Center for Information Technology Services

Center for Information Technology Services

Highlighted Accomplishments



This past year, the Center for Information Technology Services completed a very large number of projects in support of the UMB strategic direction including collaborative initiatives with schools and units that comprise the University of Maryland, Baltimore.  The following are highlighted accomplishments.

Completed Projects and On-Schedule Projects

Significant IT Security, Audit and Compliance Initiatives

Ø  Many enhancements were made to the IT security program, including: updating and expanding the IT security plan; performing vulnerability scans of the University network; holding regular IT security meetings with personnel in CITS, schools, departments, UMMC, and FPI; completing audit, compliance, and ERM activities and recommendations; establishing the InCommon certificate program; implementing a host-based Intrusion Detection System. 

  • Successful audits:

o   USM audit of the UMB Disaster Recovery plan, procedures, and testing

o   USM audit of Network Vulnerability

o   S&B audit of the UMB Financial System

o   Office of Legislative Audits, Audit Report, April 2013

  • The following work was completed to enhance information systems security and compliance with auditor recommendations:

o   Upgraded Financial Tools 8.52.10 and Oracle

o   Implemented Phire change control management software to automate and enforce enhanced controls in the UMB financial system.

o   Completed the AppWorx (SIMS automated job scheduling system) upgrade.

o   Implemented automated logging of all transactions in all critical applications.

o   Developed reports to identify direct changes to financial system tables.

o   Created a monthly scan of all network devices to ensure they were properly configured and protected.

o   Replaced CSS Load Balancer with new Cisco ACE equipment.

o   The “classification of data” schema was updated so that appropriate firewall rules could be assigned to machines storing data.

o   In addition to quarterly scans, monthly network scans are now performed on network devices to check for any possible vulnerability.

o   Security appliance modules were implemented to provide additional protection for e-mail delivery, databases, and operating systems.

Enterprise Applications Projects

Ø  Human Capital Management Upgrade Project (on schedule & within budget): 

  • This project will upgrade the current Human Resources System to a much more efficient and robust application to meet University HR and payroll needs, and introduce new electronic personnel action forms. 

Ø  Coeus Upgrade Project and Phase I of Kuali Coeus implementation:

  • This is a key system in support of all UMB researchers. UMB is migrating from an original proprietary product to a nationally supported system.

 Ø  ImageNow Upgrade Project:  upgraded to version 6.6 and implemented the web component WebNow. 

  • This upgrade has provided additional features and reliability for schools and departments moving to digital document storage.
  • Completed implementations of ImageNow in: Student Health, Academic Affairs, SOP Administration, SON, and UMB Facilities Management.
  • Migrated the School of Law’s document imaging vendor solution from DataBank to ImageNow. This significantly reduced costs to the SOL.

Ø  Blackboard Learning Management System Upgrade Project:

  • This project included both service packs to enhance the system as well as adding building blocks which offer new features and capabilities.
  • As part of this project, unnecessary courses were archived, thereby reclaiming a significant amount of disk space.  In addition, the new hardware was installed behind the new load balancer.

Ø  Banner Fusion Upgrade Project: 

  • Upgraded Banner to be a more modern and sustainable platform for the Student Information Management System (SIMS).

Ø  Completed the Archibus Space Management system upgrade.

Ø  Completed interfaces from the Blackboard system and Student system for the SOD Student Progress Tracking Dashboard Project.

Ø  Negotiated a new three year Blackboard maintenance agreement that saved the University a significant amount of money.

Ø  Negotiated and implemented Blackboard Mobile.  This product gives students and instructors access to the Blackboard Learning system from anywhere via wireless devices.

Ø  Worked with Human Resources services to implement TALX, an automated work verification system.

Ø  Migrated remaining student academic history data from the legacy student system to Banner.  This data was residing on equipment that was obsolete and no longer supported by the manufacturer.  Now these data are a permanent and integral part of the SIMS. (An ERM Priority Project)

Ø  Implemented functionality within the student system for a “Student Shopping Sheet” as an outcome of a USM/federal mandate.

Ø  Installed a new version of the Remark test Scoring software, which provides flexible test template creation, better reporting capabilities, and statistical reporting.

Cyberinfrastructure Enhancement Projects

Ø  Internet:

  • Upgraded both Internet connections (Internet1 public and Internet2 private research network) from 1 Gigabit per second to 10 Gigabits per second.

Ø  Campus Network:

  • A comprehensive, University-wide inventory of network devices, including type and models, age, capability and capacity was completed.  Work to develop University network equipment and network design standards was undertaken.
  • Installed new campus core network equipment to enable 10 Gigabit network speeds for campus buildings as well as to enable the use of the 10G Internet1 and Internet2 speeds. 
  • Upgraded the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and network management and monitoring equipment. 
  • Implemented EduRoam, which allows students, researchers, staff and administrators from participating institutions to obtain wireless network connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions.

Ø  Voice Communications

  • The digital voice infrastructure was expanded, with over 3000 VoIP phones now deployed throughout the University.
  • Upgraded emergency phones in parking garages.

Ø  Computing Facilities

  • Upgrade of the 300 West Lexington Street Computing facility is on schedule and on budget.  This upgrade increases cooling and electrical capacity and improves the efficiency of environmental controls in the facility.  It will accommodate the needs of IGS as their equipment moves to this facility in fall 2013.

o   Implemented a new Tape Library system and a Disaster Recovery Storage Area Network.

o   Expanded the VMware infrastructure to support more of the central IT applications.  This helped to eliminate old hardware and reduced the number of physical servers that CITS must maintain.

Ø  Infrastructure Services and Support 

  • Built the technology architecture and infrastructure (hardware/servers, operating system software, databases, audio-visual equipment) to support the following projects:

o   Human Resource Management System upgrade. 

o   Student Information Management System upgrade. 

o   Mediasite Lecture Capture System upgrade. 

o   Space Management System upgrade.

o   Staged an Exchange 2010 Lab environment to work out implementation details of migrating Campus e-mail to the most contemporary product.

o   Expanded the WordPress hardware infrastructure to support new Communications and Public Affairs initiative “The Elm”.

Ø  Digital Signage: a standard was established to ensure interoperability and to reduce costs.

  • Content managers, including those individuals in the Offices of Communications and Public Affairs and Public Safety will be able to post news and alerts on digital monitors in campus buildings.     

Ø  Google Search Appliance was acquired, configured, and implemented to improve the speed and relevance of Internet searches conducted by members of the UMB community.

Ø  Consolidated the CITS and School of Nursing e-mail delivery services and began routing SON traffic through the central IronPort infrastructure for anti-spam and anti-virus.

Ø  Upgraded the IronPort Appliance hardware.

Ø  Updated the Campus forest to include “Forest Functionality 2008R2” which supports an Active Directory recycle bin for the recovery of deleted user/group objects.

Ø  Implemented email Data Loss Prevention and Encryption

  • Utilizing this technology to address HIPAA privacy and security rules for transmitting patient health information (PHI) via electronic messaging; will also help in protecting the transmission of other sensitive information, e.g., SSNs, credit card information
  • Implemented to-date in Dentistry, Pharmacy, SOM Surgery, SOM Emergency Medicine.  

Ø  Upgraded the VPN appliance software

  • Implemented a VPN for mobile clients.

Projects Expanding Use of the UMID

Ø  Implementations of UMID as the authentication credential for enterprise systems (and many school and department systems).

  • There were 29 additional applications that began using the UMID in 2013 for authentication, increasing the total to 143 applications.  There were 20 applications added to the number that support single sign-on via the UMID, increasing the total number to 37 applications.  (Approved University Strategic Plan Tactic)
  • Completed many tasks in the first phase of having unified directories at UMB; phase one is connecting the central directories.
  • Underway with the creation of a “unified access infrastructure” which provides access to applications and systems across the UMB and College Park campuses under the aegis of the MPowering Maryland initiative.
  • Implementation of a Community System to replace the Affiliate System.  This application was rolled out first for the HS/HSL and Law libraries so that new accounts could be created. 
  • The next phase of the Community System made it possible to create UMVibe accounts for non-directory colleagues at other institutions. 
  • The Community System was then expanded and included as part of the new Human Resources Onboarding process. 
  • This fall it will be implemented prior to the upgrade to the new Human Capital Management System to create records for employees not paid from University funds.

Consultative or Collaborative Initiatives with Campus Schools and Units

Ø  Participated on the RFP team for a student refund provider.

Ø  Participated in the selection of MODOLABS mobile web solutions vendor.

  • Worked with the vendor to plan phase two rollout, i.e., the interface with the Banner SIMS.

Ø  Participated in the implementation and support of Worldox: UMB’s Legal Counsel document tracking software

Ø  Worked with the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, the development of a needs analysis and market assessment that led to the purchase of a new content management system for support and development of campus websites (TerminalFour).

Ø  CITS coordinated efforts to consolidate support from the School of Social Work, the School of Pharmacy, the School of Medicine (Dean’s Office and SEEK program), the Institute for Innovation and Implementation, CITS Web Services and CITS Infrastructure Services to create a new infrastructure to support a common virtual training center for multiple campus entities with campus branding and designated proprietary areas for each organization.

Ø  CITS has continued to collaborate with campus IT organizations in the UMB community to implement solutions that reduce cost and improve efficiency.  (Examples are ScreenConnect, UnitySync, and DLP Encryption.)

Ø  Participated in the RFP process for a UMB Wellness Plan.

Research Support Projects

Ø  Implemented, upgraded, and continue to support UMVibe. This is an application that allows the formation of electronic teams to share and edit documents, common calendars, discussion boards, blogs and wikis, and multi-media storage.  Teams can be formed with full participation from colleagues located at other institutions or research labs.  In the first six months more than 600 persons have participated on UMVibe teams.

Ø  Installed equipment and made data storage space available for researchers.

Ø  Coeus Kuali upgrade previously noted under enterprise applications.

Ø  Implemented technical components and modifications to current systems to accommodate the new flat rate fringe allocation model.

Ø  SOLAR System developed for sharing of laboratory animals and other resources provides researchers a means to facilitate more robust and efficient science while saving grant money.

Ø  Completed a CITS services update for the UMB Research Handbook and electronically published information for all researchers regarding services that are available to support research.

Projects to Develop Custom Applications for Schools and Institutes

Ø  Twenty new ColdFusion applications were developed in the past year to meet specific needs of campus organizations. The Web Services Office is now supporting more than seventy custom applications.

Ø  A Campus Virtual Training Center was developed for the Institute for Innovation and Implementation which has been extended to accommodate SEEK and SEFEL and will soon meet the needs of the School of Social Work’s Continuing Education Program.

Ø  An application system was developed for Social Work’s Family Connections Program which tracks consultations, interventions, and measures of success.

Ø  A Faculty Appointments and Promotions application was developed.

Ø  An application was developed for the Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) activities to maintain plans, document tests, and maintain essential and emergency employee lists and contact information.

Ø  An application was written to stage and record the results of Staff Senate elections.  This went well and the Student Government Association is considering requesting a similar system. Faculty elections are already managed by a CITS application.

Ø  Customized applications have been developed and are being leveraged to create new systems for Early Childhood Mental Health tracking and reporting.

Ø  The process to replace three very old applications with a consolidated, contemporary system to support Government Affairs Community Programs and Legislative Session Bills, Forms, and Reports has begun with the most essential modules to be available before the next legislative session.

Ø  Developed a survey tool for The Center for Clinical Trials and provided support for analysis.

IT Support Initiatives

Ø  The number of coordinated computer support personnel and operations was increased with A&F IT staff transitioning to CITS.

Ø  IT Help Desk Support

  • 13,158 Help Desk tickets were created and resolved in the past year. 

Ø  Software Licensing Operation

  • Developed an online web application for ordering and paying for personal use software as a replacement for the point of sales at the HS/HSL circulation desk.
  • Negotiated/coordinated annual contract renewals for software, e.g., desktop (Microsoft), statistical software (SPSS, SAS), anti-virus (Symantec), etc.
  • At users’ request, added ArcGIS geographic information systems to be available the UMB community.

Ø  IT Training Support

  • Developed online video/audio training aids which correlate with the most requested items for help collected by the campus IT Help Desk.
  • Spearheaded the implementation of User Productivity Kit software (UPK Pro), a campus-wide training/learning portal that delivers online course material as well as tracks users’ mastery of it
  • Supported staff in administrative and academic units campus-wide in the use of UPK Pro and other training technology.
  • Developed training materials for the document sharing, collaboration tool (UMVibe)
  • Developed training materials for the Web conferencing system (Collaborate)
  • Continued to provide training for staff and student e-timesheets; Coeus research system; Student information management system, including the recently implemented degree audit module; technology orientation sessions; VoIP communication devices; WebEx; etc.
  • Assisted in developing the training plan for the HCM system, and will be assisting in the delivery of this training along with the training staff in the Office of Human Resources.

IT Announcements and Publications Projects

Ø  Prepared six CITS Bits (the electronic communication to the UMB community regarding IT news, activities and updates); submitted twenty IT news articles for the VOICE; continually posted IT news and updates on the CITS website. Contributed two articles with artwork for The Elm.