Information Systems & Technology Annual Report

Other 2019 accomplishments

What has been done? What does this mean?  Which IST group led this project?
Two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled for all Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems Additional layer of security added to enterprise systems for those users who have opted in or are using 2FA as a requirement of their job. See list of supported systems. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Enterprise systems moving to Active Directory Federation Service (ADFS) Enterprise systems will use the recommended web-based central authentication service, ADFS and as a result, will allow the support of single sign-on across systems.  ERP
Supported Student Name Usage Improvement project Partnered with Registrar's Office (RO) and Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) to allow students to manage chosen/preferred names, starting January 2020. ERP
Workday fully implemented Played a lead role in the implementation of the new self-serve human resources management tool, Workday. ERP

Built out Microsoft Azure data lake

Improves the ability to store and report on data across enterprise systems. ERP
Exploration and implementation of improved reporting Completed as part of the Azure data lake work. ERP
Workday Budgets & Commitments module  This enabled the budgets and commitments reporting through Workday. It was necessary to maintain existing functionality with the Workday launch. ERP
Quest enhancements Team completed many project to improve efficiencies including: optional fees, collecting student baking information, and automation of other processes. ERP
GIT upgrade Completed two upgrades to apply all current security patches and functionality.  ERP
Implementation of Infosilem Enterprise Implemented new system to support room scheduling across campus. ERP
Replaced aging desktop alerting tool, UW Emerge Implemented WatSAFE desktop notification for Windows and Mac. Offers a more modern, reliable and integrated solution (with other emergency notification systems). Client Services (CS), Technology Integrated Services (TIS)
Cyber Awareness pop-up Raise awareness of cyber security practices and available services. CS, Information Security Services (ISS)

Built infrastructure for campus phishing simulations

ISS has implemented a campus phishing simulation as part of their efforts to enhance information security training across campus.  ISS
Support for Student Name Usage Improvement project Provided expertise for and implemented the technical changes required to support the use of chosen/preferred name in various campus IT systems.  ISS
Sponsorship of Virtual Private Network (VPN) access Departments and faculties now have the ability to sponsor VPN access using Grouper. ISS
Automatic provisioning of email accounts Employee email accounts are now provisioned automatically in WatIAM. ISS
Microsoft Office 365 Employee Email Investigation Completed investigation of migrating employee email to the Office 365 cloud environment, including consultations with each faculty, staff, and campus IT committees. CS, TIS
Ongoing promotion and integration of Office 365 with other campus systems Activated all employee Office 365 accounts; launched Microsoft Teams in conjunction with IT Professional Development (ITPD) course; Teams has seen largest uptake of new users across all applications.  CS rebrand Lead the migration of to LinkedIn Learning for campus. CS
Reorganization of Media Resources services Media resources are now available in a more central campus location, with extended support. Administration of podium fobs transitioned to Instructional Technology and Media Services (ITMS) team. CS
Waterloo Photos/Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS) integration Assets from Waterloo Photos can now be accessed through and added to WCMS websites; Waterloo Photos now available to users without a Waterloo Photos org unit account; interface updated with support from Creative Services. CS
Ongoing support for DUO 2FA enrollment Enrolling users in 2FA and supporting related inquiries. CS
Hybrid search solution for on-premises SharePoint and Office 365 Provides a convenient end-user experience with unified search results, search relevance ranking, refiners, and filters. When users enter a query in a search window in Office 365, they will get search results from both Office 365 and on-premises SharePoint sites. CS
Office 365 ProPlus (desktop) Office 365 ProPlus (desktop) deployment for IST and Academic Support (pending deployment to remaining departments in early 2020) CS
ITPD Training Program SEW Training program rebranded to IT Professional Development (ITPD) and registration moved to Workday CS
Mac Management (Academic Support) Completed Parallels Mac Management configuration, testing and pilot (Academic Support) CS
Project and Portfolio Management training Expanded ITPD course offerings to include courses specific to Project Risk Management and Project Charters; contributed to delivery of Organizational Change Management course CS
Application inventory Identify and document the applications hosted and maintained by IST. CS
Project Management, launch of The Centre Project and Portfolio Management group lead project to launch The Centre, a new student service unit built to enrich the student experience with a student-focused approach to services. CS
Wireless core routing upgrade completed Increases bandwidth available to wireless clients. TIS
Telecommunication Room (TR) infrastructure upgrade continuation 200 of 437 telecommunication rooms have been upgraded. TIS
Microsoft Teams deployed to campus Over 450 unique Teams have been created. TIS
Preparation of RFP for campus wireless upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 This will improve wireless across campus. New wireless standards will be deployed to provide better in-classroom wireless and other high density areas. TIS
Software defined storage Will provide more storage to the campus and cost savings to the University.  TIS
Implemented new Internet Search Appliance The new search tool was implemented and the DCA Web Dev team will continue to add new features to search over the coming months.  Departmental and Campus Applications (DCA)
International travel safety tracking Modernized the University’s international safety tracking software and processes, to align with the outcomes of the Working Group on International Travel. DCA

OnBase IELTS interface

In partnership with the Quest ERP team, this is a major administrative efficiency for Registrar’s Office Admissions staff to automate the entry of English Language Test scores from OnBase to Quest, saving a large amount of manual work each year. DCA
AI ChatBot launch The Centre and IST launched the chatbot, an AI bot built on Microsoft’s Azure “QnAMaker” platform, with custom code and reporting around the core Azure platform. The bot will provide 24/7 service to students by answering commonly asked questions. DCA
Portal v2 launch An entirely new architecture for the Portal platform was launched in 2019. This new architecture, both web and mobile apps, will allow for a strong technical foundation for Portal as we continue to build it. Throughout 2020, Portal users will see many of their favourite features from the previous version of Portal recreated in Portal v2. Going forward, the Portal team is working on new features to continue to evolve Portal as the trusted Waterloo digital assistant. DCA
Expansion of existing Bonfire Procurement system to include a new Contract module.  This allows seamless connectivity between Procurement activities (RFPs) and the resulting contracts, enhancing the University’s ability to manage and expand our contract management practice. DCA
Theatre Centre system renewal The new functionality utilizes a vendor provided venue management solution called TixHub and allows campus and community members to purchase UW Theatre Centre tickets online. DCA

Student Safety Training Reporting

In partnership with the Data, Integration, and Analytics team, this solution provides a comprehensive reporting solution of student safety training data for the Safety Office, which will modernize and replace multiple independent legacy databases. DCA
Rollout of Bongo in Waterloo LEARN A video assessment and soft skill development platform for many types of video assignments, such as limited time response to questions embedded in videos and self-assessment of a video presentation. Instructional Technology and Media Services (ITMS)
Rollout of WebEx A web collaboration tool for virtual team collaborations and webinars. It was successfully used in a series of outreach events to students, a cohort of 400-500+ students. ITMS
Roll out of PebblePad

PebblePad has moved beyond the initial pilots and is available to all campus.

Continued upgrade of IT in managed classrooms 17 of the 130 centrally managed classrooms upgraded in 2019. Includes rooms in AL, E2, DC, MC (9), PHY, and RCH. ITMS
Increased use/promotion of Lightboard

Initial uses of this “see-through whiteboard” that allow a more engaging video presentation, especially suited to sketches, math notation, other “hand-drawn” materials.


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.

Contact us


Questions about our work or feedback about this site? We want to hear from you!

andrew headshot

Andrew McAlorum
Director, Client Services