet is provided at no additional cost as part of the Basic Bundle of services covered under the Technology Recharge Fee.
  • Innovative approaches to teaching and learning with technology on all three UW campuses is the subject of the latest Provost Innovators Among Us Report. Six innovative faculty members share their experiences, tips, best practices and methods that can be adopted by others. The report was produced through a collaboration of the Office of the Provost, the Center for Teaching and Learning, UW-IT and UW Libraries. The stories also can be found on the Provost’s Trends website.
  • The UW’s Microsoft Campus Software Agreement has been renewed through March 31, 2017, with the same products and services, such as Microsoft Windows, Office 365 ProPlus, Visio, Microsoft Project and more. Eligible UW students, faculty and staff can obtain these Microsoft products via UWare.