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OIT Major Projects & Service Direction

Overview

Our campus is making a number of significant changes to create a hybrid-smart IT environment for CU Boulder. These changes will modernize our IT services in a cost-effective way and protect our campus from heightened security threats. The university made a strategic investment in Microsoft licenses to provide our campus a suite of tools that address these realities, while providing highly effective, adaptable, secure and scalable solutions. Among other outcomes, this will result in a shift of file storage from Google to Microsoft, phone services integrated into Microsoft Teams Calls and introduction of tools that will help manage university owned computers and servers. You can learn more about these and other related projects on this page.

Changes, Improvements, and Impacts

 

Management of Computers

Direction

University-owned workstations (laptops and desktops) must meet minimum requirements to ensure the integrity and security of university data and the shared information technology environment, including networks, services, and systems. 

How it meets our new realities

Hybrid Future

  • Allows convenient self-setup of new computers
  • Provides self-service options to install additional software at any time of day, including paid licensed products.  
  • Emergency notification software ensures that all faculty and staff have immediate access to important life safety alerts regardless of their proximity to campus. 

Security

  • Increases the security of university computing assets and data. Reduces the risk of loss/theft of university intellectual property.
  • Enables the campus to quickly adapt and defend against potential or active security threats and provide visibility into where we might be most vulnerable.
  • Antivirus allows for greater visibility into attacks and threats across the entire campus computing ecosystem. 

Cost Consciousness

  • Will substantially mitigate risk for costly data breaches, ransomware attacks, and appropriation of stolen intellectual property.
  • Allows IT providers to more efficiently manage and support computers. 
  • Provides departments with more visibility into the assets under their purview, leading to administrative efficiency and cost optimization.

Impacts

  • When purchasing computers from the CU Marketplace, meeting the new computer management standards will be easy and automatic. 
  • When purchasing non-standard computers or from non-standard vendors, meeting the new device management standards may require extra work from IT support and end users to meet the requirements.
  • Using a phased approach, all computers, new and existing, will need to adhere to developed standards.

Related Projects

 

 

Management of Servers

Direction

Servers must meet minimum requirements to ensure the integrity and security of university data and the shared information technology environment, including networks, services, and systems. 

A server is considered any physical, virtual, or cloud-based device that is connected to a university-owned network for the purpose of sharing or distributing resources such as files, programs, or printers.
 

How it meets our new realities

Hybrid Future

  • Aligning server management with the standards will help ensure the integrity and security of university data while allowing the access that our remote and hybrid workforce and learners require.

Security

  • Server standards will ensure that servers are consistently backed up, updated, firewalled, monitored and protected in order to safeguard university data.

Cost Consciousness

  • Devices that meet minimum standards simplify support and reduce time otherwise spent troubleshooting and debugging problems and incompatibilities.
  • Consistent inventory management of hardware and software reduces the possibility of fines resulting from software audits.
  • Safeguarding university data in a more consistent and proactive manner will protect against data loss and associated negative reputational impacts.

Related Projects

 

 

Business/ Productivity Tools & File Storage

Direction

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is the campus standard office productivity suite for faculty and staff. 

How it meets our new realities

Hybrid Future

  • Microsoft 365 applications (e.g., Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote and Teams) can be accessed both online and offline (with enhanced functionality) via desktop apps.  
  • Group chat, Teams Calls, online meetings, and web conferencing are available through a single application (Microsoft Teams) that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft cloud-based file storage including Microsoft Sharepoint and OneDrive.

Security

  • All users will be required to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) when using Microsoft Office 365. MFA protects your account by adding an additional layer of security, making it harder for attackers to log in as if they were you. MFA protects access to both email and data stored in OneDrive, Teams and Sharepoint when an employee’s identikey is phished. Microsoft’s MFA service integrates seamlessly with its products. 
  • Microsoft provides the advanced security and data loss prevention features within its productivity suite required to conduct government sponsored research.  

Cost Consciousness

  • Microsoft 365 provides tools for analytics (PowerBI and Viva Insights) as well as automation (Power Automate) to help campus community members work more efficiently.
  • MFA and data encryption will substantially mitigate risk for costly data breaches, ransomware attacks and appropriation of stolen intellectual property.

Impacts

  • Google Workspace for Education will still be available to faculty and staff. However, due to Google’s decision to eliminate unlimited storage from its service offering to higher education institutions, it is recommended that faculty and staff only use Google for collaboration purposes using Google format file types. 
 

Cloud File Storage

Direction

University data must be stored on OIT-supported or campus-supported cloud storage solutions. This includes OneDrive and Sharepoint and Sharepoint for general enterprise cloud storage and PetaLibrary for research-based cloud storage.

How it meets our new realities

Hybrid Future

  • OneDrive and Sharepoint provide access to storage and collaboration features from any device and any location. 

Security

  • Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) and Data encryption in OneDrive allows for safe storage of Highly Confidential data.
  • Data stored in the cloud is protected and makes access to data easier from various working environments and various computers. 
  • Having a centrally managed cloud storage solution enables campus IT visibility and access to take action to secure University data

Cost Consciousness

  • MFA and data encryption will substantially mitigate risk for costly data breaches, ransomware attacks and appropriation of stolen intellectual property.

Impacts

  • Due to Google’s decision to eliminate unlimited storage from its service offering to higher education institutions, users will be subject to a 5 GB/user quota that will apply to Google Drive and email storage. 
  • Users who are using more than 5 GB of Google Drive storage will have their non-Google format files (e.g. PDFs) moved to OneDrive by OIT during the summer and fall of 2022. Users can opt-out of the automatic migration if they prefer to move their own files. 
  • Users can also move their files to another appropriate storage location (such as the Petalibrary for researchers). 

Related Projects 

Google Storage

 

Phones

Direction

Individual Boulder campus phone customers will be transitioned from a VoIP phone system powered by Cisco to one powered by Microsoft that will use predominantly “softphones” integrated into Teams.

How it meets our new realities

Hybrid Future

  • Faculty and staff will be able to make and receive phone calls and voicemail to their CU Boulder provided phone number regardless of their location using computers and mobile devices without the need for a traditional physical phone.
  • Integrates seamlessly with a comprehensive suite of Microsoft productivity and collaboration tools including chat, calendar, OneDrive, and much more.
  • Ease of maintaining contacts and speed dials
  • Receive transcripts and audio recordings of voicemail messages in your inbox.

Cost Consciousness

  • Eliminates the need to budget additional funds for a separate phone system. 
  • Eliminates the need for most phone hardware (handsets).

Impacts

  • Most users will no longer have a desk phone and will make calls directly from their computer or mobile device.
 
 

Related projects in progress

Project Name Status Description
Google Storage Migrations In progress To ensure we can keep within the new storage quota set by Google for academic institutions, we will be making some significant changes to our service, including eliminating Google Photos and setting individual quotas for Google Drive. Microsoft Office 365 is the standard for file storage at CU Boulder for all faculty, staff, and students. CU Boulder’s PetaLibrary is also available for researchers.
Transition to Teams Calls In progress Starting in the spring of 2022, CU Boulder's telephone service will begin a phased transition from Cisco to Microsoft. This new voice service, which will be accessed through Microsoft Teams, integrates seamlessly with a comprehensive suite of Microsoft productivity and collaboration tools including Chat, Calendar, OneDrive, and supports our hybrid work environment. This transition is another step in leveraging the University of Colorado’s strategic investment in Microsoft solutions.
Secure Computing Project In progress To better ensure the integrity of the shared information technology environment as it relates to end-user devices, all university-owned end-user devices, and personally-owned end-user devices that access or store university data will need to meet security and management standards.
Microsoft Office License Remediation In progress This project has been evaluating Microsoft Office license provisioning across various affiliations and making sure that Microsoft Office software is available to eligible CU Boulder affiliates that need it.
Multi-factor Authentication for Office 365 Students, Faculty and staff enrolled.  To enhance the security of CU Boulder accounts, the Office of Information Technology is enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect Microsoft Office 365 applications.
Software Licensing Futures In progress OIT has recognized the need to provide campus-wide software licensing services to campus units and employees in the form of a Software Asset Management (SAM) program. This program will significantly expand the scope of OIT’s current software licensing activities in order to meet campus service demands and strategic goals.
Migrate Outbound mail to Microsoft In progress This project will migrate all outbound SMTP mail through Microsoft’s Exchange Online Protection and Advanced Threat Protection service to fulfill these requirements. This change will provide a holistic approach to mail security based on our other Microsoft services.

Feedback

If you have questions about the Seven Projects, please email oithelp@colorado.edu.