Tech Times

Summer 2012


Hi! Welcome to the second issue of our new client newsletter, Tech Times. Tech Times has been developed to help the BU community keep up to date on major IS&T services and projects, and get to know the IS&T staff better.

This issue features updates on 4 key projects: construction of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), the roll-out of Exchange to faculty and staff, the redesign of the University Libraries’ website, and the campus-wide upgrade of the Blackboard Learning Management system. You will also meet the IS&T Project Management Office Business Analysts, who are not only contributing to major projects in the University, but also have very diverse interests outside of BU (read more below). Please also see our Did You Know section along with the featured articles about Educational Technology and Security Awareness, plus our latest service metrics.

If there’s something you would like to see us cover in a future issue, send a message to and let us know. Thanks, and happy reading!


Bev Guiry
Director, IS&T Project Management Office

BUworks Post-Implementation Support

As we approach the end of the final scheduled phase of the BUworks implementation project, many members of the BU community are wondering, “What happens to the BUworks team?” and “What comes next?” Rest assured that the University has planned a functional and technical support team, also known as an SAP Competency Center, composed of experienced, core members of the BUworks implementation team. The SAP Competency Center will be tasked not only with maintaining the currency of BU’s SAP software, but also continuing to engage with the BUworks user community to extend and enhance current functionality. Read more…

Project Updates

MGHPCC Construction

Construction of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) is currently underway, on schedule to be available for use in early 2013. The MGHPCC is designed to support the growing scientific and engineering computing needs at five of the most research-intensive universities in Massachusetts – Boston University, Harvard University, MIT, Northeastern and the University of Massachusetts. Read more…

Exchange and BU Google Mail

A Fall, 2009 survey of the University community indicated low satisfaction with email services, particularly the small quotas and limited access to calendar and collaboration tools. Since that time, IS&T staff having been working hard to update our email services, providing modern options that respond to the needs of the community. In doing so, we are working toward the retirement of email provided on ACS; replacing it with current systems that are in use today by many large educational institutions and businesses around the world.
Read more…

BU Libraries Website

On July 2nd the BU Libraries, IS&T, and Interactive Design launched a new Boston University Libraries website with the mission of making the BU Libraries the best place for students, faculty, and staff to begin research. The site aims to improve research and learning for the University community through enhanced search and discovery functionality, research tools and curated guides, and a new design focused on usability. Read more…

Blackboard Learn Upgrade

The Office of the Provost and IS&T have partnered to implement an upgrade of the Learning Management System from Blackboard 8 to the latest version, Blackboard Learn (9.1). The project comprises an upgrade of the existing functionality (Course Delivery), the addition of more features, and the consolidation of separate instances of current Blackboard software into one system serving all of BU. Read more…

Staff Spotlight – Business Analysis

The IS&T Project Management Office includes a team of Business Analysts who play a key role on projects. The Business Analysts work in partnership with clients to understand their processes and requirements These requirements are the foundation of any project, and we rely heavily on the business analyst’s expertise in eliciting and documenting them. The Business Analysts then continue to collaborate with clients and guide technical team members to help ensure that client needs are met.

Kaci Foster, Lead Business Analyst

Kaci has worked at BU for 16 years, most of that time in the Office of Sponsored Programs, the office that helps BU investigators apply for and manage external funding for research projects. In 2010, she became the functional lead for the University’s Kuali Coeus implementation, and in 2011 she transitioned officially to IS&T as Lead Business Analyst, assigned to the area of research administration systems. Kaci’s current projects include a redesign of BU’s use of the Kuali Coeus awards module and an investigation project to implement a system for the Charles River Campus Institutional Review Board. When she’s not working, Kaci enjoys writing fiction. She has published several short stories and is working on a novel manuscript.

Sarah Carrano, Business Analyst

Sarah joined BU in 2010 and works for Kaci as a Business Analyst for Research Administration projects. Sarah is currently working on the redesign of the Kuali Coeus awards module, the Financial Conflict of Interest project to assist the Research Compliance office with compliance to the new federal regulations requiring disclosure of Investigator’s financial interests, and the Conflict of Interest project to investigate the options for a single, electronic repository to help consolidate the multiple Conflict of Interest policies in place for both BU and BMC. Prior to joining BU, Sarah worked as an assistant Project Manager at Everon Technology Services, a managed service provider. Outside of BU, Sarah is a world traveler; she has a goal to visit all 50 US states and, with her recent trip to Alaska, has only 6 states to go. Sarah also aspires to visit all 7 continents, and will visit her 6th continent this fall when she travels to Thailand.

Brad Peloquin, Business Analyst

Brad has been with BU for approximately 10 years, the last 3 in IS&T. Brad is currently working on the project to expand Degree Advice, the advising tool that tracks student’s progress toward degree completion, to more schools and colleges at BU. Brad is also working on the ugrade of BU’s Learning Management System, Blackboard, and with the Graduate Schools to enhance the Graduate Enrollment Management Service. During his career at BU, Brad has been the Director of Admission for the School of Music at the College of Fine Arts and the Director of Admissions for the School of Public Health. He is a part-time doctoral student at the BU School of Education, specializing in Higher Education Policy. Brad is also a classically-trained vocalist that has performed internationally and locally (Huntington Theater Company, North Shore Music Theater, Boston Baroque, Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts), and he once sang back-up vocals for Paul Anka.

Nathan Derby, Business Analyst/Project Manager

Nathan, who joined BU last fall, is currently working with the School of Social Work on a project to implement a Field Placement System to support the expansion of their graduate program. He is also working on the upgrade of BU’s Learning Management System, Blackboard, and will be taking on project management responsibilities to expand the use of OnBase for document management in the University. Before coming to BU, Nathan worked for over 20 years in financial services, including 14 years at Harvard Management Company, in business analysis, project managmeent, operations, business continuity/disaster recovery, and training roles. Nathan has had a life-long love of the outdoors, sports, and adventure including climbing in the U.S., Patagonia, and the Himalayas, and running with the bulls in Pamplona.

Kristen Ibbitson, Business Analyst

Kristen joined BU this past spring and is currently working on projects to expand IS&T’s Service Management tool, ServiceNow. This includes using ServiceNow to manage IS&T’s release management process, as well as planning the expansion of ServiceNow for use by other schools, colleges, and departments. Before coming to BU, Kristen was part of the Global ServiceNow Program Management Office at Staples. Before that, Kristen lived in the UK and worked for Citizens Bank/Royal Bank of Scotland, where she worked on projects to use ServiceNow for their Global HR IT Solutions group (500+ staff). Kristen loves to travel and plans her trips around a favorite band. Two of her favorite trips were seeing Sigur Ros perform in Amsterdam and Radiohead in Tokyo. Her next goal is to see Sigur Ros perform in Iceland.

IS&T Service Metrics

IS&T compiles metrics for our areas of service in order to analyze trends and help assess our overall performance. The chart below shows the total number of Incidents submitted to IS&T, with the gold and green lines indicating the average and median number of business days that were taken to resolve them. More metrics are always available at


IS&T Incidents (Excluding Priority 1)

Did You Know?

Students Can Get Discounted Software

Boston University licenses a broad range of software through a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement; providing students with access to purchase software at significantly reduced cost. Learn more at /tech/microsoft.

Everyone Gets Connected

Approximately 4000 new students will arrive on campus this September and the IT Help Center will be ready! Learn more at /tech/movein.

Training is Available for Faculty and Staff

Training in Blackboard, WordPress, and Outlook is available for faculty and staff throughout the year. Learn more and register.

We’ve Updated BU Mobile

We just released a BU Mobile update, with design improvements and an updated bus module that includes arrival estimates. Credit for this release goes to Luis Carrasco (former IS&T student employee now working for Microsoft), Jon Brousseau (Interactive Design), Ray Swartz, and Robert Fera (both new mobile developers at IS&T). Download BU Mobile for your iOS device.

Three IS&T Staff Members Will Be Climbing for a Cause

Phil Berenz and Brian Baldeck of the IT Help Center and Austin Whipple of Communication & Documentation are preparing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next January – raising money for United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston.
Learn more…

Educational Technology

The Educational Technology team works with faculty and academic staff to enhance use of technology in teaching. For more information, please visit our consulting page, follow us on Twitter @edtechbu, or check out our Blog.

MediaKron Pilot Project

Boston College recently approved a BU proposal for a pilot MediaKron project which was submitted by IS&T Educational Technologists Amod Lele and Kacie Cleary. MediaKron is an innovative educational tool that links rich media course material to maps and timelines, allowing students to explore the context of this material via a web browser. In the pilot project, taking place over the 2012-13 academic year, Lele and Cleary will work with four BU professors (from the School of Theology, the Honors College and the School of Public Health) to help them integrate this tool into their historically and geographically oriented courses. We hope that in future years the MediaKron tool will become available to the BU community at large.

Educational Technology Blog

Interested in finding out about uses of technology in teaching? Educational Technologists from both the Charles River and Medical campuses will be working with faculty to maintain the new Educational Technology Blog available at Used for sharing experiences with other members of the community, the blog describes the technology available at BU and shares useful lessons from faculty using that technology successfully.

Read the blog and tell us about your innovations.

Security Awareness

The BU Information Security team oversees the prevention and detection of unauthorized use of Boston University computers and information systems. For more information, please visit us at and on Twitter @BUInfoSec.

Never Respond to Phishing Attempts!

Please remember that you should never follow links offered to you in unsolicited mail or provide passwords or any personal or financial information via email, just as you wouldn’t when you receive an unsolicited phone call. This should be your guideline no matter how tempting, frightening, or persuasive the email message seems and even if the message claims to be coming from BU or another source that is familiar to you. Boston University will never ask for your password via email. Learn more about Spoofed Messages & Phishing.

Protect Your Passwords

In recent months, LinkedIn, eHarmony, and LastFM have all experienced serious breaches and the passwords set by users for these sites were taken by hackers. It’s worth noting that these incidents were at large sites where the breaches were well publicized. However, such exposures are by no means rare. Please read more about protecting your accounts.

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