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ITS receives 2019 E&I Cloud Leadership Award

Information Technology (IT) is the recipient of the 2019 E&I Cloud Leadership Award for Hybrid IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)/PaaS (Platform as a Service). The award recognizes the work of IT staff for their achievements through the innovative use of cloud-first technology. K-State was chosen because of the extensive planning process, the complexity of the project, the hybrid approach to the cloud strategy, and the speed of implementation. There were over 100 applicants for the awards within six categories.

While the fire in Hale accelerated the timeline to move systems to the cloud, K-State was in the process of developing the IT Strategic Plan with a priority to modernize the IT infrastructure and move critical services to the cloud.
Continue reading “ITS receives 2019 E&I Cloud Leadership Award”

Retirement reception honoring Jennifer Gehrt

Information Technology Services will host a retirement reception honoring Jennifer Gehrt, associate director of the Information Systems office, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, in Banquet Room A of the K-State Alumni Center. Formal remarks will be at 4 p.m.

For over 42 years, Gehrt has served the university with distinction. For 33 of those years, she held the positions of assistant director, associate director and director in the Division of Human Resources. From 2004-2008, she lead the Laser project team as project director. At the time, LASER (Legacy Application Systems Empowered Replacement), was the largest technology project undertaken to move from main-frame computing to more advanced web-based technologies.

Cards and letters of congratulations may be brought to the reception or sent to Kelly Moon at kmoon@ksu.edu or 2323 Anderson Avenue, 116 Unger Complex, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

Cloud migrations successful

Human Capital Services, the Division of Financial Services, the Office of Student Life and Information Technology Services (ITS) are pleased to announce the move of HRIS, FIS, and KSIS to the cloud and managed services was successful. K-State’s functional users of systems, the ITS staff, and our vendor partners spent hundreds of hours of planning, preparing, testing, and migrating the systems.

Jay Stephens, vice president for human capital services said, “This migration further disaster-proofs critical systems that help the university care for our employees and run day to day.  So many people touch HRIS every day, including our own payroll and resource center teams who rely on this system to make sure employees are paid accurately and on time.  We appreciate the partnership with ITS to make this happen”.

The ERP cloud migration and move to managed services is part of K-State’s ongoing efforts to modernize the IT infrastructure and implement a cloud-first strategy. ITS staff has been actively working on the migration since the summer of 2019. Over a year and a half of planning was required for the implementation.

The migration is one of the many reasons that K-State was the recipient of the E&I Cloud Award, resulting from a hybrid approach to a cloud strategy and the speed at which the planning and implementation occurred.

According to Fran Willbrant, associate vice president for financial services, “The move overall went extremely well thanks to the hard work of everyone involved.  I am confident that with the transition to the cloud-based infrastructure that our on campus information technology resources can now be more effectively deployed to help the campus improve services to our students, faculty, and staff”.

“The move of our largest systems to the cloud, allows K-State to scale up during peak performance times, optimizes the use of IT resources”, said Gary Pratt, chief information officer, and puts K-State in a better position for business continuity should a disaster occur on campus”.

To learn more about K-State’s move to a cloud-first strategy, view the  IT Strategic Plan.

Reminder about phishing scams

Over the last few weeks, we have seen an increase in the number of phishing scams hitting K-State inboxes. A common scam offers a part-time job opportunity. This type of scam is enticing, especially since it is the end of the semester, and students might be looking for work. Other common scams are from an administrator with one question, “are you available” or a one liner, “hello”.

Students have fallen for the scam, sometimes more than once. ​This time of year, when students are the busiest is when scammers hit the hardest.

Please be careful and don’t respond to scams. How can you tell if an email is a scam?

  • Typos in the email and poor spelling, but this may not always be the case.
  • The urgency of the message –  “have to do this today,” “don’t delay,” “immediately,” etc.
  • The web address goes to a fake login page used to collect credentials.
  • Threatening nature of the wording or the promise of “cool cash” or easy money.
  • An already compromised K-State email account sends scams to another K-State email account (to help build credibility).
  • An email asking you to send a cash card such as an iTunes card either by sending the scammer specific numbers from the card or taking a picture of the card.

To see examples, please visit the K-State scams blog.  https://blogs.k-state.edu/scams/

If you are not sure about an email, please don’t respond.  Information Technology Services (ITS) can determine if an email is a scam. Send the questionable email to  abuse@ksu.edu. If it is a new scam, ITS post a notice on the scams blog to make the K-State community aware of the latest scams.

IT Update

November is the perfect opportunity to thank the IT staff for all they do to support K-State 2025, Strategic Enrollment Management, the new budget model, the IT Strategic Plan, One IT and so much more.

The hard work of staff was recognized when K-State was named the recipient of the E&I Cloud Leadership Award for the Hybrid Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) category. There were over a hundred applications for the award categories. K-State’s recognition was due to careful planning, the innovative hybrid approach, and the speed of the move to cloud services. Thank you to the IT staff from a grateful campus.

The summary that follows is organized by strategic goals within the IT Strategic Plan.

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University preparing to move financial, student and human resource systems to cloud services

Information Technology Services is preparing for the move of the Financial Information System (FIS), the K-State Student Information System (KSIS) and the Human Resource Information System (HRIS) to the cloud. The date for the move from on-premise to the cloud is pending. We wanted to inform K-Staters of this change in advance of any outage. 

Why are the systems moving to cloud services? The move of our financial, student and human resource systems to the cloud is part of the IT Strategic Plan to modernize the IT infrastructure and move forward with our cloud first strategy. 

Will users notice any differences? Our users should not notice any change in services or functionality. However, some bookmarks might need to be updated.  

Will there be an outage when the systems go live? There will be a period of time when the systems are offline. K-Staters will be notified prior to any downtime of the systems. The outage for FIS will be approximately three days. The outage for HRIS and KSIS will be four days.  

Who do you contact with issues? Contact the IT Help Desk at 785-532-7722 or put in a ticket from helpdesk@ksu.edu. 

 

 

IT Update

Fall is a spooky time of year with cooler weather, hundreds of events across campus and IT staff cranking on projects. Duo, two factor authentication, is coming to the final three faculty/staff groups and the cloud first strategy continues with moves of priority systems to the cloud.

Staff

As part of the IT Reorganization process, Gary Pratt, CIO announced the combining of the Network Operations Center and the Information Security and Compliance Office to form the Security Intelligence and Operations Center.

Scott Finkeldei has accepted the role of Director for Academic and Student Technology. In this role, Scott will continue to lead the faculty support services provided by the Office of Mediated Education (OME). Additionally, Scott will provide a more focused effort in providing direct support for faculty in the teaching, learning and scholarship arenas as well as support the student success technology needs of campus.

IT continues to emphasize professional development for staff especially in the areas of ITIL and cloud strategies.

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Oct. 16: Introduction to Qualtrics

Qualtrics surveys can be used for event registrations, satisfaction surveys, online forms, academic research, training, and more. Join us for an Introduction to Qualtrics training session from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 16 in 306 Calvin Hall. All students, faculty, and staff who use this research suite are welcome to attend.

Topics to be covered:

  • Create and manage surveys
  • Customize the look and feel
  • Collaborate with others
  • Use block options and survey flow
  • Use display and skip logic
  • Distribute a survey
  • Run and analyze reports

Graduate and undergraduate students must work with an advisor/supervisor for access to Qualtrics using this request form.

Register through HRIS. See Using HRIS to register for classes.

Join us today for the State of IT Security presentation

Today begins National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Register for the “State of IT Security at K-State” presentation and join us from 1;30 -2:30 p.m. today. After you register, you will receive a Zoom meeting invitation.

Some highlights that will be covered include:

  • National Cybersecurity Awareness Month events
  • Attack Metrics — cyber attacks at K-State
  • Future of cybersecurity at K-State
  • Security changes as K-State transitions to the cloud
  • How every K-Stater can help

See the K-State It Security Awareness Month web page to keep up-to-date on the latest details. Follow us on Twitter to stay involved with all the activities throughout the month of October.

Announcing the Cloud Center of Excellence

Dear Colleagues,

Plans to modernize K-State’s IT infrastructure are an important part of the 2018 IT Strategic Plan as we work to deliver the IT services required of a top 50 public research University.  The damage to K-State’s primary data center caused by the Hale fire provides an opportunity to accelerate the timeline to execute a cloud first strategy. To support this important strategic objective K-State’s One IT is creating a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) for the governance, advocacy, training and resources necessary to align cloud migration activities with K-State’s goals.

K-State’s Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) is a centralized cloud computing governance function that serves as an internal cloud service broker and acts in a consultative role for central and distributed IT, and consumers of cloud services across campus. The CCoE oversees functions such as cloud computing policy, cloud provider selection and relationships, cloud solution architecture, workload placement and governance. The CCoE provides guidelines and guardrails that improve outcomes and manage risks. The CCoE does not have day-to-day operational responsibilities, nor is it a sourcing or vendor management organization, nor a project management organization.

In the coming weeks, the core team will be meeting with entities across campus to explain the functions of the CCoE as we create the infrastructure for a top 50 public research university. More information about the CCoE is available from: https://www.k-state.edu/it-strategic-planning/ccoe/index.html

Sincerely,

Gary Pratt, Chief Information Officer