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Management Briefing - Enterprise IT Fall Preview

Author: ITS

Posted on Sep 11, 2014

Category: Management Briefings

Background ITS is busy completing several strategic initiatives for launch this Fall. Fully aligned with the university’s strategic goals and objectives, the projects will usher in further cost reductions for telephone services; enhance student experience by virtualizing selected software applications to make them available anywhere, on any device; extend shared services across the PSE sector in New Brunswick and PEI; and build on the success of the connectED environment by adding new services and features for all students, faculty and staff. It is an exciting time for ITS and UNB; read on for details. VOIP extended to UNBSJ Voice over IP (VOIP) has been a tremendous success on the Fredericton campus; telephone costs have been dramatically reduced while helpful features and functions have enhanced service. Now the same technology is being implemented on the Saint John campus. UNBSJ will benefit from similar savings to UNBF, and the two main campuses will become a lot more efficient through 4‐digit dialing between them (thus avoiding long‐distance charges). An integrated university directory, allowing easy phone access to colleagues regardless of physical location, will also be fully configured. This project marks yet another milestone in ITS’ quest to reduce telecommunication costs enterprise‐wide; for example, the recent migration to a new mobility carrier reduced mobility costs by over 40%, while negotiations with internet‐service providers earlier this year yielded whopping reductions in internet costs for UNB and others. Virtual Labs ITS thinks students are going to really, really like the new virtual software application technology being introduced soon. Using the myUNB portal as their entry point, and regardless of where they may happen to be, or what device they happen to be using, students will be able use enterprise‐wide licensed software applications without having to buy or install them. Hosted centrally on UNB servers, these products don’t need to be downloaded, configured, or updated; ITS looks after it all, while students enjoy using needed tools, via a special viewer, without straining infrastructure resources like wired or wi‐fi networks, nor taking up device resources like memory and storage capacity. Federated identity and SharePoint ITS is leading the implementation of federated identity across the Education Computing Network (ECN), the consortium of universities and colleges across NB and PEI that has worked to advance IT in the sector for over 40 years. Federated identity will allow us to make software and services available across ECN by centrally hosting and managing them, instead of having to house and manage the same services separately. The first system that will be deployed using this new model will be SharePoint; all the ECN institutions want and need SharePoint, but now we will benefit from running a single system that will serve us all. Similar in concept to the virtual software being offered to UNB students, federated identity will put SharePoint within reach of all ECN partners. Incidentally, ITS has produced a short promo video about SharePoint, available at this url: //www.unb.ca/its/about‐its/projects/sharepoint/sample.html. connectED Phase 2.0 Finally, get ready for the launch of new connectED tools. ITS has upgraded UNB’s Exchange (email and calendar) environment to the latest version, enabling us to introduce Lync, a cloud‐based service that will help connect students, faculty, and staff through instant messaging (IM), file sharing, and video conferencing. Lync will work on all platforms and devices, so it doesn’t matter if you prefer Mac or PC, laptop or tablet— Lync will work for you, making your IT experience at UNB better than ever.

Sept. 11, 2014, Terry Nikkel, AVP, ITS