Priority Projects and Activities - February 2020

Assess the state of technology available to West Baltimore community residents where UMB is engaged

CITS Accountable Lead – Dr. Murray

Description: An assessment was undertaken and completed in 2018. CITS participated in the design and build-out the new Community Engagement Center (CEC), and has purchased and installed new audio-visual equipment in the existing CEC space.  The audio-visual technology has been used extensively during this reporting period.  The CEC staff, as well as visitors to the CEC, are now able to have video-conferencing sessions with people in UMB schools and departments, to companies and potential employers, to training sites for education and learning purposes, and to other local, national, or globally available online resources.  It allows for meetings, presentations and online content to be initiated and delivered to or from the CEC, connecting individuals residing within or outside of UMB. Monthly Webex sessions are being held to connect UMB personnel to personnel in Africa.  Additionally, assistance is being provided to the IT teams residing in African countries with their IT infrastructure, data management and information security.

Assess the state of technology available to global communities where UMB is engaged

CITS Accountable Lead – Dr. Murray

Description: CITS worked to expand and enhance Global Health Communications. A major effort went into the successful President’s webcast, where Dr. Perman and the UMB team met with officials in Zambia.  As a first for UMB, the meeting was webcast and recorded successfully, so that individuals in the UMB President’s Board Room, in Zambia, as well as individuals located anywhere could access the session via the Internet. As a follow-up to Dr. Perman’s Zambia webcast, monthly WebEx sessions have been scheduled and are being held to connect UMB personnel to personnel in Africa. Assistance is being provided to the IT team residing in African countries with their IT infrastructure, data management and information security.

Data storage analysis for enterprise system data/new solution for aging infrastructure

CITS Accountable Lead – Vicky Hunter

Description: The on-premises enterprise data storage equipment is approaching end-of-life.  An analysis and evaluation of the next data storage solution is occurring, which include exploring cloud-based data storage solutions.

Amazon AWS network design and implementation

CITS Accountable Lead – Vicky Hunter

Description: The Amazon AWS cloud infrastructure will be available for use by schools and departments in February 2020. Training and education sessions will be held to show personnel in schools and departments how to access and provision computing services on the AWS infrastructure.

Research data management program

CITS Accountable Lead – Dr. Murray

Description:  A Data Trust Committee (DTC), Chaired by Dr. Jarrell,  has been formed to provide oversight, develop policies, and make recommendations related to research use of patient data in clinical information systems of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) entities.  The DTC will assist with and support the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award that UMB has with JHU. Also, UMB is implementing a product from TriNetX that will contain UMMS data to be used for the CTSA project and the research of patient data.

Expanding resources for faculty teaching and learning with technology

CITS Accountable Lead – Dr. Murray

Description:  Faculty from each school are continuing to meet to discuss and identify strategies for professional development and the innovative uses of technology in teaching.  They are working with Christina Cestone, Executive Director for the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, to jointly sponsor the 3rd annual Teaching with Technology Day in spring 2020. There have been 16 new online courses developed this year in the Center.

Increase University knowledge of contemporary productivity tools

CITS Accountable Lead – Brian Coats

Description:  After the successful launch of Microsoft Office 365, CITS began a campaign to train individuals in central administration departments and in UMB schools. Formal training sessions include:  Introduction to OneDrive; Microsoft Teams/and being a Microsoft Teams Owner; SharePoint; Office 365 File Management and The Modern Workplace; and Microsoft Skype.  There were numerous other personal training sessions held during the year. CITS prepared and posted a wealth of Office 365 instructional resources on the following webpage:

Cybersecurity awareness program

CITS Accountable Lead – Fred Smith

Description: Our annual Cybersecurity Awareness Training in support of the USM IT Standards will be scheduled for early spring 2020.  An increased attention to cybersecurity awareness has occurred this year.  Last year we achieved an 82% compliance rate, we are looking to increase that number this year.

Promote knowledge, expertise and career development in CITS

CITS Accountable Lead – Dr. Murray

Description: The completed annual report of CITS staff professional development activities indicated that 95 of the 102 CITS staff (93%) participated in at least one professional development activity in FY 2019.  Professional development activities are ongoing and many staff will be taking advantage of these opportunities during winter and spring 2020. We will continue to promote the acquisition of new knowledge, additional expertise and career development in FY 2020 so that every staff member has the opportunity to attend at least one professional development opportunity during the year.

Expand and promote cultural competence in CITS

CITS Accountable Lead – Dr. Murray

Description:  For the past two years, a member of the Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) has given a presentation to CITS staff that provided information about the DAC, its mission, goals, accomplishments and events.  They have also addressed the topic of understanding culture as well as providing a statement on cultural competence.  This and other information and conversations about cultural competence have helped expand and promote cultural competence in the CITS. We look forward to these annual DAC presentations, and to the one that will occur again at an all CITS organization planned for later in  FY2020.

Collaborate with colleagues at USM institutions and other Maryland education institutions to leverage collective buying power

CITS Accountable Lead – Dr. Murray

Description: UMB is collaborating extensively with USM institutions and other education institutions and leveraged the buying power of the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC).

Examples of IT savings include:

  • Reduced cost access to the Internet via Maryland Research and Education Network (MDREN)
  • USM-wide Cisco contract for network hardware maintenance
  • USM-wide Palo Alto contract for network security equipment
  • Waived egress fees for Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and for Duo multi-factor authentication, and other Internet 2 services through Internet 2
  • Significant volume discounts for Microsoft licenses, Apple hardware, Dell computers and servers, and other software through MEEC (including Symantec, Adobe, InCommon, Terminal4, Carbon Black, and MicroFocus).
  • Reduced consulting services via the use of MEEC resellers that deploy and support enterprise applications, e.g., instructional technology systems, student system, IT security-related systems, etc.
  • UMB facilitated the consolidation of the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) contracts from all USM schools to a single contract that UMB administers.
  • UMB collaborated with UMCP to maximize the volume discount and the purchase of Mathematica and ArcGIS.

Collaborative projects with UMCP

CITS Accountable Leads – Dr. Murray; Brian Coats; Doug Bowser

Description: Consolidating the Kuali Research application for use by both UMB and UMCP was the significant accomplishment this past year. There is now one database instance and common access to the application from both universities. The project achieved a key goal of allowing combined reporting of research proposals and awards generated by both universities.  Also, both universities have been working to develop a consolidated UMB/UMCP research productivity report. The MPower Steering Committee approved the hiring of a Data Analyst who will focus on working with personnel at both universities, and with the combined data in the Kuali database, to generate these consolidated reports.  Once this position is filled, the electronic process for developing these reports will be finalized so that the reports can be generated quickly and as needed.

Quantum Financials and Analytics Project

CITS Accountable Lead – Diane Faranetta

Description: This was rolled out to the campus in October 2019.  CITS partnered with Administration and Finance, and worked with UMB schools and departments, to develop and implement Oracle’s Cloud Financials, Planning and Budgeting, and Analytics solutions.  These modern cloud applications are based on best practices that will provide a platform for improving business processes and introduce an analytics solution that will enhance our ability to make data driven decisions. Currently in the “stabilization phase,” adjustments are being made to processes and functionality based on input from the campus community. Data analytics software is being used to develop financial dashboard indicators and reports.

Assessment of IT Services

CITS Accountable Lead – Dr. Murray

Description: An IT satisfaction survey was administered in Spring 2019.  The following two items provide an important benchmark of IT satisfaction, as recorded by faculty, staff, and students. The goal was to achieve a mean score of 4.00 or better for each item on the survey. For example, for satisfaction that IT personnel take a “customer-oriented” approach to providing help, the Faculty/Staff mean score was 4.12 and the Student mean score was 4.22. For overall satisfaction with IT services received, the Faculty/Staff mean score was 4.07 and the Student mean score was 4.14.

Information security collaborative, addressing vulnerabilities

CITS Accountable Lead – Fred Smith

Description: The Information Security Collaborative (ISC) initiative continues this year.  Participants share operational policies, practices, and procedures that result in effective information security and the protection of information assets, protect health information, and patient and employee personal information.  The ISC working group coordinates activities that respond to information security vulnerabilities that cross operational intersections.

Instructional technology infrastructure

CITS Accountable Lead – Dr. Murray

Description: The UMB instructional technology plan was enhanced this past year by the introduction of the WebEx Training and Webex Events modules, which have improved the on-line classroom experience for students. Since the launch of the Cisco Communication/Collaboration solution, UMB faculty have learned new ways to improve their on-line teaching and ability to enhance the on-line classroom experience for student through the use of the Webex Training module.  It offers faculty the option to extend on-line classroom sessions, and it includes a hands-on-lab, on-line training, and instant break-out sessions with a test library for creating questions and grading exams. The Webex Events module also adds great value by providing the capability of hosting events for up to 1000 participants/students. From July through December 2019, there have been over 50 Cisco “Room Kits” purchased and installed in schools and departments, which provide easy, intuitive video and audio capabilities for both instruction and conferencing. With over 3,000 licensed WebEx users, there have been over 8,000 WebEx sessions held with over 25,000 faculty, staff and student participants.

Addressing State Office of Legislative IT audit items

CITS Accountable Lead – Fred Smith

Description: The Maryland State Office of Legislative Audit (OLA) completed an IT audit at UMB.  After spending nearly five months at UMB, and hundreds of hours checking applications and systems, collecting data, reviewing documentation and asking questions, they gave us just one IT/IS discussion note (DN).   The one Discussion Note was not deemed worthy to be included in the final University of Maryland, Baltimore Audit Report that was published in July 2019 and has been made available to the public. The work to implement the one item that they noted has been completed. There weren’t any IT/IS finding(s) in the final legislative audit report for UMB.  In anticipation of their arrival in 2021 we are completing an internal audit of discussion notes taken from previous audits and validating compliance with the USM IT Security Standards.

IT Help Desks

CITS Accountable Lead – Brian Coats

Description: Weekday coverage has been extended from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and some of the other IT support units’ operations in the Schools have been supplemented. The campus IT Help Desk is now handling incoming calls for the School of Pharmacy.  It is also analyzing how to develop similar integrations with the other Schools.

Telephony VoIP upgrade (Call Mgr)

CITS Accountable Lead – Zia Mafaher

Description: Corresponding to the Cisco telephony upgrade, there will be upgrades made to the Cisco call manager servers and corresponding infrastructure.  This upgrade will provide additional VoIP features and functionality including introducing the “soft client” where telephone calls can be made directly from computing devices. In progress with an estimated delivery of July 2020.

Identity management infrastructure build-out

CITS Accountable Lead – Brian Coats

Description: The Kuali Research Application is consolidated with UMCP and both campuses access the system through a single portal with their university ID and password. The project achieved a key goal of allowing combined access and reporting of research proposals and awards generated by both universities.  The next step is the development of consolidated UMB/UMCP research productivity reports.

Microsoft Office 365 and student email

CITS Accountable Lead – Vicky Hunter

Description: Transitioning current student and future alumni email to Microsoft Office 365.  Implementation is in progress and will continue on a school-by-school basis. We have transitioned the student gmail accounts for School of Dentistry to Microsoft Office 365 Outlook.  We are currently working with the School of Nursing on this project.

Transitioning IronPort to Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP)

CITS Accountable Lead – Vicky Hunter

Description: IronPort appliances were officially turned off on January 3, 2020.  We have migrated the anti-spam/anti-virus and email delivery to the Microsoft EOP and Barracuda cloud solutions.

Payment Card Industry (PCI)

CITS Accountable Lead – Fred Smith

Description:  The campus contract for credit card services is transitioning to BB&T bank.  CampusGuard is assisting UMB in checking PCI compliance and recommending any needed action(s).  We will be working with the campus PCI compliance team to ensure our transition to BB&T meets the requirements for PCI certification for the campus.

Conversion to Baltimore City 911 service

CITS Accountable Lead – Zia Mafaher

Description: UMB is currently working with Verizon on systems design and security to establish a sync between the UMB database and Verizon’s.  The sync will be transmitting required fields of information, e.g., location information, to their system.  This is one of the systems that the Baltimore City 911 service accesses when informing city police officers the location of the 911 call. Currently awaiting direction from Strategic Sourcing & Acquisition Services and Public Safety.

Web accessibility

CITS Accountable Lead – Brian Coats

Description: To comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a UMB web accessibility policy was developed and approved by President Perman, and associated procedures have also been developed and made available.

OneCard building access

CITS Accountable Lead – Brian Coats

Description: Phase 1, automatically remove card access when individual separates from the university, is complete.  Phase 2, implementing a dynamic building access request eForm with built-in workflows, went into production in August 2019. Phase 3, providing an event-based and time-based automated review process, went into production in Febryary 2020. Phase 4 will bring all card access data into the eForm system and a comprehensive review of all card access data will be performed.

Unified Directories @ UMB

CITS Accountable Lead – Brian Coats

Description: Phase 4 = Active Directory account provisioning – Building on the framework and infrastructure established as part of the Federated Identity Management Stakeholder Initiative, Active Directory accounts will be provisioned automatically based on information obtained from eUMB HRMS as part of the normal hiring procedures.  This will eliminate the need for these accounts to be manually created and linked by IT staff.  It will also improve the data integrity of these accounts as they will be created automatically using HRMS data.  Finally, it will improve and streamline the process by which HRMS is then provided a university email address for every employee.

Migrating Blackboard to the cloud, SaaS application

CITS Accountable Lead – Doug Bowser

Description: The Blackboard SaaS application has been successfully migrated to the cloud as of the end of December 2019.

CRM application re-implementation, support, implementation

CITS Accountable Lead – Deno Tufares

Description: The Graduate School, School of Nursing and School of Social Work have implemented the CRM Recruit application using a single hosted environment. School-specific security has been applied to distinguish each school. The environment is now capable of supporting all schools. Additional adoption is currently under evaluation.

DegreeWorks reporting

CITS Accountable Leads – Deno Tufares

Description: A reporting solution is being developed that will provide the needed data for decision-making.  The School of Nursing has implemented the DegreeWorks application.  The School of Social Work is currently planning an implementation of the DegreeWorks application.

Electronic signatures

CITS Accountable Lead – Doug Bowser

Description: UMB has a contract with DocuSign to implement an electronic signature solution.  It is estimated that we will be live for a few pilot departments by the end of April.  If all goes well with the pilot departments, it is expected to have full campus access by September 2020.