New Embedded Support Model Brings Improved Support to Campus

OIT Support ZonesAs part of the OE2C initiative this past year, OIT has been working to increase the quality and efficiency of customer service. One method adopted was to make support staff more accessible to the University community. A new structure has been put in place by the Customer Support division that places field support and AV/Event representatives into assigned zones which include several buildings that each representative will support. These representatives will be the first point of contact for desk-side support and emergency classroom/conference room support in their respective area. They will also be cross-trained in order to assist other zones when needed for larger projects or issues.

The following individuals are currently serving in an embedded zone:

Desktop Support

  • Jesus Martinez: Umphrey Lee room 122
  • Glenn Taylor: PAB 300
  • Jim Tuley: Maguire 170
  • Paul Tubb: Maguire 170
  • Walter Hwu: Caruth 472
  • Deborah Seiter: Underwood 320
  • Brad Pittler: Underwood S302
  • Robert Burkett: 6200 N. Central Expressway 2050
  • John Blank: Prothro 208B
  • Andy Maupin: Fondren Library
  • Jawaid Hussein: Fondren Library
  • Andrea Thach: Guildhall- Plano
  • Jon Pickle: Plano
  • Richard Franks: Taos

Classroom/AV Support

  • Jim Jaeger: Prothro 208A
  • Mike Gebreselassie: Maguire 170
  • Chris Gaut: Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Shawn Remek: Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall
  • Winston Phan:  Underwood Law Library
  • Adam Jones: Hyer Hall

To review the zone map and the areas each individual supports, visit http://www.smu.edu/~/media/Site/OIT/AboutUs/Zone%20Layout.ashx

Early Issues with ExamSoft and El Capitan

Update: ExamSoft announces a new version of SofTest compatible with El Capitan is available now.

Update: ExamSoft announces a new version of SofTest supporting El Capitan will be available by the second week of November.


examsoftEl Capitan (OSX 10.11) was recently released to the public by Apple. While it is exciting to be the first one to use a new OS, if you use ExamSoft, we would urge you to wait.

At this time, ExamSoft’s SofTest is not compatible with El Capitan due to a vulnerability identified during the initial testing. If you are running El Capitan as your OS, ExamSoft will prevent you from downloading or registering SofTest on your device.  We urge you to please refrain from updating to El Capitan until an official support announcement has been made by ExamSoft.

Questions about Mac OS upgrade should be directed to the Help Desk.

If you need to access your ExamSoft account, please visit www.examsoft.com/smu. Log into the account under the ‘Administrator/Faculty’ area.  If you forgot your password, use the ‘Lost Password’ link to have it resent to you.

Post Updated 10/02 to include information about Mac OS upgrading and ExamSoft account login.

Classroom Support Enhancements

In addition to upgrading the technology equipment in several classrooms, we are also working on a few new processes to provide quicker response to classroom calls as well as keep faculty informed of maintenance issues in their classrooms.

Emergency Response:

  • We currently have 4 full time staff on the AV/Event Support team.  These individuals are currently serving as first responders to classroom calls.  They also have a team of student workers and the OIT Desktop Support team to assist as backup.
  • As we implement the shared services model in IT, there will be embedded desktop support technicians throughout campus.  These individuals will be responsible for providing quick classroom response due to their location.  They will continue to be dispatched from the Help Desk, but can provide a quicker response time as they will be in near proximity of the classrooms in their area.

Classroom Maintenance

  • When classroom technology fails and requires maintenance, the AV team will first attempt to install temporary equipment in the room that day to be used until the room is unoccupied for maintenance to occur.  Carts are being compiled with the necessary equipment and will be stored in various buildings on campus.
  • The AV team is implementing a notification process to alert any faculty that are teaching in an impacted classroom of the technology issue and if temporary equipment is available.  The faculty will be notified via email throughout the fulfillment of the maintenance activities.
  • A webpage has been built which will automatically display a list of any classrooms that are currently under maintenance as well as a status of these rooms. The information is available at www.smu.edu/BusinessFinance/OIT/classroommaintenance
  • We are also in the process of implementing new management tools to provide reporting, health checks and possibly even remote capabilities for the classroom equipment.  As these tools are implemented, many issues can be prevented or resolved quickly without dispatching a technician.

Finally, we realized that our instruction sheets in the classroom were not updated following the upgrade of equipment in several rooms.  We are working on new instructions and will ensure that these are accurate and available in all classrooms quickly.

We will continue to look for opportunities to improve our classroom response service as it is a critical component for instruction!

Classrooms Get Upgrade Over Summer

During the last few weeks of summer, several classrooms in Dallas Hall have been given a much needed upgrade.

2015-09-02_11.53.14Faculty teaching in these rooms will now notice that HDMI is an available source and the black AV box has been moved into the lectern to give you more room to stand. We’ve also re-designed the keypad interface so users can select a laptop input just by pressing a single button. (Previously it was necessary to also make a selection on the small switcher that was under the keyboard tray.) If you want to use your laptop, simply choose VGA or HDMI on the familiar keypad and plug in the appropriate cable. These rooms have also been given new projectors that provide a brighter, clearer image.

Continue reading Classrooms Get Upgrade Over Summer

Faculty Media Lab to close during renovations

OIT’s Faculty Media Lab will close on July 23 for the duration of the CUL renovations. The Faculty Media Lab has provided dozens of faculty with a space for multimedia projects, digitizing, and multimedia training.

While the space will be closed, the assistance provided will continue through other areas on campus. General multimedia question and assistance can be obtained by contacting the OIT Help Desk at 214-768-HELP or help@smu.edu. The SMU STAR Program will still continue to work on faculty and department digital media projects; Please continue to make requests though the help ticket system. For digitizing needs, please contact the CUL’s Norwick Center for Digital Services for availability and assistance.