UBC is working to create a more consistent IT experience for faculty and staff through our IT Service Integration project. This three year project was initiated in 2019 to drive service improvements through the integration and alignment of IT services between the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.
As a first step, the UBC IT Okanagan Service Centre will be rolling out an updated operating system, based on Windows 10, for UBC provided laptops and desktop computers. This updated system has already been deployed to several groups in Vancouver, with the Okanagan to begin updating staff and faculty Windows computers this spring.
This is the first step towards having a single account for logging into UBC systems (i.e. via Campus Wide Login / CWL only instead of Novell) while also providing a more secure environment by reducing opportunities for users to accidentally install spyware, ransomware or viruses on UBC systems.
These updates will offer numerous improvements, including:
- Consistent user experience for all UBC faculty and staff across all campuses
- Regularly updated university licensed software for staff and faculty
- Improved mechanisms to reduce exposure to cyber attack threats
- The latest versions of Microsoft Windows and Office
- Better support for single sign on using campus wide login (CWL)
- An upgraded antivirus and malware monitoring system
- A “Software Centre” catalog to enable self-service installation of software available to the UBC community
- Smoother experience for those with laptops who travel frequently.
Q&A with IT Subject Matter Expert
Q: When is this happening and do users need to do anything?
A: We will begin rolling out these updates as we refresh or install new UBC supported Windows laptops and desktops. Users will be contacted if there is any action required on their part.
Q: Does this change apply to both Windows and Mac operating systems/machines?
A: No, iOS/Macs are not affected by this change and will remain on their current software management system. This new operating system only applies to machines that run the Windows operating system.
Q: How is this different from what we currently have on UBC Okanagan computers?
A: One change is that users will use their integrated CWL/EAD account instead of their UBCO Novell account when logging into a UBC Okanagan provided computer. The Novell account login will still be required for printing services (Pay For Print) and for connecting to UBC Okanagan shared network drives (shared departmental and personal network folders).
Users may also notice they have a new network drive appear: (H:) drive. This is the standard home drive provided by UBCIT and is available to all UBC employees. Due to integration, this drive is now available along with the UBCO standard network drives of K: (departmental share) and F: (personal share). Since the contents of the H: Drive cannot be accessed by others (you can not share files directly), and the file storage quota is quite small, we recommend Okanagan users continue to use their regular UBCO network drives for file storage.
One note, users will not automatically be able to download software or make other administrative changes to their systems. However a Self-Admin application is available that can be enabled for a short time when needed. This tool should only be used when known necessary software is to be installed and not if prompted from random websites or links from email. Users will be given more information about this when the new system is installed.
Q: Any other tips and tricks to help users with this change?
A: Because users’ CWL accounts are reset annually, we recommend users also reset their Novell password at the same time to match their new CWL password. This does not currently happen automatically. However users can do this from our UBC Okanagan IT Helpdesk webpage (hxxps://helpdesk.ok.ubc.ca) under the “Change Password” link.
Q: I have a laptop and travel a lot, how will this affect me?
A: These updates will offer a more consistent experience. Frequent travellers will see a smoother experience including:
- Logging into the computer will work just as at your regular work desk
- Users will not have to select the “workstation only” option
- Once connected to a VPN, drives will automatically be available and usable.
- Software can be installed remotely over VPN