tidBiTS
Informs and engages the UNB community on IT developments and news

Management Briefing - Launch Week 2015

Author: ITS

Posted on Apr 20, 2015

Category: IT Announcements , Management Briefings

New and improved services for students, faculty and staff

ITS is very pleased to be launching 3 services next week—a reinvented myUNB portal, Lync/Skype for Business, and free Office downloads for faculty and staff. All of these products and features build on ConnectEd, UNB’s suite of productivity applications and services. As you will discover, we’re extending functionality to unprecedented levels by integrating new and existing tools, and providing cost-effective platforms that can—and will—be developed even further.

myUNB portal – launches April 26

The myUNB portal interface that thousands of users have come to rely on and use every day, has been in service for just about 5 years; due to technology limitations and high costs, the decision was taken late last year to deploy a different portal interface when the license for the current portal expired. This occurs April 30, and ITS has been busy developing a replacement with partner Ellucian (the providers of the university’s student, HR, finance, and advancement information systems). The new portal will start off with many of the features and functions of the old one, but will be enhanced from the start with convenient direct links to frequently used enterprise-data services such as course registration, tax slips, time entry, and more. Familiar features including polls, news feeds, Twitter and Facebook updates, are also available. What’s more, for the first time the portal works seamlessly and reliably on mobile devices. Finally, the new portal is built on SharePoint, a collaboration platform from Microsoft that will be even more broadly deployed to the UNB community later this year.

Lync/Skype for Business – launches April 29

Lync/Skype for Business (the awkward branding is from Microsoft, which is transitioning between product names) is a suite of collaboration tools including instant messaging and video chat, all tightly integrated with our current Exchange email and calendar system. Lync/Skype for Business is hosted in the Microsoft cloud; UNB student email has been there for years, and the new service provides opportunities for faculty and students to collaborate more closely than ever before because of the alignment of complementary environments. Faculty and staff email and calendars are hosted by ITS at UNB; Lync/Skype for Business bridges the gap between cloud and on-premises services. Best of all, Lync/Skype for Business makes it easy to set up impromptu meetings via phone, video conferencing, and/or chat, among any Lync/Skype for Business users, via just about any device.

Faculty and staff access to Office365 – launches May 1

UNB students have enjoyed free access to all of Microsoft’s Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) for some time; when the service is extended next week, faculty and staff can install Office on up to 5 personal devices at absolutely no cost. This extraordinary offer is available to UNB because of our longstanding subscription to Microsoft’s Office365 services for students. This set of applications and tools is accessible via the cloud and the new portal; faculty and staff who belong to the UNB Active Directory (AD) domain will receive automatic access. Faculty and staff who are not members of the AD domain will not have access to this benefit. If you are uncertain if you belong to the domain, consult your Level 1 support person (most faculty and staff are members). Finally, please do not attempt to install Office365 applications on your UNB-owned computer—they will work, but will cause problems!

Terry Nikkel, AVP, ITS, April 20, 2015