These updates cover news from LSA IT, as well as the broader Michigan IT community that's here to serve you and your IT needs. Feel free to forward to others who may be interested. Feedback and questions are always welcome.

Free AWS computing for Researchers — University of Michigan Advanced Research Computing (ARC) has been awarded a limited number of Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits as part of an AWS in Education Research grant. The credits will be granted to U-M research projects in blocks of $500, based on short proposals submitted by faculty members. For more details, and to apply for credits, visit the AWS Credit Application Form web page. The approvals will be completed on a rolling basis until the funds are gone. (Contact: Charles Antonelli or Todd Raeker)

LSA IT infrastructure maintenance Saturday, February 28, 7am-3pm — LSA IT's standard spring infrastructure maintenance Saturday is only a few weeks away. During this time, most LSA-provided services will be intermittently unavailable in order to perform work necessary to keep our systems functioning well. This includes software updates, migrations, and other hardware maintenance. If you have questions about this upcoming maintenance, including details on specific service disruptions, please contact the LSA IT Service Desk at 734.936.3279. (Contact: Marissa Green)

High Performance Computing training classes for Winter Semester — There are upcoming opportunities for current and potential users to learn about the Flux computing cluster. This will be a hands-on experience, in which you will log in to the cluster and work with jobs. There are several different courses this term — for beginning, intermediate, and advanced users — all with multiple sessions! For more information and to sign up, please visit http://arc.research.umich.edu/training-workshops/.

Find the IT services you need — IT has hundreds of services designed to help both your productivity and effectiveness. The new Michigan IT Services Portal is a growing repository of ways IT can help meet needs in your research, instruction, and more. Need help navigating all IT has to offer or can't seem to find what you're looking for? A great place to start is the LSA IT Service Desk 734.936-3279 or by contacting the IT Advocate for your unit.

New and updated software available — Since the last update, UmichITAM has released the following upgrades to titles in the software catalog: Mathematica 10.0.2 and Lasergene 12.1. Maintenance contracts were renewed for Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Dragon Dictate. Please note the MATLAB campus-wide license has been renewed with the following toolboxes newly licensed for the entire campus: Embedded Coder, Simulink Coder, and MATLAB Coder. Toolboxes eliminated from the campus agreement include: Neural Networks, Partial Differential Equation, and Database. For continued use, clients should be configured for the network license of MATLAB. Details on the new student license that was added to the MATLAB campus agreement are forthcoming. Complete list of all titles. (Contact: Crystal Borgman)

LSA IT Service Desk — We are thrilled to have our first four members join the new Customer Experience Team. Gregory Allen, Desktop Support Specialist Senior and Matt Archer, Desktop Support Specialist Intermediate joined LSA in December. Matt Bidlingmeyer, Desktop Support Specialist Senior and Myron Jenkins, Desktop Support Specialist Intermediate joined LSA in January. An additional two Desktop Support Specialist Intermediates will be hired to complete the team. The current focus is on cross training and having a Service Desk presence in each of the Regional Offices. The LSA IT Help Line has been newly configured to ring in each location to provide better service and support. (Contact: Lisa Callihan)

Changes to Classroom Support within LSA IT — Working in collaboration with LSA ISS, LSA IT provides the back-end support to power our classroom IT needs. To provide more focused support to this critical function, Angell Hall G240 is now the physical focal point of classroom support activities in LSA IT. Tully Svekric will continue working on classroom needs and will be housed in this space, along with John Cross and Brad Sharp. Brad will coordinate this sub-group of CSG. (Contact: David Sweetman)

Additional LSA IT staffing changes — We are excited to announce multiple staffing changes: Sheri Thornton and Brad Sharp were each promoted to Desktop Support Specialist Senior, Jesse Reets joined the Infrastructure team as a Systems Administrator Intermediate, Adam Lane transitioned to the Advocacy and Research Support (ARS) team, and we currently have a job posting to replace the role held by Gregory Allen before he transitioned from Research Support North (RSN) to the new Customer Experience Team. (Contact: David Sweetman)

New personally owned devices (BYOD) policy — Over the past year, the university has updated guidance for protecting university data when using personally owned devices (such as smart phones, tablets, and laptop computers). As part of this effort, LSA allows only current faculty, Graduate Student Instructors and Graduate Student Research Assistants, and permanent staff members to use personally owned devices when working with sensitive university data — as long as they properly secure and manage devices and follow additional restrictions specific to LSA. (Contact: Marissa Green)

New from M+Google — Google Sheets now includes a SPARKLINE function that allows users to create a miniature chart contained within a single cell, providing a visual depiction of data trends. Also, check out this new two-minute tip covering how to add Google Drive images to your email signature. (Contact: 4HELP@umich.edu)

Box ending support for Microsoft Office 2007 — Box will soon end support for all Box for Office 2007 integrations for Windows users. All Windows users must upgrade to the new version of Box for Office integration as soon as possible. If you are unsure whether or not this change applies to you, please contact the LSA IT Service Desk at 734.936.3279 for assistance.

M+Box — Please take a few minutes to read up on more of the latest M+Box Monthly Updates. (Contact: 4HELP@umich.edu)

LSA IT Service Desk 2014 AnalyticsAnalysis of telephone calls to the LSA IT Service Desk for 2014 is now complete. The data shows that an average of 530 calls were handled per month, with an average call length of 6:46 minutes. (Contact: Lisa Callihan)