Launching new campus emergency notification tool – WatSAFE desktop notification

Monday, August 26, 2019

What is happening? The University’s current emergency desktop notification tool, UW Emerge, will be replaced with a new tool called WatSAFE desktop notification.   

Why is this happening? The existing desktop notification tool was developed by University employees several years ago, and while it has worked well in the past, IST no longer has the inhouse resources to modify and fully support the tool. Also, the new macOS no longer supports 32-bit applications, a change that prevents new users from downloading UW Emerge to their Mac machines.  

About the new tool: WatSAFE Desktop Notification (powered by AppArmor) will modernize our campus emergency alerting infrastructure, while integrating seamlessly with the existing emergency notification system. Administrators will be able to leverage the cloud-based dashboard to monitor and maintain emergency desktop notifications, from anywhere, at any time.   

What is the impact? WatSAFE Desktop Notification will be pushed out to all IST-managed machines via SCCM (additional installation notes below). UW Emerge will continue to be available and will be included in future tests of the emergency notification system, until further notice.    

When is this happening? Wednesday, August 28 at 10:00 a.m. 

What do you need to do? 

  • Windows (IST managed) After WatSAFE desktop notification has been pushed out, clients will be required to log out of their machine and back in again to complete the installation.  

  • Windows (unmanaged machine) To install WatSAFE desktop notification on an unmanaged machine, clients should follow the steps outlined in this knowledge base article, https://uwaterloo.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/KB/ArticleDet?ID=84925 Administrative privileges may be required to complete the installation.  

  • Windows (responsible for a group of non-IST machines) If you are responsible for managing a group of machines outside of IST, you may request a package-based deployment version via Request Tracker (RT), https://rt.uwaterloo.ca/SelfService/Forms/IST-General/ 

  • Mac The Mac version will be announced later in the fall term.  

Additional communications will be made available when the Mac client is available, and when the decision has been made to uninstall UW Emerge.  

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357 

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