The GeorgiaVIEW Team — Tenacity in Action
The ITS GeorgiaVIEW Team provided an example of tenacity when Blackboard, a product that enables universities to host classes online, released a security bulletin announcing a vulnerability which allowed a student to view a course’s full grade book by manipulating the course URL.
Although the vulnerability was limited to viewing grades and did not involve the ability to change grades, this was still a serious security concern. When the security bulletin was released, GeorgiaVIEW was in the midst of testing a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) applet error patch which was planned for application within a week. But clearly, the security patch took precedence. While Blackboard provided a patch to correct the reported vulnerability, the GeorgiaVIEW Team needed to verify that the patch would work and also verify that the vulnerability existed for GeorgiaVIEW users.
Blackboard’s policy is not to reveal specifics of security vulnerability so as to attempt to limit potential exploits. However Ezra Freelove, one of the GeorgiaVIEW database analysts, identified two potential URLs and successfully replicated and confirmed the issue. That same day, the GeorgiaVIEW team verified the vulnerability, applied the patch to a test environment, and verified the fix. Maintenance windows were successfully scheduled with campus representatives in a very short timeframe and the update was applied during the regularly scheduled maintenance period.
During the next week, the GeorgiaVIEW team completed testing the JRE patch and began applying it during regularly scheduled maintenance times. Although this patch resolved errors that were only annoying and not performance affecting, the optimal experience of the GeorgiaVIEW user is the team’s highest priority. Barry Robinson, interim director of the GeorgiaVIEW functional team adds, “The team has done a great job juggling multiple initiatives all while adapting to the departure of Doug Hyche, [the former director of GeorgiaVIEW]. I’ve been very impressed with their hard work and dedication.”
The GeorgiaVIEW team is comprised of a nine member team, who provide GeorgiaVIEW functional support to 31 campuses as well as three database analysts on the GeorgiaVIEW technical team, and draws upon the talents of ITS employees in Network Support, Systems Support, Strategic Communications, and the Project Management Office.
In addition, the team includes the 108 GeorgiaVIEW administrators in the University System of Georgia and more than 60 agents at the Presidium Learning Online Support Center who provide support for faculty and students using GeorgiaVIEW Vista.
The Banner Team makes a lasting impression on Georgia Perimeter College
The Banner Team’s commitment to their customers is unwavering. One example of this dedication is the recent Version 8 Georgia Enhancements upgrade project. Because of requirements stipulated by the BOR for the HOPE scholarship and other data collections, ITS’s Banner Team provides Georgia Enhancements (modifications that address data needs specific to the USG) in addition to the baseline Banner provided by SunGard Higher Education.
The Banner Team — focusing on creating memorable customer experiences
This Banner upgrade has been a huge undertaking and in the works for two years. Not only is this the first time that Banner is being supported in three different operating system environments, it’s the first time it is being supported in the Linux environment. An issue arose when Georgia Perimeter College had to meet a campus-specific Enrollment Management project implementation deadline that caused GPC to need the Version 8 upgrade earlier than the agreed-upon deadline. Because of their devotion to their customers, the Banner Team (particularly the Banner Development Team) worked diligently to deliver the Georgia Enhancements upgrade ahead of schedule so that GPC could meet its deadline. Reid Christenberry, AVP Information Technology/CIO, was thrilled. He writes,
Thanks to all at ITS! This will be well received here.
We are discussing the possibility of merging the Banner 8 migration here into the Enrollment Management implementation project. Thanks again for pushing this out to us now. This dramatically reduces our concerns about the availability of Georgia Mods for us to commence local mod applications on!
And Shelly Wingfield, the project manager for GPC’s Enrollment Management implementation, wrote this note to Karen Nunn, Hope Dunagan, and Beverly Norwood, upon realizing that the Banner Team would provide the Georgia Enhancements upgrade ahead of schedule:
Thank you and your team so much for your hard work. Delivering the Version 8 Georgia Enhancements on Linux to GPC on an accelerated schedule is indeed wonderful news. As Reid has indicated, we are now looking to combine the Banner 8 Upgrade and the first phase of Enrollment Management for Go Live in early June.
The effort your team has put into getting the Version 8 Georgia Enhancements on Linux to us now is still critical to our success. This along with extending our timeline takes considerable pressure off the technical resources and greatly increases our chances of success on this project.
I look forward to collaborating with you on both the Banner 8 Linux upgrade AND the Enrollment Management implementation.
Thanks again, you guys are awesome.
Shelly Wingfield, MBA
Project Manager, Collegiate Project Services
The Banner Team’s passion for creating memorable customer experiences clearly shows in the enthusiasm for their work and their interactions with their customers. As Karen Nunn states, “I am proud to be a member of this team that consistently demonstrates this type of customer orientation and agility in supporting campuses’ business needs.”
The USO Exchange Project: A Measurable Achievement
In terms of sheer numbers, the University System Office (USO) Exchange project has been an impressive feat. In March 2009, Systems Office Technology Support (SOTS) in Atlanta and Workstation Support Services (WSS) in Athens migrated all staff e-mail accounts and calendars to Microsoft Exchange. In addition, Ginger Durham of Instructional Design and Development, provided training to email users in both locations. By the end of March 2010, SOTS and WSS will complete the second phase of the project to migrate all workstations to the USO domain. This means that all staff members can log into VPN and the wireless network with their USO credentials.
The USO Exchange project came about when USO leaders decided that staff in both offices would benefit from a common e-mail and calendaring system. Through the efforts of the project team, USO personnel communicate more efficiently through shared e-mail, collaborate more effectively through shared calendars, and can access e-mail and calendars on mobile devices. Implementing Microsoft exchange across the USO required a huge effort. The numbers below speak for themselves. Thanks to the project team and to SOTS, WSS, and Ginger Durham in particular, for a job well done.
- 567 user mailboxes
- 62 mobile devices
- 82 equipment mailboxes
- 60 schedulable rooms
- 25 shared mailboxes
- 200 distribution groups
- Atlanta – 2 training sessions per day for 10 days
- Athens – 2 training session per day for 5 days
Approximately 300 people trained