CTO Updates

Tom Wolf, CTO

January 2017

Information Technology Acquisition Policy: Business intelligence processes are only as good as the data that feeds these processes. In order to ensure that the data contained in information systems at WMU are effectively integrated the IT Acquisition Policy should be closely followed when acquiring any new technology related services or when moving existing technology services to the cloud. It is important to note that this policy applies to all technology related acquisitions, even if there is no cost associated with the acquisition. The Office of Information Technology offers a product review service that can serve as a critical step towards evaluating the ability of the new system's data to integrate with existing campus data structures. See product review information. You may also read the IT Acquisition Policy here. Thank you for doing your part to ensure a seamless integration of WMU's business intelligence data.

Computer lab file storage (H drive) ending: Hey students, computer lab file storage, known as the H drive will be discontinued at the end of the spring semester. It is recommended that you begin using OneDrive file storage, part of W-Exchange, instead of the H drive. See our OneDrive self-help for more information. If you have any questions, please call our Technology Help Desk at (269) 387-4357, option 1.

Ransomware: WWMT recently reported an uptick in ransomware attacks in West Michigan. Ransomware is a type of malware that locks users out of their own systems and files. The criminal then tries to extort funds from the victim by requesting a ransom in order to regain access to their locked files. This type of crime has been around since the mid-2000s but saw growth of nearly 250% in the past few years. Ransomware is often delivered as an email attachment that may appear to be from a trusted source. Always be very careful when opening email attachments, especially if you were not expecting them. See the FBI bulletin regarding Ransomware. If you suspect you have received an email containing ransomware, please contact your unit's IT support person, or the Technology Help Desk at (269) 387-4357, option 1 and do NOT open the attachment!

Register to receive WMU public safety advisories: WMU's public safety department has created a Twitter account that will be used to issue campus safety advisory messages as a complimentary service to the Clery Act mandated and regulated WMU Alert system. The new Twitter account will inform students and their families, faculty, staff and community members about incidents that occur in the vicinity of campus or in neighborhoods where a large number of WMU students live. The account, @wmupublicsafety, will tweet messages issued by the WMU Alert system as well as other safety advisories. People who do not "tweet" can opt to receive the same information via a text message. More information.

Bulk emailing and SPAM: The Office of Information Technology has begun putting together information to help the campus community better understand why some bulk emails end up being categorized as SPAM, how SPAM flagging works, what role third party bulk emailing companies play, and what we in IT can and cannot do with respect to preventing certain emails from being flagged as SPAM and what you, the end user can do. Read more.

Please open a ticket: Ever notice that some portion of the WMU technology infrastructure is not working correctly and then wonder if anyone else is experiencing the same issue? Well, the first place you may want to look is the GoWMU login page.

GoWMU login screen showing Service Alerts in the middle column

Right in the middle of the page, before you even have to enter your Bronco NetID is a section called Service Alerts. If we know about it, it will be shown as either Current outages or Planned outages. Clicking Service Alerts takes you to the Technology Help Desk blog where known or scheduled outages and problems are shown. If you do not see the problem that you are having, please don't hesitate to call the Technology Help Desk at (269) 387-4357, option 1 and report it. Your call will lead to a quicker resolution, thus minimizing the potential overall impact to the rest of the campus community. 

Personal web pages (homepages.wmich.edu) update: In February of 2016 the Office of Information Technology began the process of retiring the decades old personal web pages service in favor of the many new technologies that have been introduced over the past twenty years (see CTO Updates for February 2016 and June 2016) and which do a much better job of providing the same personal services that homepages was originally intended to provide. Today's students arrive on campus having grown up with technology incorporated into every facet of their lives. These students are demanding that WMU expose them to the kinds of cutting edge technologies that will position them to have highly successful careers. In order to make room for new technologies, aging technologies, like homepages, need to be deprecated which is why in July of 2016 we stopped allowing new accounts on homepages. Since then we have been trying to determine alternatives for the various purposes for which faculty and students are using homepages. This process will continue until all faculty and student needs have been met, however the service will be deprecated, (A-Z index removed as well as other links) as of June 30, 2017. See additional information and the alternatives we are currently suggesting. This page is being updated as new alternatives are suggested. If you feel none of the alternatives will serve your purposes please submit the Use of Homepages form. Thanks!

Mario, Mario, Mario: Aaron Monsma, OIT labs supervisor, won first place in the Office of Information Technology's first annual OIT staff Super Mario Bros tournament with a score of 99,000. The following contenders also did a great job: Justin Johnson, network lifecycle team -- 87,300; James Amos, classroom technology -- 68,700; Jaren Pashak, network lifecycle team -- 59,100; Kent Simpson, project management office student --57,200; Tyler Payne, help desk and labs -- 53,100; Karmin Richardson, network architecture -- 50,750.

Aaron Monsma and Brian Shade

Congratulations are also in order for Brian Shade for his first place finish in our second annual soup and chili cook-off competition. Honorable mention went to Alonzo Wilson and James Mayo. And last but not least, thanks to Nancy Kroes, Fawn Callen and Adam Newsted for hosting such a fun filled lunch time event and Delores Minshall for providing the amazing cookies!

If you would like to learn more about the wide variety of services provided by the Office of Information Technology, please visit our website regularly at wmich.edu/it. Thank you!