Tech Talks: IT department discusses resources

Tori Roper
Staff Writer

The Troy University IT department is the central hub for all of the university’s technical support. This covers almost 80,000 users in 17 different time zones. Greg Price, chief technology and security officer, says that “the top priority of Troy IT is to address the needs of students in such a way as to provide solutions that benefit the students’ overall experience with Troy University, whether at the Troy campus or elsewhere.”
The IT department has a multitude of resources to decrease the stress and chaos of technical issues. Price emphasized the importance of submitting a helpdesk ticket if you experience a technical problem.
“Helpdesk tickets allow Troy IT to pinpoint problems that are the most important to the highest amount of students,” Price said. “The more helpdesk tickets that are submitted concerning a specific problem, the quicker the problem will most likely be fixed.”
Julia Orcutt, a freshman criminal justice major from Helena, said that her main problem with the IT department this semester is the Wi-Fi. The IT department is in the process of installing a new hardware system throughout campus to address this issue.
Kate Robertson, a junior marketing major from Augusta, Georgia expressed her concern saying, “Sometimes Blackboard is down and you waste time trying to get on.”
Price said that Blackboard is not managed by IT. “That service is maintained by the educational technology unit in Global Campus. The solution is hosted offsite, but a local manager team directs the operations and support,” he said.
Other resources that are now, or will be soon, available through Troy IT include TrojanTXT, FrontDoorSoftware Loss & Recovery Free, Live Chat Helpdesk, Colleague Student Planning, and the Portal project.
TrojanTXT is an SMS communication service that notifies students of important topics such as registration deadlines, financial aid deadlines, drop and add dates and billing information. Registering for this resource will allow students to stay up to date with deadlines and provide the possibility to win Troy t-shirts and Starbucks prizes each month. During the summer semester of 2014, TrojanTXT was implemented and 20 messages were sent to students throughout the semester. Troy IT encourages new students to sign up for this service and to join the 3,200 students who already have.
The FrontDoorSoftware Loss & Recovery enables students to protect their laptops from last-minute crashes and the loss of all of their work. The installation of the software includes laptop registration, a talk feature, and four years of a software tracking service.
TROY’s Helpdesk is a major part of Troy IT’s presence for students having technical issues. The Live Chat link on the helpdesk homepage will direct students to a chat area where students can gain support, not only for technical issues, but also with questions concerning Blackboard, Remote Proctor, and Student Services.
Colleague Student Planning is a resource that helps students clarify, map out, and track their course of study in order to progress more confidently towards a degree plan. “The solution also helps improve the quality of interaction between students and advisers, and enables institutions to map future course offerings more effectively,” Price said.
The Portal project is an upcoming project that will allow easier access of the Troy University website. Instead of students and employees having to visit several websites with different logins, the portal will combine those sites into one, making access more efficient. The new site has been approved by a web council already, and will be presented to Chancellor Hawkins by the end of September. The new site will only be accessible to current Troy students and employees. Therefore, the material provided will be more focused on that audience.

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