Conference Track - University of Saskatchewan

Conference Track

Governance and Leadership

What's Out There? Building a Central IT Repository

Monday June 11, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 146, Arts Building

D. Douglas Badger
University of Guelph

Universities typically have substantial distributed and decentralized IT, making it a challenge for senior management to know "what's out there?” This presentation will appeal to managers and senior technicians from institutions which have a distributed/decentralized IT environment, are involved in contingency planning (BCP/DRP), developing Cloud strategies, or just struggling to determine who is accountable for IT assets and services.

Since the infamous 'Y2K' contingency planning effort, a basic spreadsheet listing major IT systems and services has been maintained by Guelph's Office of the CIO. In recent years, the importance of the information has been recognized by those charged with risk management and contingency planning. The Office of the CIO's Systems Assurance unit was charged with transforming the spreadsheet into a central on-line repository of IT information including IT Assets (applications and services) and IT Resources (people/service providers). A web-based application and database has been developed that is currently in 'beta' release, targeted for initial production release later this year.

The primary purpose of the central IT Repository is to facilitate risk management. Based upon data attributes of each asset, overall risk will be determined. Key risk metrics (e.g. performs e-business) will be identified, communicated, and prioritized in a straight-forward, consistent manner to senior management and relevant stakeholders.

Learning outcomes for participants:

  1. Recognize the value of a central IT Repository of IT Assets (including applications and infrastructure services) and IT 'People'.
  2. Understand the basic requirements for IT Risk Management.
  3. Learn how the University of Guelph's approach combines application, services and 'people' information to enable contingency planning and incident response.
  4. Take away ideas for valuable metrics that could be applicable to their institutions (e.g. number of third-party service providers).
  5. Consider the visibility and sustainability challenges of institutional IT information.

The evolution and implementation of IT governance

Monday June 11, 2012, 11:10 – Noon
Room 146, Arts Building

Graham Mowbray, Director of Computing and Communications, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Terry Nikkel, Associate Vice President, Information Technology Services, University of New Brunswick

Governance of the information technology environment in universities has long been a challenge. At Memorial University (MUN), problems arising from a fragmented IT environment became apparent to the university’s senior executive and the search for an effective IT governance structure began. In the context of significant change at the President and Vice-President levels and ultimately a major cultural shift, several options were attempted with varying degrees of success. The first part of this presentation will discuss the various options examined and implemented and will present the current MUN IT governance structure, which is based on a series of service delivery and governance principles within a formal decision framework. The new structure is currently in implementation phase and, as such, the conversion from theory to practice is still underway.

In addition, ITS has created a role with responsibility for overseeing adoption of the COBIT model of governance and control to improve operations using proven, industry standard processes. The role requires highly developed social, analytical, and political skills to ensure widest possible stakeholder buy-in and cooperation.

Participants will learn about the challenges of not only setting up an IT governance structure, but also how to increase chances of success at the operational level by implementing governance through appropriate process change and control.

Information & Technology Management (ITM) Control Framework: Post-secondary Collaboration to Strengthen Governance

Monday June 11, 2012, 1:15 – 2:05 PM
Room 263, Arts Building

Clark Ferguson, CIO, University of Lethbridge

Alberta Post-secondary Institutions have joined to develop a consistent set of controls and supporting materials. Business and IT leaders are collaborating to share best practices and develop a comprehensive knowledge base to aid rapid adoption in each participating institution. The project has now completed two years of collaborative work. This presentation will provide an overview of the project, share the approach which has been taken for collaboration, review a number project deliverables, and share implementation ideas.

The Alberta Post-secondary System ITM Control Framework program is a voluntary and collaborative initiative funded by Alberta’s post-secondary institutions and administered by the Alberta Association in Higher Education for Information Technical (AAHEIT). The program is developing a comprehensive menu of controls that allows Institutions to choose and adapt those elements that work best for them and meets the expectations of the provincial Auditor General for effective delivery of ITM.

The business objective of the Program is to:

  • Increase the maturity level of all participating Institutions to a COBIT Maturity Level 3 by June 2014 in the areas where the controls have been implemented within the Institution.
  • Realize value by each participating Institution as well as value through each project.
  • Improve audit results and decrease audit time.
  • Increase overall efficiency of audits performed by the Auditor General.
  • Increase reliability on controls amongst Institutions for collaborative initiatives and information sharing.

A four-year ITM Control Framework program was struck with participation of AE&T and the institutions and several projects are being undertaken each year. Each project involves the creation of model policies, standards, procedures, guidelines, etc. that address the needs of Alberta post-secondary institutions within a particular subject area. These documents are broadly referred to as controls, a financial term that can be understood to mean safeguards to ensure the effective and appropriate use of institutional resources. The intent is that these documents can then be adapted for use within each institution, taking considerably less effort than if each school were to develop them individually. Most institutions are participating in these projects to develop the model controls.

Developing An IT Plan – It’s As Easy as Answering Five (Or Fewer) Questions

Monday June 11, 2012, 3:30 - 4:20 PM
Room 146, Arts Building

Ed Pokraka, University of Saskatchewan

Planning has become, or is becoming, an important university activity. Universities must plan to address the many challenges facing them as well as to take advantage of opportunities. As a result, colleges (faculties) and support units (such as central IT organizations) must also develop plans to align their services and their activities with the university’s plan. The development of these plans often seems complex and time consuming but does not need to be so.

This session will outline the processes Information Technology Services (ITS - the central IT unit at the University of Saskatchewan) used to developing a strategic (unit) plan as well as those used to develop service plans. These processes are as easy as answering five or fewer right questions. Additionally, examples of our planning process outcomes (the plans themselves) will be provided along with our reflection on what worked well and what could be improved.

This presentation will draw from our experiences in developing these and other plans – already developed or in development (e.g., a self-study assessment, definition of core IT services and development of a campus IT plan) and help others who are in the process of developing their own IT plans.

Leadership and Organizational Transformation for ICT at Wilfrid Laurier University / Building and supporting a campus web community

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 11:10 – Noon
Room 146, Arts Building / Room 263, Arts Building

Leadership and Organizational Transformation for ICT at Wilfrid Laurier University

Tom Buckley, Wilfrid Laurier University

In early 2009 Wilfrid Laurier undertook a strategic review of Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Operations at the university. Laurier had grown from a single campus primarily undergraduate university to a multi-campus comprehensive academy. The structure function and operations for ICT had not evolved with the university and many elements of ICT operations were strained and or failing.

In early 2009 Wilfrid Laurier undertook a strategic review of Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Operations at the university. Laurier had grown from a single campus primarily undergraduate university to a multi-campus comprehensive academy. The structure function and operations for ICT had not evolved with the university and many elements of ICT operations were strained and or failing.

The presentation will provide participants with an overview of a successful transition from a legacy operating model to one more aligned with the current operating reality for the university and the mandate of the central ICT group. The leadership faced a series of challenges have largely overcome these potential obstacles:

  • Inter-campus tension and different operating models on each campus.
  • ICT staff on one campus are unionized and the other are not.
  • High number of decentralized ICT staff and operations.
  • Legacy management and governance structure.
  • Disproportionate numbers of staff doing user support versus infrastructure and solutions support.

 

Learning Outcomes - Participants will:

  • gain exposure to organizational design process and models for a multi-campus operating unit.
  • secure understanding of a particular transition management framework used to assist managers and staff make the transition and support one another.
  • hear and discuss strategies for handling challenging HR issues such as movement of bargaining unit members and transition for long serving managers.

Building and supporting a campus web community

Mary Kathryn Roberts, Carleton University
Andrew Riddles, Carleton University

In this presentation, participants will learn about how Carleton University fosters a web community among its content management system clients. This has proven to be an advantageous collaboration for the Web Services Department and their customers.

We will examine training, support, online documentation, quarterly presentations and cultural shifts as tools for building this community, cutting costs and making everyone’s lives easier.

The Creation of a Development and Performance Management System for ITS staff

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 1:15 – 2:05 PM
Room 146, Arts Building

Janice G. El-Bayoumi, University of New Brunswick

Effective staff development and performance management are cornerstones of both employee and departmental success. In the absence of a University system or model, ITS embarked on an initiative to create their own development and performance management system. The ITS system was developed for and by ITS employees and takes into consideration the needs of staff and supervisors while supporting ITS vision and UNB Human Resource policy. The goals of the ITS system are:

  • To ensure staff have the skills, knowledge and availability needed to perform their current jobs efficiently and effectively and to meet future requirements
  • To help staff understand how they contribute to the success of the department
  • To be seen by employees as a valid, reliable tool that is essential to the effective and efficient performance of the department.

At the end of the session participants will have enough information to launch their own initiative. The development approach, and its practical application will be discussed, valuable resources will be identified and lessons learned will be presented. If requested a package containing system documentation will be made available.

Portfolio Management - Learn by doing

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 3:30 - 4:20 PM
Room 146, Arts Building

Lori Murray-Hawkins, University of New Brunswick

Success in implementing portfolio management can be found in changing both the organization and processes not necessarily in purchasing the right piece of software. Do you have the same people working on projects and maintenance activities? Do you need a method to realistically assess your capacity to take on new projects? Do you know what work is already being done? Do you have an organizational structure that facilitates change? This presentation will describe the practical steps taken in incorporating portfolio management into the everyday culture of the ITS unit at UNB, while continuing to move technology forward.

Evaluating IT Service Quality using SERVQ

Wednesday June 13, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM

Janice G. El-Bayoumi, University of New Brunswick

What is the quality of our services?

Increasingly higher education institutions are finding that delivering service quality is a university differentiator and a prerequisite for success. Understanding and measuring service quality can pose a significant challenge because service as a concept has few physical attributes to measure, and the perception and meaning of quality varies from person to person. Yet service quality information is important in IT planning enabling universities to target and prioritize areas for improvement and discontinuation. Information Technology Services (ITS) at the University of New Brunswick adopted the SERVQUAL approach to assess our IT service quality. This approach, based on the customer’s perspective, assesses five dimensions of quality: assurance, reliability, responsiveness, empathy and the tangible aspects.

This case study will provide an overview of the SERVQUAL methodology and ITS’s implementation. Through survey design and question development the methodology was adapted to minimize survey length, produce actionable results and enable iterative improvement. Session attendees will have the opportunity to see the approach in action when they assess the quality of this presentation using the SERVQUAL methodology. At the end of the session attendees will have the information they need to develop their own service quality survey.

Teaching and Learning

LMSs, a whole lot of shakin' goin' on

Monday June 11, 2012, 11:10 – Noon
Room 263, Arts Building

Phil O'Hara, Dalhousie University
Sharon Roy, McGill University
Andrew McAllister, OCAD University
Deanna Grogan, Western University

New LMS? Considering the cloud? Moving from commercial to open-source?

If your institution is undergoing a shakeup to your LMS environment you may have questions about how other schools are making decisions and implementing changes. Hear from four Canadian institutions on the approaches they have taken and the lessons learned so far. Please join the panelists as they share their experiences to date and open the floor to questions, feedback and input from the audience.

Benefits and Challenges of an Open Source Lecture Capture Solution

Monday June 11, 2012, 1:15 – 2:05 PM
arts

Adam McKenzie, University of Saskatchewan
Collene Hansen, University of Saskatchewan

We have experienced growing interest in lecture capture from many different departments at the University of Saskatchewan. Studies have shown that students and instructors benefit from having lecture capture available in their classes. However, lecture capture is a challenging endeavor for higher education institutions, requiring expert knowledge and investment capital. There are competing solutions for lecture capture that range from the fully open source approach to licensed commercial vendor products with fees charged on a per year basis. At the University of Saskatchewan we have been a contributing member to the Opencast Matterhorn open source project since its inception and have successfully deployed it as a solution for four terms. Join us for this talk where we will share our positive and negative experiences deploying lecture capture at our institution and our plans for the future of this service.

Viral Client Services: IT Support in a Distributed Environment / All for One and One for All!

Monday June 11, 2012, 2:15 – 3:05 PM
Room 263, Arts Building

Viral Client Services: IT Support in a Distributed Environment

Stephen Markan, University of Waterloo
Lisa Tomalty, University of Waterloo

IT support in a distributed environment can feel like controlled chaos. The University of Waterloo is a large, diverse organization of autonomous Faculties, Colleges and Schools with unified sets of principles and goals. Information Technology at Waterloo is delivered by a central IT group, and by distributed IT groups within various units. This autonomy of parts may result in an overlapping of services, and confusion about who does what.

This presentation will look at how Waterloo leverages the strengths of this model and meets the challenges of providing client support in this model. As technology and organizations evolve, having flexible, collaborative support systems in place ensures continued, quality support for our clients.

Examples of how Waterloo enhances communication and cooperation between these IT groups will be shared, including user support groups and request tracking, as well as the role of centralization and support/collaboration tools. Knowledge sharing, campus wide IT projects, and unified standards that have been developed, will also be discussed.

Participants will come away with ideas about how to move from controlled chaos to a cooperative IT support system that meets and exceeds clients’ needs.

All for One and One for All!

Karen Wash, York University

York University is comprised of a central IT unit - UIT, and eleven Faculty/Department computing support units. Three years ago, UIT embarked on the process of selecting and implementing a single service desk tool and process for all technical support groups to use. Join us to hear about our roller coaster ride as we evolved from a environment of support silos to a successful “all for one and one for all” approach! Participants will learn the benefits and challenges associated with implementation across groups with varying needs, and lessons learned - how we would do things differently.

Fostering ICT Innovation in an Innovative Way

Monday June 11, 2012, 3:30 - 4:20 PM
Room 263, Arts Building

Fostering ICT Innovation in an Innovative Way

Simone Knapp, University of Saskatchewan
Rachel Heidecker, University of Saskatchewan
Stephanie Frost, University of Saskatchewan

Innovation is critical to a successful university and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) innovation is a critical component. However, ICT innovation can be expensive and it can arise from anywhere. Fostering innovation, therefore, requires support that is accessible to IT units across campus.

In 2011, the U of S CIO established a fund to foster ICT innovation by supporting local projects in a coordinated way and by building productive partnerships. Members of the campus community were invited to submit requests for project funding in two areas—mobile services or e-learning.

Participants will learn how the fund was developed and the processes that were put in place to administer the program,. Two of the projects that received funding will be profiled:

  • Public Class Pages (Open CourseWare) allows instructors to share class documents with anyone, anywhere. We will demonstrate how our learning management system (LMS) and University course catalogue work together to provide this service.
  • • The Library Mobile Services project required a rethinking of the way that library services are delivered online. Based on lessons learned from past projects, the new Library mobile website features task-focused services such as interactive group study room booking and integrated vendor apps specifically designed for use on a mobile device.

We will conclude with observations on our successes and what we would do differently.

The User-Centered Design of York University's Mobile Web Presence

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 8:30 - 9:20 AM
Room 263, Arts Building

Peter Rowley, Director of Applications and Integration, UIT, York University

In 2011, computing groups at York University integrated and enhanced their mobile web sites to meet the needs of staff and students as revealed by a survey of user needs and devices. This presentation will provide detail on the survey results and how we built our mobile web while considering eleven aspects of coordination needed for mobile web development; devices, implementation technologies, content management, appearance, navigation, search, authentication, personalization, distribution, analytics, and accessibility. The presentation will also discuss the traffic experienced over the last year and the lessons learned, including our answer to the popular mobile development question: HTML5 web site or native apps?

Interactive Video - From Passive to Active

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 11:10 – Noon
Room 263, Arts Building

Kelvin Boechler, University of Saskatchewan
Cyril Coupal, University of Saskatchewan

Many areas of teaching and learning, and especially in the sciences, have video resources used in the classroom and online. For the most part video is a passive experience for the learner. This presentation follows a project that started as a research support request to incorporate a tool from Drexel University to present the researcher's professionally produced medical simulation videos.

In collaboration with the researcher it was decided that an online tool to create and view a more interactive experience was required. We will present and demonstrate the resulting tool that allows video to be augmented with interactive components such as comments, quiz questions, and links to additional resources; all without editing or altering the original video. Come discuss the various aspects of engaging learners, leveraging video assets, collaborating early in research, and empowering subject matter experts, which characterize this project.

Education Intake Survey Project: From Idea to Fruition

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 1:15 – 2:05 PM
Room 263, Arts Building

Dr. Cyril M. Coupal, University of Saskatchewan
Graham Walker,  University of Saskatchewan
Sheila ffolliott, University of Saskatchewan

The College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan recently added an online assessment process for the evaluation of new students applying for admission. Process requirements were established and then mapped to existing technology services such as QuestionMark Perception. A custom application was developed to fill the requirements not met by existing technology and to help integrate the technologies. The process was used in a pilot form during the 2010-2011 student intake.

Learning from that intake, and applying SharePoint technology, led to a modified process and application that was deployed for the 2011-2012 intake in early March. This presentation will trace the history of the project and how changing concepts, requirements, processes and available technologies, influenced and drove the development. A collaborative group of individuals succeeded in putting together many different pieces of technology in such a way that both intakes proved successful. A much-improved process resulted, and will become a standard protocol for new student applications to the college. We will discuss how the process has streamlined the work and administration of evaluating over 400 student applications per year.

Canvas LMS at OCAD U

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 2:15 – 3:05 PM
Room 263, Arts Building

Andrew McAllister, OCAD University
Mary Wilson, OCAD University

Learn about OCAD University's innovative adoption of Canvas, the simple, open-source LMS from Instructure. Through user testing we learned that social features, excellent user-experience and usability all make Canvas the choice to beat in the open-source arena. In this presentation we'll do a deep dive on the features, course pilots and design, and technical aspects of running your own Canvas install. Presented with Mary Wilson, the Director of the Centre for Innovation in Art and Design Education.

Using Microsoft's VDI to Provide Access to Applications on Student Devices / Enabling Virtual Computer Labs (VCL): Implementation Lessons and Future Steps

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 3:30 - 4:20 PM
Room 263, Arts Building

Using Microsoft's VDI to Provide Access to Applications on Student Devices

Trevor Zintel, University of Saskatchewan

Currently, we use computer labs to provide students with access to applications used by our Faculty in their curriculum. The operation and renewal of these facilities continues to be the single largest yearly IT expenditure in our College.

Using current remote access technologies, we hope to deliver this software directly to student owned devices. Doing so effectively will make the software more accessible to students, while at the same time, allow for a dramatic reduction in the number of computer lab seats we need to maintain.

Leveraging Microsoft's RemoteApp, RemoteFX and VDI technologies we arrived at a remote application design that provides;

  1. Students with a straight-forward single desktop
  2. support for graphic based applications
  3. application isolation allowing trivial app deployments
  4. web link publication, allowing Faculty to publish applications from their existing class sites.

We are currently in the middle of a pilot implementation of these technologies. In this presentation we will review our goals, vendor selection, as share our findings to date.

Enabling Virtual Computer Labs (VCL): Implementation Lessons and Future Steps

Donna Gorday, University of Alberta
Everett Toews, Cybera Inc.

The Classroom as a Service (CaaS) Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) Pilot, run by Cybera Inc. in collaboration with the University of Alberta, demonstrates an opportunity for educational institutions to significantly reduce their long-term infrastructure costs by leveraging new technologies and centralized resources. Physical computer labs have long been a part of university campuses, but require continued hardware and software upgrades.

Rather than continue to grow and expand these services, the CaaS VCL Pilot has implemented a dedicated, remote access, and centralized infrastructure approach for continued and improved computing resources. Virtualization enables institutions to expand their services while simultaneously improving licensing efficiencies, reducing infrastructure redundancies, and thereby minimizing costs. As a result, many institutions are moving towards reducing the number of maintained physical computer labs. For students, CaaS translates into improved access to resources at any time of day and from virtually any device, without the requirement of locally installing specialized software.

The successful implementation of the CaaS VCL Pilot project at the University of Alberta has resulted in a number of benefits and lessons learned for educational stakeholders. A technical overview will be presented, as well as specific implementation notes for the CaaS VCL Pilot conducted at the University of Alberta.

Instructional Landscaping Revisited: Lessons Learned at the University of Alberta

Wednesday June 13, 2012, 8:30 - 9:20 AM
Room 263, Arts Building

Scott Delinger, University of Alberta

The University of Alberta has learned a number of lessons during the transition of our centrally supported learning management system (LMS) from Vista to Moodle. The adoption of Moodle after 13 years of Vista affords us opportunities to improve LMS oversight, practices, and support. Our project will be complete by the year's end, and our progress and successes have attracted attention and spun up affiliated projects. Academic units had different approaches to the change, and working with them to ensure a positive outcome for instructors and students in these different units has been a challenge to support. A discussion of our progress acting on our plan as well as the lessons we've learned will be offered.

E-Learning - the final frontier: How today's Science Fiction can inform long-term strategic IT planning

Wednesday June 13, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 263, Arts Building

Kevin Lowey - University of Saskatchewan

What is e-learning? Where is it heading? How do we predict what it will look like in a year, let alone a decade? How can we plan for technologies that haven't been invented yet?

These are questions that plague higher education IT planners. Constant technological change makes our jobs as IT professionals both exciting and challenging. Developing long term strategies that can take into account the unknown is essential for success.

One source of inspiration for this long-term planning is science fiction. SciFi writers are not hindered by current technological boundaries. They are free to imagine how things should be. This provides valuable insights into trends that can affect our long-term planning.

Join Kevin Lowey from the University of Saskatchewan in an exploration of how science fiction of the past has become the science fact of today, what today's science fiction says about e-learning in the future, and how IT professionals can use this for long-term strategic planning.

Administration

IT Service Consolidation at the University of Waterloo

Monday June 11, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 133, Arts Building

Bruce Campbell, University of Waterloo
Martin Timmerman, University of Waterloo

IT service delivery at the University of Waterloo is distributed across the campus, with both a central IST department and significant separate but collaborating IT departments within faculties and some major departments.

In late 2008 the Vice President, Academic and Provost convened an IT Task Force to collect information on current IT practices, and to make suggestions to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of IT services at UW. The task force delivered its report in June 2009 and made 18 recommendations. Key among the recommendations was the centralization and consolidation of 4 major services: Active Directory, Network Management, Web Content Management, and E-mail services.

In this presentation we will provide a summary of the 18 recommendations, with a focus on the 4 recommendations to centralize major services. You will learn the challenges and opportunities of centralizing services, the status of implementing the 18 recommendations, the conditions for successful service consolidation, and next steps.

Data Quality that's par for the Course

Monday June 11, 2012, 11:10 – Noon
Room 133, Arts Building

Mark Horseman from the University of Saskatchewan

This presentation will overview the discovery of Data Quality issues in enterprise systems (such as Banner and PeopleSoft) and detail those issues from discovery to resolution.

We will discuss automated Data Quality tests, types of data quality errors, measuring data quality to produce a data quality score (which we refer to as a Data Quality Golf Card), identifying stakeholders of data quality, and encouraging institutional support for resolving data quality issues.

This presentation will include a pair of case studies of this process as it is working at the University of Saskatchewan. The presentation will be able to answer questions and provide guidance on implementing a similar solution at any institution.

Curriculum Vitae Management System: Taming the CV Data Beast

Monday June 11, 2012, 11:10 – Noon
Room 241, Arts Building

Robert Dalgleish, University of Saskatchewan
Alan Deschner, University of Saskatchewan

In 2008 several colleges at the University of Saskatchewan were investigating or working on academic reporting applications. IT Services Division was approached by our Colleges of Medicine and Nursing to automate production of CVs in a way that more directly served the needs of faculty while also producing the reports needed by administrators. After examining available options, including commercial ones, we decided to build an application in-house. Development on CVMS began in earnest in the spring of 2010 with the first release delivered in the fall of 2011. Data collection and formatting was based on the university’s standard "Comprehensive CV," and used ideas and data models from commonCV.net and CASRAI. Using agile/iterative development methods and the JBoss Seam development platform, the project team created a high quality application that is well liked by our user community.

This presentation will discuss our development project and the challenges we faced with the technology, with agile methods, with CV standards, and especially with our understanding of the data being collected and processed. Aspects of the system will be shown and it will be available for live demonstration after the presentation. We will also present some lessons learned and our plans for the future.

The presentation is intended for IT leaders, managers, analysts and developers who are considering bringing automation of CVs into their institutions as well as administrators who want IT support for their business processes and reporting. Participants will learn the size and complexity of such a project, which are greater than they would seem at first look.

The Making of a Mobile Campus: Carleton’s University’s Development of Mobile Application

Monday June 11, 2012, 1:15 – 2:05 PM
Room 133, Arts Building

Andrew Riddles, Carleton University
Blair Nordstrom, CollegeMobile Inc

As the use of mobile devices on campuses increases, mobile strategies become more and more important. In collaboration with CollegeMobile Inc., Student Services, Registrar’s Office, and Admissions, Carleton University has developed a mobile app for current and prospective students and are leveraging their existing CMS to deliver a robust mobile web environment. This presentation will look at Carleton’s response to heightened mobile expectations and the factors that influenced decisions around delivering on the advantages of both mobile web and mobile applications.

Why Data Standards and how can PESC help?

Monday June 11, 2012, 1:15 – 2:05 PM
Room 241, Arts Building

Brian Patton, Ontario Universities' Application Centre
Kelly McMullen, Alberta Post-Secondary Application System

Creating more electronic partnerships is critical in developing PSE in Canada. Continually being pressured to do more with less, we need to provide expanded services such as transcript exchanges and data for statistical reporting effectively and efficiently. The presentation will share how four Canadian Application Centres will are putting into practice the use of North American Community developed Data Standards and how this has allowed them to be successful in improved data exchanges. Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) is becoming the best practice in this area. Attendees will find out how is this being incorporated into the development and modernization of the centres.

Learning outcomes:

  • How have PESC standards been put into practice have improved application and enrolment process in Canada
  • How has PESC standards helped enrolment planning using data to plan
  • Efficiency gained through applying the standards

Business Analysts in Higher Ed IT

Monday June 11, 2012, 2:15 – 3:05 PM
Room 133, Arts Building

Gayleen Gray, University of Guelph

Computing and Communications Services (CCS) at the University of Guelph created a Business Analyst practice as part of its strategic approach to an Integrated IT support model on campus. This presentation will provide our rationale, the effort we have undertaken to implement the practice, an overview of the partnerships we have embarked upon in the delivery of this service, and the opportunities and challenges we have experienced. This presentation will explain what a Business Analyst practice involves, the value to your organization and your partners on campus, and the ABCs of starting your own Business Analyst service. We will also present our future vision for Business Analyst processes as part of the daily functions within CCS.

What You See is What You Should See: Redesigning our online service delivery system within our portal to a user-centric model.

Monday June 11, 2012, 3:30 - 4:20 PM
Room 133, Arts Building

Ms. Isil Flynn University of New Brunswick

At UNB we are undertaking a massive redesign of our internal faculty/staff/students web services delivery website. Previously, we had written our own interface to connect to Datatel Colleague backend processes to ease access to information. This was a resounding success, but over time, as it became heavily used and more services were added, navigating through the three-tier system became unwieldy. Users were able to see items they shouldn’t, and clicking those links led to dead ends and user confusion. A project was launched to re-architect the site and integrate delivery of these services with our internal portal. Combining this with our new entitlements management system and the overarching User Experience (UX) principle of giving the user access only to the items they are entitled to we are creating a slimmed down, more easily navigated user-centric model of online service delivery. And we are keeping an eye to the future by making it easily portable to mobile devices.

This project is an exercise in learning to think outside the box - letting go of jargon and traditionally structured site mapping and moving towards mappings based on the role/s of the person logging in. We are using Agile Project Management techniques to manage this very large project which is expected to conclude in 2.5 years’ time. Our entitlements manager system is built on LDAP, AJAX, and has single sign-on capabilities using Shibboleth. Additionally, we allow users to personalize the menu system and hide those applications they do not want to see.

Attendees will learn about our usability techniques and user centric design that created an interface radically different from and much more usable than the one we are replacing. A brief overview of our use of Agile Project Management techniques is included.

CRM - A disruptive, pervasive and positive technology accelerated business transformation

Monday June 11, 2012, 3:30 - 4:20 PM
Room 241, Arts Building

Heidi Schreiner, Program Manager, Athabasca University
Shekar Kadaba, VP, Rethink55

A recent EduCause survey reported that 61% of North American post-secondary institutions are looking to replace or implement a Customer Relationship Management solution to support their service teams in recruitment, enrolment and student services.

The primary goal of student relationship management is the combination of institutional and student success. Effective student relationship management takes a full lifecycle view of the student, from prospective first contact through to alumni. Does the vendor and product marketplace agree with this view?

As Athabasca University is an exclusively distance and online education institution, we rarely have the opportunity to meet a student in person, to build a one-on-one relationship. It is therefore critical that our relationship management strategy and solution be rock-solid. After several years of “gathering requirements” and multiple attempts to find the “perfect CRM” solution, Athabasca University realized that it would be impossible to qualitatively measure the effectiveness of relationships between an institution and its constituent base through a CRM. We therefore took an iterative approach to our student services delivery to enhancing student relationship management processes.

Our presentation provides reasoning as to why your institution should keep Relationship Management and the student experience top of mind in the delivery of Student Services. Why might your next CRM project fail? What were our findings based on a review of the marketplace offerings in the CRM space? What are the key issues surrounding the management of student relationships? Why is the crawl-walk-run so more critical in optimizing the delivery of student services? Is CRM a technology or a combination of tools that support a strategy? What is the role of IT in a CRM implementation?

The ITSM Journey at Laurier: Challenges and Outcomes

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 8:30 - 9:20 AM
Room 133, Arts Building

Andrzej Gadomski, Wilfrid Laurier University

Over the last six years ITS staff at Wilfrid Laurier have been trying to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of services they provide. Around the same time, I was introduced to the IT Service Management (ITSM) framework, which is based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). I was motivated to receive training and international certifications, a path that was not easy and required a lot of preparation, study and commitment. However, initial attempts to introduce ITIL to Laurier’s service environment were not successful.

In February 2011 after my return from the ITSM international conference, we were at the "Tipping Point" of our ITSM journey. I received permission, support and commitment for my plan. From that point our ITSM journey starts and my presentation will describe our project, present our challenges and successes, and answer these questions:
How we were influenced to successfully build an effective ITSM team?
Where were we before the "Tipping Point"?
Where are we now?
Where do we want to be?
How do we want to get there?
How are we going to know that we achieved our goals?

Our departmental success motivated me to work on plans to introduce ITSM at the University as a part of the academic curriculum. I have conducted research to find which Universities include ITSM as a part of their academic curriculum. I will present the results of this research and my vision for the future employing ITSM.

goSFU - A case study on a Contact Centre approach to streamlining Service delivery

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 263, Arts Building

Dorothy Paukste, Simon Fraser University
Patrick Lougheed, Simon Fraser University
Shekar Kadaba, VP, Rethink55

As staffing shortages increase, so do the needs and channels for students to communicate with an institution. This has resulted in a compelling need to do more with less. Simon Fraser University required a seamless way to manage the multitude of channels (phone, email, web chat, social media etc.) through which students interact with the school, and furthermore to make use of analytics and operational intelligence for decision making on resourcing and skills-based routing in real time.

Additional constraints included the implementation of technology that was non-invasive, could be easily adapted within their student-run contact centre, and yet was robust, flexible and future-proof. This presentation will start with a brief case study and will share what worked and what might have been done differently to support SFU’s efforts to create an enhanced student experience through leveraging cloud technology.

The audience will be invited to participate in a discussion on best practices associated with contact centre technology, CRM platforms, cloud applications and workforce management. Through this presentation, SFU hopes to learn of approaches taken by peers to fulfill similar goals, and explore the potential for work with institutions across Canada in identifying baseline standards for performance management in the delivery of student services, and creating key measurable benchmarks for student experience.

Applying the Lean Six Sigma methodology to IT projects

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 133, Arts Building

Paul Mercier, University of Ottawa

In 2011, Computing and Communication Services (CCS) at the University of Ottawa began looking for a framework to accelerate and increase the efficiency of project prioritization, analysis and implementation. CCS was interested in applying this methodology on projects where the primary goal was reducing waste, cycle times, process variance, or increasing service quality.

After examining the success of the Lean Six Sigma methodology with companies such as XEROX and MOTOROLA, we decided to apply a Lean Six Sigma approach to our IT projects. After nearly a year, the results are impressive and conclusive. When applied to the right kind of projects, the Lean Six Sigma methodology has allowed us to focus on the issues that produce the largest impact to our clients’ objectives. Feedback has been positive, and other services at the University of Ottawa have expressed interest in adopting the methodology to improve their processes.

In this workshop-style session, we will introduce attendees to the Lean Six Sigma approach by presenting theoretical and practical implementations of the methodology based on our experiences. Although we are not Lean Six Sigma experts, we will show how one is able to successfully deliver key measurable outcomes that offer great value to clients. We will review two successful Lean Six Sigma projects and will highlight the key decisions that were made, explain why they were made and demonstrate the results of our decisions. We will then invite session attendees to work through a third case using the methodology.

Following this session, attendees will have a good understanding of how the Lean Six Sigma approach could benefit their operations. They will also have the basic terminology and knowledge required to further investigate the matter once back in their institutions.

Automating the Academic Calendar / Opening up academic planning information to promote reusability

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 11:10 – Noon
Room 133, Arts Building

Automating the Academic Calendar

Jeremy Rosenberg, Simon Fraser University

The information needed by students to assist their academic planning is all available in university systems and websites, but accessing it can be a frustrating experience. Students can never be sure whether they have accessed the real deal or an out-of-date copy, or whether they have missed something important. At SFU we are embarking on a multi-phase project to position all academic planning information for reusability in new and interesting ways while maintaining source integrity. The first step is to build RESTful web service interfaces to master sources, or where a master source doesn't currently exist, create new templates and forms to collect and store information in a central repository. The next step is to organize the information into disaggregated objects with their own unique URLs, for example, a single course description, a set of lower-level requirements, or required readings for a particular course. Components will be developed in the university's web content management system to allow departmental website authors close to their students to build contextually relevant pages and mobile views using these objects selectively or in whole. Potential benefits include greater availability of authoritative shared content, elimination of inconsistent and outdated copies in local websites, and modularization of information to facilitate mobile and tablet views.

Opening up academic planning information to promote reusability

Giles Malet, University of Waterloo

As student led demand for better access to the data used to generate pages in our webspace, such as schedules, exam time tables, news items, maps etc, led to the formation of an initiative to open up access to as much data as we can. The students said they could do better, and this lets them try!

As more institutions and organizations are developing open data policies, we felt there were advantages for our university to become more involved in the movement. The open data initiative is considered fundamental to our plans to improve our mobile presence, since we feel any data used for developing mobile applications etc. should similarly be made available to others - and we're hoping there will be further advantages down the road, although some of these are tricky to predict.

While we still have a long way to go, this talk will cover some of the challenges we faced, solutions we found, benefits, and how we hope to proceed. Attendees will learn of some of the advantages and disadvantages of this approach to data, which can help them evaluate whether this is something they should consider doing.

Additionally, since mobile is an important part of this project for us, we'll cover what we're doing to get our mobile effort under way, and how mobile and open data work together. Again, we're trying to keep students involved, so we'll talk about how we're doing that, and why this is a good thing.

Reducing Athabasca University's Carbon Footprint

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 11:10 – Noon
Room 241, Arts Building

Brian Stewart, Athabasca University

The presentation discusses a plan that has been developed to move Athabasca University (AU) forward in its objective of reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Specifically the plan will reduce Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related carbon emissions by a minimum of 30 percent within 3 years. By achieving its goals, it will also move AU closer to compliance with the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Commitment to Climate Change (ACUPCC). An update of how far the university has progressed with the implementation of the plan with lessons to provide insight into successful practices will also be included.

Web content management: a centralized service in a decentralized environment

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 1:15 – 2:05 PM
Room 133, Arts Building

Kyla Hoffman, University of Saskatchewan
Simone Knapp, University of Saskatchewan
Earl Fogel, University of Saskatchewan

Having operated a successful, centrally-supported web content management service (WCMS) for four years, we’ve learned a lot that we would like to share. By fostering collaboration and cultivating effective partnerships with stakeholders, we have managed to grow and improve the service despite limited resources and staffing. As use of and demand for the service has grown, our small service team has had to look for new and better ways of doing things in the WCMS – how we manage sites, how we deliver the service – all while continuing to enhance the service with no additional resources.

This presentation will appeal to both technical and non-technical audiences. Participants will learn one way to deliver a successful, non-mandatory, centralized service in a decentralized environment. They will get insight into some technical, political, and resourcing challenges we faced at the U of S and how we overcame them.

Improving the Student Application and Admission Process

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 2:15 – 3:05 PM
Room 133, Arts Building

Lori Murray-Hawkins, University of New Brunswick
Cheryl Jacobs, University of New Brunswick

Application to the University of New Brunswick has, in recent years, been a hodgepodge of online, pseudo-online and paper forms, with many additional paper forms requesting program-specific information. To meet some key goals in UNB's strategic plan, namely to increase international access to UNB, to increase enrollment of students (partially through improved service during the application and admission process) and to implement excellent communications programs, a comprehensive online application system was developed. This was as the result of a collaborative, bi-campus effort involving undergraduate and graduate admissions, recruitment, communications & marketing and information technology units. This presentation will briefly describe the online application product but also focus on key improvements for students, admissions staff and academic unit decision-makers, the challenges in creating a common product considered suitable by the various academic and business units in addition to meeting UNB's development standards, and next steps. We hope this will provide some insights for participants looking to improve this process at their institutions.

QUASR (Queen's University Administrative Systems Replacement) Project Objectives, Key Success Factors and Lessons Learned

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 3:30 - 4:20 PM
Room 133, Arts Building

Jim Carse, Queen's University

In December 2008, the Queen’s University Board of Trustees approved the Queen’s University Administrative Systems Replacement (QUASR) project. Key objectives of QUASR included:

  • Integrate solutions across departments
  • Increase system functionality
  • Replace aged legacy systems
  • Improve administrative processes
  • Build ongoing support capacities
  • Reduce and manage risks

The QUASR Project spanned 3.5 years and a partial listing of accomplishments include:

  • Implemented 3 integrated applications covering 25 separate modules
  • 100% replacement of the hardware, technology and tools supporting administrative applications
  • Decommissioned 10 separate aged legacy applications
  • Developed 60 Training Courses and 620 Training Guides/Tutorials
  • Helped define and implement a consolidated production support unit
  • Developed standards and strategies for ongoing production support

Beginning BI: York University's Data Warehouse Initiative

Wednesday June 13, 2012, 8:30 - 9:20 AM
Room 133, Arts Building

Bob Gagne, York University
Clara Wong, York University

In 2007 York University developed a strategy for information access and management in response to a growing call within the University for better information for decision-making. The strategy was developed through a partnership between York’s information technology organization and the University’s Office of Institutional Research and Analysis. That partnership led in turn to the creation of a jointly led enterprise data warehouse (EDW) initiative.

The presentation will describe:

  • The origins of the EDW initiative and the strategic context of information and data management;
  • The journey that has been the development of the EDW;
  • Our project and information governance structures and processes;
  • A view into the technology we use and the applications that have been developed and;
  • A look into our future plans for the data warehouse and reporting
The goal of the presentation is to share York’s experience and our lessons learned and to use those as a starting point for attendees to discuss their own related work.

Optimizing the Campus Print Environment

Wednesday June 13, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 133, Arts Building

Lori Pelletier, Manager, University of Regina
Ryan Bazylewski, University of Regina
Gary Bernstein, McGill University
Ronald Pau, McGill University

Traditional campus print/copy/scan/fax approaches rely on a multitude of different devices serving stakeholders, which often results in administrative, financial, operational and sustainability inefficiencies.

McGill University implemented an innovative project called uPrint with the objective of reducing inefficiencies and costs while simultaneously improving the user experience and reducing our carbon footprint. With a “print to the cloud” solution, uPrint significantly improves on security and past practices through the implementation of a single fleet of multifunction devices governed by central policies and through the use of a high degree of automation for such services as IT Service Desk support, departmental and student re-billing, device policy setting, procurement and replenishment of supplies, etc.

The University of Regina also recently undertook a similar campus-wide print optimization project to revamp printing and copying on campus. The goal was to reduce the number of print devices, downtime and overall costs while increasing accessibility, quality, functionality and environmental sustainability.

Faculty, Staff and Students at both universities now have simplified options for printing, copying, faxing and scanning, with standardized devices and pricing. We will share the end-state results at both universities, as well as some of the challenges that were faced along the way.

Research

Research Computing at York University

Monday June 11, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 241, Arts Building

Omar Mohammed, York University

Over the past five years, the central IT organization (UIT) has continuously improved the services for Researchers by following a strategic plan with key initiatives and recommendations. This presentation will focus on the key issues within Research Computing Support and how UIT addressed significant gaps. More specifically:

Communication

  • Developing services for Researchers that were part of a larger service catalogue
  • Including IT in the grant process, especially large Infrastructure projects
  • Creating financial models for research services, mainly for virtual servers, storage and hosting services. In addition, how this affects researchers working with large external grants and those working with modest or zero funding.

Infrastructure & Applications

  • Enhancing the campus network and high speed access to GTANet/ORION for research projects that require dedicated light paths
  • Developing security guidelines and services for safeguarding research data to address key TCPS2 (Tri-Council policy statements)
  • Implementing collaboration tools for collaborative research projects

Research Data Management at the University of Waterloo: How Can Librarians Help?

Monday June 11, 2012, 2:15 – 3:05 PM
Room 241, Arts Building

Pascal V. Calarco,Library, University of Waterloo
Julie Friddell, Geography & Environmental Management
Jennifer Haas, Library, University of Waterloo
Ellsworth LeDrew, Geography & Environmental Management
Katherine Szigeti, Library, University of Waterloo

There is a growing need for data management services for researchers. The Canadian International Polar Year program provided leadership in this area by requiring researchers to implement a data management plan; preserving and making data available helps research move forward and prevents research data from being under-utilized or lost because of poor management. Proper data management involves: preservation; accessibility; confidentiality; intellectual property rights; and, information technology issues. Increasingly, data are produced by collaborations that span borders, adding complexity to management issues. Given that librarians have experience in preserving and making information available, they are in a position to collaborate with researchers in providing data stewardship locally, nationally, and internationally. The Association of Research Libraries and the Digital Library Federation, both headquartered in Washington, D.C., cosponsored the 2011–2012 “e-Science Institute” which helped U.S. and Canadian academic libraries develop strategic agendas with researchers to frame their support for data management. The University of Waterloo team of librarians and scientists has created a strategic agenda as an outcome of the Institute that will allow for collaboration with scientists and administrators in addressing data management issues and providing support to researchers. The lessons for data management developed as a result of consultations throughout the University of Waterloo and through workshops involving the e-Science Institute are reviewed as guidance for scientists who collect data and who wish to ensure that their efforts are preserved for future generations.

Participants will learn about data management planning initiatives in North American research libraries and the initiatives around this at the University of Waterloo and CARL (Canadian Academic Research Libraries) members.

Big Data: Blowing Storage Boundaries Wide Open.

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 8:30 - 9:20 AM
Room 241, Arts Building

Jean-Ray Arseneau, University of Ottawa

Why does Big Data need to be Big Work? Storage capacity in our day and age continues to increase at alarming rates. Managing LUNs and SANs and Storage Networks can often be a time consuming and costly endeavour, often requiring dedicated storage teams and personnel to manage the day to day operations of a storage environment. What if your storage environment managed itself? What if you could scale your infrastructure by terabytes or even petabytes in the blink of an eye? What if you could re-purpose your storage team to more interesting and more financially viable projects? These are some of the questions the IT staff at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa set out to answer.

Participants will learn that it's possible to answer all of these questions and more using the right technology solution. Come learn how the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa provided their researchers with a scaling infrastructure they need to aid in their research. Learn how through smart capital expenditures, you are able to build an infrastructure that can sustain Big Data growth for years to come. Where scaling from 60TB and beyond takes minutes and where your Service Desk and Access Management teams can be easily trained to manage your storage. See how your Big Data can be "Data Everywhere" in your own private cloud within your already existing secure environment.

Innovative suite of services and platforms to engage with the campus research enterprise

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 1:15 – 2:05 PM
Room 241, Arts Building

Wayne Johnston, University of Guelph

The University of Guelph Library established a new team called Research Enterprise and Scholarly Communication to engage with researchers throughout all phases of the research life cycle. The team has developed a suite of services and platforms to support research in a number of innovative ways.

  1. Data Consultation and Management assists researchers with the data generated by their research activity. This includes development of data management plans as well as repositories for making data available to other researchers and preserving it for future use.
  2. Virtual Research Environment to provide research teams with a platform for digital asset management, sharing and collaboration.
  3. The Catalogue of Research is a web-accessible catalogue of information about researchers and their research projects that not only promotes the accomplishments of the institution but also plays a role in recruitment and fosters interdisciplinary collaboration.
  4. The Institutional Repository enables self-archiving of scholarly outputs in any form or media providing a portrait of the institution's research activity and greater impact for the scholars.
  5. An Electronic Thesis platform enables paperless submission and review of theses as well as publication and preservation of these valuable research assets.
  6. A platform for the publication of Open Access, Peer-Reviewed Journals enables researchers to migrate print journals to digital or establish new digital publications.
  7. The Open Conference System provides a platform for hosting and promoting academic conferences.
  8. Our Digital Collections platform publishes and preserves digital and digitized research assets.
  9. Author Rights, Copyright & Publishing Consultation works with scholars to ensure that their own intellectual property rights are protected when publishing the results of their research.
  10. Open Access Support promotes the transformation of scholarly communication to give greater impact to the results of research and more equitable access for researchers worldwide.
  11. Research Consultation assists researchers with the challenges of developing a research strategy and connecting with relevant online resources.
  12. Finally, the Campus Author event provides a public celebration of published research.

The presentation will provide an overview of these services, the technologies involved and the impact they are having on the University of Guelph research enterprise.

Scholars GeoPortal : Discovering and Delivering GIS Data

Wednesday June 13, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 241, Arts Building

Alan Darnell, Ontario Council of University Libraries

Scholars GeoPortal is an award-winning geospatial data discovery tool allowing Ontario¹s university students and researchers to enrich their teaching and research by engaging with OCUL¹s growing collection of geospatial data. A service of the Ontario Council of University Libraries, the portal offers search, preview, query, download and sharing functionality for datasets licensed by Ontario¹s 21 university libraries.

Covering such topics as land use, transportation networks, census boundaries, geology, soils, points of interest (such as healthcare facilities, schools, and airports), air photos, and more, Scholars GeoPortal is the result of a 3-year OCUL project supported by the Government of Ontario through its OntarioBuys initiative. A collaborative effort including the work of OCUL members and faculty from across the province, the Scholars Portal team, and partners from the Ontario government, this new platform is powered by ESRI¹s ArcGIS suite of software. This session will showcase the portal¹s functionality, the scope of its content, and its underlying technology. The session will also describe the collaborative development process used to design and build the portal.

Infrastructure

Web App Vulnerability Assessment on a Shoestring Budget

Monday June 11, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 134, Arts Building

Jared Perry
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Today's teaching, research, and administrative applications are increasingly web-based and in an otherwise increasingly firewalled world, these applications must often remain widely accessible. Web applications therefore represent a significant and growing portion of a university's information security risk. Attempting to manage this risk using third-party vulnerability assessment services or leading commercial tools is meanwhile prohibitively expensive for many institutions.

Faced with this conundrum, Memorial has focused on developing in-house expertise in using free and inexpensive tools to identify vulnerabilities in both commercially-acquired and internally- developed web applications. While primarily focused on tools and testing methods, this talk will also provide an overview of the major vulnerability types. As such, we hope it will be of interest to both security personnel responsible for conducting web app vulnerability assessments, as well as developers wanting to learn more about secure coding practices.

Cloud Computing - the Ultimate Computation Infrastructure

Monday June 11, 2012, 11:10 – Noon
Room 134, Arts Building

Joel-Ahmed M. Mondol, University of Saskatchewan
Glen Hauser, University of Saskatchewan

Cloud computing ensures accessibility and effective use of available computation capacity within a corporation’s or an institution’s digital infrastructure. It leverages the web as the data bus and relies on virtual infrastructure that is elastic and multitenant. Taking an evolutionary path from grid computing, cloud computing is gradually evolving from a buzzword to the ultimate platform for all aspects of computation. Considering all of the excitement that is within this infrastructure environment, its adoption has lagged behind. This presentation looks into cloud computing service architecture, cloud-computing pros and cons for the academic environment, considerations to be made towards cloud adoption, the path towards effective adoption, service level agreements with cloud vendors, and finally maintenance and management of the cloud environment. Within this scope, existing infrastructure choice for IAAS, platform choices for PAAS and software choice for SAAS and vendors are also discussed.

This talk will present a well-rounded approach towards the cloud computing environment and its implementation. The ultimate objective is to ensure that prior to adoption and implementation, sufficient appreciation is present for the cloud-computing infrastructure that will ensure its successful deployment within individual organizations.

Disaster Recovery Planning is like Laundry / Disaster Recovery Planning

Monday June 11, 2012, 1:15 – 2:05 PM
Room 134, Arts Building

Disaster Recovery Planning is like Laundry

Nancy Wellard, Western University Canada

Disaster Recovery Planning is like Laundry

Nobody wants to do it, it's necessary, poor planning makes for uncomfortable situations, and it will never end.

Western University Information Technology Services has committed for the past 3 years at least 7 person-hours a week towards developing and reviewing their DRP Plan. There have been (and I’m confident will continue to be) many a-ha moments through the process. Some of these include the importance of a service catalog, identifying dependencies between these services, and that these dependencies facilitate the ability to use inheritance as a means to limit scope and visually understand the environment.

In our technological world the only constant is change. This statement inherently dictates a circular DRP process. A process that not only defines what actions need to be taken in the event of a disaster, but also helps to identify what proactive opportunities exist.

The intent of this presentation is to convey how we are approaching Disaster Recovery Planning, divulge some of those epiphany moments, and perhaps attain some feedback on our future vision.

Disaster Recovery Planning

Rick Smith, York University
Chris Russel, York University

The ever-increasing importance of IT services to the core mission of the University places new demands for more resilient and recoverable systems and network infrastructure. Striking the right balance of risk and cost is also increasingly important with tightened financial constraints. We will discuss the evolution of York's IT disaster recovery planning, the progress and pitfalls, and the benefits of the planning effort that reach into many areas of IT planning and operations.

Availability And Performance Reporting in Complex Networks

Monday June 11, 2012, 2:15 – 3:05 PM
Room 134, Arts Building

Andree Toonk, BCnet
J F Amiot, Cybera
Gerry Miller, MRnet
Jun Jian, CANARIE Inc
Thomas Tam, CANARIE Inc
John Sherwood, Alindale Consultants

A subcommittee of the CANARIE NAPUS working group was formed to develop a set of best practices and recommendations for Availability and Performance reporting of the CANARIE backbone and the various regional networks. The subcommittee has recently delivered its report to the parent committee.

The goal was to produce a very concise report (no more than three numbers) that represents a network’s availability and performance over a certain window, typically a month.

The report begins by describing in very general terms how to define a service and how to set the parameters to be measured. It then deals specifically with networks, and especially the complex networks found at CANARIE and many of the regional networks. The report concludes by detailing how measurement results are to be combined into the very concise metric representing availability and performance. Our experience with perfSONAR as the measurement tool will also be described.

Participants will gain an insight into the complexities of network monitoring and reporting. The missteps and blind alleys will be described, as will the compromises necessary to produce such a concise report from such a complex entity. Preliminary results from implementing the report’s recommendations will also be presented.

Information Security Panel Discussion

Monday June 11, 2012, 3:30 - 4:20 PM
Room 134, Arts Building

Chris Russel - York University - Moderator
Gordie Mah - University of Alberta
Chad Coller - University of Saskatchewan
Jeff Gardiner - University of Western Ontario
Eric Van Wiltenburg - University of Victoria
Kimberly McCollum, Ryerson University
George Farah - Queen's University

This session will present a panel discussion on recent information security threats, trends and hot topics on campuses. The panel will speak about these hot topics such as governance and spear phishing among others briefly and open the floor for Q & A. The group of Information Security Officers will be happy to tackle any topic/questions related to information security, even challenging ones.

Lessons Learned from a Breach

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 8:30 - 9:20 AM
Room 134, Arts Building

Eric van Wiltenburg, University of Victoria

In January 2012, thieves broke into the Administrative Services Building at the University of Victoria and stole electronic devices and a safe, some of which contained personal information of UVic employees. This presentation covers the basics of what happened in the breach, how the UVic responded, and provides some of the lessons learned as a result of the breach.

This is an opportunity for participants to learn from UVic's experience and apply some of UVic's lessons learned at their own institutions.

Disaster Recovery through Cooperation

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 146, Arts Building

Dan Hurley, St. Thomas University
Helmut Becker, Mount Allison University

St. Thomas and Mount Allison have collaborated on IT activities for almost 20 years. Five years ago we established a common data centre and virtualized almost all of our servers. This initiative leads to a reduction in our physical and environmental footprint, more effective use of staff resources and improved services. Recently we implemented a disaster recovery data centre, which will provide continued services to both Universities in case of a loss of our main data centre. We established a hosting agreement with Université de Moncton for rack space. Individually, the cost of building and managing a second data centre would have been prohibitive. By working together, sharing resources and leveraging our investments in server and network infrastructure we have built a disaster recovery data centre with data replicated in near real time. In the event of loss of either site IT operations at both St. Thomas and Mount Allison will continue with minimal downtime.

Through cooperation, mutually beneficial agreements and leveraging network infrastructure, we have been able to build a DR capability that is uncommon for small institutions. We hope that our cooperative efforts are a model for others and we welcome others to join us.

IPv6 Please, Urgently!

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 241, Arts Building

Luc Roy, Laurentian University

A common misconception is that “we” need IPv6, when it’s more about them – your prospective students, constituents, international donors and more. Are you reaching out to "them" globally or even locally via an IPv6 only ISP? If you think you are via IPv4 only, then you needed IPv6 yesterday! Learn how Laurentian University implemented the complete Internet-facing IPv6 strategy in 60 days.

Finding Oxygen In A Firehose - Standing Up An IDS

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 11:10 – Noon
Room 134, Arts Building

Mike Patterson, University of Waterloo

In an ideal world, we wouldn't need an Intrusion Detection System (IDS). Border firewalls and antivirus would just work, and built-in operating system protections would catch what those missed. Universities are far from ideal, and an IDS can help to take some of the edge off. Participants will hear about how Waterloo's IDS, based on Snort, has been rebuilt, how we're using it to find threats, and how we'd like to be using it.

Feeling Safe in the Clouds

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 1:15 – 2:05 PM
Room 134, Arts Building

Pete Hickey, University of Ottawa

Put it in the cloud. That's the buzzword these days. Sounds good. Someone or someplace out there will let you do what you want, hopefully for less money than doing it yourself. Trust them. Trust them with your data. Trust them with your reputation. What are the implications here? We'll be looking at various versions of 'in the cloud', from raw processing power to complete complicated systems, and asking questions about its security. Can you do things to ensure security, or must you simply trust the supplier?

Identity Management: past, present and future, oh, wait, the requirements have changed again

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 2:15 – 3:05 PM
Room 241, Arts Building

Ken Glover, University of Saskatchewan

In this presentation we will begin with a brief retrospective of the last 10 years of Identity and Access Management. By looking at our past, we will learn more about our future and patterns to success.

We will look at some of the challenges and changes that have happened in this area in the last 10 years; leading into a discussion of emerging trends in integration (specifically OpenID, Shibboleth, EduRoam, etc), hosted solutions and two-factor authentication.

From the technical to the policy, problems and approaches to solutions, IdM remains a challenge and a needed part of the smooth operation of the rapidly changing university.

This session will be interactive, so bring your questions and ideas with you.

In August 2001, the University of Saskatchewan deployed an in-house built identity and access management system. Ken was one of the original developers who worked on that project, and has continued to support and innovate the system since.

CrowdSourcing the Technology Support Centre

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 2:15 – 3:05 PM
Room 134, Arts Building

Wayne Hansen, University of New Brunswick, Saint John

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Saint John has embraced creating the digital University with a number of innovative projects including crowdsourcing the Information Technology (IT) Support desk. Of all the recent trends occurring in the information technology industry perhaps no other has the potential to leverage Web 2.0 like crowdsourcing. This is the name given to the process of decentralizing tasks or processes, traditionally served by an individual or specific group, and farming these out to a disperse group of people.

Aptly named, ‘Campus Questions’, this solution has its home on the Web at ASK.UNBSJ.CA. Students, faculty and staff can participate in an ongoing conversation concerning the delivery of technology support services in this space. The IT support desk can only be opened a finite amount of time during the workweek while the crowdsourcing solution is available 24x7x365. Help is there where and when our clients need it.

Participants in this session will learn about crowdsourcing and how this model may be effectively applied as part of a comprehensive technology support model. Participants will also hear how and why UNB Saint John decided to implement a crowdsourcing solution, the process of rolling out the solution to the campus community, evaluating web site analytics, and discovering what the results have been thus far. They will also hear more on the intentions of rolling out the solution to an audience, extending beyond IT support, to include a broader community base.

There's nothing fishy about Identity Management with Grouper

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 3:30 - 4:20 PM
Room 241, Arts Building

Steve Hillman, Simon Fraser University
Rob Urquhart, Simon Fraser University

The ability for an IT department to provide effective access control hinges on its ability to classify people in logical groupings. Grouper is an Internet2 open source Groups Management Toolkit. It allows project managers, departments, institutions and end users to create and manage groups of people. By putting control of group memberships directly into the hands of the resource stewards, Grouper enables effective access control that can be quickly and easily modified by the administrators who know the resources best. This presentation will give a brief introduction to how Grouper turns a simple concept into a powerful, flexible, open source toolkit. We will also show how it was implemented as part of Simon Fraser University's Identity and Access Management infrastructure.

PCI DSS Compliance - Lessons Learned at York University

Tuesday June 12, 2012, 3:30 - 4:20 PM
Room 134, Arts Building

Omar Mohammed, York University

In 2011, York University was required to attain PCI DSS compliance for large merchants with in excess of 10,000 credit card transactions. York University initiated a PCI project to review, assess and document all processes related to credit card operations. In addition, implement scope reduction recommendations to achieve PCI compliance.

In this presentation, York University will demonstrate how to setup a PCI DSS compliance project, review methods to reduce the scope of PCI compliance and how to work with payment processors such as Moneris to validate PCI compliance.

Cost effective Data centre: How uOttawa leveraged a relocation to deliver a modernized data centre

Wednesday June 13, 2012, 8:30 - 9:20 AM
Room 241, Arts Building

Joel Breton, University of Ottawa

Having met the challenges of relocating its data centre, the University of Ottawa was able to benefit from opportunities to introduce sustainable IT, network and storage convergence, and improved virtualization deployment.

Heat generated in the data centre is recaptured, eventually meeting 80% of the entire building’s heating needs. Storage capacity has been doubled and major cost savings have been generated for the University. Virtualization opportunities are maximized to reduce equipment space requirements, to introduce energy efficiencies and to reduce maintenance times.

This presentation exposes the challenges and successes from two years of planning and preparation, which enabled the migration to a state-of-the-art data centre. We will also examine lessons learned and what we could have done differently.

Securing the Human on your Campus

Wednesday June 13, 2012, 8:30 - 9:20 AM
Room 134, Arts Building

Lance Spitzner, SANS Institute
George Farah, Queen's University
Jeff Gardiner, University of Western Ontario

Organizations have traditionally invested most of their security in technology, with little effort in protecting their employees. As a result, many attackers today target the weakest link, the human. Awareness, not just technology, has become key to reducing risk and remaining compliant. This high-level talk designed for management explains why humans are so vulnerable, how they are being actively exploited and what organizations can do about it.

Key points include:

  • How humans are another type of operating system
  • Why humans are so bad at judging risk and how attackers exploit these vulnerabilities.
  • How an effective awareness program patches these vulnerabilities and reduces risk.
  • How to develop a modular and flexible program that reach multi-cultures.
  • How to create and effectively use metrics.
  • How do we regain control?

This presentation not just the typical hand waving about our "State of Insecurity", it offers sound solutions that are straight forward and field proven.

Many organizations are busy being busy, managing all kinds of projects and initiatives. They *have* all the right products. They have more logs than they know what to do with. Yet the uncomfortable question persists, "is it working?" If one click by a user is all it takes, we need to re-evaluate..."

Employing a Flexible Mobile Strategy

Wednesday June 13, 2012, 9:30 – 10:20 AM
Room 134, Arts Building

Todd Trann, University of Saskatchewan
Joshua Aversa, Product Manager, Ellucian

Mobile devices are ubiquitous on campus and have created a demand for useful applications that connect them to institutional services. The challenge for institutions lies in finding a flexible, cost-effective way to support nimble mobile initiatives that meet the expectations of constituents. An institution has to be able to engage their audience on their personal devices, reach them wherever they are, and provide them with access to the information and services they need.

Come hear from Todd Trann, Systems Analyst and mobile Technical Lead at the University of Saskatchewan, talk about their experiences and future plans in mobile development. Todd will share the University of Saskatchewan’s vision in utilizing mobile services and how Mobile Connection integrates with their forward-facing mobile infrastructure. In addition, Josh Aversa, Senior Product Owner at Ellucian will discuss how Mobile Connection was built as part of a collaborative development process with higher education customers to ensure the solution supports the unique needs associated with teaching and learning.

As a result of this session, attendees will be able to assess the suitability of this approach for their institution in supporting nimble mobile initiatives, gain an understanding of the available options for cost-effective, community-based mobile development, and understand ways in which a community-driven mobile ecosystem could benefit the mobile strategy of their institution.