The Office of Information Technology (OIT) will introduce a number of new or improved services this summer.
Network Infrastructure and Internet Bandwidth Upgrades
By the end of May, OIT will upgrade AU’s Internet routers to more robust routers that handle higher bandwidth. This means that the current bandwidth for both of our Internet links will be upgraded from 400 Mbps each to 1 Gigabit each (for 2 Gigabits total). The upgrade will translate to a 250 percent increase in Internet bandwidth for the campus.
OIT will also install 136 Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units to provide backup power and surge protection for network infrastructure across campus. This will mean less down time during a power outage.
With the rapid growth in mobile device use by students, faculty, and staff, AU took action to provide remote connectivity between these groups and the critical information found on university systems and in the cloud. To meet the unique challenges of planning for this mobile environment, AU formed a cross-functional campus working group cochaired by University Communications and Marketing and the Office of Information Technology. AU’s mobile presence will be unveiled for a soft launch, by the end of the semester. Look for more announcements to come.
CommonSpot 6.2 Upgrade
OIT is working to finalize plans for upgrading our CommonSpot Content Management System (CMS) from our current version, 5.1, to the latest version, 6.2. The CMS is used to publish, edit, and modify content on the AU website. We will first complete the upgrade in a test environment to ensure the upgrade process goes as planned. We expect the upgrade to take place over the summer. New features of 6.2 include
- a ribbon-like user interface
- easier to find images, pages, uploaded documents
- direct access to administrative functions
- an improved Rich Text Editor
- group ownership
Document Imaging Solution
In 2011, a cross-functional working group evaluated several document imaging solutions, based on extensive vendor proposals and product presentations. There was unanimous agreement that Perceptive Software’s ImageNow product was the best fit for American University, since it was the best fit for integration with existing systems at AU. Contract negotiations are complete for the first phase pilot implementations and work is underway to install and configure the system. The system will allow documents, such as insurance claims, litigation, contracts, invoices, student transcripts, and financial aid documents, to be scanned, indexed, and stored in a digital format in a central repository. During the calendar year, OIT will continue working with each administrative office participating in the pilot, at times that are most convenient for them. These include: Accounts Payable and the Office of Enrollment (Admissions and Financial Aid functions).