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Bigger and Better at Pitt IT

Technology never stands still, and neither does Pitt IT. Behind the scenes, the department is continuously replacing and upgrading infrastructure, hardware, and systems to ensure that the University is operating on the most up-to-date and secure technologies. Here's a rundown of some of the IT projects from the first half of 2022:

  • Migrating from Box to Microsoft OneDrive:
    More than 97% of all users and departments (more than 35,000 accounts and counting) have been migrated from Box cloud storage accounts to OneDrive. The transition continues for users with more complex or special circumstances. 
  • Transitioning from PS Mobile to HighPoint Campus Experience:
    The PeopleSoft mobile site will soon be sunsetted, as it is no longer supported by the vendor. Instead, it will redirect to PeopleSoft Campus Experience (CX) , which has expanded functionality and is mobile-friendly. In addition, a HighPoint CX app will soon be available for mobile devices.
  • New Training and Certification Opportunities:
    Microsoft fundamentals certifications for students are now free, offering opportunities to gain a competitive edge for launching their careers. In addition, the Microsoft Enterprise Skills Initiative was released to faculty and staff, providing a focused learning portal, exam preparation, and free certifications for various Azure, Microsoft 365, Identity, and Security products. The University community also has access to Information Security Awareness Training from KnowBe4 to help them identify threats and protect themselves and the University from cyberattacks.
  • Wi-Fi Network Improvements:
    In early July, Pitt IT began installing new controllers and access points in high utilization areas on the Pittsburgh campus, with a particular focus on classrooms, study areas, and common spaces. In addition, PittNet Wi-Fi service will soon be upgraded to 5 GHz capacity to reduce congestion and improve performance on the network. Regional campuses will also see improvements over the summer, as Pitt IT upgrades their network infrastructure in order to achieve increased performance, security, redundancy, and bandwidth capacity.
  • Lecture Capture (Panopto) New Features:
    Several Panopto updates have been or will soon be made, which require users to update their recorder to the most recent version. Upgrades coming on June 25 will provide a more intuitive user experience, including enhanced caption editing for incorrectly transcribed words, instant edit processing for quicker post-production and publishing, and a new portal design with new icons, a prominently located Create feature, and a restyled Search bar.
  • Pitt–UPMC Collaborations:
    A new web-based Pitt-UPMC Collaboration Guide provides information on interoperability of technology for collaboration between both organizations. In addition, Pitt Wi-Fi is now available in several UPMC-supported buildings, including Forbes Tower and McKee Place, with plans to add Pittnet Wi-Fi in all UPMC facilities, as well as to upgrade link between Pitt and UPMC networks to meet growing needs. Finally, global address books between Pitt and UPMC can now be bridged so individuals can look up individuals and view the calendar availability for easier scheduling.
  • Firewall Upgrades: 
    To protect critical University data from external threats, the network was rearchitected to enhance security. This included routing changes and filtering all traffic at the border, instead of at individual firewalls — stopping over two million threats a month.  Old firewall technology was retired in February, and departments are encouraged to migrate to the current, next-generation technology this summer.
  • Phishing Protection: 
    Enhanced phishing protection is being implemented to identify and block email scams. The new system more rapidly identifies and responds to the growing volume of potentially malicious email message reported by users, allowing IT Security to prioritize the highest-risk threats. See the IT News & Alerts page for more information about several recent sophisticated attacks that have hit Pitt and the nation.
  • Telephony Migration:
    Over 25,000 phone numbers were migrated without disruption as part of the ongling Avaya to Teams telephone service migration. In addition, Pitt IT added 10GB redundant data connections for all regional locations. These changes will reduce costs and add flexibility when responding to an outage.
  • Decommissioning IPSec VPN Client:
    The Cisco IPSec VPN client is no longer supported by the vendor and will be decommissioned this summer. Users should migrate to GlobalProtect, which has all the functionality of IPSec, plus additional capabilities.

These are just some of the many updates and upgrades that Pitt IT is implementing to ensure that our tech stays current and secure. Stay in the know about Pitt IT updates through our website, alerts, and newsletter.

-- By Karen Beaudway, Pitt IT Blogger