Information Systems & Technology Annual Report

Other 2021 accomplishments

What has been done? What does this mean?  Which IST group led this project?
Student Portal migration to Microsoft Azure Taking advantage of Portal’s modern architecture, Portal was moved to Microsoft Azure, allowing for enhanced code maintainability and ease of deployment, including better Continuous Integration tools. This work will serve as a template for the future move to Azure of other internally developed systems. Departmental and Campus Applications (DCA)
Legal and Immigration Services new system implementation

Procured and implemented a suite of three information systems to meet the growing needs of Legal and Immigration Services.

UW Fitness new system implementation

Procured and implemented an information system to manage fitness services offered to the community through the Centre for Community, Clinical and Applied Research Excellence. 

Supported Campus Housing in their move to a cloud-based information system 

Partnered with Campus Housing to support their procurement and move from a long-standing custom developed software solution, to a cloud-based information system.

Support of the University’s Proof of Vaccination program

Creation, implementation, and support of the technology components of the University’s Proof of Vaccination program. 


Graduate Recruitment Transformation Project went live with Slate to replace OUAC

Applicants to graduate studies apply directly to the University. This provides more flexibility and control over our application process.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Replace Orion Rhapsody with Microsoft Azure to support integration between systems

We have reduced the costs, simplified the architecture and have more people who know this technology.


LEARN Tools rebuilt

LEARN tools provides support for many functions in LEARN including course creation. This was re-built to ensure security supportability. 


Finance Research Reporting Rolled Out

In partnership with Finance and the Office of Research, we rolled out workorder reporting for all researchers across campus.


Completed PeopleTools and Oracle Database Updates for Quest

The underlying technologies for Quest were upgraded so that we stay current with patches and can leverage new capabilities. 


E-commerce Project Collaboration

Through close cooperation with Finance, we assisted in the launch of several e-commerce related projects e.g., AHS/CCCare - Fusion, Housing – Mercury, GSPA – Slate.

Switch, Router, and Wireless refresh projects Modernize aging equipment and infrastructure and improve performance and reliability of the campus network; these projects completed in December 2021. Technology Integrated Services (TIS)
Retiree email, Alumni email and Resource accounts migrated to Microsoft 365 As part of an overall program to standardize University email, retiree and alumni email was successfully migrated to M365 email in the cloud. Resource accounts (rooms and equipment) were also moved. TIS
Access control enhancements Began deployment of custom readers for access control. TIS
Migrating on-premises SharePoint sites to Microsoft 365 Provide users with access to the collaboration and productivity tools available with the integration features of the Microsoft 365 suite of products, as well as new features and enhanced security. TIS, Client Services (CS)
WrepNet initiative Joined WrepNet for improved connectivity at remote campuses within Waterloo Region. TIS
Campus telephone migration project Support and migration of ~200 extensions/month from legacy phones to Skype for Business softphone client. Provides telephony to off campus/remote users. TIS
Windows 10 upgrade initiative Upgraded Windows 10 from 2004 to 21H1 TIS
ONA rewrite project The ONA tool is an internal UW system used by network administrators. A new API from CISCO is enabling an application rewrite using the .net platform, and the rewrite will resolve maintenance and support resourcing issues with the current system. TIS
Jira Service Management migration Implemented Jira Service Management (JSM) and migrated IST client-facing support queues from legacy Request Tracker (RT) system; migrated RT 'general' queue to JSM; migrated Project Management Office (PMO) and IST Portfolios to JSM/Jira. CS
Migration to Confluence Cloud Migratated on-premises Confluence spaces to Confluence Cloud. CS
IST Service Catalogue refresh and migration Migrated IST Service Catalogue from IST website to Confluence Cloud space. CS
N: drive to OneDrive migration N: drives in the Academic Support Unit areas were migrated to OneDrive. CS
Move to SharePoint Online Migrated on-premises SharePoint sites to SharePoint Online (or a suitable alternateive, such as Teams).  CS
Mass Email Management project Launced the Mass Email Management project, which will deliver a service framework supporting the email communications practice of the University for emails addressed to students and employees. CS
Crowdmark Service Management framework With campus partners in Mathematics, developed a support model for the Crowdmark service, including documentation and training resources.  CS
Sustainable IT project As part of a pilot program through Green Economy Canada, in collaboration with HP Canada, University of Waterloo’s Sustainability Office and IST are partnering to transform our IT landscape through sustainable IT best practices  CS
Replaced Client Services online chat tool Piloted and implemented new live chat tool, Social Intents, replacing PHP Live, which was approaching end of life.  CS
Generic account lifecycle planning Developed recommendations for when generic accounts are created and how they are used. CS
Supported migration to Microsoft 365 email Supported the move of University retiree, alumni, shared mailboxes, resources (e.g., rooms, equipment), and small group of remaining employee mailboxes to the M365 Exchange Online environment.  CS
Evolving the Edtech Ecosystem project With objectives for more intentional, inclusive, transparent planning of edtech, the Evolving the Edtech Ecosystem project was launched; input collected on a new edtech website framework. Instructional Technologies and Media Services (ITMS)
Web Conferencing Platforms Consolidation project In partnership with IST Client Services, to identify the platforms for central support for teaching, thesis defenses, academic support meetings and events, marketing, etc. ITMS, CS
Keep Learning Planning group retreat series Planning for fall return to campus; facilitated exercise to identify lessons learned (presented at Leadership Forum and Edtech Week) and possible directions post-pandemic (submitted to Associate Vice-President, Academic). ITMS
Teaching and Learning Spaces Operations group Planned upgrades to RO classrooms, including a new flexible room and anticipated Active Learning Classroom; continuing process workflows; advising Steering on the next priorities from the 3-Year Classroom Plan and other needs arising. ITMS
Cybersecurity Incident Response plan Completed development of Cybersecurity Incident Response plan to ensure all cybersecurity incidents at the University of Waterloo are handled in a consistent manner and align with plan objectives. Information Security Services (ISS)
Authentication service enhancements Updated the integration of our authentication services with the Canadian Access Federation (CAF) to support two-factor authentication (2FA). ISS
2FA service support and management Continued promotion and support of University's 2FA service, which is now being used by ~90,000 individuals across student, employee, alumni, and retiree audiences.  ISS

IST projects and initiatives

Please visit the IST Projects page for a full list of projects or initiatives and their descriptions and status. This report includes work completed over the past year.

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Andrew McAlorum
Director, Client Services