Information Systems & Technology Annual Report

Other 2022 accomplishments

What has been done? What does this mean?  Which IST group led this project?
Quest migration to Oracle Cloud Successfully completed the move of Waterloo’s Student Information System to the Oracle Cloud. Information Systems (IS)
Building the Next WCMS project Continued progress on the WCMS 3 development project and site migrations. Over 2022, 13 updates of the WCMS 3 platform, enabling all FDSU (Faculty, Department, School Unit) sites to begin to migrate to WCMS 3, were released. By the end of 2022, ~200 sites had been migrated from WCMS 2 to 3, and 100 new WCMS 3 sites have been created. IS
GitHub Enterprise for Education In partnership with Microsoft, this new code repository offering will allow for the modernization of DevOps processes. IS
Central Stores shipping system

Implemented a new central shipping system with an enhanced user experience for the institution-wide shipping of parcels, letters, and goods in a cost-effective manner.

All new mobile apps for Portal

Launch of native apps for both iPhone and Android allow for a modernized user interface and improved responsiveness of the apps. 


Trainsition to new University benefits provider

Supported Human Resources with new data integrations in the transition to Green Shield, the new University’s benefits provider. IS
Migration of Mailservices, Connect/Exchange accounts and advmail servers to Microsoft 365 As part of an overall program to standardize University email, remaining alumni, employee, and student email was successfully migrated to M365 email in the cloud. IST also took ownership of several email subdomains. Technology Integrated Services (TIS), Client Services (CS)
R: drive migration project With Client Services, support the migration of client R: drive content to Teams and/or SharePoint Online. TIS, CS
Migrating on-premises SharePoint sites to Microsoft 365

Continue to 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, and decommission on-premises SharePoint services. 

Server and workstation support
  • Upgraded all workstations to 22H2 using new upgrade technology
  • Upgraded active directory (AD) domain controllers
Campus Wireless and Switch Refresh project Completed Campus Wireless and Switch Refresh project. TIS
Access control Completed a market review of access control products. Pilot of new solution is imminent and will provide enhanced usage and integrations. TIS
Jira Service Management (JSM) migration Completed migration of remaining IST client-facing support queues from legacy Request Tracker (RT) system to JSM; continued to support academic support units and Faculties in their migration from RT to JSM; 119 projects currently set up in JSM. CS
Migration to Cloud for Confluence and Jira Completed the migration of Confluence knowledge management and Jira project management apps to the Cloud. Now JSM, Confluence, and Jira are fully integrated in the same environment. CS
Integrated Asset Management in JSM Pilots of the Jira Assets asset management system are underway, including desktop rollover, telephone services, and the service desk lending library. A project is underway to formally launch this new IST service. CS
IT Review project initiation A new program has been initiated to assess, prioritize, and implement where feasible, the recommendations of the IT Review. CS
Adobe Acrobat Enterprise License rollout An Adobe Acrobat Pro enterprise license was procured, and licenses distributed to all full-time faculty and staff, as well as to temporary full-time employees (contract, co-op) by request. CS
MATLAB and NVivo software license increases Centrally supported licensing was procured for MATLAB and NVivo will be provided to faculty and students as needed. CS
Migrated individual network drives to OneDrive Cloud storage Storage for all employees in academic support units was migrated from network drives to OneDrive. CS, TIS
Launched Green IT committee As a result of our Sustainable IT project, we re-launched the Green IT committee after a decade hiatus, with representation from Faculties and academic support units across campus. CS
Launched IT Service Management (ITSM) Steering and Operations committees Improved IT governance with the implementation of the ITSM Steering and Operations committee to oversee all changes and strategy for the Atlassian ITSM suite. CS
Postdoctoral Fellows email extension Extended access to the Microsoft 365 suite for 16 months after the end of their contract with the University, and to their email address indefinitely. CS
Videoconferencing review After the expansion of many videoconferencing solutions, through this project it was determined Teams and Zoom would be centrally supported moving forward. CS, Instructional Technologies and Media Services (ITMS)
Mass Email Management procurement Successfully completed the request for proposal (RFP) process for a University-wide mass email management system. Implementation of the selected product is now underway with rollout planned in 2023. CS
Hyflex and Active Learning Classroom Spaces Through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities Training Equipment & Renewal Fund (TERF), technology upgrades are well under way to upgrade approximately half of the centrally supported classrooms to hybrid technology purpose-built to facilitate synchronous, multi-site learning. Technology for an active learning classroom has also been ordered and will be installed in 2023. Approximately 75% of the project will be complete by the end of 2022. ITMS
Studio & Events Services fully re-opened in the spring with the return to campus. ITMS
Teaching Innovation Incubator (TII) Consultations with staff, faculty and students will be complete by the end of 2022. Feedback will include possible incubator considerations, requirements, and challenges to enable the team to submit a final report by spring 2023. ITMS
Digital Learning Strategy Consultations with staff, faculty and students to collect feedback towards the University’s first digital learning strategy were conducted this year. The draft of the strategy is being finalized by the team and will be circulated before approvals in early 2023. ITMS
LEARN integrations Started updating LEARN LTI integrations to LTI 1.3. ITMS
Web Collaboration Project During the pandemic, the number of web conferencing platforms used by employees and students to support remote teaching, learning, and job responsibilities increased considerably. This increase led to confusion around which tools are recommended and for what use case(s); a disparate set of support models and resources; and a lack of consistency for employees and students. This project reviewed the web conferencing platforms available and determined that Adobe Connect would no longer be centrally supported and WebEx would be reviewed again before contract renewal. ITMS
Educational Technology

Governance: A new EdTech steering committee was launched in the spring and membership is in progress for a new EdTech advisory committee with the hopes of a kick off early in 2023.  EdTech operations is being discussed and will be finalized in 2023. Processes, workflows, roles and responsibilities are in progress.

Website: The new EdTech hub website launched the first week of the fall term. This website is the first step towards a one-stop for EdTech information and supports for staff, faculty and students.
Hybrid Technology and Guidelines ITMS and Client Services responded to the needs of campus by creating hybrid guidelines with return to campus in the spring. ITMS has also responded to a number of non-centrally supported classroom requests for assistance with hybrid AV technology. ITMS
Keep Learning Planning Group A new mandate has been developed for the Keep Learning group with the return to campus. A full review of the Keep Learning website is in progress. ITMS
Teaching & Learning Spaces Operations Upgrades to centrally managed classrooms MC2065 and MC2066 are in progress. Planning is in progress for the next major renovation recommendation for T&L Spaces Steering. ITMS
Implemented new Campus Directory Upgraded legacy WatIAM White Pages tool with new Campus People Directory, which offers an updated, user friendly search experience.  Information Security Services (ISS)
Cyber security awareness training initiative ISS launched a survey to gather feedback from the campus IT community regarding the University’s information security posture. The results of this survey will help guide the planning, development, promotion, and delivery of new, possibly mandatory, security awareness training across campus. ISS
Incident response retainer Formed partnership with third-party cyber security company to support the University with incident response situations, as required. ISS
Enhancements to Infrastructure Vulnerability Management program Enhanced monitoring of campus network to proactively identify and collaborate with system administrators to resolve vulnerabilities. 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