Technology support during COVID-19
A significant percentage of the faculty and staff are working remotely, either in split shifts or full time. This has increased the dependence on technology to enable remote connections, instant messaging and virtual meetings.
Yeman Collier, vice president and chief information officer, has expressed appreciation for the patience exhibited as Information Management Services (IMS) has worked with technology vendors, to scale up supporting infrastructure, as well as with dedicated efforts of the IMS teams as they solved technical problems and provided support.
Vital in this change in the way we work are the following supporting resources and information about technology utilization. We have compiled this helpful information for you to reference from one readily accessible place.
Connecting from home – Bookmark the Telecommuting 101 page for everything you need to know about working from home, device requirements, connecting to campus, collaborating, sharing documents, information security and getting help. If your work requires VPN or Cloud login, reference this handy guide.
Office 365 – You don’t have to be connected to campus to collaborate and get your work done! Office 365 page guides you on how to use all the familiar apps like Word and Excel, and some amazing tools like Teams and Planner. Plus, find out about Office 365 from Home and choosing between the browser or desktop apps.
Virtual Meetings – There are multiple options for virtual meetings. Those who previously subscribed to our enterprise Webex site can continue to use that site. For those who need a tool to host virtual meetings, there are now three options: Teams Meetings, Webex, and Zoom. Find out the best choice for the type of meeting needed on the Virtual Meetings site. Zoom is the appropriate virtual meeting tool for patient care, care coordination and PHI discussion. Call Health-IT Help Desk at 210-450-4111 to request Zoom licenses.
Student Conferences – Canvas, the student learning management system, has a conference tool for classroom-based activity. Faculty are currently using Canvas for virtual classrooms. The conference tool is an expanded use to enhance distance learning and collaboration.
Storing and Sharing files – We all have a role in protecting data. The Cloud Storage Options site will guide you on the most appropriate method for the type of collaboration needed and the information contained in the files.
Everything is so slow! What can you do to speed it up?:
• Do not maintain a VPN connection unless absolutely needed. Your email is available in Outlook on your home computer or browser via Outlook.com. Most of your files or documents could be stored in a cloud location such as OneDrive or MyCloud. Enterprise Business Applications are available directly from your home computer with a VPN connection, but only connect when entering or approving transactions in the systems. Only connect to your remote desktop for the short time it might be needed to move a file to a cloud location. Let’s work together to save bandwidth for mission critical operations like patient care and research.
• Consider what else is using the internet in your household. The number of devices accessing the internet on a single router will slow things down. Consider shutting off mobile device connections and using the cellular signal, if possible. Try to avoid streaming music or video while working and definitely don’t do it from your desktop at work! You might also consider using an ethernet cable instead of WiFi to connect, the number of WiFi connections will slow the overall signal for every device in the house.
• Shut off your video in virtual meetings. The entire technical infrastructure is configured to prioritize audio over video signal. Multiple video signals at the same time will burn up the bandwidth allocated to the meeting. Shutting down video for all but the presenter will improve the quality of the audio connection.
• What are your neighbors doing? What is called “the last mile” connection from your internet provider to your house is being taxed like never before. People working from home, children doing schoolwork online and people streaming on their devices all consume bandwidth. It is possible to pay for a higher speed connection, but there may also be limitations in your area because of the last mile infrastructure.
For support with technology related issues, contact:
IMS Service Desk
Temporarily extended hours: M-F, 6 a.m-8 p.m.
UT Health Physicians/UT Med Service Desk
Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Business Application User Support Team
Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.