UW Information Technology

UW-IT Insights — Winter 2017

HRPM logo 2.16New Workday HR/Payroll system on track for June launch, training ramping up this spring

The UW’s new HR/Payroll system, Workday, is on track to launch in mid-June, with the HR/Payroll Modernization program gearing up efforts to get the UW community ready.

Workday will offer UW employees a modern, intuitive user experience, with quick and easy access to self-service options, such as enrolling in benefits, changing personal information, viewing real-time leave balances, and setting up multiple direct deposit accounts.

The new system is currently undergoing rigorous testing to make sure it is working properly. So far, testing is on schedule and shows the system is working well. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is underway, with about 250 campus representatives participating.

Training will ramp up in April, starting with central business units. The rest of the UW community will receive training in May and June. Intensive users of the system will take 8-to-10 hours of instructor-led training, while most faculty, staff and student workers will use computer-based training or user guides. Expect more announcements from the HR/Payroll Modernization program and your respective departments and units in the near future.

docusignNew eSignatures service available soon

UW-IT is launching a new, easy-to-use electronic signature solution to UW departments this spring. The solution provides the online software technology, DocuSign, to all UW departments through an enterprise license.


Benefits include:

  • Send: Easily upload and send documents for electronic signature
  • Sign: Quickly and securely access and sign documents online
  • Manage: Check document status, send reminders and securely store signed documents online
  • Retain: Save documents in the UW Enterprise Document Management System

This new service is offered at no cost to UW departments through FY18. Learn more on IT Connect or contact the eSignatures team by emailing help@uw.edu.

MyPlan-logoWith MyPlan upgrade, students can explore degree programs

Choosing a major can be difficult, but finding information about majors shouldn’t be. That’s why MyPlan is expanding its scope to allow prospective and current students to browse, compare and assess undergraduate degree programs at the UW.

Initially, students will be able to browse undergraduate degree programs by topic and organization, and view degree requirements and relevant department contact information, including social media sites. The new program exploration tool is expected to be available in April, and is a collaboration between the Office of the University Registrar, Undergraduate Academic Affairs and UW-IT. Faculty and staff can view an early version of the tool at myplan.uw.edu/program

MoxMajor expansion of UW’s research supercomputer doubles computing power

More powerful processors and other infrastructure upgrades to Hyak, the UW’s on-site shared cluster supercomputer, will help address the growing needs of the UW research community — with plenty of capacity to meet future demand.

The new processors will more than double Hyak’s computational powers when they become available later in March. Coupled with other improvements, Hyak has plenty of room to grow and handle emerging big data challenges. The supercomputer has established itself as an important engine supporting scientific and engineering research at the UW. It has helped the University retain or recruit nearly two dozen faculty members and brought in millions of dollars in grants. More than 60 research groups rely on Hyak to do their work.

“By reducing barriers and creating opportunity, Hyak doesn’t just allow UW researchers to do more of what they did before, but enables them to explore areas of research that would have otherwise been impossible,” said Chance Reschke, director of UW-IT’s Research Computing.

“Our overall mission is to reduce constraints on access to appropriate and effective compute resources as an impediment to scholarship,” Reschke said. “With the high performance computer power of Hyak, you can do it all in one place.”

Thrive_mobile_scrolled-592x1024Thrive messages will be modified to reach more students

Weekly messages sent to first-year students through MyUW during the 2015-16 academic year as part of the Husky Experience effort were helpful to those who read them.

This is one of the findings from a report that surveyed first-year students to evaluate the effectiveness of Thrive messages, which provide advice and pointers to help students explore opportunities, make the most of their learning experiences, and connect to important campus resources. The Office of the Provost, Undergraduate Academic Advising and UW-IT worked together to create the weekly messages.

Although the messages were missed by some, many students found value in messages that conveyed practical advice regarding studying and academics, stress reduction, time and money management and finding internships.

Students’ feedback included suggestions about improving the information design of messages, input that will be used to fine-tune future Thrive efforts.

Jane-Van-Galen-ITCNPower of digital storytelling highlighted in new Provost/UW-IT article

In the latest Innovators Among Us series, UW Bothell Professor Jane Van Galen shares how digital storytelling can be a powerful teaching and learning tool when used properly in the classroom.

Digital storytelling empowers students and can help them learn in multiple subjects across the curricula, she said. The story is the latest in a series highlighting innovation in teaching and learning with technology on all three UW campuses, produced through a collaboration that includes the Office of the Provost, the Center for Teaching and Learning, UW-IT and UW Libraries.

Cassady Glass Hastings, undergraduate instructor at the college of education

Cassady Glass Hastings, undergraduate instructor at the college of education

New UW-IT division aligns essential infrastructure services

A new IT Infrastructure division within UW-IT brings together essential infrastructure services, enabling closer collaboration, better support and an improved ability to adapt more quickly to emerging technologies.

Under the leadership of Associate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Brad Greer, the new division is responsible for major infrastructure services that include the UW’s data centers, wired and wireless networks, identity and access management, servers and storage, telecommunications, IT operations and the Network Operations Center that provides 24x7x365 support for the UW’s networks. It also supports the state K-20 Education Network and national and international networks, including the Pacific Northwest Gigapop, Internet2 and others.

“We are focused on being responsive to our partners and customers across the University,” Greer said. “We are mindful of the University’s evolving needs, so we aim to create a working environment that continues to enable engagement and innovation.”

techconnect1TechConnect Conference on March 23 will focus on Transformative IT

Transformative IT – The New Normal is the theme for the fourth annual TechConnect Conference on March 23 at UW Seattle’s Husky Union Building, which brings together the IT community to explore, learn and connect. The event features keynote speaker Brian McDonald, an industry trendsetter who helps IT leaders prepare for the complex challenges their organizations face in the 21st century.

The conference offers 18 sessions that explore how UW’s IT community is responding to challenges driven by customers at a major university who demand leading-edge software and processes. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend and take advantage of the opportunity to make professional connections.

In brief:

Husky OnNet now accessible on iOS devices. Recent upgrades now allow students, faculty and staff who use iOS devices to securely connect to the UW network from remote locations using the Husky OnNet service. Download the app for free at the Apple store (it’s called F5 BIG-IP Edge Client), and learn more on IT Connect about configuring your iOS app and what Husky OnNet can do for you.
A new Washington state policy calls for state agencies and institutions to strengthen the accessibility of information technology resources for people with disabilities. UW units should review Accessibility Policy #188 to understand accessibility requirements for websites, web-based applications, e-documents, multimedia and other IT resources.
Knowledge Navigator, the UW’s metadata repository tool, now makes it even easier to understand UW administrative data. It can help you navigate data changes related to moving to Workday, the UW’s new cloud-based HR/Payroll system launching in June. Use interactive maps to understand the relationships between business concepts and do impact analysis to learn the ramifications of data changes to data tables and columns.
The UW Tower Data Center was awarded the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR certification in 2016 — the fourth year in a row. This award recognizes UW-IT’s commitment to energy efficiency and achievement of superior energy performance, significantly reducing energy consumption and generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions. UW-IT operates the UW data centers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
A new high-speed fiber optic network supporting the UW and a 27-member consortium of local municipalities is now fully operational. As the designated service provider, the UW designed, engineered and implemented the 16 terabit-per-second network ring around Lake Washington, and is under contract to operate the network.
A new suite of interactive Global Engagement dashboards allows users to explore UW’s international reach — from the research we do, to the students we teach and to the alumni who live and work around the world. The Office of Global Affairs and UW-IT partnered to deliver the dashboards, which are part of the broader UW Profiles suite of dashboards. Access to the Enterprise Data Warehouse is required.