IT News

Solving complex problems: Root cause update for March and April 2014

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 being investigated or issues handled recently.

Outlook Email – (various issues) A few issues remain and are being encountered by Faculty and Staff across campus from the email system upgrade performed at the end of 2013.  Issues reported include overall outlook client slowness, deleted items re-appearing, recurring calendar events not populating correctly to everyone invited or they are missing, continuous prompts to enter credentials and some messages which have been read are becoming ‘unread’.  An Email ‘TIGER’ team has been created to investigate these on-going issues.  An initial meeting was held and a follow-up is scheduled next week to review recent reported issues that enabled the team to gather additional information.  In the meantime, please call the IT Help Desk at 227-7487 to report any issues you are having with Outlook.  You may also visit IT’s self-service website at help.wcu.edu to open a ticket for assistance.

Large Mail Merge slowness in Outlook:  Various offices across campus send out large mailings to current and perspective students, alumni and special groups.  These mailings are sent through the Outlook client from a mail merge task created by the sender which results in hundreds to thousands of single mail messages.  Slowness in the sending of these large mailings has occurred since the email system upgrade at the end of 2013.  IT Help Desk Tier 2 Analysts along with the Exchange System Administrator have been working with Microsoft to determine the exact cause.  After several tests the slowness persisted with no clear reason for the decrease in mail message processing.   However, recent exchange server upgrade changes implemented to strengthen and further stabilize the systems resulted in resolving the slowness being experienced.  Microsoft confirmed these changes did have an effect on the speed of sending out large number of email messages generated from a mail merge.

March and April 2014 Global Problems: (Total 17)

• Email & Collaboration Tools: 4

• Network, Internet & Phone Services: 5

• Servers & Storage: 10

• Teaching, Learning & Research: 3

• Web: 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.