Speaker Series Event: Kimberly Friedman of Microsoft

We’re excited about the next event in the OneIT Speaker Series:

On Thursday August 2, 1-4pm in GLC 235, Kimberly Friedman of Microsoft will present on “How Collaboration Happens at Microsoft”. Describing her presentation, she says: “We have a very large matrixed company, so while some organizations have challenges with silos to break down, our challenge revolves around mastering our ability to collaborate effectively in a highly matrixed environment.” Kimberly will of course discuss how Microsoft uses software tools to address this challenge.

We anticipate that Kimberly will present for an hour or so. The remainder of the time can be used for Q-and-A and then professional networking among attendees (while enjoying GLC’s famous afternoon ice cream).

To help with planning, would those interested in attending please register here:


Teaser: Next month’s planned Speaker Series event will be Thursday September 6, 1-4pm in GLC. Sanjay Agravat, Machine Learning Specialist for Google Cloud Platform [ https://cloud.google.com/ml-engine/ ] will provide an overview of Google Cloud platform with emphasis on its machine learning tools. We will of course be in touch before that event with reminder and signup.

Thank you!

Note: OneIT events are announced on many campus IT mailing lists and are also published in two places:

-the OneIT web site’s events section at http://oneit.gatech.edu/events/

-a shared o365 calendar named “OneIT” — anyone may subscribe


OneIT: Summer 2018 Update: Speaker Series and Coffee with the CIO

On behalf of the OneIT organizing committee we would like to share information about a couple of upcoming program activities.

1) Speaker Series

We will be starting a monthly speaker series in July. These are opportunities for guests (external or internal) to give a moderately in-depth presentation (~45-75 minutes) on a topic of broad interest to the IT community.

We are planning these events at the GLC on the first Thursday of every month from 1-4pm. Based in part on feedback from the April OneIT Symposium, we wanted to include enough time for the invited speaker to present, for q-and-a, and for professional networking time with colleagues (and also the very popular afternoon ice cream break 😉

Important note: Because of the July 4 holiday, the first speaker series date will deviate a bit — it will be held on Thursday July 12. Also: We are also including in the speaker series an additional event on July 18, “AWS Immersion Day” — details below. But in general the “first Thursday” scheduling is the plan.

The first four speaker series events will be:

-Thursday July 12, 1-4pm, GLC — ServiceNow representatives will present an overview of the ServiceNow platform, which is playing an increasingly important role at GT. Emphasis is a general introduction to the platform and its several capabilities, including request management, incident management, HR service delivery, knowledge management, and more.

-Monday July 16 or Wednesday July 18, 8:30-4:30pm (date not yet finalized, location not yet finalized) — Brian Beach of Amazon will present an AWS “Immersion Day” — this will include presentation and hands-on experience with various aspects of AWS and EC2 (introduction, networking, storage, security, identity, etc).

-Thursday August 2, 1-4pm, GLC — Kimberly Friedman, Microsoft — “How Collaboration Happens at Microsoft” — her description: “We have a very large matrixed company so while some organizations have challenges with silos to break down, our challenge revolves around mastering our ability to collaborate effectively in a highly matrixed environment.”

-Thursday September 6, 1-4pm, GLC — Sanjay Agravat, Machine Learning Specialist for Google Cloud Platform [ https://cloud.google.com/ml-engine/ ] — Sanjay will provide an overview of Google Cloud platform with emphasis on its machine learning tools.

Future potential topics include GT/OIT/GTRI alum Trey Palmer on aspects of Mailchimp’s IT operations; IBM Watson; and SEO.

If you’d like to suggest topics or speakers, we’d love to hear: oneit@gatech.edu

We will be in touch with more info and reminders about these as the dates approach, but we wanted the community to be aware of what’s planned.

2) Coffee with the CIO

We will be organizing informal meetings for members of the GT IT community to chat over coffee with GT CIO Mark Hoeting. Starting in July we will send invitations to gather a group of 10-15 members of the IT community for informal chat, listening, and feedback.

OneIT Symposium: April 24, 2018

The OneIT Steering Committee invites you to attend the First Annual OneIT Symposium on Tuesday, April 24 from 8:30a.m – 4:30p.m at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center.

We’ve organized a varied agenda that includes a keynote address on “The Future of IT in Higher Education” by speaker Laura McCain Patterson (currently of MOR Associates; former University of Michigan CIO 2009-2016) and a “State of IT” presented by Georgia Tech’s CIO, Mark Hoeting; an ITIL Overview and three program tracks in the afternoon. Full schedule below.

Capacity is limited – Please register now!

RSVPs are due no later than Friday, April 13.

Lunch will be provided.

We hope you can make it!


OneIT: Symposium 2018 Schedule

Tuesday, April 24 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Georgia Tech Global Learning Center

Morning Program

8:30-9:00 am Registration (coffee and pastries available)
GLC 236
9:00-9:45 am Keynote: The Future of IT in Higher Education
Laura McCain Patterson (MOR Associates, and former CIO University of Michigan 2009-2016)
GLC 236
10:00-10:40 am State of IT at Georgia Tech
Mark Hoeting, VP Information Technology and CIO, Georgia Tech
GLC 236
10:40-11:10am Q&A Session with Laura and Mark
GLC 236
11:20-11:30 am OneIT Program Status Report
Marissa Jules and Steve Hodges
GLC 236
11:30 am – 1:00 pm Buffet lunch provided for all registrants (with a special visitor)
GLC First Floor Atrium


Afternoon Program

1:00-1:55 pm

Instructor Not Available Because of Emergency

ITIL Overview Workshop

GLC 235

Presented by Knowledge Toolworks, this workshop is intended to provide the campus IT community with an overview of ITIL so that participants can determine how and which parts of ITIL may be of benefit to their IT organization. The workshop describes the ITIL Lifecycle phases and how they can help align IT with “the business”, control cost, improve IT service quality, balance resource allocations, and make IT a more enjoyable and stable working environment.

Canvas @ GT

GLC 236

* Warren Goetzel, Digital Learning, OIT

Gain understanding of GT’s ongoing Canvas rollout while following along in the same training sandbox used for faculty training

Microsoft Azure and Machine Learning Demo

GLC 222

Microsoft representative Gaurav Hind will present Microsoft Azure with specific reference to Azure machine learning (AzureML). Observe as a basic ML experiment is developed, and explore on your own after the session using the presentation materials.

Note: The demonstrated AzureML experiment requires an Azure account. If you want to repeat this demonstration during or after the session, you can sign up for a free Azure account using your GT credentials. From https://azure.microsoft.com choose “Free account” -> “Start free” and use GT account of the form gburdell3@gatech.edu. After signing in via SSO, verify identity by card (it won’t be charged unless you explicitly convert to a paid account).

2:00-2:55 pm

Salesforce @ GT

GLC 236

* Shannon Thomas, Scheller College of Business
* John Wilson, Enterprise Information Systems, OIT
* Jeff Fischer, Professional Education

Learn how Salesforce is currently being used at GT and plans for future use

Amazon AWS Machine Learning and Alexa Demo

GLC 222

Amazon representative Brian Beach will present AWS machine learning technology with specific reference to Alexa technology. Observe as a basic Alexa “skill” is developed, and experiment after the session using instructional materials provided. Stephen Garrett of GT will speak about ITG group’s recent work with Alexa.

Note: The demonstrated AWS skill requires an AWS account. If you want to repeat this demonstration during or after the session, you can sign up for a free AWS account. From https://aws.amazon.com/ choose “Create an AWS Account”. You’ll automatically be placed in the “free tier”, though credit card info is required for identification and in cases where usage exceeds the free tier.

3:00-3:55 pm

IT Governance @ GT

GLC 236

* John Gilleland, Office of Strategic Consulting

Better understand the structures and processes around IT governance at GT; see examples of projects that have gone through the process

Panel: The Technological Diversity of GT’s Campus IT

GLC 222


Closing Remarks and Feedback

GLC 236


Keep work and personal separate using the Outlook for iOS/Android

Regardless of whether you are faculty, staff, or a student at Georgia Tech, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re walking around with a mobile device that’s your personal device. If you’re like me, you use this device to access Georgia Tech IT resources in addition to your normal personal usage. One of the biggest problems with using one device is that the line between your personal data and GT’s data starts to get very blurry… especially with email. That line between your personal life and your work/school life gets pretty blurry too. If you’re looking for a way to make that line less blurry, I highly recommend the Microsoft Outlook app for mobile that is included with your GT Office 365 account.

Download and set up the app

Getting the app is the same as any other app on iOS or Android; just head over to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and download the app. We have instructions on the OIT FAQ site for setting up the Outlook app on both iOS and Android. The setup is the same as other Office 365 applications; use your GTAccount@gatech.edu address and sign in to the GT Login service when prompted.

What’s in the box?

Everything that you know and love (or potentially hate) about your email and calendar is in the Outlook app. Once you set up the app, it will automatically sync your Inbox, Calendar, and Contacts. As you visit your folders, the app will learn which folders you use and sync mail for those folders as well. All the normal email and calendar features that you’re used to on your iOS/Android mail app are there: You’ll have access to all your mail, sending/receiving mail, your calendar, and contacts like before. You can also set up notifications for meetings and new mail just like you can in the default iOS/Android mail apps. I personally like that I have different notifications for my work and personal mail and calendar. It allows me to disable my Outlook app notifications when I’m on vacation or otherwise unavailable without having to disable or heavily tweak all my personal notifications.

Extra features!

In addition to all the typical mail and calendar features that you’re used to in typical mail clients, the Outlook app adds additional features. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Focused Inbox in a new feature that has been rolling out in Office 365 that sorts your mail into two categories. “Focused” mail is mail that comes directly from people you work with regularly or that you’ve otherwise flagged as something you want to see as Focused. Everything else goes into “Other.” Ultimately, you control what is “Focused” or “Other.” You can also turn the feature off completely.
  • Sync shared calendars and improved delegate calendar management. The Outlook app can sync calendars that have been shared to you. If you’re a delegate that manages the calendar, there are also improvements to that workflow to make it clearer that you’re managing another person’s calendar instead of your own.
  • Improved meeting scheduling. The Outlook app allows you to view the calendars of other people that you’re inviting to the meeting. It also has improved RSVP capabilities for recurring meetings that allow you to decline individual meetings without declining the whole series.
  • Active development. Both the iOS and Android apps are under active development by Microsoft and receive regular updates. If there’s a feature that the app doesn’t have, they accept feedback on UserVoice for both the iOS version and the Android version.

What happened to the OWA app?

Back when Georgia Tech moved to Office 365 for email, the recommended mobile app from Microsoft was the OWA app. That app has been retired and replaced with the Outlook app. The OWA mobile will no longer be available starting in April 2018 and will stop working on May 15, 2018. Users that still have the OWA app on their mobile devices will start seeing a message directing them to the Outlook app starting in April 2018 also. If you’re still using the older OWA app, now is the time to move to the new Outlook app.

Disappearing IT?

I recently had the pleasure of listening to a talk by the highly respected CIO of one of the country’s top public universities. During his engaging presentation, he somewhat offhandedly mentioned (and I am paraphrasing) that successful information technology “tends to disappear”. He likened it to a utility such as electricity: When we turn on the switch, we expect the light to come on without our having to think about it at all.

To author Flannery O’Connor is attributed a popular line: “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” In that spirit I write this blog post — to help me determine what I think about the idea of “disappearing IT”.

In the audience were around 40 mid-career IT professionals from relatively elite universities. While I think the CIO speaker did not intend his statement to be controversial, it elicited noticeable reaction from some in the audience. In Q&A time after the talk, more than one audience member posed questions that, subtly or not-so-subtly, challenged the view of “disappearing IT”; and I too felt the urge to question it. Such a view seems to characterize IT in ways that feel uncomfortable, or at least incomplete.

I think the view of “good” IT as tending to disappear is understandable in some cases. When we log onto our computer, turn on the classroom projector, run a daily administrative report, or try card access to a door, of course the ideal is for the desired result to happen with minimal (tending towards zero) effort or attention.

But is this a realistic expectation for all information technology? Or are there some kinds of IT that we cannot expect to disappear? (Or, perhaps oddly, maybe those parts of “computer work” that don’t disappear are something other than information technology?)

Academic disciplines vary widely in their cultures, methods, personalities, and relationships to technology. My experience is primarily with computing in the humanities and social sciences (the technology-inflected varieties of these, as is the GT way), but it suggests that there are many aspects of computing in these disciplines that do not and perhaps cannot disappear at all.

As a way to think about this question, it may help to compare our work with other professions among our higher education brethren. Consider first the work of accountants and facilities professionals; consider second the work of librarians and research technologists. All of these areas include talented professionals whose work is essential to the university’s success, but they differ in important ways: Accounting, when done well, generally does “disappear”, in the sense that it does not directly connect with instruction or research — rather, it quietly enables those activities. Libraries, on the other hand, do generally connect directly with academic disciplines — and to be effective, librarians usually must have disciplinary expertise in the areas they serve, in addition to library science — and they often engage directly with faculty. So, perhaps we could say that good accounting tends to disappear, but to me it would seem odd to suggest that the best library is one that disappears (GT’s current library strategy notwithstanding).

Is IT more similar to accounting, or to the library? With something as broad as IT, there is no simple answer — different parts of IT have similarities to both. We might divide the IT world into “infrastructure and business” computing on the one hand, and “academic and research computing” on the other — perhaps it’s an imperfect division, but to me it seems the most straightforward way to understand the CIO’s comment about “disappearing IT”. With infrastructure and business computing, it’s understandable that users would simply want working and nonintrusive functionality at minimal cost. In academic and research computing, however, computing is often foregrounded and cannot disappear.

Sitting in the audience listening to the CIO proffer his view, I wondered: Does what we do in Ivan Allen College even qualify as IT? In part, certainly — we do lots of traditional IT, but is it part of IT’s job description to maintain expertise in digital collections, statistical computing, media studies, data visualization, geographic mapping, network analysis, etc? In the standard conception of IT, I think the answer might be no. But in the realm of non-disappearing IT, I think it would have to be yes.

My purpose here is not to argue that one type of IT is better or more important. Really, my purpose is only to try to think through why the “good IT should disappear” comment caused such a ruckus among the group. But it’s also a useful way to understand two broadly different concepts of IT in higher education: Yes, there is a substantial component that, if done well, should “disappear”. But I don’t think that’s the whole story — there’s also an essential part that simply cannot disappear.

Perhaps some of this is obvious, but thinking through it helped me process what I heard in the CIO’s talk. It also touches on a subject near to my heart: The importance of IT within academic units for the vitality and creativity of IT in general — but that’s a topic for another day and another blog post.

OneIT: January Events

On behalf of the OneIT steering committee I would like to draw your attention to a couple of upcoming opportunities in January in the area of professional development.

1) IT Trends Shaping the Future of Business

Presenter: Global Knowledge | Raymond Doucette
Topic: IT Trends Shaping the Future of Business
Date: Friday January 12, 2018
Location: EBB 1005
Remote Attendance Supported, connection info will be sent prior to this session

8:30-9:00 Meet and Greet/Breakfast
9:00-11:30 Presentation by Ray Doucette
11:30-12:00 Questions/Door Prizes

Global Knowledge [ https://www.globalknowledge.com/ ] is an IT skills training company with courses across a wide variety of products and technologies. The company will offer this presentation of their course on recent IT trends — course description and link below. Global Knowledge of course sees this as a relationship-building opportunity, but this course is not intended to be a sales pitch — it’s intended to be a substantive but high-level review of how the current IT landscape is changing.

Brief course description: Learn about the latest IT trends that are shaping how businesses are adapting to seize opportunities and comply with new requirements brought on by those trends. Topics ranging from cloud, social, Internet of things (IoT), mobile, analytics, and cybersecurity are discussed as they relate to everything from customer experience to enterprise business processes. More: https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/course/155239/it-trends-shaping-the-future-of-business/ (Link given only for information; do not sign up on the Global Knowledge site.)

About the presenter: Your presenter for this session will be Raymond Doucette, a Canadian citizen currently living in the United States, with over 30 years of experience in technology. Throughout his career, he has worked for and consulted with numerous technology companies such as Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Cisco, Department of Defense, Dimension Data, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Tech Data, VMware, and others. Mr. Doucette’s range of development projects have included writing content for Cisco certification programs as well as a number of specific technology topics including Data Center, Enterprise Networking, Security, Virtualization, and Collaboration. His current projects include content development in areas such as Cloud, IoT and Network Analysis. Mr. Doucette’s broad experience in the technology ecosystem, his knowledge and grasp of how technology relates to business outcomes, and his skills in presenting and explaining complex topics make him an ideal candidate to represent the quality of Subject Matter Experts that Global Knowledge uses to present our courses.

If you plan to attend, please sign up at


This session will be available remotely; connection info will be sent prior to this session.

2) ITIL Overview Workshop

Tuesday January 30, 9am-4pm
Global Learning Center (attached to the Georgia Tech Hotel)
Ask the 1st floor reception desk to speak to Mike Sewell (678-992-9122)

This offering of the ITIL Overview workshop will be available remotely; connection info will be sent prior to this session.

Presented by Knowledge Toolworks, this workshop is intended to provide the campus IT community with an overview of ITIL so that participants can determine how and which parts of ITIL may be of benefit to their IT organization. The workshop describes the ITIL Lifecycle phases and how they can help align IT with “the business”, control cost, improve IT service quality, balance resource allocations, and make IT a more enjoyable and stable working environment.

If you plan to attend, please sign up at


OneIT: Mid-November Update


A couple of OneIT-related items for your consideration:

1) ITIL Awareness One-Day Workshop

Thursday Nov 30, 9am-4:30pm, Student Center Room 319

Presented by Knowledge Toolworks, this workshop is intended to provide the campus IT community with an overview of ITIL so that participants can determine how and which parts of ITIL may be of benefit to their IT organization. The workshop describes the ITIL Lifecycle phases and how they can help align IT with “the business”, control cost, improve IT service quality, balance resource allocations, and make IT a more enjoyable and stable working environment. Room for approximately 30 participants.

If you plan to attend, please sign up at


(Note: We realize colleagues at remote campuses/locations are also interested in this topic but were not able to book a location suitable for remote presentation. We intend to offer the course again in early 2018 and continue to seek a suitable location for remote participation.)

2) Book Discussion Group

Reminder that OneIT sponsors a monthly Book Discussion — this is an informal relatively small-group discussion of IT-related books. The selection for January is “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” [ https://www.amazon.com/Drive-Surprising-Truth-About-Motivates/dp/1594484805/ ]. For questions or to express interest, contact group leader Gabe Vannice (vannice@gatech.edu)

OneIT: Fall Social

The Fall social event will take place on Monday October 16 in the Student Center’s Peachtree Room from 2-5pm (but lingering afterwards is possible, since we have the room until 6pm).

This is a relatively low-key event with:

  • Halloween decor
  • Those in the holiday spirit may choose to wear Halloween masks
  • Snacks and drinks
  • A game on each table for spontaneous play (and we also encourage those with games they’d like to share to bring them)

We want to make participation possible for our colleagues on remote campuses/locations as well. We’ll have at least one online game (to be determined, suggestions welcome) for both local and remote participants to play together. Also, we are interested in trying a “buddy” system, where a local participant teams with a remote colleague (on a phone/tablet/laptop via Bluejeans) for the social — the idea is that the local and remote buddies would roam together about the space, chat with each other and other “locals”, and meet colleagues. If you are interested in being either a local or remote buddy, please send a note to oneit@gatech.edu and we’ll work to pair you up. This is offered in an experimental spirit — it may prove to be a fun way to meet and learn from colleagues across geographies.

See you Monday!

OneIT: MOR IT Leadership Development

One emphasis of Georgia Tech’s OneIT program is to promote professional development of IT staff across Georgia Tech, through activities like IT 101 and other peer-to-peer learning; on-campus training opportunities; interest groups, book club, and other related activities.

Through OneIT, the Office of Information Technology will make available a new professional development opportunity: the MOR IT Leaders Program. This established program, which draws participation from many respected higher education institutions, seeks to enhance the professional development of individuals who will play management and leadership roles within higher education information technology. More information here:


GT’s participation in this program in 2018 will consist of two cohorts of six members each, drawing members both from within OIT and from other campus units.

The program involves a significant commitment of time and resources on an individual and institutional level, including:

  • Time commitment, including four 3-day in-person instructional meetings in various cities, as well as significant time reading and preparing for these meetings
  • Monetary commitment: the program costs approximately $6,000 per participant as well as travel expenses (estimated $5500). For the campus cohort, OIT will cover the $6k program cost, with the home unit of the individual contributing the travel costs
  • Administrative agreement: the leadership of the campus participant’s unit (e.g., Dean, School Chair, Director) must agree to allow the necessary time for participation in the program, as well as to fund travel cost mentioned above

Note that this program is available only to IT staff currently serving in a management role (i.e., with direct reports).

We realize the limitations of this opportunity, since it is available to a relatively small number of people. Depending on the program’s success and on available funding, in future years GT may make the program available to a larger number of people. Additionally, there is a related program for IT staff seeking to take on a management role (the Emerging Leaders program) — there may be future opportunities for this program.

The OneIT steering committee will evaluate and make recommendations for campus nominees. OIT has a separate process in place to identify participants. All recommendations will ultimately be presented to GT leadership for approval.

The nomination process for campus nominees will require:

  • A brief nomination letter supporting the nomination (600 words maximum). Either self-nomination or nomination by a colleague is acceptable. This should address how the candidate and GT could be expected to benefit from the program; factors suggesting the candidate’s prospects for success in the program; and any other supporting reasons for the nomination.
  • Confirmation that the candidate’s unit leadership agrees to the potential commitment of time and money.

Those with potential interest who want to talk to past participants may contact one or more of the following people: Eric BuckhaltPam BuffingtonJewel ColemanAndrew DietzScott FreidrichMaria HunterMarissa JulesJohn Wilson.

Campus nominations should be made through https://gatech.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_etHxWn4l7JYxOXH by end of day on October 31 2017.

OneIT: Mark Hoeting’s Quarterly Chat October 2017

Slides from digital chat of October 6, 2016: