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Solving complex problems: Root Cause Update June 2103

The Root Cause team in IT is tasked with finding the causes of significant IT issues that affect campus. In this news update we  draw your attention to some of the problems we have handled in the last month.

Wireless Tiger Team

A Wireless TIGER Team has been assembled to review wireless issues and concerns encountered by our clients on all campuses. Team Chair Andy Voelker, Student Computing Manger, divided the team into 3 sub-teams to research, analyze and report findings in the following areas:

  • Outreach –find out what other campuses are doing, check on statutes, regulations, security practices, etc. that may govern what changes or process can be implemented to resolve issues.
  • Feedback – Gather real, current information about issues, perceptions, reputations, etc. on WCU’s wireless network.
  • Target Issue – Target the issues within our current environment, that we know about, and discover possible solutions for implementation.

The sub-teams have completed their tasks and are moving forward in generating an overall final report and testing the feasibility of the proposed solutions.  A report from the team is due to the IT Leadership by early fall semester.

Audio/Visual Playback in McKee and Forsyth Virtual Environment Classrooms (Faculty, Staff)
The new Virtual Environment Classrooms have been under review after reports of Audio/Visual playback issues were received. Our analysts worked alongside representatives from the equipment vendors and implemented changes recommended which included an updated version of the Virtual Environment application. Audio and video playback has improved significantly; however, the current environment is not designed for the High-Definition video playback needed by some faculty. New video cards have been purchased to upgrade the dedicated servers supporting this environment. Installation of these new cards along with an onsite system assessment from the equipment vendor is scheduled to occur in the near future.

In the meantime, Fall 2013 semester preparation is in full swing and work-around steps are being implemented to ensure high-definition playback is available. Communication to the campus concerning these changes is forthcoming.

IT Change Request Process Improvement

The review continues of the IT Change Request process which was discussed after some recently implemented changes were not fully documented and communicated to the frontline client support units. Proposed changes have been documented with a change approval workflow diagram created for clarity. These documents are under final review and are scheduled to be presented to the IT Leadership group within the next few weeks.

Resolved Global Problems
• Data Management 2
• Network 4
• Server 1
• Email 2

The Division of IT is committed to adopting a proactive, process-oriented approach to prevent problems before they arise. We will continue to keep you informed on our progress.