#satech advisory

#satech_meeting_Notes 041615

#satech meeting notes 021915

Technology Leadership Council Meeting, 1/29/15

  1. Bob Nakles introduced the group to the relatively newly formed Project Management Governance Group, charged with identifying, prioritizing and managing technology projects.
    a. epmo.gmu.edu is the web site, with a list of projects in the pipeline as well as other good information.
  2. Leslie Painter, ITU/Patriot Computers reported on the progress of the Adobe Licensing Program at Mason. The ETLA has been signed; Mason is moving to cloud-based Adobe applications.
    a. CS6 applications (the latest and last physical/non-cloud based releases) are being discontinued. The remaining support for CS6 will be for critical updates only.
    b. We no longer own our software, but rent to use in two-year increments
    c. We will not use the Adobe deployment model. Patriot Computers will use the “Software Store” idea (which is Steve Broadus’s space). We place an order, the software appears in our Software Store for download to our computer desktop for installation.
    d. Acrobat will run about 90$, the “kitchen sink” (a portfolio of most frequently used creative applications, yet to be fully defined, will run 390$. An analysis shows that the cost will prove to be relatively flat to our current average outlay. A single application can be had for 199$, so it is not advisable to purchase only one. OTI will be evaluating division use to take advantage of this opportunity to clean up our software use and find strategic efficiencies.
    e. These licenses only offer a SINGLE LOAD, instead of the two (or more) that we have become accustomed to (to be installed on only one comptuer). The applications will phone home on occasion to detect multiple load license term violations.
    f. Current users will be notified when they are able to purchase new licenses.
  3. The new Blackboard Content system was introduced. If you log onto the portal, you will see a “Content” tab, in which you will see “my, course, organization, institution” content folders. Institution means “department” and will have up to 50GB of space.  Administrators will be found (technology coordinators (Karen), current Blackboard System administrators (Michael) etc, to manage a sophisticated multi-level permissions/access system.
    a. This is a game changer. It will dramatically enhance the use of Blackboard and could replace all of our uses of Dropbox and other less-than-secure cloud storage, and since it is integrated into courses and organizations, may well be a more productive use of space (and more of it) than the MESA server (shared drive).
    b. Also re: Blackboard, the Kaltura tool can be used for video storage and sharing, perhaps eliminating the need for Vimeo and other paid video sharing applications.c. And….the Collaborate tool (video conferencing/virtual classroom/meeting space) in Blackboard now has an app for mobile device use.
  4. Collaborative Visual Technologies announced that the new VPN can now be installed on tablets, and that it will be replacing the older VPN over the next few months, so we need to introduce and train our staff on the new tool. Cisco’s Jabber is increasing in point-to-point high quality teleconferencing, while a web-based version called Blue Jeans now leads us to high quality, user friendly multi-user videoconferencing. Michael is getting a license to explore.
  5. Re: the new Mason web presence, the new Mason-wide content management system has been preliminarily identified (not announced right now); there are demos scheduled with the vendor (Digital Wave) for 2/27. This new CMS and the templates being designed for a consistent branded look across the institution will have a dramatic, if gradual (over a year or more) impact on the look and feel of our web sites.
  6. Mark Kraner announces that on March 1st the new ID card format will begin to take the place of current cards, with ISO numbers (like credit cards), RFID chip for no-touch scanning, and new formatting of the mag strip for increased security and fraud-prevention.



Andrew Krell, from George Mason University’s Architectural Standards Committee, presented on a the Mason Project Specifications document, a work in process that acts as a operators manual for IT project preparation.

Mason Project specifications






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