Welcome Robert Kingston to HMC

RobertPlease welcome Robert Kingston to HMC and the User Support Group in CIS as our newest Technical Analyst.  Robert is fairly new to California having moved from Arizona in January of this year, and he would love to have suggestions for fun outdoor activities or nearby places to visit.  He enjoys playing basketball in his spare time, and would appreciate knowing about places for local pick-up games or men¹s leagues.  Robert joins us from Apple and Best Buy.  CIS invites you to stop by the Help Desk in Sprague Learning Center to meet Robert.

Update for Student Printing

CIS remains committed to resolving printing issues for students, and increasing the overall availability of printing services. The PaperCut software implemented in the fall now has more than 1000 users. The User Support Group (USG) continues to collect student feedback for the system, and uses this feedback to communicate with the vendor regarding potential product enhancements.  As a result PaperCut 13.0 adds the ability for administrators to reprint previously printed jobs in case of errors.  PaperCut is working on expanding the feature to all users, but there is no target release date yet.

You may recall that USG developed a process to proactively monitor student printers remotely throughout the day from the HelpDesk, in addition to performing routine physical inspections of the printers. Recently, with the willingness and availability of a couple of very helpful students CIS is able to continue providing monitoring of print queues and clearing stuck jobs from Friday evening through Sunday evening.

Finally, after much effort and communications with Sharp and the printer repair vendor regarding printer drivers and handling of various Internet based file types, USG has arranged to have a new HP multi-function printer for testing and demonstration delivered to Sprague.  In the meantime, CIS is researching options to reuse the Sharps (Clifford and Toto) in an environment without print queues or universal print drivers, much like the print environment found in administrative areas.

Please keep the positive results of PaperCut in mind while CIS works through these final printer issues.  To date, the total pages printed via the system is 404,936.  The environmental impact information provided from the PaperCut dashboard displays savings of 3.91 trees, 1,417.1 kg of CO2, and 89,222.2 hours running a 60W bulb.
For any questions or comments regarding printing services or PaperCut, please send a support request via our request form or email to helpdesk@hmc.edu or call (909) 607 7777.

To view User Support Group Tweets regarding systems events please visit Help Desk Quick Links

 

PaperCut & Student Printing

Over the summer CIS started a new project aimed at reducing printing waste on student printers, while increasing the overall availability of student print services.

To reduce waste, PaperCut software was implemented, and initially communicated and configured for new students only.  However, word of a “new printing system” spread quickly, and after a few weeks more than 300 students were using the system.  Today, there are more than 685 active users of the PaperCut tool.   New users will visit the Help Desk Quick Links to get themselves setup.

Increasing the overall availability of printing services, required that the User Support Group (USG) develop new processes to proactively monitor the student printers remotely from the HelpDesk, in addition to conducting physical inspection of printers at the start of each day. Recently, USG received feedback from students regarding the need to continue printer availability and support through the weekends, and in response CIS is trying-out additional remote monitoring and considering educating students on how to clear problem jobs as possible options to meet this need.

It is important to share that USG is currently working with a vendor to resolve a common issue that requires clearing of problem print jobs. This known issue is specific to certain types of Internet based files that cause the Sharp printers (but not HPs) to continuously render,  holding up all print jobs released to the printer.  The vendor visited this week to collect data for review by Sharp technical support, during the visit USG was able to demonstrate the problem consistently with the Sharps,  while printing the same file successfully on the HPs.

While the new printing system and printers have some open items to work through, the results so far have been positive.  To date, the total pages printed via the system is 107,791.  The environmental impact information provided from the PaperCut dashboard displays savings of 1.05 trees, 379.8 kg of CO2, and 23,915.3 hours running a 60W bulb.

For any questions or comments regarding printing services or PaperCut, please send a support request via our request form or email to helpdesk@hmc.edu or call (909) 607 7777.

 

 

2012-2013 Google Student Ambassador Program

For more than a few years now Google has offered students an opportunity to serve as liaisons between their campus and Google through the Google Student Ambassador Program. Students selected for the program participate for one school year. During the program, students might be challenged to demonstrate how Google products can enhance studying or sociallizing, and they are invited to Mountain View for a training summit July 30 & 31.
HMC’s Google Apps Manager has requested referrals for the program and provided more information about the program.  Google would like to receive recommendations by May 4th.
For 2012-2013 Student Ambassador Referrals, please visit this site: http://goo.gl/kXXWx

To learn more about the program, please visit this site: http://goo.gl/RZ316

Email and Calendar Migration Project Update

Migration of administrative staff email and calendars to MS Office365 is moving along. The Computing and Information Services department and the Office of the President have been migrated to the new service, with the College Advancement department completing this week.
The target for completion of all HMC staff email migrations is first week of June.

Updated pricing plans for MS Office365 for education were posted last month. The highlight of these changes for our campus is the Academic Plan A2 being offered for free to students, faculty and staff. More details can be found at Learn About Office365.

Migrations of faculty email accounts from Zimbra mailbox-01, Odin, and Thuban mail systems continue. These migrations continue to be completed via one-on-one, in-person support from the User Support Group. Our current count is (61) faculty members migrated in the past six months. In April, May, and early June, the project team will focus on the Engineering and Chemistry departments, as other academic departments are more than 80% complete.
The target for mailbox-01 shutdown of email service for faculty is first week of June.

Investigation of calendaring functions available within and between Google Apps and Office365 continues. During the calendar migration process, the project team learned that recurring events would need to be recreated.

Ongoing development and socialization of project documentation, which includes new information for Office365 available on HMC email.

Tracking of function or feature inquiries related to email, calendar and other compatible collaboration applications continues. These inquiries should be emailed to helpdesk@hmc.edu for tracking and communications via a ticket with the project team.
The project team continues to post updates to the google site tracking our activities, Google Apps for HMC

Digital Signage

Over the past several months, a cross-functional Digital Signage project team comprised of members from Dining Services, F&M and CIS met regularly to coordinate efforts for the deployment of digital signs in Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons. The signs are intended to improve usability of the space through technology. As a result of this wonderful teamwork, six beautiful digital signs have been installed; two in the serving area, two at the edges of the dining area, and two near the entrance of the meeting rooms. The signs have been deployed with FourWinds software, an application procured and provided via CUC, which is also used at the Honnold/Mudd Library, some of the other Claremont Colleges, and the new CUC ACC building. Our HMC digital sign deployments have been configured to present instant updates of dining menu information and meeting room schedules via EMS.

The Digital Signage project was undertaken as a joint project between CIS and Dining Services, in which Miguel Ruvalcaba led a team made up of staff from both areas. This excursion into matrix management  was not without its detours and bumps. We learned a lot and identified a need for general agreement on approaches to project management. Partly as a result of this experience, BAO and CIS staff will be attending a jointly funded two-day “project management for non-project managers” class in February.

During the second phase of the project, CIS came to learn of Engineering’s interest in deploying digital signs, which allowed collaboration with Engineering for installation of their digital sign using the same FourWinds software within a standardized deployment of systems and network devices. This sign can be seen in the Engineering lab on the third floor of the Parsons building. We have also deployed digital signs on the first and fifth floors of the Sprague building, and are working on developing content for those signs.

If you have an interest in installing digital signs in your department or area, please send a request to the helpdesk@hmc.edu.

.

 

Email & Calendar Project Update

The Email and Calendar Team is focused on increasing the pace of progress on a number of activities. Currently, these activities include:

Decommissioning of the Google Team Edition domain where approximately 130 HMC staff, faculty and students have accounts, created more than three years ago, to allow for collaboration of content and sharing of documents. Eliminating this domain will simplify our new Google Apps for Education deployment by allowing the from-address currently shown to recipients of email messages sent from the Google Apps domain to exclude the “g” in username@g.hmc.edu, will be shown as username@hmc.edu.
Target for shutdown of Google Apps Team Edition is end of January.

Creation of the MS Office365 tenancy, and creation of CIS MT and USG accounts to begin the first steps in learning about user provisioning and functions or features of this email and calendar cloud service. Because this is a very new offering for Microsoft, the licensing and activation process has taken 10 weeks. In parallel to the processing of licenses, the team was able to work with MS toward completing the Technical Review and Deployment Readiness Tool.
Target for CIS MT and USG account creation is first week of February.

Migrations of faculty email accounts from mailbox-01, Odin, and Thuban mail systems continue. These migrations have been completed via high-touch, in-person support from the CIS User Support Group. Our current count is (12) faculty members migrated in the months of October, November and December. In November, the project team was able to meet with technology representatives from Computer Science and Math to discuss mail routing, and confirm that the new cloud provided services would not impact mail flow to department mail servers.
Target for mailbox-01 shutdown of email service for faculty is March.

Investigation of calendaring functions available within Google Apps, which includes administration of group calendars and import of common campus calendars. Once the Office365 service is operating, the team will shift to integration issues between the two clouds, in addition to calendaring clients and connectors.
Target for understanding and documenting integration issues is end of February.

Ongoing development and socialization of project documentation, which includes standard practices for creating general email accounts i.e. physics@hmc.edu, mail list management currently provided via majordomo, user provisioning, email alias standards, and global address list management across both cloud services.

Tracking of function or feature inquiries related to email, calendar and other compatible collaboration applications. For each inquiry, the team determines if a reasonable solution is available with existing tools or by moderate process changes, allowing the item to be addressed at a later project phase or if the inquiry indicates a significant change to email communications or calendaring which would require significant technical accommodations or additional resources, causing the team to escalate the issue for decisions on project scope changes. These inquiries should be emailed to helpdesk@hmc.edu for tracking and communications via a ticket with the project team.

The team will continue to post project update items to the site tracking our activities. website (on Google Sites)

Email and Calendar Migration Update

Early in the summer, CIS established a cross functional team to manage the conversion from locally hosted Zimbra mail to Google Apps for Education. Team members are Cindy Abercrombie, Mitch Shacklett, Calvin Tong, Andy Davenport and Veronica Hart. During the last two weeks of July, the team completed mail migrations from the mailbox-02 (Zimbra mail for students) mail server for class years 2008 – 2014, more than 700 mailboxes. They will soon work to complete mail migrations for remaining students on mailbox-02 who were not included in the standard migration process due to mismatches in student data and status, as part of a broader mail-server clean-up effort. Also, planning work has started for the migration from mailbox-01 (Zimbra mail for admin and faculty) to Microsoft 365 or Google Apps, which includes research of Microsoft migration tools and APIs available for use within a computing environment like HMC’s, where combinations of Active Directory, LDAP, Exchange, and Zimbra mail are used for production services.

Following Microsoft’s June announcement of the official launch of Microsoft Office 365, the team evaluated roadmaps and differences between MS live@edu and MS 365 with help from the Microsoft LiveEdUS Specialist Team. One primary difference with these MS cloud services is the per seat licensing for MS 365’s SharePoint, the replacement collaboration product for “consumer products” i.e. Word, Excel, PPT and One Note currently available with live@edu at no additional cost. The team will explore this issue further.

The team continues to explore technical service and support topics for email and calendaring with two cloud providers rather than one.

Please check the website (on Google Sites) to learn of updates about the email and calendar migration work.

Welcome Mitch Shacklett

Please welcome Mitch Shacklett to the CIS team. If you have the opportunity to get to know Mitch a little, you will quickly learn that he does not shy away from a challenge.  In fact, he once built a house high in the Colorado Rockies during the dead of winter.   The falling snow did not dissuade him, nor did the temptation of excellent snow skiing conditions.

When Mitch is not glued to his computer screen, he is racing dirt bikes across the deserts of the Southwest, climbing in Joshua Tree, mountain biking in Durango, or snow skiing in Silverton. Can you keep up?

Mitch is a carne asada burrito connoisseur, who is on a mission to find the best burrito. His taste testing to date has Filibertos of Mesa AZ and Juanita’s Drive-In of Claremont CA tied.  Feel free to send him a recommendation.

This well balanced Director of Systems and Network will be leading our computing environment toward the best standards, while advancing our technical services.