ITS provides technology assistance and support in many areas: Administrative Systems, Network Services, the Peninsula Library System, Web Services, Computer, and Media Support, and Help Desk. ITS offers a variety of services to the District and its constituencies in support of its overall mission and its commitment to meeting Accreditation Standard III. Below, is a description of the current services provided by ITS.
- Administrative Systems
- Network Services & Infrastructure
- Peninsula Library System
- Construction Support Services
- Instructional Technology and Web Services
- Computers and Media, Service and Support
- Technology Training
- Disaster Recovery Site
- Video Surveillance Systems
- Emergency Contact Systems
- Building Management Systems
- Telephone & Voicemail
ITS provides and maintains a wide range of tools and applications that are used by the Colleges and the District Office to support operational needs effectively. Many of the core services are provided through the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and the capabilities of third-party systems.
The ERP system in use at San Mateo CCD is ellucian Banner®. It was initially installed in 1991-92 and has undergone significant major upgrades since it was initially installed. Banner® is extensively used by all faculty, staff, and students and includes major modules for student registration, faculty grading, transcript production, student accounts payable, financial accounting, budget development, purchasing, student financial aid, and payroll and human resources. The Banner® web interface, locally called WebSMART, is accessed by students and staff to conduct a variety of self-service tasks such as registration, payment of fees, faculty grading, etc. Banner® version 9 uses Oracle Release 12c as its database and is hosted at the District office on IBM AIX servers for the database and VM Linux servers for the application. Software upgrades, patches, and the development of new services are the responsibility of the programming team. Mandated state and federal reporting is largely based on information residing in the Banner® database.
Faculty and staff email – ITS maintains a comprehensive unified messaging service for the staff of the Colleges and District Office which includes voicemail, email, and fax. The system is cloud-based Microsoft® 0365 and provides the following functionality:
- Exchange Email Outlook
Over 180 days from June 21 to December 21, 2018, the following occurred:
- 2,232 active Email Accounts
- 1 TB of OneDrive Files Stored
- 342,800 files on SharePoint
- 112 users on Skype
- 1,600 activated Office installs
- 97 users on Microsoft Teams
Email Training: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/CH010371352.aspx
Voicemail Training: http://www.smccd.edu/phone
The web-based reporting tool used to provide users with a variety of reports and data extracts from the Banner® transactional or data warehouse Oracle databases is Argos®. It is a product licensed from Evisions, Inc., a company based in southern California. The application is also intended to provide end-users with the ability to create ad-hoc reports more easily.
Web Site: https://maps.smccd.edu/argos
A product from Evisions, Inc. used to capture output from text-based reports generated from Banner, add and delete data, insert text and graphics, and then distribute the output where and when it is required. It is used to print and/or email a variety of other forms such as purchase orders, student financial aid correspondence, student schedule bills and tax forms (1099s, W2s).
Web Site: https://maps.smccd.edu/
Students use CCCApply® to apply for admission and enrollment at any of the three colleges. The system is hosted by the California Community College Chancellor Technology Center. Applications are downloaded automatically into Banner®.
Web Site: https://banner.smccd.edu/cccapply.html
Banner® Xtender Solutions
Xtender is a comprehensive document imaging system tightly integrated with Banner®. It allows users to scan, index and efficiently retrieve documents. Documents can be retrieved directly from Banner® or through Xtender’s user interface. Student Services, the Financial Aid offices, Purchasing and Finance offices are all heavy users of document imaging to reduce document storage and filing costs greatly. Currently, Xtender® stores several million documents and images.
Degree Works™ is a web-based academic advising and degree audit tool that the district implemented in 2011. Students and advisors can check academic progress and receive advice on courses needed to satisfy requirements towards achieving academic goals. The system is used to evaluate graduation petitions, and it also provides the capability for developing electronic education plans.
Web Site: https://websmart.smccd.edu/dgwp/
A workflow tool licensed from Ellucian is used to support a canceled class and an application for concurrent enrollment students. The workflow can integrate various pieces of technology making data sync between Xtender, WebSMART and Banner seamless and efficient to the users.
Single Sign-On (SSO)
SSO has been used for user authentication throughout the district for a variety of systems such as Canvas, Banner 9 Administrative pages, Xtender, Workflow, and others. ITS is in the process of expanding its use and support capabilities by licensing OneLogin. Once OneLogin is fully implemented, numerous additional third-party systems such as Regroup, Formstack, Pharaoh’s Printing, Adobe Creative Cloud, OmniUpdate, ExLibris, Clockwork, and WebSMART will be connected
At all three colleges, SARS Software Products are used for counseling appointments and record keeping enhancing student services. Currently, supported products include SARS-GRID, SARS-CALL, SARS-TRAK, and eSARS. The SARS servers utilize an MS SQL Server database and are maintained and backed-up in the data center. Interfaces between SARS and Banner® are supported by ITS.
The District provides all registered students, who have paid fees, with an email address, using google apps for education. The student email is branded my.smccd.edu
Web Site: http://my.smccd.edu/
A locally developed application that is integrated into Banner® and launched in the summer of 2007. GWAMAIL allows authorized users to send email messages to targeted populations of students. A rewrite of GWAMAIL was made in 2012 to base it on more user-friendly, web-based technology and to provide the option of sending text messages.
non-emergency text messaging
A locally developed application integrated into Banner®. Mobile numbers are initially downloaded from the CCCApply application. Also, each term students are asked to update their contact information. Mobile contact is used to notify students of changes in waitlist status, registration appointments, and other non-emergency type notifications.
EMERGENCY Text Messaging
Students, faculty, and staff can subscribe to this service receive important campus-wide emergency announcements via text messaging. The District contracted with AlertU, now owned by Waterfall, to provide this service. Another product named Regroup will replace the service mid-2019.
Web Site: http://www.smccd.edu/alertu/
Students are provided with the ability to sign up for a payment plan for their fees through Nelnet. Once authenticated through WebSMART, a link directs students to the Nelnet’s website to complete the application for a payment plan.
Financial Aid Direct Deposit
Bank Mobile, a third party vendor, is responsible for processing financial aid payments to students. Students are provided with options to choose a debit card, direct deposit to an existing checking or savings account, or to receive a paper check.
Students are provided with the ability to pay their fees via a link in WebSMART to Touchnet which processes credit card transactions on a secure system.
Students can purchase parking permits in person or through a WebSMART link to Credential Solutions, the vendor hired to issue parking permits. Full year, single term and discounts for BOGW students are provided.
Credential Solutions also issues printed and electronic transcripts for students via a WebSMART link that directs students to their online request form.
Students can complete online orientation through a WebSMART link that directs them to a site supported by COMEVO – the vendor/platform used by the district to provide this service
In 2018 the District implemented Salesforce, a CRM product, to support the application and admissions process for international students. In 2019 the District decided to expand the use of Salesforce to support recruitment, retention, success and all other facets of student interaction for all (international and domestic) students making this product an integral and very important part in the overall support of student engagement.
To facilitate reporting to the colleges, ITS designed and maintains a local data warehouse. The warehouse is supported with local scripts and a job scheduler to move Banner data periodically into denormalized tables.
Jitterbit is a tool used by ITS to integrate and sync data between Salesforce and Banner. With the expanded use of Salesforce, it is expected that this system will become even more critical in maintaining the data between these two systems (and potentially the data warehouse) in sync.
SAP BUSINESS OBJECTS®
This reporting and analytics business intelligence (BI) platform is not supported by ITS; however, it is hosted to provide reporting capabilities for Planning, Research, & Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE).
To ensure that faculty, students, and staff have access to high-performance and reliable network services such as Internet, voice communications, and email resources, ITS has implemented a comprehensive and redundant network infrastructure across the District.
The District’s WAN (Wide Area Network) interconnects three primary sites: Cañada College, Skyline College, and the College of San Mateo/District Office. In August 2018, ITS upgraded the district backbone from AT&T 1 Gigabit Opt-E-Man circuits to AT&T 5 Gigabit EtherSwitch Service, between District Office Main Point of Entry (MPOE) and each campus MPOE. This upgrade provides optimum bandwidth for file shares, Banner® access, backup services, as well as offering higher-availability toward technology services. In case of primarily service outages, the district-wide interconnection is also designed to route traffic via alternate campus, to regain Internet and Intranet network and phone services instantly.
During the Summer of 2018, the CENIC connections were upgraded from 1 Gig to 10 Gigabits, with two 10 Gig connections for redundancy. The upgrade allows each campus to individually connect to CENIC’s high-speed research and education network, which is ten times faster than the previous connection
In addition to the wired network, ITS has deployed 631 wireless access points (WAP)district-wide. As part of SMCCCD’s Capital Improvement Bond Project (CIP3), started in January 2016, a replacement and upgrade project was implemented in two phases. Phase I replaced existing and possibly added access points without extensive infrastructure upgrade and is complete. Phase II Expansion: Adding wireless access points in all classrooms as well as enhancing coverages in open areas such as student centers, learning spaces and centers, and libraries, is still in progress (80% complete – district-wide). Utilization of the wireless network continues to grow significantly.
Network security is provided using a variety of tools and techniques. During Spring 2017 college firewalls were upgraded to Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform. These devices are a key part of the network traffic defense of the District and individual campus data networks. The current firewall, which, the industry references as the next-generation of firewall switches offers various functions, including enhanced perimeter protection from denial of service (DOS), virus, and malware attacks.
There are three primary VLANs in use within the District: Administrative, Instructional, and Public. The Administrative VLAN provides District employees who have appropriate authentication credentials access to Banner and other electronic resources and services within the District. The Instructional VLAN is for labs and classrooms where students use college-owned equipment to access instructional resources that are local or on the Internet. The Public VLAN allows campus guests and students with personal network devices Internet access, but they are prevented from gaining access to the other District VLANs and secure network resources.
In addition to the three primary VLANs, there are several other unique VLANs in use. Examples of these are the VoIP telephone system, ACAMS security system, Building Management Systems, and environmental controls, Bookstores, and KCSM TV and FM radio station. Wireless access to all but the Public VLAN is protected with encryption and secure authentication through the use of certificates.
The District telecommunications system is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system. In June 2016, SMCCCD upgraded its phone and voicemail system to include service redundancy and failover between each campus site should there be any service outage as a result of power or service provider interruptions.
The District maintains a high-performance data network that connects the workstations and devices of the three college campuses and the District Office. The District Office contracts with AT&T to provide fast, redundant, and reliable connectivity for each of the college campuses and to the Internet. Internet services are provided by CENIC and have been upgraded many times over the years; currently, each campus has a 1-gigabyte connection to the internet. All buildings on campus have access to the wireless network for both public and administrative access. SMCCCD’s new Palo Alto Networks firewalls, in addition to blocking illegal peer-to-peer traffic, address URL Filtering which prevents users from accessing malicious or unknown URLs and to help prevent the illegal sharing of copyright material.
- Securing college is data is a high priority and some hardware and software tools are in place to protect and detect unauthorized access, including:
- In Spring 2015, SMCCD upgraded to Sophos End-Point Protection which is a cloud-hosted service and includes Sophos InterceptX as additional security to defend against ransomware and command-and-control types of threats. In addition to preventing virus infections, this new platform security suite uses comprehensive end-point protection, taking advantage of multiple embedded technologies from deep learning signature-based detection to preventing ransomware file-encrypting processes from executing. When medium or critical vulnerabilities are detected on end-user devices, the technical staff receives alerts to respond and remediate the issue immediately.
- Cisco Netflow: to monitor and report on network connections
- Microsoft Group Policies: applied to District-owned and managed PCs to protect them from malware, plug-ins that are malicious, file attacks, and to prevent students from installing software on PCs in the instructional computer labs
- Public Wireless Network: open to use by students and allows access to internet services; access to the public wireless network is automatically shut down from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am daily
- Private Wireless Network: a secure wireless network that requires authentication and provides access to services like Banner
In May 1988, the District joined the Peninsula Library System (PLS) and approved a joint powers agreement that includes all city and county public libraries in San Mateo County. The primary objective of the District in joining PLS was to automate the libraries of each college, expand the library resources available to students and faculty, and benefit from other cooperative activities of the public libraries within the County. This decision continues to be extremely cost-effective and beneficial to the District and each of the three Colleges.
As authorized by the Board in April 1994, an agreement was executed with PLS which relocated the PLS library computer system, network, and their support staff to ITS. In this agreement, the District provides PLS office space for its technical staff, environmentally controlled floor space in the computer center, utilities, network, and technical support services, computer operations support, and management services.
The District continues to manage, maintain, and operate the PLS library circulation system and network environment. PLS, staff will continue to be responsible for the applications software, maintenance, and support of the Innovative Interfaces library information system and providing technical consulting assistance to the staff of PLS member libraries.
The inclusion of a robust technology infrastructure has been at the forefront of the recent construction projects across the District. Technology design standards for new construction were provided for all projects, and regular meetings were held with all constituents to ensure appropriate technology was being incorporated during all phases of planning and construction. Information technologies are a critical element in the design of all new buildings and for the renovation of older buildings. This technology includes voice, data, video, security, fire alarm systems, HVAC systems, audio/visual systems, EAS, Cell Phone Repeaters, Digital Signage, and other technology.
Most classrooms throughout the district have been constructed or upgraded to meet the local standards for smart classrooms. These smart classrooms provide faculty the ability to easily utilize a projector and speakers to enhance the learning experience. Wireless internet access is provided in all classrooms for faculty and student use.
Link to ITS Construction Standards:
Then select SMCCCD Design Standards and Construction Specifications
ITS provides a wide array of instructional technology tools and web services to meet the needs of our faculty, staff, and students. Below is an alphabetized listing of services with a brief description of each service and links when available.
Canvas is a Course Management System that assists faculty and students in teaching and learning. Every faculty member that has a class assignment in Banner® automatically has a Canvas course(s) shell created. Faculty use of Canvas ranges from supplemental course information to providing a course completely online.
Online catalog for each college dynamically generated from curricunet extracts and loaded into OmniUpdate transformation web templates.
Vendor: OmniUpdate & Curricunet
Faculty and Administrative Peer Evaluation Solution for Paper and Online Evaluations.
Web Site: http://classclimate.smccd.edu
Managed cloud hosting for legacy web applications, laravel applications, and WordPress.
Web Site: https://www.cloudways.com/en/
CONFER NOW ZOOM CONFERENCING:
This Online conferencing solution gives faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in screen sharing, remote lectures, meetings and office hours.
Web Site: http://conferzoom.org/
Vendor: California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
Online Student Title IX training including a suite of interactive online programs, featuring numerous student testimonials that foster viewer empathy to help prevent interpersonal violence.
Web Site: Accessed inside WebSMART
Vendor: Student Success by Vector Solutions
This survey application is used for delivering online surveys, self-assessments, and conducting online elections as needed.
Web Site: https://surveys.smccd.edu
District Supported Goods and Services:
Purchasing/General Services and ITS jointly maintain the DSGS website. The website is used by District employees to access information about the purchase of computer hardware, software, audiovisual equipment, and other ITS supported equipment.
Faculty Door Cards (Office Hours):
Faculty post their availability for students online via a homegrown system referred to as faculty door cards. The faculty office hours are accessible from this website and also integrate into our online searchable staff directory. Faculty can also print out their hours and post them on their office doors.
Form solutions with attachments, signatures, and workflows to replace PDF form and homegrown applications. Planned future integration with Salesforce and OneLogin.
Web Site: https://www.formstack.com/
Unified search solution to make web content more easily accessible to student and provide reports on back-end web issues.
Custom built web application for Skyline College to present a collection of potential pathway maps to students based on meta-majors.
Web Site: http://guidedpathways.college.technology/
Vendor: Guided Pathways
IT Service Request Form: A one-stop location for users to make IT support requests including:
- Manager Request for new accounts (Banner, Email, WebExtender, Telephone, WebSMART and Website Requests.)
- HelpCenter (Submit technology-related work orders and track the status of your requests)
- Directory Information (Request your directory information to be updated)
- Email Redirection (Forward or stop forwarding your email)
- Surplus (ITS collects/surpluses old computers, AV and electronic equipment)
- MySmccd (Request a @my.smccd.edu Google Apps Email Account)
- Request Microsoft Outlook Conference Room (ITS can set up your conference rooms in exchange, allowing people to book them in outlook.)
Lyris is email mailing list software for marketing and newsletters. Allows for auto-subscribing users or users can self-subscribe and unsubscribe.
ITS Web Services launched and supported ellucian Mobile® for two years with low campus adoption by students. The ellucian mobile solution had limited functionality and students expressed that using their browser on their phone to access college student services was more useful than the mobile app. The Colleges’ marketing departments agreed to retire the mobile application and instead focus on ensuring College websites followed universal design best practices including being responsive (mobile-friendly) and accessible.
MySMCCD Google Apps:
SMCCCD provides all students with an @mysmccd.edu Google email account, calendar functions, and other apps as part of the Google Apps for Education suite of products.
MySMCCD Support Center:
A hosted helpdesk is readily available to students, and it provides them access to resources to get answers for any questions they may have related to the tools available to them through their my.smccd.edu email account.
OU Campus™ is a Content Management System for higher education web professionals. ITS deployed OmniUpdate® as a tool for selected end users to maintain their web sites that are hosted on the District’s servers. There are approximately 100 active licenses throughout the District
(Web based collaboration tool) SharePoint® Services is included in the Microsoft Office Product Suite and allows users to post and interact with documents via the web. Over 150 District-wide committees, departments, and organizations currently use SharePoint for agendas, minutes, calendars, forms, surveys, forums, picture libraries and more.
Web Site: https://smccd.sharepoint.com
Externally hosted web services down page for planned or unexpected outages. Requires DNS redirection but allows us to offer an informational landing page that ties to status updates.
Web Site: http://phpstack-124735-403615.cloudwaysapps.com/
The portal is the gateway for District employees to access College and District Office web-based services and related web sites.
SMCCD Self service Password Management:
ManageEngine (Zoho) ADSelfService Plus is password self-service with custom Twilio API integration for text messaging. Allows employees to change, update, reset, and unlock their Single Sign-On (SSO) account password
Web Site: https://adselfservice.smccd.edu
Externally hosted web services status page providing real-time up-time reports and announcements for all IT supported services — integrated announcements with a WordPress back-end for quickly updating essential sites with urgent announcements as-needed.
Web Site: https://smccd.college.technology/
Every staff member, department and service area is given a web folder with 500 MBs of web space to maintain a website or store files. ITS maintains the web server, creates accounts, installs web applications as needed, and assists users with debugging of their websites. ITS currently supports 63 active web folders. It is anticipated that Faculty Website hosting will move to the Cloudways in 2019.
WebSCHEDULE of Classes
WebSchedule is a search engine for searching through all courses offered at Cañada, CSM, and Skyline College. It provides different entry points for search based on user requirement. It displays all details for any particular course including, important registration dates, course textbooks, class location, etc.
WebSMART is the web interface to Banner® that enables students, faculty, and staff to register for classes, submit grades, request transcripts, update personal information, and much more. Below is a more comprehensive features list:
For students, it provides the capability to:
- Add/Drop classes
- Add/remove from a waitlisted class
- Print schedule of classes
- Pay for account balances
- Select or update an education goal
- Link to purchase textbooks
- Sign up for a payment plan
- Obtain an unofficial transcript
- Request an official transcript
- Link to Degree Works
- Schedule a counselor appointment
- Order a parking permit
- Sign up to receive emergency texts
- Review financial aid documents, status, requirements, and award
- Sign up for a BOG waiver
- Print a 1098T
For faculty, it allows them to:
- Enter grades
- Enter attendance
- Send emails to the class
- Download/Print class lists, waitlist and attendance lists
- Print authorization codes
- Print schedule of classes
For employees, they can:
- Enter timesheet details
- View benefits and deductions
- Review/print payroll information
- Review/Print tax forms
- Review accumulated time off balances
- View student’s unofficial transfer
- Access Degree Works to counsel students
- Access Degree Audit
For staff, it provides the capability to:
- Run reports
- Approve documents
- Enter requisitions
- Review Budgets
- Process journal entries
Desktop computers and media services support for the Colleges and District Office is a centralized ITS service. ITS technicians are physically located on each campus. ITS technicians assist the colleges with technology purchases. They also work cooperatively with the colleges to develop minimum supportable standards for computers, provide regular software updates, maintain an inventory database of technology that has been installed, and install new equipment. Service and support are provided through a centralized HelpCenter that uses a web-based tool to enable users to place repair orders and track their status through completion.
ITS maintains an inventory database of all computers, laptops, labs, printers, and projectors to assist in technology replacement planning. Based on this information ITS provides the colleges with recommendations on equipment replacement strategies and best use of their technology funding.
When computer labs require computer upgrades, Faculty submit a “program review document” to the Division Office. The Division Office reviews all paperwork received, establish priorities and needs, and then sends them to College Council to review. College Council approves and works with ITS to determine specifications, and then ITS develops the Purchase Order.