March 2011

 

Where Should We Turn to for IT Solutions? ITS Help Centre is the Right Place to Go!
Security Benefits of Using Cloud Services
Windows OS Upgrade Plan
ITS Representative Visit to Departments
CLO Meeting - Update on New IT Developments and Service Provisions
Do Not Upgrade to Internet Explorer 9
April Staff IT Training Programmes






Launching of PolyU Connect Service – New Email and Collaboration Environment for Students
 

 

Currently, our students’ Campus Email accounts will be terminated after graduation. Graduates are only provided with an email forwarding address which, when activiated, will receive and immediately forward all incoming mails to the graduates’ selected personal email accounts.

The University considers it of strategic value that all current students, who will  become our alumni upon graduation,  be provided with a life-long email account. It would help to achieve and maintain a strong sense of affiliation and partner relationships among  the alumni community and the University. It would also facilitate our alumni to stay in touch with various PolyU activities such as event promotion, survey conducting, fund-raising, etc.  

After comprehensive feasibility study and testing, the University has decided to adopt the live@edu Microsoft based solution for the delivery of email and collaboration environment to students. The new service, named ‘PolyU Connect’, will gradually replace the current Campus Email Service and Alumni Email Forwarding Service for students and alumni.

 

What is PolyU Connect?

PolyU Connect is a multi-service platform that integrates email with additional communication, collaboration and productivity services. In addition to being a life-long email service, the PolyU Connect also provides a host of other services including web storage, web applications, free software download, etc.

Since it is a life-long service, the email account will not be disabled /deleted after graduation and students can continue using the same email address perpetually. The format of the PolyU Connect Email Address would be <preferred name>@connect.polyu.hk.

Click here to view the list of services provided by PolyU Connect and click here to view the PolyU Connect Website.

 

When will PolyU Connect be Available?

All current students will be the first batch of PolyU Connect users. The service will be available for use in mid April and a notification email with the initial password will be sent to the individual student’s  Campus Email account shortly.

However, during the transition period before the phasing out of the Campus Email System, students will have both the Campus Email account and PolyU Connect account. The Campus Email System will continue to be the official communication channel between PolyU and students until the Campus Email System is phased out.


Activate Your PolyU Connect Account and Win an Xbox 360 Kinect Set

To encourage usage of this new email and collaboration platform, students will have an opportunity to win an Xbox 360 with Kinect (value: HK$2,499) in a lucky draw upon activating the service!

Just do the following BEFORE 21 April:

  • Log in to your PolyU Connect account and change the initial password to activate the service, AND;
  • Forward your Campus Email account to your PolyU Connect account.

5 sets of Xbox 360 with Kinect will be given away to the lucky students! Don’t miss the opportunity!

A promotion booth will be set up on campus to answer any questions regarding the PolyU Connect service and for account activation.

Date

Time

Location

15, 16, 18, 19, 20 & 21 April

10:30am – 5:30pm

Podium Area outside 7-11

 

 

 
 


 
Where Should We Turn to for IT Solutions? ITS Help Centre is the Right Place to Go!
 


What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you have computer problems and IT service enquiries? Google search engine?  Well, this could be a good way to look for answer. But in PolyU, there is another good option which can help you in a more interactive way. It’s the ITS Help Centre.

Located at Room M201, the ITS Help Centre is a one-stop, open-door help service provided to all students and staff. You are welcome to visit the Help Centre and discuss with our colleagues on any IT related problems. Our Help Centre colleagues render professional and technical advice/assistance on all IT facilities and services that we provide.

Although the full range of ITS services is delivered by different sections and teams, you do not need to remember who to call when you have a problem or enquiry regarding a particular service. All you have to do is to contact our Help Centre whenever you need help.

Our Help Centre is the most direct and efficient channel for you to seek assistance. Even if our Help Centre colleagues cannot provide you with a solution right away, they know best who is the right person in ITS to answer your question within the shortest possible time.

Thus whenever you need assistance on various IT services such as:

  • NetID and University Portal enquiries and support
  • Webmail, GW mail and email calendar synchronization support for  mobile devices
  • WiFi support for notebooks and mobile devices
  • University administrative systems
  • antivirus, data protection and security
  • use of common software
  • IT technical support to special projects
  • advice on IT related matters
  • etc.

The ITS Help Centre is the most guaranteed channel to get the appropriate response.

In addition, our Help Centre also provides training, technology briefing and orientation programmes for staff and students.

How to reach our Help Centre

  • Call the Help Centre Hotline at 2766 5900
  • Visit our Help Centre at 2/F of SCC (Student Computer Centre) in LKS Tower
  • Use our HelpCentre Online Tracking Service – the HOTS system.

 

 
 


 
Private Cloud Service Coming Soon – Rent Your Servers at Low Cost
 

 

As communicated in our last issue, to save space and power and to manage the servers more efficiently, ITS has established a Virtual Machine (VM) environment to support a private cloud infrastructure at the University. We are pleased to announce that the University’s new Private Cloud Service will be launched in April 2011.

 

 

What is Private Cloud Service?

The PolyU Private Cloud Service will provide departments with a server hosting platform in a virtual environment. It will operate as a rental service - departments will be able to rent a ‘virtual server’ from ITS at a cost which is much lower than buying and operating their own. No need for server rooms, special power arrangements, air-conditioning, and no lengthy delays for purchasing and setting up the server.

The service will save departments the trouble of maintaining their own servers which would need special requirements on the physical settings and security protection. It will also achieve cost-savings for the University on an institutional-wide level.

 

What Servers Can Be Rented Now?

During the initial launch, the following Linux package, which will be suitable for web servers, will be offered:

SuSE Enterprise Linux 11 SP1 for VMware with

  • one vCPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 100GB harddisk capacity

More packages with different operating systems will be available in the near future.

 

How to Apply?

The service will be launched in April 2011. Departmental users can request to rent a ’virtual server’ by submitting a request form online. With the approval of the Head of Department (HoD), or a staff authorized by the HoD to approve the request, the ‘virtual server’ will be ready for use on the date as requested by the user.  

More details on the service including the application and payment arrangements will be sent to departments shortly. 

 

 
 


 
Security Benefits of Using Cloud Services
 

 

Cloud-Security1Cloud services are increasingly attractive to higher education, particularly in terms of potential cost savings and increased flexibility. In addition, the adoption of cloud services will also bring significant benefits on information security:

  • Strong Organizational and Operational Security Controls – Service providers like Microsoft and Google have implemented compliance management framework, secure development lifecycle and service operation frameworks to govern the operations of their cloud infrastructure.
  • Strong Security Protections – In order to maintain reputation and competitive advantages in the cloud service business, service providers have to keep improving their security practices and compete on security.
  • High Level of Resilience – Some service providers will replicate customer data in multiple data centers located in various regions of the world. This increases redundancy and independence from failure.
  • Strong Threat Management – A better system hardening and more effective security patch management could be achieved by the service providers, through participating in various professional organizations to obtain the latest information on security threats and development.

  • Certification and Audit – To maintain the industry security certification and attestation, the cloud services need to be audited regularly. This frequent audit could help retrieve the security weaknesses in the services and operations.

 

Best Security Practices for Using Cloud Services

In order to get more out of the cloud service securely, cooperation from users is also essential. Most cloud services, like Microsoft Live, are protected with user authentication. As such good password management is very important:

  • Users shall keep their passwords confidential and do not share the information with anyone.

  • Strong passwords should be adopted. It is also a good practice to change the account password regularly.

  • When accessing the cloud services on a shared computer, users should always log out before leaving the service to prevent unauthorized access to information from subsequent users.

In addition, some cloud services may offer file sharing functionality. Users must take great care to share folders and files only with the intended recipients. Sensitive data, like personal data, should only be shared when it is absolutely necessary.

 

 
 


 
Windows OS Upgrade Plan
 

 

windows 7.jpgAfter conducting exhaustive testing on Windows 7 and considering the criticality of maintaining a stable and robust computing platform in support of the mission-critical applications and systems for 3-3-4 implementation, the roll out of Windows 7 has been rescheduled to be implementaed after September 2012 tentatively.

During the interim period, colleagues are advised to upgrade their Windows OS with Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) which provides major enhancements on performance and security.

To facilitate the upgrade process, ITS will be providing colleagues with a simple tool to automatically install the software upgrades. The Upgrade Kit will be made available to colleagues by phases in May and June.


 
 


 
GOOD NEWS: Free Admission to the 2nd JUCC Information Security Conference on 19 & 20 May 2011
 

 

For information security, we're trained to expect the unexpected.

In order to broaden the exposure of our users on the latest trends in Information Security and let them mingle with the industry's best and brightest, they will be sponsored to attend the 2nd JUCC (Joint Universities Computer Centre) Information Security Conference to be held on 19 & 20 May 2011 for FREE!! Registration details will shortly be sent  to departments via email. 

Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to meet with and benefit from the knowledge and experience of prominent information security experts from various sectors.

You will be pleased to know that  we are also organizing another Information Security Awareness Workshop in May with topics such as:

  • Information Security Management Program
  • Information Management
  • Business Impact Analysis & Business Continuity Management
  • Evaluation of Information Security Control & Self Assessment
Stay tune to our further announcements.

 

 
 


 
ITS Representative Visit to Departments
 

 

To strengthen the partnership between ITS and Departments/Offices, ITS has a departmental liaison mechanism to ensure that there is a regular dialogue between each Department/Office and a senior staff member of ITS.

The ITS Representative to Department (IRD) is the focal contact person for consultation and discussion on how University IT services can help support departmental research, teaching and administrative plans and operations. The objective is to align our resources, projects and initiatives across the University and avoid unnecessary duplication and waste by sharing plans and strategies. Click here for the list of IRDs. Click here to view the ITS service catalogue.

We are currently conducting a new round of IRD visit to departments. Our IRDs will be visiting individual Departments/Offices in the coming weeks to  meet with HoDs and colleagues involved in departmental IT planning and development to discuss their IT plans, needs and problems. The visit will provide valuable input and validation for University IT planning processes. It will also help define the provision of shared IT facilities and services targeted at University and departmental IT needs.

 

 
 


 
CLO Meeting - Update on New IT Developments and Service Provisions
 

 

Departmental Computer Liaison Officers (CLOs) are the close working partners of ITS and regular meetings are held to introduce new IT offerings and for ITS to better understand the IT needs of departments. 

Over 80 CLOs and departmental representatives attended the meeting held on 23 March 2011 at the Senate Room.

During the meeting, ITS introduced / reported the latest developments in the following areas:

  • Launching of PolyU Connect Service
  • Document Library for Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • Paperless Council Meeting
  • Private Cloud Services
  • How Can We Benefit from Cloud Services - From Security Perspectives
  • Update on Identity and Access Management (IAM) Implementation
  • Windows OS Upgrade Plan
  • University's New Learning Management System (LMS)

Mr Peter Duffy of EDC highlighting the LMS Transition Project.

Issues of particular interest / concern to departments included the roll out of Windows Vista 7 which has been rescheduled to take place after September 2012, the timeframe of replacing GroupWise with MS Exchange and the data migration arrangements, the implementation details of the University’s new Learning Management System – Blackboard, etc. 

During the meeting, the departmental CLOs/representatives also provided us with very useful suggestions and feedback on our facilities and services. A special thanks to all CLOs who have always been supportive to the University’s IT initiatives and have played a key role in their successful implementation.

 

 
 


 
Do Not Upgrade to Internet Explorer 9
 

 

IE.jpgAs announced earlier to all staff via e-mail, Microsoft will distribute the latest version of its Internet Explorer 9 via the Windows Update service. As the University's web-based applications and administrative systems are developed based on IE7, users are advised NOT to install IE8 or IE9 at this stage to avoid compatibility problems

A 'one-off' solution to disable the automatic installation of IE8 and IE9 has been prepared to help you block the auto upgrade of IE8 and IE9 on your PC. Simply click here and follow the prompts to install the blocker. The installation will only take a few steps. 

If you have any enquiry or need assistance, please feel free to contact the ITS Help Centre at 2766 5900.

 

 
 


 
April Staff IT Training Programmes
 

 

Training Workshops

You may view the full list of workshops offered in April and make online enrolment via the Staff IT Training Workshop Enrolment System. You will be notified instantly of the enrolment results.

 

Online Courses

  April Online Courses

A

Access 2007: Level 1, 2, 3 & 4

  Access 2007: New Features

 

Acrobat 9.0 Pro: Level 1 & 2

E

Excel 2007: Level 1, 2, 3 & 4

 

Excel 2007: New Features

  Excel 2007: VBA

G

GroupWise 7.0 Level 1-1: Using GroupWise E-mail

 

GroupWise 7.0 Level 1-2: Organizing E-mails and Address Book in GroupWise

  GroupWise 7.0 Level 1-3: Using GroupWise Calendar and Resources
  GroupWise 7.0 Level 2-1: Exploring Advanced Mail and Message Features

 

GroupWise 7.0 Level 2-2: Exploring WebAccess, Rules and Access Rights

P

PowerPoint 2007: Level 1 & 2

 

PowerPoint 2007: New Features

 

Project 2007: Level 1 & 2

 

Publisher 2007

S

Security Awareness (Part 1): Protecting Information and Countering Social Engineering

 

Security Awareness (Part 2) : Maintaining Computer and File Security

 

Security Awareness (Part 3): Promoting E-mail Security and Proper Responses to Security Incidents

 

SharePoint Designer 2007: Level 1 & 2

 V

What's New in Visio 2007

W

Windows Vista : New Features

 

Word 2007: Level 1, 2 & 3

 

Word 2007: New Features

 

Please click here for the detailed description of each course. To enrol, please complete and return the web-based proforma reply and you will be informed of the enrolment results in early April via e-mail.

Enquiries: 4566