ServicesInformation Technology Services
- Administrative Systems
- Network Services, Infrastructure & Security
- Peninsula Library System
- Construction Support Services
- Instructional Technology and Web Services
- Computers Support & Media Services
Information Technology Services (ITS) provides and maintains a wide range of tools and applications that are used by the Colleges and the District Office to effectively support operational needs. Many of the core services are provided through the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and the capabilities of a number of third party systems.
Banner® - The ERP system in use at San Mateo CCD is ellucian Banner®. It was initially installed in 1991-92 and has undergone significant major upgrades since it was initially installed. Banner® is extensively used by all faculty, staff, and students and includes major modules for: student registration, faculty grading, transcript production, student accounts payable, financial accounting, budget development, purchasing, student financial aid, and payroll and human resources. The Banner® web interface, locally called WebSMART, is accessed by students and staff to conduct a variety of self-service tasks such as registration, payment of fees, faculty grading, etc. Banner® version 8.5 uses Oracle Release 11g as its database and is hosted at the District office on IBM AIX servers. Software upgrades, patches, and the development of new services are the responsibility of the programming team. Mandated state and federal reporting is largely based on information residing in the Banner® database.
Faculty and staff email - ITS maintains a comprehensive unified messaging service for the staff of the colleges and District Office which includes voicemail, email, and fax messaging. The system is based on Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Siemens Xpressions products. There are more than 3000 email accounts currently supported by the system. The Exchange environment consists of 2 clustered back-end servers as well as 2 load-balanced front-end servers for high availability. Storage of messages is maintained on an EMC Clarion Storage Area Network (SAN) utilizing RAID technology and redundant hot spare disks for fault tolerance. Data is backed up to high capacity, high-speed tape drives and is stored offsite for disaster recovery.
In addition, to reduce and control email spam, ITS has implemented Pure Message for filtering spam.
Web Site: http://banner.smccd.edu/ (intranet)
Vendor: ellucian Higher Education
Email Training: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/CH010371352.aspx
Voicemail Training: http://www.smccd.edu/phone
Argos® –The web based reporting tool used to provide users with a variety of reports and data extracts from the Banner® transactional or data warehouse Oracle databases is Argos®. It is a product licensed from Evisions, Inc., a company based in southern California. The application is also intended to provide end-users with the ability to more easily create ad-hoc reports.
FormFusion® - Another product from Evisions, Inc. is FormFusion®. It is used to capture output from text-based reports generated from Banner®, add and delete data, insert text and graphics, and then distribute the output where and when it is required. It is used to print and/or email a variety of other forms such as purchase orders, student financial aid correspondence, student schedule bills and tax forms (1099s, W2s).
Web Site: http://argos:8080/
Hyperion® - Extensive enrollment statistics are available from the web-based Hyperion® dashboards. These academic term-based dashboards compare enrollment statistics against the same period in the semester to the previous year’s registration cycle. The historical dashboard takes a snapshot of the enrollment statistics at various key points in time throughout the term. Decision makers throughout the institution access these reports for timely and accurate information throughout the term. The dashboards are built from the local data warehouse using the Hyperion® Developer Tool.
Web Site: http://appserv1.smccd.net/dostats/
CCCApply® – Students use CCCApply® to apply for admission and enrollment at any of the three colleges. The system is hosted by the vendor, XAP Corporation, and applications are downloaded automatically into Banner® throughout each day.
Banner® Xtender Solutions – Xtender is a comprehensive document imaging system that is tightly integrated with Banner®. It allows for users to scan, index and retrieve documents in an efficient manner. Documents can be retrieved directly from Banner® or through Xtender’s user interface. Student Services, the Financial Aid offices, Purchasing and Finance offices are all heavy users of document imaging to greatly reduce document storage and filing costs. As of January, 2012 the system stores almost 1.4 million documents and 3.8 million images.
DegreeWorks – DegreeWorks is a web-based academic advising and degree audit tool that the district implemented in 2011. Students and advisors are able to check academic progress and receive advice on courses needed to satisfy requirements towards achieving academic goals. The system also provides an electronic education plan which is currently being implemented.
Web Site: https://websmart.smccd.edu/dgwp/
Single Sign On (SSO) – In an effort to strengthen security while reducing the number of user names and passwords that students need to remember ITS is implementing a Single Sign On system. The system is based on Banner Enterprise Identity Services (BEIS) and Central Authentication Services (CAS). When implemented, the system will allow students to sign onto WebSMART, Google Docs for HE and WebAccess through a single set of credentials.
SARS - At all three colleges SARS Software Products are used for counseling appointments and record keeping to enhance student services. Currently supported products include: SARS-GRID, SARS-CALL, SARS-TRAK and eSARS. The SARS servers utilize an MS SQL Server database and are maintained and backed up in the data center. Interfaces between SARS and Banner® are supported by ITS.
Student  eMail – The District provides all students with an email address that is branded my.smccd.edu when the student is submitting an application for admission.
Web Site: http://my.smccd.edu/
GWAMAIL –This is a locally developed application that is integrated into Banner® and was launched in the summer of 2007. GWAMAIL allows authorized users to send email messages to targeted populations of students. A rewrite of GWAMAIL was made in 2012 to base it on more user-friendly, web-based technology and to provide the option of sending text messages.
non-emergency text messaging – This is another locally developed application that is integrated into Banner®. Each term students are asked to update their contact information and starting in 2012 they were allowed to enter their mobile phone number in order to receive waitlist, registration appointments and other non-emergency type notifications.
EMERGENCY Text Messaging – Students, faculty and staff are able to subscribe to this service receive important campus-wide emergency announcements via text messaging. The District contracted with Alert-U to provide this service.
Web Site: http://www.smccd.edu/alertu/
Payment Plan – Students are provided with the ability to sign up for a payment plan for their fees through Sallie Mae. A link from WebSMART directs students to the Sallie Mae’s website to complete the application for a payment plan.
Financial Aid Direct Deposit – Sallie Mae, a third party vendor, is responsible for processing financial aid payments to students. Students are provided with options to choose a debit card, direct deposit to an existing checking or savings account or to receive a paper check.
Fee Payment – Students are provided with the ability to pay their fees via a link on WebSMART that directs them to a third party vendor, Official Payments, which is able to process credit card transactions on a secure system.
To ensure that faculty, students, and staff have access to high-performance and reliable network services such as Internet, voice communications and email resources, ITS has implemented a comprehensive and redundant network infrastructure across the District.
The District’s WAN (Wide Area Network) interconnects three primary sites: Cañada College, Skyline College, and the College of San Mateo/District Office. The WAN connection between the three sites uses AT&T 1 Gigabit Opt-E-Man circuits. The WAN is implemented in such a way that the three sites have redundant network paths in the event that one link is lost.
Internet access is provided to each of the three Colleges and the District Office by CENIC (Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California). Each of the four sites have individual DS-3 (45 Mbit/sec) connections for redundancy and backup services. The primary connection for each site is via GigaMAN circuit providing one gigabit of bandwidth to access Internet services. As part of the network design, the capability exists to implement a manual failover across the WAN in the event one of the CENIC connections should fail for an extended period of time so that internet access can be provided to that campus.
In addition to the wired network, ITS has deployed wireless access points in most high-traffic areas on all three campuses. Additional access points are being added as existing buildings are remodeled or as new facilities are constructed. There are currently more than 275 wireless access points installed. Utilization of the wireless network continues to grow significantly.
Network security is  provided using a variety of tools and techniques. ITS has secured the internal networks from the Internet by installing Cisco Firewalls at each of the three sites. A DMZ has been established on the CSM/District Office Firewall where most public access resources (Web servers, etc.) are enabled. A DMZ adds an additional layer of security to SMCCCD’s LAN. ITS has deployed VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) to further secure and isolate network traffic.
There are three primary VLANs in use within the District: Administrative, Instructional, and Public. The Administrative VLAN provides District employees who have appropriate authentication credentials access to Banner® and other electronic resources and services within the District. The Instructional VLAN is for labs and classrooms where students use college owned equipment to access instructional resources that are local or on the Internet. The Public VLAN allows campus guests and students with personal network devices Internet access but they are prevented from gaining access to the other District VLANs and secure network resources.
In addition to the three primary VLANs, there are several other unique VLANs in use. Examples of these are the VoIP telephone system, ACAMS security system, Building Management Systems and environmental controls, Bookstores, and KCSM TV and FM radio station. Wireless access to all but the Public VLAN is protected with encryption and secure authentication through the use of certificates.
The District telecommunications system is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system. A Siemens HiPath 4000 (HP4K) provides unified messaging services to approximately 2,000 users. Telephones handsets are nearly all IP phones with only a few analog courtesy phones. Other analog services provided by the HP4K include modem lines, fax lines, and alarm lines.
The HP4K is coupled with the Siemens Xpressions 4.0 voicemail system. Together with Microsoft Exchange, voicemail and email are unified, providing two layers of redundancy. A network diagram can be found in Appendix A.
The District maintains a high performance data network that connects the workstations and devices of the three college campuses and the District Office. The District Office contracts with AT&T to provide fast, redundant, and reliable connectivity for each of the college campuses and to the Internet. Internet services are provided by CENIC and have been upgraded many times over the years; currently each campus has a 1 gigabyte connection to the internet. All buildings on campus have access to the wireless network for both public and administrative access. Appliances from Exinda are in place between the WAN and CENIC connections to help prevent the illegal sharing of copyright material.
Securing college is data is a high priority and a number of hardware and software tools are in place to protect and detect unauthorized access, including:
- Sophos Anti-Virus and Microsoft Forefront: antivirus and malware detection and removal tools to protect all desktops and servers
- Sophos Puremessage: to detect and quarantine spam email messages
- Snort: to detect and control unauthorized network intrusion
- Cisco Netflow: to monitor and report on network connections
- Exinda: a packet-shaping appliance that blocks peer-to-peer services, like BitTorrent, and other services that can introduce malware and viruses
- Microsoft Group Policies: applied to District owned and managed PCs to protect them from malware, plug-ins that are malicious, file attacks, and to prevent students from installing software on PCs in the instructional computer labs
- Public Wireless Network: open to use by students and allows access to internet services; access to the public wireless network is automatically shut down from 11:00pm to 6:00am daily
- Private Wireless Network: a secure wireless network that requires authentication and provides access to services like Banner
- OpenDNS: to prevent faculty, staff and students who use our network from being redirected to known malicious web sites
In May 1988, the District joined the Peninsula Library System (PLS) and approved a joint powers agreement that includes all city and county public libraries in San Mateo County. The primary objective of the District in joining PLS was to automate the libraries of each college, expand the library resources available to students and faculty, and benefit from other cooperative activities of the public libraries within the County. This decision continues to be extremely cost-effective and beneficial to the District and each of the three Colleges.
As authorized by the Board in April 1994, an agreement was executed with PLS which relocated the PLS library computer system, network, and their support staff to ITS. In this agreement, the District provides PLS office space for its technical staff, environmentally controlled floor space in the computer center, utilities, network and technical support services, computer operations support, and management services.
The District continues to manage, maintain and operate the PLS library circulation system and network environment. PLS staff will continue to be responsible for the applications software, maintenance and support of the Innovative Interfaces library information system and providing technical consulting assistance to the staff of PLS member libraries.
The inclusion of a robust technology infrastructure has been at the forefront of the recent construction projects across the District. Technology design standards for new construction were provided for all projects and regular meetings were held with all constituents to insure appropriate technology was being incorporated during all phases of planning and construction. Information technologies are a critical element in the design of all new buildings and for the renovation of older buildings. This technology includes voice, data, video, security, fire alarm systems, HVAC systems, audio/visual systems, EAS, Cell Phone Repeaters, Digital Signage and other technology.
Most classrooms throughout the district have been constructed or upgraded to meet the local standards for smart classrooms. These smart classrooms provide faculty the ability to easily utilize a projector and speakers to enhance the learning experience. Wireless internet access is provided in all classrooms for faculty and student use.
Link to ITS Construction Standards:
Then select SMCCCD Design Standards and Construction Specifications
ITS provides a wide array of instructional technology tools and web services to meet the needs of our faculty, staff and students. Below is an alphabetized listing of services with a brief description of each service and links when available.
Link to locations of wireless “Hot Spots” at each College: http://www.smccd.edu/accounts/smccd/departments/itservices/services/wireless.shtml
CCCconfer:Online conferencing solution which is built on a software tool called “elluminate” which gives faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in screen sharing, remote lectures, meetings and office hours. The CCC Confer project is hosted at Palomar College in San Marcos, California and is funded by a grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
Vendor: California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
Checkbox: Checkbox software is an upgrade to Ultimate Survey for delivering online surveys, self-assessment and conduct online elections as needed. Note: Currently in the process of migrating Ultimate Survey users to Checkbox.
Vendor: Checkbox Survey Solutions
District Supported Goods and Services:The DSGS website is jointly maintained by Purchasing/General Services and ITS. The website is used by District employees to access information about the purchase of computer hardware, software, audiovisual equipment, and other ITS supported equipment.
Faculty Door Cards (Office Hours):Faculty post their availability for students online via a homegrown system referred to as faculty door cards. The faculty office hours are accessible from this website and also integrate into our online searchable staff directory. Faculty can also print out their hours and post them on their office doors.
IT Service Request Form: A one-stop location for users to make IT support requests. Including
- ● Manager Request for new accounts (Banner, Email, WebExtender, Telephone, WebSMART and Website Requests.)
- ● HelpCenter (Submit technology-related work orders and track the status of your requests)
- ● Directory Information (Request your directory information to be updated)
- ● Email Redirection (Forward or stop forwarding your email
- ● Surplus (ITS collects/surpluses old computers, AV and electronic equipment)
- ● MySmccd (Request a @my.smccd.edu Google Apps Email Account)
- ● Spam Filter (Opt In or Opt Out of our Puremessenger email spam filter )
- ● iTunesUniversity (Request a course folder to host your podcasts on iTunes University)
- ● Request Microsoft Outlook Conference Room (ITS can setup your conference rooms in exchange, allowing people to book them in outlook.)
iTunes® University@SMCCD:The District is a participant in Apple Computer’s iTunes® University program. iTunes® University is a free, hosted service for colleges to post digital information in the form of podcasts. There are currently over 500 podcasts posted on the District site.
Join.me:Free software used by IT Staff to assist users remotely via an online screen sharing session.
Lyris:Lyrisis email mailing list software for marketing and newsletters. Allows you to auto-subscribe users or users can self-subscribe and unsubscribe.
Mobile Services:ITS is currently developing custom mobile apps for each College and is also making the College websites more “mobile friendly.”
MySMCCD Google Apps:SMCCCD provides all students with an @mysmccd.edu Google email account, calendar functions and other apps as part of the Google Apps for Education suite of products.
MySMCCD Support Center:A hosted helpdesk is readily available to students and it provides them access to resources to get answers for any questions they may have related to the tools available to them through their my.smccd.edu email account.
OuCampus: OuCampus is a Content Management System for web sites. ITS recently deployed OmniUpdate® as a tool for selected end users to maintain their web sites that are hosted on the District’s servers. There are currently 100 active licenses throughout the District. Note: In the next 12 months we will be migrating the District office, Cañada College and Skyline College to Adobe Contribute for future cost-savings.
SharePoint® (Web based collaboration tool): SharePoint® Services is included in the Microsoft Office Product Suite and allows users to post and interact with documents via the web. Over 150 District-wide committees, departments, and organizations currently use SharePoint for agendas, minutes, calendars, forms, surveys, forums, picture libraries and more.
SMCCCD Portal:The portal is the gateway for District employees to access College and District Office web-based services and related web sites.
WebACCESS: WebAccess is a Course Management System that is the District’s implementation of
Moodle. WebAccess® is hosted offsite by Moodlerooms. Every faculty member that has
a class assignment in Banner® automatically has a WebAccess® course(s) shell created
for them. Faculty use of WebAccess® ranges from supplemental course information to
providing a course completely online. 24X7 support for students is provided by a
third party, Presidium, at no cost to the District. Support for faculty is provided
Includes free CCConfer(Elluminate) and paid TurnitIn Plugins
Web Folders:Every staff member, department and service area is given a web folder with 500 MBs of web space to maintain a website or store files. ITS maintains the web server, creates accounts, installs web applications as needed, and assists users with debugging of their web sites. ITS currently supports over 100 active web folders. Note: Many faculty have moved to WebAccess for their course sites and many departments are moving into content management systems under their college websites.
WebSCHEDULE of Classes:WebSchedule is a search engine for searching through all courses offered at Cañada, CSM and Skyline College. It provides different entry points for search based on user requirement. It displays all details for any particular course including, important registration dates, course textbooks, class location, etc.
WebSMART: WebSMART is the web interface to Banner® that enables students, faculty and staff to register for classes, submit grades, request transcripts, update personnel information, and much more. Below is a more comprehensive features list:
For students, it provides the capability to:
○ Add/Drop classes
○ Add/remove from a waitlisted class
○ Print schedule of classes
○ Pay for account balances
○ Select or update an education goal
○ Link to purchase textbooks
○ Sign up for a payment plan
○ Obtain an unofficial transcript
○ Request an official transcript
○ Link to DegreeWorks
○ Schedule a counselor appointment
○ Order a parking permit
○ Sign up to receive emergency texts
○ Review financial aid documents, status, requirements and award
○ Sign up for a BOG waiver
○ Print a 1098T
For faculty, it allows them to:
○ Enter grades
○ Enter attendance
○ Send emails to class
○ Download/Print class lists, waitlist and attendance lists
○ Print authorization codes
○ Print schedule of classes
For employees, they can:
○ Enter timesheet details
○ View benefits and deductions
○ Review/print payroll information
○ Review/Print tax forms
○ Review accumulated time off balances
○ View student’s unofficial transfer
○ Access DegreeWorks to counsel students
○ Access Degree Audit
For staff, it provides the capability to:
○ Run reports
○ Approve documents
○ Enter requisitions
○ Review budgets
○ Process journal entries
Desktop computers and media services support for the Colleges and District Office is a centralized ITS service. ITS technicians are physically located on each campus. ITS technicians assist the colleges with technology purchases. They also work cooperatively with the colleges to develop minimum supportable standards for computers, provide regular software updates, maintain an inventory database of technology that has been installed, and install new equipment. Service and support is provided through a centralized HelpCenter that uses a web-based tool to enable users to place repair orders and track their status through completion.
ITS maintains an inventory database of all computers, laptops, labs, printers and projectors to assist in technology replacement planning. Based on this information ITS provides the colleges with recommendations on equipment replacement strategies and best use of their technology funding.
When computer labs require computer upgrades, Faculty submit a “program review document” to the Division Office. The Division Office reviews all paperwork received, establish priorities and needs, and then sends them to College Council to review. College Council approves and works with ITS to determine specifications, and then ITS develops the Purchase Order.
Virtualization – In several computer labs at Skyline and CSM we have approximately 120 virtualized desktop computers installed. These virtual computers have no hard drives, cost less purchase and deploy, last longer than traditional PC’s due to lack of moving parts, are not susceptible to viruses, save energy, and most importantly our students do not notice any difference between a virtualized computer and a traditional one. The only important factor to consider is the amount of labor required to maintain these virtual labs is substantially less than a traditional computer lab.