Monday, April 12, 2021

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and license server restart - April 18

What is happening? Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and license servers will be restarted to apply updates.

When is this happening? Sunday, April 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

What is the impact? Remoteapps and licensed app VDI environments will be unavailable during the maintenance window. Users of the following applications might experience short outages while the servers are rebooting:

  • SPSS
  • SAS
  • Quest
  • COMSOL Multiphysics
  • ArcGIS

Work should be saved frequently to avoid data loss.

Additional resources:

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, or ext. 44357.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

New Piazza agreement for the University of Waterloo

What is happening? The University of Waterloo has signed an agreement with Piazza. Piazza was adopted independently by instructors before and during the pandemic; procuring this software centrally will allow instructors to continue using this tool for teaching and learning. 

When is this happening? The new agreement will allow for uninterrupted use of Piazza to the end of the Winter 2021 term and beyond, expiring on April 28, 2022. At the end of 2021, IST and partners will conduct another review to determine whether Piazza is the most suitable Q&A tool and to investigate if it should be permanently added to the University’s educational technology suite.

What is Piazza? Piazza is a Q&A platform for students and instructors. Students can interact with each other to work towards solutions for problems while instructors can ‘endorse’ or ‘up-vote’ the best proposed answer. In this aspect, Piazza differs from a traditional discussion forum such as in LEARN, which may be more suitable for structured class discussions.

Questions or concerns? For licensing-related questions, please contact Andrea Chappell ( For Piazza help and support, please contact

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Microsoft 365 online learning resource now available!

What is happening? The Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways site is now available for all Waterloo faculty, staff, and students.

What is Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways? Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways is an on-demand, self-service solution designed to provide learning resources and videos for common Microsoft (Office) 365 applications and services including Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, and more! It also provides quick links to other IT support resources, including the IST Service Desk and Knowledge Base.

How do I access the learning pathways site? Bookmark the Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways site, or look for links to the appropriate training resources from the Office 365 website and IST Service Catalogue.

This site can be customized to address the MS Office 365 learning needs of our campus community. Please let us know of additional content that would be helpful. Check the site for changes as the content evolves to meet our needs. 

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, or ext. 44357. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Social Intents live chat pilot for IST Service Desk – April 5

What is happening? The IST Service Desk will be piloting Social Intents as a replacement for the existing service desk live chat tool.

Why is this happening? The end-of-life date for the existing live chat tool, PHP Live, is August 1, 2021. More information about migrating from PHP Live to Social Intents will be provided to PHP Live users once the pilot is complete.

When  is  this  happening? The IST Service Desk will be piloting Social Intents from April 5, 2021 to April 30, 2021.

What will change for users? On April 5, links to the IST Service Desk live chat on the IST website will be redirected to go to the Social Intents chat widget.

  • Users who contact the IST Service Desk via live chat will see a different chat interface.

  • Users will be prompted to provide their name, email, and a description of their issue before being connected to a live chat agent.

To learn more about Social Intents, visit the IST Knowledge Base.

Questions or concerns? Please contact Matt Harford,

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Resolved: Teams chat messages not working - March 25

Resolved (March 25, 1:57 p.m.): Users should be able to send and receive Microsoft Teams chat messages again.  

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, or ext. 44357.

What is happening? Users may be unable to send and receive Microsoft Teams chat messages. Microsoft is investigating the issue; updates will be provided when available.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, or ext. 44357.

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