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Network News

May 2021
Volume 20, Number 5

From the CIO

CIO Nelson Moe
CIO Nelson Moe
Virginia Public Service Week (VPSW) is underway, and I want to take a moment to thank you for your dedication and commitment to the Commonwealth. This annual observance is a reminder that it takes all of us collectively, whether state, local or higher education, coming together daily to propel the Commonwealth forward for Virginians. At the end of the day, we are all on one team serving those people who rely on us for a wide range of services. I commend you for your hard work.
  
On that topic, it’s annual awards season and time to showcase the best technological services and programs we have accomplished over the last year. On behalf of our Commonwealth workforce, VITA will submit entries for the national technology awards through the Center for Digital Government’s Government Experience Awards and the National Association for State Chief Information Officers Awards over the next couple of months. These awards recognize projects for their ingenuity and innovation, but most importantly, the customer experience.
 
The Commonwealth won several national awards last year, and I know our partner agencies are continuing to positively impact lives across many facets, and especially this year, technology has enabled and empowered continuity of operations and services. Our partner agencies know their customers and target audiences better than anyone; VITA welcomes agency experiences and stories of success.
 
Thank you all for being a valuable part of the Commonwealth. I proudly serve, and I hope you do too. Let’s continue to stay connected and support each other for Virginia.

Nelson

Awards season is here -- Please share your agency’s successes!

It's awards season, and we need your help! The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) will submit entries for national technology awards through the Center for Digital Government’s Government Experience Awards and the National Association for State Chief Information Officers Awards over the next couple of months. These awards recognize projects for their ingenuity and innovation, but most importantly, the customer experience. Please include impactful data and results of improved interactions with members of the public wherever possible. You all know your customers and target audiences better than anyone, so we welcome your experiences and stories of success.
 
In an effort to share as many of Virginia’s collective technological projects, programs, initiatives and other successes as we can, we have included a survey for you and your colleagues to complete and submit by Friday, May 7, for potential inclusion. We appreciate your partnership! Please share any questions with us at vitacomms@vita.virginia.gov.
 
Take the survey

 

Enterprise messaging services status

The solicitation process for the enterprise messaging services remains ongoing. The request for proposals (RFP) team is currently in negotiations with potential supplier(s). The team is working to select the best supplier(s) to maximize communications, productivity and efficiency for Commonwealth customers and end users.

Core services of the messaging contract include, but are not limited to:

  • Email, calendar, archiving, mobile device management, security components and contacts
  • Online storage
  • Productivity suites
  • Collaboration services

Upon contract award, agencies will receive frequent and timely communications regarding service migration. Additionally, there are requirements in the RFP for the new messaging supplier(s) to support regular communications to customers. This includes providing effective change management to ensure the steps leading up to the migration are clearly communicated. A follow-up communication will be released in the coming weeks that will provide agencies with additional information (e.g., dates, transition plans, etc.)

For any questions related to the RFP, please contact Shabeen Vijayan. 

 

Microsoft cloud services adoption workshop for agency IT personnel 

The Microsoft cloud services adoption workshop is for agency IT professionals to understand the changes needed to support critical modern services management. There is a limit of 12 seats for this workshop and seats will be filled on a first come, first served basis.  

Suggested attendees:   

  • IT executive leadership 
  • Service management process leaders 
  • Help desk/service desk manager 
  • IT transformation lead 
  • IT service owners 
  • IT engineering managers 
  • Vendor management  

The cloud services adoption workshop will provide attendees with key processes, tools, roles and scenarios that will change for IT professionals with the move to Microsoft Cloud Services. This three-day, closed-enrollment workshop will cover critical adoption and change management (ACM) foundational concepts based on the Prosci® methodology, which is a standardized, holistic approach. There is no cost associated with this workshop.    

Attendees should plan to attend all three sessions. The schedule for the workshop is as follows: 

  • Tuesday, May 4 - 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  
  • Wednesday, May 5 - 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
  • Thursday, May 6 - 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

If you have any questions related to this workshop, please contact the business readiness mailbox.  

 

2021 virtual security conference   

The 2021 virtual Commonwealth of Virginia Information Security Conference is open for registration. The theme of the conference is “2021 Cybersecurity Reboot: Tools for building cyber resilience.”  In addition to break-out presentations, the conference program will feature two keynote addresses.   

Conference details:  

Conference participants will have the opportunity to: 

  • Expand professional networks -- The conference will provide opportunities to virtually meet with security-minded colleagues.
  • Learn about security products and services -- Providers will present on Commonwealth-specific security products and services and how they can be used.
  • Maintain professional certifications -- Up to five continuing professional education (CPE) credits are being offered.  

We encourage you to register now as we expect the conference will reach maximum capacity.  

Learn more about this upcoming exciting conference

 

IT service rates for 2022 now available   

The VITA IT catalog chargeback rates for fiscal year 2022 rates have been posted on the VITA website. 

 

Box content management service 

Box content management service has been approved for sensitive data. This is a cloud-based platform to access and share digital content for virtually any file type and enable multiple people to collaborate without the risk of version-control issues. 

 

Important note for all agency personnel who access their monthly IT services bill via the online ITFM platform   

VITA is transitioning to a new ITFM platform, and as of April 1, there is a new and easier way to access your monthly IT services bill – directly via Okta. Using Chrome web browser, open the Virginia COV Okta portal. Enter your COV credentials to log in and click the VITA ITFM icon to open Digital Fuel.  

Important note: you must access ITFM via Okta each time by clicking the icon; Digital Fuel bookmarks will not work. 

The new platform will provide continued transparency with added capability and flexibility on an industry leading user-friendly and extensible product suite. Specifically, the new platform will provide several items we know are important to agencies (e.g., user configurable reporting with permissioning control; automated extracts; forecast review and approval workflow; a closed loop system (planning, cost, billing and rates)).  

Additional details and invitations to attend training on the new tool will come later this year. We are leveraging lessons learned from the 2019 ITFM go-live to anticipate agency needs and preferences. We are also reinitiating the agency finance feedback group which will meet regularly to preview the tool and provide input. We will be coordinating with a subset of agencies across the Commonwealth to ensure agency needs are represented.  

 

Cloud management training 

The workplace collaboration services (WCS) team is excited to offer the Cloud Management training class to its WCS administrators. Cloud Management is a reporting dashboard that allows Microsoft 365 stakeholders (AITRs, ISOs and WCS points of contact) at WCS customer agencies to run reports on their Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Groups and SharePoint environments. These reports are designed to assist WCS administrators with managing their workspaces and focus on membership and site usage.  

VITA is offering two Cloud Management training classes on May 10 and 12. Registration closes on May 5. Please work with your agency IT resource (ATIR) if you feel you would benefit from this training. 


Verizon JetPack recall
 

Verizon Wireless has recently recalled the Jetpack MH-900L, MH-900LS and MH-900LPP due to reports of some battery issues that can result in fire. Although VITA stopped offering this Jetpack some time ago, there have been a number of these units purchased by customers in the past. No other models of the Jetpack are affected by the recall. Any affected units will eventually be replaced without charge.  

For more information, visit the VITA website.

 

IT strategic planning for the 2022-2024 biennium is underway 

To assist with IT strategic planning, VITA held workshops during April. During the training, agencies were introduced to a workshop that they could take back and conduct at their own agencies to assist with developing the IT strategic plan. AITRs were required to attend a session. Additional agency representatives involved in IT strategic planning were encouraged to attend. 

May 28 is the deadline for submitting agency IT strategic plans. If you have questions, please contact the IT investment management team.  

 

End of VITA's Sprint contract

On April 1, 2020, T-Mobile completed the acquisition of Sprint Solutions. VITA's contract for Sprint rate plans was extended through June 30, 2021, in order to facilitate a transition from Sprint-branded rate plans to T-Mobile.  

If your agency is a user of Sprint Wireless services, please convert your current Sprint users to T-Mobile as soon as you can. There should be no change in your service coverage and services may actually improve as a result.  

Agencies may find that some older phones and equipment may not be T-Mobile-compatible and will need to be replaced. You can work with the Sprint/T-Mobile state account representative, Michael Girardi, to determine what the impact to your users will be and if an existing device will need to be replaced. If agencies do not complete the transition by June 30, there is a remote possibility that they could lose service on affected devices since the contract does not provide for continuation of Sprint services past that date. 

Virginia national security poster winner!

VITA congratulates Melia (Spotsylvania County High School) on being named a 2021 winner of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) national security poster contest. Only 13 entries, out of thousands, were chosen as national winners! VITA proudly supports this contest that engages K-12 students in creating posters to encourage other young people to use the Internet safely and securely.
 
With a focus toward the digital environment this year, MS-ISAC adapted and created a new avenue to distribute and showcase the artwork -- a new cyber safety activity book. The book will be published in honor of October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Congratulations to all the Virginia finalists! 
 

 

Did you know?  

Did you know you can add people to the watch list for ticket updates? 

Got a hot ticket opened by a colleague that you need to monitor closely for updates? You can add yourself (or others) to the watch list of most record types in the VITA service portal. You’ll get updates on activities (status changes and customer-facing notes) at the same time as the requestor. 

To add yourself to the watch list, navigate to the "Notes" section below the description and click the + button.

How to add others to the watch list: 

  • Click the “lock” button to unlock for editing.
  • Find the people you want to add by name or email address.
  • When finished adding yourself or other people, click “Save” in the upper right menu bar. 


Training opportunities: New learning management system
 

See below for the list of classes available in May and June in the ITISP learning management system (LMS).  

The LMS is available via the training widget on the VITA service portal homepage—providing easy access to training registration and CBT courses. We invite you to review knowledge base article KB0018324 to learn more.  

(Note: The ITISP LMS is not a replacement for the current DHRM enterprise LMS solution.)  

Available classes:  

Enhanced request for solutions - May 18

Project management - May 18

Reports and dashboards - June 22

Configuration management database - June 29 

*Please remember: The training schedule is posted in the knowledge base. Log in to VITA’s knowledge base and click on the “Training” icon – here you can view training-related materials. To view the training schedule, click on “show filters” on the left side of the page. Then, check the box for “Training Schedules.” If you have any questions, please contact the VCCC at 866-637-8482.  

 

Information Security Tips

It seems like it’s been much longer than one year ago since we last did our taxes, but somehow, it’s here again; tax season. This is a period of time where extra vigilance and caution is needed while online and conducting business, especially avoiding any kind of online activity that could jeopardize your identity and finances. There are some important best practices and red flags to keep in mind while navigating through this season, and hopefully you’ll feel a little bit more secure with the knowledge that you haven’t fallen victim to a cyber scheme!

Read Information Security Tips