OIT Ramps Up for Large Computer Refresh in 2017

Computer Refresh Last summer, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) successfully replaced over 800 computers in a few months as part of our annual computer refresh. The OIT Install Team is ramping up for another large-scale installation project targeting approximately 1500 computers! We’re making a few changes to the process to ensure the upgrades go more smoothly this year. Continue reading OIT Ramps Up for Large Computer Refresh in 2017

Faculty and Staff Email Upgrade to Exchange 2016

OIT is currently upgrading our campus email servers to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange.  Most of the changes will occur behind the scenes and should have a very little noticeable impact to faculty and staff email service.  Faculty and staff will, however, notice a difference when utilizing the web client available at webmail.smu.edu.  In addition, the latest version promises to improve the voicemail transcription component offering a more accurate text translation of your voicemail messages. Continue reading Faculty and Staff Email Upgrade to Exchange 2016

IT Roundtable Event: A Great Conversation

Roundtable Discussion with the IT Leaders

Yesterday, the IT Leadership met with various faculty and staff in an open roundtable discussion.  We had prepared a PowerPoint presentation outlining where we’ve been and a few strategic items on the horizon.  Prior to the event, we decided that we’d much rather facilitate a conversation with the attendees and answer their questions.  Of course, we had the presentation to fall back on if there weren’t questions at the IT Roundtable.  Fortunately, what resulted was a candid and collaborative discussion taking the full hour and a half! Continue reading IT Roundtable Event: A Great Conversation

Attention Lyle Students: Lyle Computer Labs Changes

Lyle Computer Labs Require SMU IDThis summer, OIT has updated many of the Lyle computer labs. During this update, we enabled all computers in the Lyle computer labs to use the SMU ID number and password for login.  When using the machines in the lab, you no longer will use your Lyle account, except for accessing specific research environments.

Another change was the deployment of the new Pay-for-Print system, PaperCut, in the various labs. The labs printing are now using PaperCut to manage student print quotas which is contiguous throughout SMU. The print quota allotted to each student has not changed from the previous year.

Remote Control Assistance in the Classroom

Technology plays an vital role in classroom instruction.  When it doesn’t work as expected, it’s not only a tremendous disruption but it can be quite stressful as well.  Knowing that time is of essence, we began planning for a way to decrease the amount of time a class is interrupted due to technology issues or waiting for help to arrive. Continue reading Remote Control Assistance in the Classroom

PaperCut: A New Pay-for-Print Service at SMU

PaperCutDuring the summer, OIT stays busy making critical changes, updates, and adding new services in preparation for the new academic year.  One of the changes this summer was the implementation of a new pay-for-print solution.  PaperCut is the new printing solution offering a number of new features for our campus community. Continue reading PaperCut: A New Pay-for-Print Service at SMU

New AV Event Request Process

AV Request FormThe AV team is responsible for supporting classroom equipment as well as campus events.  As each event has unique requirements, a new request form has been developed to help streamline these requests.  The form allows you to select from various equipment packages depending on your venue and your needs.  Once submitted, a ticket will be generated for our AV team.

In order to ensure your event is staffed and set up as desired, please submit the request form at least 5 business days in advance.  To access the form, visit smu.edu/oit/services/avservices Continue reading New AV Event Request Process

New AntiVirus Software Coming Soon

CylanceOIT is currently testing a new antivirus application called CylancePROTECT.  Cylance is a robust and powerful application that blocks virus and malware threats before they take hold.  Rather than relying on particular virus definitions, Cylance targets behavioral patterns of threatening applications.  Certain applications that are benign yet exhibit some of these behavioral patterns can be whitelisted for the organization at the administrator level.  The product is much more effective but does shift some of the oversight responsibility to the IT security administrators.
We have deployed Cylance only to OIT computers to review the behavior and effectiveness of the application.  We are releasing Cylance to all Macs over the next few weeks in preparation for the end of our McAfee subscription.  Mac users will begin to see the Cylance application on their IT managed computer.  It will run initially in monitoring mode only.  After the two-week review, we will convert it to blocking mode and then remove McAfee from those systems.

More detail regarding the deployment of CylancePROTECT to Windows and Linux computers will be sent later this summer.

O365 and “Clutter”

o365-720pLast summer, Microsoft introduced a new feature for email accounts hosted in Office 365.  The feature, known as Clutter, helps manage your inbox by filtering out the low-priority email.  The email server keeps track of the messages you read and the ones you don’t.  It then begins routing emails you are most likely to ignore to a “clutter” folder.  While this seems like a nice feature to have, many important SMU emails for students are being overlooked since they are not in the inbox.

As a result, OIT will disable the clutter feature for all SMU accounts in Office 365 on April 27 at noon.  Students who want this feature enabled can turn it back on. However, they should also make a habit of reviewing items in their clutter folder daily.  To re-enable this feature, do the following:

  1. Login to Outlook via webmail (office.smu.edu)
  2. Click on the Application launcher and select Mail
  3. On the navigation bar, go to
    Settings > Options > Mail > Automatic processing > Clutter
  4. Select “Separate items identified as Clutter.”
  5. Click Save

If you enable Clutter, there are ways to help Microsoft learn what is important to you and what is not.  Similar to using the Junk Mail rules in the Outlook client, simply right-click on the message in your inbox that is junk and click “Move to Clutter“.  If a message is sent to your Clutter folder incorrectly, right-click and choose “Move to Inbox.”  A review of the clutter folder should be conducted on a daily basis, however, to ensure you aren’t missing important messages.


Phishing Alert: Please protect your account information

Phishing Alert

There was another round of phishing emails today targeting SMU employees. These appeared to come from HR/Payroll pertaining to salary increases. The links in the email directed to an external login page that captured SMU credentials once entered.
Please be extra cautious and guard your account information.

When you receive an email requesting your login information, please take a second look!

  1. Check the from address: The from address should be a valid, known address for SMU. In addition, the content of the email should be appropriate for that sender. For example: you wouldn’t expect to receive payroll information from someone in OIT!
  2. Check the web addresses referenced: Is the site they are referencing a true SMU site hosted on the SMU servers? Is it a site you have heard of before?
  3. When in doubt, check with the Help Desk!

If you did fall victim to the phishing email, please change your password immediately and contact the IT Help Desk at 214-768-HELP (4357).