Wheaton logo 2020 color version also for mobile

New and Changing: Updates from AIT

New and Changing Blog RSS Feed http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/rss/ All blog posts. en 60 204618 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/vpn-software-update/ <![CDATA[VPN Software Update]]>

VPN Software Update Effective Date: April 27, 2021 GlobalProtect establishes a secure connection to Wheaton College resources from off-campus. If you are working from home now, remember to log into VPN at the beginning of each workday.  The College's virtual private network (VPN) software, GlobalProtect, will be updated on April 27, 2021.  If you already use GlobalProtect to establish a VPN connection, you will be prompted to update this software the next time you connect. Key Benefits and Features This GlobalProtect (VPN) software update provides: Bug fixes that resolve issues for both Windows and macOS computers Improved security Feature enhancements Impact on College Community If you use GlobalProtect to establish a VPN connection to the campus network, you will be prompted to update this software the next time you connect after April 27, 2021. The update will install automatically after you select "Yes." After this update, you will be able to connect using VPN as before.  If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).  ]]>
Tue, 20 Apr 2021 14:23:00 GMT
204540 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/changes-coming-to-wheaton-college-cybersecurity/ <![CDATA[Changes Coming to Wheaton College Cybersecurity]]>

Changes Coming to Wheaton College Cybersecurity Effective Date: April 22, 2021 To better protect our campus community, we are making several behind-the-scenes security changes on April 21, 2021.  Special note: if you are working remotely, be sure to log into Global Protect VPN and stay logged in all day on Thursday, April 22, so these changes will get through to your device.  AIT will be improving security by doing the following: Changing the antivirus software on Wheaton College computers by removing Malwarebytes and deploying Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (for Windows and Mac users) Requiring that you enter your NetID and password to install software (we're installing a 2021 Windows Security Policy) Pushing an operating system upgrade to Windows 10 users by deploying Windows 10 20H2 (those affected by this change should receive an email about it) That’s a lot of changes, so let’s break it down. First of all, as part of the Microsoft Investment Optimization project, we’re looking to better steward our resources by utilizing more of what Microsoft offers (since we’re already paying for Microsoft).  Going forward we will use Microsoft Defender in place of Malwarebytes to protect our college computers.  This change should take place in the background and there is a good chance you will not even notice it has happened.  Secondly, we’re deploying a 2021 Windows Security Policy.  We were encouraged to make this change when User Access Control came up as a concern in our latest Cybersecurity Risk Assessment with our virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO), GreyCastle Security. Going forward, whenever you want to install a program or update software on your Wheaton College-owned machine, you will receive a prompt asking for your NetID and password.  An example might be installing Adobe Acrobat Reader or Zotero.  Now, instead of just clicking a “yes” button, the prompt for your NetID and password will act as another security step.  By requiring your credentials, we’ll be able to confirm that you are acting as the Administrator on your own device. This will affect local administrator accounts on Windows computers.  This will not cause any changes to classroom computers.  Please note that this is not taking any privileges away from you as the “primary user” of the device.  You will still be able to install programs and update software.  This is simply making it more difficult for a hacker to gain access to your computer.  Lastly, we’re deploying Windows 10 20H2.  We regularly deploy Windows updates, so this is a common occurrence for us.  Your computer may ask you to restart, but that will likely be the only change you notice for this. If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).   ]]>
Fri, 16 Apr 2021 10:38:00 GMT
204511 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/alertus-desktop-application-upgrade/ <![CDATA[Alertus Desktop Application Upgrade]]>

Alertus Desktop Application Upgrade Effective Date: April 16, 2021 On Friday, Academic and Institutional Technology will be doing a behind-the-scenes upgrade to the Alertus Desktop application.  This is the system that sends emergency alerts such as weather alerts or active shooter drills.  If you are off campus you will need to make sure you are connected to campus through the VPN. Key Benefits and Features Keeping our emergency alert system up-to-date. Fixing some issues we have experienced lately. Impact on College Community You should not notice any change.  Do make sure you connect via VPN on Friday, though, if you are working from off-campus. If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).   ]]>
Wed, 14 Apr 2021 15:35:59 GMT
204159 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/annual-cybersecurity-training/ <![CDATA[Annual Cybersecurity Training]]>

Annual Cybersecurity Training Each year all faculty and staff are required to complete cybersecurity training.  This year the training will take place between March 22-April 9.  If you haven’t finished it yet, take some time today to do so. Thanks to some helpful feedback, we have turned off all the optional modules, so when you get into the training you will only see the eight required modules.  Once you finish the module called “Conclusion,” you are done!  It should take you between 30-45 minutes to complete.  Please reference the email you received on Monday, March 22nd from the AIT Service Desk for the information to access the training.  You can read all about it here and here. If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:38:00 GMT
204158 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/setting-up-automatic-replies/ <![CDATA[Setting Up Automatic Replies]]>

Will you be out of the office for a day or two?  Set up an Automatic Reply! One great way to help your colleagues is by turning on your automatic replies when you’re going to be out of the office for a day or more.  It doesn’t take long to set up an automatic reply, and it is a great courtesy to anyone trying to reach you. Check out this Wheaton Answers article for links to short LinkedIn Learning videos teaching you how to set up automatic replies. Pro tip: The automatic replies default to be in 8-point font (which is VERY SMALL.)  It would be helpful to take a moment to change that to size 11 or 12.  Another handy feature of the automatic replies in Outlook is that they’re automatically connected to Microsoft Teams.  That means that if someone looks you up in Microsoft Teams to see if you’re available, they will be shown the notification that you are out of office.  If you have questions about any of these technologies we provide, please contact the AIT Service Desk at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:37:00 GMT
204157 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/videoconferencing-on-microsoft-teams/ <![CDATA[Videoconferencing on Microsoft Teams!]]>

Videoconferencing on Microsoft Teams! We are so thankful for the option we have to use Microsoft Teams as our enterprise solution for video conferencing!  Teams has come a long way in the last few years, and we are pleased with the service it provides. Now is the time to switch over to using Microsoft Teams for all of your video conferencing needs.  We, as an institution, will be discontinuing the use of Zoom going forward.  One of the reasons for this change is that some devices struggle when trying to support two competing kinds of software.  Some people on our campus have experienced issues where it is challenging to switch from one software to the other (suddenly the audio isn’t in their headphones anymore, or the camera isn’t recognized—little glitches like that).  Our hope is that using Microsoft Teams exclusively will help to mitigate those issues. In addition, we will be able to recoup some savings by making this change.  This is all part of our larger Microsoft Investment Optimization work.  You can read more about that here. If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:36:00 GMT
204156 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/were-looking-for-your-feedback/ <![CDATA[We’re Looking for Your Feedback!]]>

We’re Looking for Your Feedback! We have a lot of technology changes heading our way!  We know that technology changes can be a challenge and we want to be sure to hear from you regarding your questions and concerns about our new technology or about the technology we’re sunsetting.  You can read more about the changes coming here.  Keep an eye out for an email requesting your feedback in a short survey.  In addition, you can always contact the AIT Service Desk (630-752-4357) so we can track the feedback we receive and consider your concerns in our decision making. Here is the link to the survey.  It will be accepting responses until the end of the day on Friday, April 23. If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:35:00 GMT
204155 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/introducing-miot/ <![CDATA[Introducing MIOT]]>

Introducing MIOT To simplify our technology ecosystem and maximize the value of software products we are already paying for, we need to retire some of our existing systems and make full use of other features in the Microsoft O365 suite of products. We have put together the Microsoft 365 Investment Optimization Team (MIOT) to help us identify and respond to major issues and concerns, so that we can have a successful transition. Specifically, we will be:  Moving from our Cisco Voice-over-IP telephone system to the Microsoft Teams communication platform by June 2021. Many of us have experienced how effective these software-enabled communication services can be. As part of this transition, we will also review where we need to keep on-desk telephones. Replacing Proofpoint and Malwarebytes with Microsoft Defender by the end of this fiscal year. Your email and computers will continue to be protected, just with different software. Expanding the use of the Microsoft Teams video conferencing platform to replace paid Zoom licenses on campus. Gartner has determined that Microsoft Teams is rapidly catching up and, in some cases, surpassing Zoom functionality. This transition will be completed by the end of June 2021.  Moving the my.wheaton.edu student account domain from Google to Microsoft O365 (the same environment faculty and staff use). This transition date has yet to be determined.  Retiring Box in favor of Microsoft OneDrive by June 2022. We will work with MIOT to develop a data transfer plan as the date approaches, so please continue to use Box as you normally would until announced otherwise. Over the next few months MIOT will:   Work to learn the major features and functionality of each tool. Compare those features and functions to our current solution. Identify ways to transition to the new solution.  Recognize, document, and communicate areas where services will be different or unavailable.  Serve as subject matter experts within their realm of influence throughout the transition process.  Advise AIT on how to effectively facilitate this transition. The members of MIOT will test the new technology, watch training videos, research other colleges’ best practices, review communication and training materials, and communicate important information within their realms of influence as it becomes available.  Below is the list of MIOT members.  Feel free to reach out to any of them with questions, concerns, or ideas. In addition, you can always contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP). ]]>
Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:33:00 GMT
204154 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/hello-soft-phones/ <![CDATA[Hello, Soft Phones! ]]>

Hello, Soft Phones! In our last Technology Review we included advice for how to clean your desk phone during COVID-19.  Now we have more information about desk phones: as we’re moving to use Microsoft Teams for our phone and video conferencing needs, we will be transitioning to using soft phones (aka using your computer as a phone) and retiring many of the desk phones on campus.  This transition will be happening at the end of this fiscal year, June 30, 2021. Not only will it be more convenient to have all of your video conferencing and phone tools in one place (particularly for those of you working remotely), but this will also save our institution a significant amount of money—no small thing in these challenging financial times! You may have some questions about that process, and though we don’t know all the answers yet, here are few tidbits. Q: Will I lose my current phone number/phone extension? A: No!  You will retain your current phone number/phone extension and people from within our campus or from outside will be able to still dial that number and reach you. Q: What if I use my desk phone to manage multiple phone lines and utilize advanced features and therefore can’t afford to lose it? A: Work with your manager to make sure that he/she knows that, and AIT can work with you to keep your phone. Q: If I don’t have a desk phone, how will I call someone who doesn’t do video conferencing? A: Although this feature is not enabled yet, soon you will be able to use Microsoft Teams as a phone.  It will be available in the “Calls” tab. We’ll have more information to share as the project moves along.  As always, if you have any questions you can contact us by email at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:32:00 GMT
204153 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/hdi-course-meets-quality-matter-standards/ <![CDATA[HDI Course Meets Quality Matter Standards]]>

HDI Course Meets Quality Matter Standards On March 14, 2021, HDI 624: Refugee & Forced Migration Issues earned the Quality Matters (QM) Certification Mark following a rigorous review process. The QM Certification Mark is the internationally recognized symbol of online and blended course design quality and represents Wheaton College’s ongoing commitment to creating learning environments that provide students with a clear pathway to success. The certification is the result of Wheaton’s dedication to continuous improvement, including innovative work done by those involved. The course is now listed on the QM directory of certified courses. Shari Lendy, Instructional Developer for Academic and Scholarly Technology, said, “Not only did we pass (the certification), but with the help of Kent Annan and the HDI group, we scored a 100!”  Chief Information and Campus Services Officer, Wendy Woodward, shared, “This is fantastic! To have a Wheaton developed online course be certified by Quality Matters course shows that it can be done. It’s exciting to have HDI lead by developing their course in accordance with these best practices.”  Provost Karen Lee agreed and added, “This is an excellent indicator of quality for our online academic curriculum.”  Kent Annan, Director of Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership said he was “very grateful to partner with Steve (Park) and Shari (Lendy) on this,” and added thanks to Shari for all her hard, insightful work leading and guiding the review process.  He went on to say it was “helpful for us to improve this course that we had created, and also to learn for making our other HDL courses better – in ways that can also hopefully contribute college wide.” Congratulations to HDI for this great achievement! If you are interested in having a course reviewed by Quality Matters, please reach out to the AIT Service Desk to get the process started. The QM Official Review provided independent validation of the quality, learner-focused course design found in HDI 624: Refugee & Forced Migration Issues. Reviews are conducted by QM-Certified Reviewers and use the Quality Matters Rubric and associated Standards, which are based on research and best practices. A course earns the QM Certification Mark once it meets QM Rubric Standards at the 85% threshold or better and meets all Essential Standards.  About Quality Matters Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process. If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:30:00 GMT
204152 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/are-you-being-cybersecure/ <![CDATA[Are you Being Cybersecure?]]>

Are you Being Cybersecure? Right now all Wheaton College faculty and staff are doing their annual cybersecurity training.  Although we don’t currently have a requirement for student cybersecurity training, now is a great time to think through some of the main things you should know to be cybersecure. Ask yourself some of these questions: Do you recognize phishing scams when you see them? Could you describe a phishing email to someone else? Do you use different passwords for all of your social media sites? Do you make sure not to use any of the most frequently used passwords in America (e.g. “password” or “123456”)? Are you careful to never share your passwords with other people? If you can answer “Yes!” to all five questions you are off to a good start!  You can learn more about cybersecurity at Wheaton College here.  If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:29:00 GMT
204151 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/take-advantage-of-linkedin-learning/ <![CDATA[Take Advantage of LinkedIn Learning!]]>

Take Advantage of LinkedIn Learning! Don’t forget that as a Wheaton College student you have unlimited access to a wide variety of presentations in LinkedIn Learning.  You may want to take a look at the course Writing in Plain English and see if any of the modules look like they might be helpful.  Or this course in Information Literacy might spark some ideas to help you with your next research paper. (You'll need to login with your Wheaton College email address and password.  If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:28:00 GMT
204150 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/april-2021/using-thundercloud-printing-across-campus/ <![CDATA[Did you know you can print in various offices across campus?]]>

Did you know you can print in various offices across campus? Did you know that there are ThunderCloud printers all over campus?  If you don’t have time to pick up a print job from your dorm printer, check this list to see if there is one in the academic building where your class is—perhaps you could stop by there to print what you need for class. During COVID-19 you’re probably not printing as much as you used to, but it may be handy to know this even for future reference.  Here are some tips for printing and instructions for how to use ThunderCloud printing.  If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).  ]]>
Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:27:00 GMT
202389 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/march-2021/annual-cybersecurity-training-begins-on-march-22/ <![CDATA[Annual Cybersecurity Training Begins on March 22]]>

Annual Cybersecurity Training Begins on March 22 Effective Date: March 22, 2021 Wheaton College's annual cybersecurity training will be assigned to all employees on Monday, March 22, 2021.   Employees will have three weeks to do the training, and it should take 30-45 minutes to complete.  We’ll be using SANS Security Awareness training, hosted by Litmos.  Be on the lookout for an email from the AIT Service Desk on March 22 with the subject line: Wheaton College Cybersecurity Training Information. This year it should be easier than ever to sign in for the training, thanks to the Online Passport with Duo Two Factor Authentication!  We will set everything up so that you can use your Wheaton College NetID and Password to access the system, which should make it that much simpler.  Special note: Always use the link from the email you received on March 22 in order to access the training.  Do NOT bookmark the page, as bookmarking will not work.  You can also get back to the training by using the link from this page. Here is what the interface will look like, below.    Employees will have 8 modules to complete.  Reminders will be sent to employees during the training period and managers will be cc'd on reminders when training is overdue. Your completion of the training will help ensure the security of our college data, your personal data, and the personal data of the students we care for. Key Benefits and Features Training our employees is one of the best ways we can protect college data! There is a new updated user interface to use. After completing the training, employees will be more prepared than ever to recognize and avoid phishing scams and other nefarious online activities. Impact on College Community Every employee must take time between March 22 and April 9 to complete this training.  The modules can be completed at any time during the three weeks, even in small segments.  Each one is only a few minutes long and most of them are followed by short quizzes. You will be able to choose your preferred language (out of thirty options).  Special note: I chose “English – UK” in hopes the host would have a fun British accent, but alas, they still had an American accent. When you finish a module, you will be prompted to begin the next one.  As you progress the “counter” will show you the percentage of how much you have accomplished.    In addition to required modules, there are over a dozen optional ones.  We would encourage you to look through the optional modules and watch any that are of particular interest to you.  It should be clear to see which modules are optional.  The modules circled in red below are required, and the ones with the word “optional” circled in blue are, indeed, optional.  If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).   ]]>
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 08:47:00 GMT
199665 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/january-2021/student-remote-learning-toolkit/ <![CDATA[Don’t forget about the Student Remote Learning Toolkit!]]>

Don’t forget about the Student Remote Learning Toolkit! Don’t forget—answers.wheaton.edu is a great place to go to find quick answers for technology questions you may have.  We have a special series for students about software tools that are available to you. Take a moment to look through the toolkit today! Any time you are looking for technology help, feel free to reach out to us!  Our number is 630.752.4357 (HELP) or you can email us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu.  We are always eager to assist you in any way we can. ]]>
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 15:23:00 GMT
199664 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2021/january-2021/dont-forget-about-the-faculty-toolkit-on-answers/ <![CDATA[Don’t forget about the Faculty Toolkit on Answers!]]>

Don’t forget about the Faculty Toolkit on Answers! Don’t forget—answers.wheaton.edu is a great place to go to find quick answers for technology questions you may have.  We have a special series for faculty about academic software tools that are available to you. Take a moment to look through the toolkit today! If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 15:21:00 GMT
198371 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2020/december-2020/how-can-i-clean-my-tech--students/ <![CDATA[How can I clean my tech?]]>

How can I clean my tech? Are you being extra vigilant about cleaning during this COVID-19 epidemic?  Good for you!  You may have considered the need to clean the technology around you, which is a great idea, but you need to be mindful of a few things. Do not spray anything on to your technology (any dripping liquid will cause damage to technology). You could use a spray if you spray it on to a paper towel. You can find plenty of information online with advice about how to clean technology.  Here’s a great article from Good Housekeeping on how to clean your screen.  This article is specific to cleaning PC screens.  Here’s one about sanitizing your mobile phone.  All the articles agree, though, that you must not spray liquid on to your electronic device.  If you have any questions about how to safely clean your technology, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 10:47:00 GMT
198369 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2020/december-2020/how-can-i-clean-my-tech/ <![CDATA[How can I clean my tech?]]>

How can I clean my tech? Are you being extra vigilant about cleaning during this COVID-19 epidemic?  Good for you!  You may have considered the need to clean the technology around you, including items like your office phone.  Cleaning your office phone is a great idea, but you need to be mindful of a few things. Do not spray anything on to your office phone (any dripping liquid will cause damage to technology). You could use a spray, like Oxivir, which the College is providing, if you spray it on to a paper towel. Professors will already be familiar with this, since they’ve been carefully cleaning technology each time they walk into a classroom.  But if you want a refresher, you’ll find that the first 39 seconds of this video talk about wiping down equipment on the Smart Desk.  Back when we filmed this, we had disinfecting wipes—most classrooms now have paper towels and spray bottles.  Also, we had not yet covered the keyboard or posted the sign on the Smart Desk, but the principle is the same. You can find plenty of information online with advice about how to clean technology.  Here’s a great article from Good Housekeeping on how to clean your screen.  This article is specific to cleaning PC screens.  Here’s one about sanitizing your mobile phone.  Here is information about cleaning your office phone.  All the articles agree, though, that you must not spray liquid on to your electronic device.  If you have any questions about how to safely clean your technology, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 10:45:00 GMT
198368 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2020/december-2020/what-should-you-try-first/ <![CDATA[What Should You Try First? ]]>

What Should You Try First? Are you ever sitting at your desk at work when you start to notice that your computer is “acting funny”?  Maybe your email isn’t loading right.  Or Box is giving you strange messages.  Or you suddenly can’t access the emojis on Microsoft Teams (and you really need those to convey your feelings in your chats!)  You can always pick up your phone and call the AIT Service Desk and they’ll be happy to help you.  But another thing to try first is to reboot your computer.  There’s no guarantee that this will solve your problem, but it’s a great way to troubleshoot first before contacting the AIT Service Desk.  Sometimes your computer just needs to reboot.  It’s great to get into the habit of regularly rebooting your computer anyway, but when you’re experiencing technology trouble, that’s another good time to give it a try. And if you still need technology help, we’d love for you to contact us by email at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 10:43:00 GMT
198367 http://www.wheaton.edu/academics/services/academic-and-institutional-technology/about-us/new-and-changing/archive/2020/december-2020/behind-the-scenes-of-a-banner-upgrade/ <![CDATA[Behind the Scenes—what happens during a Banner upgrade?]]>

Behind the Scenes—what happens during a Banner upgrade? You may remember that in early October we sent out a notice that Banner was going to be down for an entire weekend—including all day Friday.  We rarely do that, since Banner is used daily by many people and it can be tricky for some folks to get their jobs done without access to Banner.  But that weekend we had important and complicated upgrades to do.  Perhaps you wondered what was going on that weekend.  Here are some questions and answers. Q: How long does a big upgrade like this take? A: It should take about three months, and we did the whole thing in four weeks.  Obviously, Banner wasn’t down that entire time—much of that time was spent in testing. Q: When you do an upgrade over a weekend, that means that you are sometimes working around the clock.  What is it like to be working at 2 or 3 in the morning? A: It helps to put on peppy music to help yourself stay awake.  One good benefit is there are fewer disruptions at that hour—not many emails coming in! Q: What is your favorite thing about doing these upgrades? A: When the upgrade is done! Q: What is fun about doing these upgrades? A: It is fun to interact with colleagues and there’s some bonding that takes place in these high-pressure situations. Q: What is scary about doing these upgrades? A: There’s always the fear that the upgrade won’t work—that we didn’t do enough testing and the fallout can be bad.  Sometimes we end up patching a previous patch.  It’s a lot of work!  Q: Why do we do these upgrades?  What would happen if we didn’t? A: For this particular upgrade, there was a federal regulation with implications for Student Financial Services. It was necessary to do this upgrade so we would be in compliance.  Granted, if we don’t do the upgrades, that means we couldn’t use the software to “package” the Financial Aid for students, but in theory we could do it manually.  The software makes the process dramatically easier, though!  This upgrade was pretty intense.  Oracle hadn’t just upgraded—they had rewritten the internal structure for their databases.  A normal upgrade could have been seamless, but that was not the case here.  That’s why it had such an effect on other applications—the upgrade required us to rewrite how those applications connected to Oracle. In addition, not a lot of other schools have gone to this new architecture—we are on the bleeding edge of this! Wheaton College gives our thanks to the entire Enterprise Applications team for your hard work and the way you take care of so many seldom-seen systems for us! If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).]]>
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 10:42:00 GMT