OIT News – June 2016

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 104, June 2016

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Follow OIT on Twitter @ncsu_oit
For up-to-the-minute reports on OIT systems, see SysNews
For help with computing problems, contact the NC State Help Desk

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01: OIT to terminate inForm service on Aug. 8
02: PowerOn
03: PCR·360 to replace MySoft
04: Let’s go phishing for lunch!
05: ITComEx: Learn about REPORTER and the Mendix platform on June 28
06: Submit Captioning Grant applications by July 31
07: Free consulting available for video conferencing and telepresence
08: Increase your audience engagement with Google Slides Q&A
09: ComTech announces self-service portal
10: Avoid the summer heat and come to one of OIT’s cool workshops!
11: SAR training scheduled for Aug. 11
12: Stay connected securely with VPN

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01: OIT to terminate inForm service on Aug. 8
On Monday, Aug. 8, OIT will terminate inForm, an application that allows users to collect information that is submitted from a web-based form.

inForm was developed over 15 years ago and is being replaced by new and secure technologies, such as Google Forms, Qualtrics and WordPress Forms. See Form Options for Campus.

Individual forms owners will be notified via email that this service is being terminated and directed to documentation about the replacement technologies.

If you are currently using inForm, it will continue to work until Aug. 8. Data already collected by inForm forms will continue to be available, and you will be able to access your data as you have in the past. As of June 13, OIT has disabled campus users’ ability to create new forms.

If you have any questions, contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 919.515.HELP (4357).

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02: PowerOn
In a collaborative effort with the College of Natural Resources and the Office of Sustainability, OIT recently launched PowerOn, a power management application that allows students, faculty and staff to remotely power on certain desktops and servers connected to the campus wired network, when needed.

Information and communications technologies (ICT) account for about 10 percent of NC State’s electrical consumption, or $3.2 million annually. PowerOn will help:

  • Conserve energy.
  • Save $50-$100 on the annual operation of your campus computer.
  • Reduce your start-up time.
  • Wake up your plugged-in campus computer from a remote location.
  • Prevent disruption of your work. During off-hours, campus system administrators can wake up your computer for various updates.

To learn more about this power management tool, visit the PowerOn website. If you are a managed desktop user, you will need to contact your IT support staff to receive this service.

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03: PCR·360 to replace MySoft
Communication Technologies (ComTech) is migrating the campus telecom and IT billing system from MySoft to PCR·360.

A web-based, self-service portal used to request campus phone services, PCR·360:

  • is anticipated to be in production in August.
  • will be available to on-campus personnel who request telecommunication services for their unit, college or department.
  • will feature an enhanced and intuitive user interface.

For more information about PCR·360, contact Mariela Montero at mcmonter@ncsu.edu or Taylor Lundy at blundy@ncsu.edu. If you’re interested in learning more about upcoming PCR·360 training opportunities, contact Alice Thurman at akthurm2@ncsu.edu.

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04: Let’s go phishing for lunch!
You’ve heard OIT’s phishing warnings before:

  • Don’t share your password with anyone.
  • NEVER open any email or attachment from someone you don’t know. If you’re not expecting it, don’t open it unless you verify it with the sender.
  • ALWAYS hover over a link to verify its intended location. Never click on suspicious or unrecognized links in emails, including those from NC State.
  • Activate Google’s 2-Step Verification for an extra layer of protection for your accounts.
  • Remember that NC State IT personnel will never send you an email asking for your Unity account password. So, don’t ever respond.

In May, however, 90 campus users did respond and fell victim to a phishing attack, a fraudulent attempt to steal someone’s personal information, including identity, passwords, credit card numbers, and banking information.

Phishing attacks can be extremely damaging to you and NC State University, so learn how to protect yourself. Come to Phishing 101, an OIT Lunch and Learn series, on Wednesday, June 22 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Nik Davlantis of OIT Technology Support Services will provide you with recent examples of phishing attempts and share valuable tips on how to recognize scams to avoid getting hooked. At the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify phishing emails.
  • Understand appropriate steps to take after receiving phishing emails.
  • Recognize the signs of a compromised account.

You are welcome to bring a light lunch or snack to enjoy during the presentation. To register, visit Classmate.

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05: ITComEx: Learn about REPORTER and the Mendix platform on June 28
The campus IT community is invited to participate in the next IT Community Exchange (ITComEx) on Tuesday, June 28 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Room 123 of the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC).

Learn about the Mendix cloud-based development platform and how it was used to build REPORTER, NC State’s new solution for tracking, managing and reporting external outreach activities, required training and non-credit courses. The platform provides rapid application development using a modular approach.

The session is specifically for those in the NC State IT community and will include:

  • A demo of the current functionality of REPORTER
  • Potential uses for the Mendix platform at NC State

If you are interested in attending this session, please register at IT Community Exchange: REPORTER and the Mendix aPaaS.

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06: Submit Captioning Grant applications by July 31
Faculty members will have until Sunday, July 31 to apply for an NC State Captioning Grant for fall semester courses.

This grant provides funds for faculty to obtain captions for instructional videos used in their online, blended and face-to-face courses. In addition to providing content to people with hearing impairments, captions create a learning environment that supports Universal Design for Learning.

Faculty members may apply for funding to caption videos:

  • when a student with a disability requiring an accommodation for captioning registers in a course that contains video, or
  • when proactively captioning videos to enhance the learning environment for all students.

Faculty using their own videos as a central part of their pedagogy are highly encouraged to apply for the grant.

To apply, please complete the Captioning Grant Application Form by July 31. Applications to meet the needs of a student requiring this accommodation will be processed immediately.

For more information, see Multimedia Accessibility Overview. You may also send your questions to accessibility@ncsu.edu.

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07: Free consulting available for video conferencing and telepresence
Are you new to video conferencing? Let ComTech introduce you to it via a free telepresence and video conferencing consulting appointment.

Telepresence is the ability to share audio, data and video with individuals at a distant site as though they were in the same room with you. Using Cisco TelePresence technology, ComTech offers system integration into its Cisco VoIP telephony environment. For a free consulting appointment, contact oit_ct_uc@help.ncsu.edu.

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08: Increase your audience engagement with Google Slides Q&A
With Google Slides Q&A, it’s easier to engage your audience and get more participation in your presentations.

Slides Q&A allows your audience to submit questions anonymously during Google Slides presentations and to vote on the questions they want to see answered. As the presenter, you can see Q&A history for each of your presentations.

To enable Q&A:

  • Open Google Slides.
  • Select the drop-down arrow next to Present in the upper right-hand corner.  
  • Click Presenter view.
  • Click the Start new button.
  • Select ON to enable the Q&A feature and then select the desired groups from which you will accept questions.
  • A URL will be generated that you can provide to your audience, so that they can submit their questions online.

You can only use Slides Q&A on desktop computers and Android and iOS mobile devices, and you must have edit or comment access to the Slides presentation. Users in the NC State domain as well as external users can submit questions.

For more information on how to accept, submit and view audience questions in Google Slides, visit Accept and present audience questions.

To learn more about these enhancements and other new Google features, check out the latest edition of What’s New: Google AppsFor training tips, follow the NC State Google Services Team on Google+. To view upcoming workshops, visit Classmate.

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09: ComTech announces self-service portal
ComTech has made it even easier for you to access Unified Communication collaboration and mobility services via its new self-service portal!

Visit the Unified Communications website to configure your Unified Messaging (Voicemail to Email) options and to enable your access to:

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10: Avoid the summer heat and come to one of OIT’s cool workshops!
Upcoming training sessions include.

  • OIT CrashPlan for NC State Sub-Org Administrators will be offered on Wednesday, June 22 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room B3 of the Hillsborough Building. This workshop will provide an overview of CrashPlan Cold Storage, explore the options available to CrashPlan sub-org administrators and provide best practices for management. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Google Slides: Create, Collaborate and Publish Presentations will be offered on Thursday, June 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Learn how to create presentations using Google Slides. This session will focus on creating, editing, sharing and collaborating, themes, transitions, animations, and more! To register, visit Classmate.
  • Create, Collaborate and Get Organized with Google Drive will be offered on Tuesday, June 28 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and again on Tuesday, July 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn how to use Drive in a collaborative environment, including editing a file simultaneously with other people, securing a document through file sharing permissions, and creating files for use by a group of colleagues or friends. For this workshop, you will need to have an active NC State University Unity account with access to Google Apps at NC State. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Streamline Your Business Processes with Google Apps will be offered on Thursday, June 30 from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. In this participant-led and highly-interactive class, you’ll learn how to save time scheduling meetings, creating agendas, sharing documents, collaborating, communicating, and much more! Bring your current workflows and learn how to harness the power of Google Apps to streamline your business processes. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Gmail: More than your Inbox will be offered on Thursday, July 7 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. There is more to Gmail than just composing, replying to and forwarding messages. This workshop will provide an in-depth overview of Gmail features including an emphasis on labels and search tools, contacts management, chat, tasks, settings, labs, and new features. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Benefits of 2-Step Verification will be offered on Wednesday, July 13 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Google’s 2-Step Verification can help prevent your account from being compromised from phishing attacks. This one-hour session will provide an overview of 2-Step along with detailed instructions on how to enable this tool. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Google Calendar: Advanced Productivity will be offered on Thursday, July 14 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This workshop will focus on Calendar (e.g., my calendar, other calendars, mini calendar), event details and calendar management. Specific features will include event attachments, maps and directions, labs, quick add, search options, mobile notifications, Hangouts (video conferencing), and more. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Gmail: Advanced Productivity will be offered on Tuesday, July 19 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Building on Gmail: More than your Inbox, this advanced hands-on workshop takes Gmail to the next level. You will learn more about labels, filters, canned responses, Hangouts, scheduling Google Calendar Events, and using Google Drive through Gmail, along with any planned or newly released features. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Intro to Web Registry will be offered on Wednesday, July 20 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Are you interested in creating a generic Google Account, Google Group or Google Calendar Resource? This Lunch and Learn session will offer an overview of NC State’s Web Registry tool and provide detailed instructions to help you request new services. You also will learn how these services can improve and streamline your business processes. To register, visit Classmate.

For other available training sessions, visit Classmate Scheduled Workshops. If you are interested in custom software training, complete the Custom Training Form. Email all training questions to classreg@ncsu.edu.

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11: SAR training scheduled for Aug. 11
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data will be held on Thursday, Aug. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. To register, visit Classmate.

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12: Stay connected securely with VPN
Perhaps you are off campus and need to edit a document on a shared network drive or to connect to the Virtual Computing Lab to access a specific software program. Maybe you’re a Design student and must submit your assignments via the ClassStore. Or, you could be taking a distance education course or online class that requires access to the Statistics Virtual Teaching Lab. How do you access NC State network files and software, while ensuring that your applications, documents and communications remain private and protected from interception and hacking?

Luckily, you can securely connect to your needed resources via NC State’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) client, which encrypts and protects data traveling to and from the NC State network. The VPN allows you off-campus access to your computer’s desktop, personal folders and mapped drives, while providing protections against cyber attacks. You can also safely connect to NC State remote virtual computers that have the software applications you need to complete your work and assignments.  

The VPN download is free for all students, faculty and staff and provides a secure connection to NC State computing resources at anytime, from anywhere.

To remotely access NC State’s servers using VPN, see NC State Virtual Private Networking (VPN) Service for download links and installation instructions.

Please note:

  • VPN software is available for all major platforms (e.g., Mac, Windows, Ubuntu, Linux) as well as Apple and Android devices.
  • A valid Unity ID and password are required in order to gain access to the university network.
  • All users of the NC State VPN service are subject to NC State’s Computer Use Policy and VPN Acceptable Use Policy.


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