A New Calendar Service for UCI

Oracle Calendar has provided event, meeting, and resource management services to the UCI community for twelve years.   Since Oracle has announced the end of support for this product, OIT conducted a review of alternatives resulting in a decision to offer calendaring services through Microsoft Exchange.

One of the key reasons for selecting Exchange Calendar is compatibility with Microsoft’s Exchange email platform which is already in wide use at UCI.  Cost effectiveness and support for mobile computing (tablets and smart phones) were also major considerations.  The project plan is to use Exchange initially for calendaring only.  The use of Exchange for email will be implemented in a later phase of the project.

Oracle Calendar users have already been issued accounts for the purposes of training and familiarity.  Exchange Calendar will replace Oracle Calendar on August 6.  The Oracle Calendar server will remain available for review purposes for about a month before being permanently retired.

Up-to-date information on the Calendar Project can be found at the OIT Exchange web site.

License Microsoft Sofware with MCCA

MS Office

Do you need to update Microsoft Office or Windows? Mid-year UC-MCCA enrollments are due December 9th.

Popular Microsoft software is available at reduced cost to UCI through an agreement between UC and Microsoft, the “Microsoft Consolidated Campus Agreement” or MCCA.  More information on MCCA can be found in a previous IT News article.

MCCA runs on a fiscal year cycle, with orders for the next July 1 fiscal year being placed in early May.  But we now have a special pro-rated mid-year enrollment opportunity for licenses that will be newly deployed on January 1st.  MCCA enrollments are usually coordinated at a department or unit level, so consult with your local IT support or purchasing office to see if your unit is participating in MCCA.

This special mid-year enrollment opportunity ends on December 9th.  If your unit is not yet participating, contact Bob Hudack at x46759 or rjhudack@uci.edu for help in determining if this program is appropriate for your unit.

License Microsoft Software with UC-MCCA

Microsoft Office

Popular Microsoft software is available at reduced cost to UCI through an agreement between UC and Microsoft, the “Microsoft Consolidated Campus Agreement” or MCCA.

The MCCA agreement is an annual lease rather than a standard outright purchase, and cost is based on a unit’s employee count rather than the number of computers that will run the software.

There are over 65,000 Campus Agreement Participants enrolled throughout the UC System. At UCI, the Merage School, OIT, ICS, UCI Libraries, Health Sciences, Soc Eco, Arts, Housing, Bio Sci Dean’s Office, Engr Dean’s Office, Law, A&BS, and others have enrolled.

While a careful analysis of your individual situation is always recommended, units which have more computers than staff (say, a computer lab) or units which want to be running the latest release of a package are likely to find MCCA an attractive alternative.

Participation in MCCA is subject to an open enrollment period which ends this year on May 6.  Contact Bob Hudack at x46759 or rjhudack@uci.edu for help in determining if this program will help your unit.

Microsoft Vista and Office 2007 Migration

Windows Vista Logo

Windows Vista Logo

Microsoft has released new editions of its Windows operating system, Vista, as well as its productivity suites Office 2007 and Office 2008 for Macintosh.  Here is some information NACS has collected to help users and departments adapt to and make optimal use of these new tools.

In the summer of 2007, NACS coordinated a series of workshops, partly funded by a grant from Microsoft.  We are currently planning the next series of workshops.

NACS works with its counterparts at other UC campuses to be sure UCI faculty and staff have access to advantageous licensing programs, including UC-MCCA (the Microsoft Consolidated Campus Agreement).

We have introduced Vista and Office 2007 in the AIRB training lab, and will expand their availability as demand grows.

NACS and departmental computing support staff can assist faculty and staff deciding when (or whether) to migrate to Vista and Office 2007. Vista requires a higher-performance system to run effectively, and Office 2007 and 2008 introduce new file formats that are incompatible with earlier versions.  Office 2007 and 2008 offer the option to save files in a backward-compatible format, and users of earlier versions of Office can download the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007.

Windows Vista runs most software well, but some specialized research or administrative tools won’t run under Vista. NACS recommends purchasers of Vista systems plan to test their most important applications in advance of purchase.

Today, all new PC purchases running Windows come with Vista licenses.  If running Windows XP is important to you, choose a business-class system from a reseller like Dell or HP, and select a Windows XP configuration.  The University’s strategic sourcing reseller, KST Data, offers a variety of systems preconfigured with Windows XP Professional.  Be aware that obtaining the correct XP drivers for hardware designed for Vista may be problematic.

Microsoft last released a service pack (a collection of software updates) for Windows XP in May, and therefore by Microsoft policy, XP will be supported until at least May 2009.  However, Microsoft has not committed to supporting or retiring XP beyond that date.  Interested users can follow Microsoft’s evolving plans for XP at the Windows Service Pack Road Map web site.

Office XP Training

For the 6th summer in a row, NACS offers Microsoft Office hands-on training workshops designed to help computer users become familiar with, or brush up on the various computer applications commonly used at UCI.

Beginning August 1st, this summer’s line-up includes 4 levels of Access, 3 levels of Excel, 3 levels of Word, and 2 levels of PowerPoint.

Morning or afternoon classes are $79 (departmental recharge required) and will be conducted in various locations around campus including the Humanities, Social Sciences, Engineering, and Physical Sciences areas.

For course objectives and registration, log into the TED system (Training and Employee Development) with your UCInetID and click on the Catalog and Enrollment tab. Then type “Microsoft Office” in the keyword box.