Duke ITAC - June 14, 2018 Minutes
ITAC Meeting Thursday, June 14, 2018 Technology Engagement Center
Note: ITAC meetings are digitally recorded for meeting minute generation; audio files for each topic are posted to an authentication-protected repository available on request to any ITAC member. Presenters are welcome to request to have their audio program excluded from the repository.
Agenda – June 14, 2018
4:00 - 4:05 – Announcements (5 minutes)
We are doing an ePrint update July 2. We do not believe it will have an impact but be alert if something changes.
4:05 – 4:25 – myRESEARCHhome, Rebecca Brouwer (15 minute presentation, 5 minute discussion)
What it is: The myRESEARCHhome online portal is a customizable tool for anyone at Duke engaged in research. It puts relevant applications, resources, and information specific to faculty, staff, and research administrators in one place. Launched in 2016, the portal is quickly becoming the go-to location for the research community.
Why it’s relevant: Making advances in research is central to Duke's mission, and giving our community the tools to do it is key. The portal is one such technology tool, and its personalized content helps save time and effort for our researchers.
MyRESEARCHhome (myresearchhome.duke.edu) was developed in the Office of Research Informatics. It was initially paid for with an CTSA award from NIH but now the School of Medicine is also providing funding. MyRESEARCHhome is a portal that was originally geared toward research faculty and scientific staff, lab coordinators, lab managers, etc. The portal has a series of nine widgets and the theme of the portal is that it consolidates information in one location instead of having to use multiple resources to obtain information relevant to a user's research. It essentially brings the research portfolio into one spot. The developers used feedback from the faculty on what information they needed (for example, to know how much money they had, the faculty member would have to contact three or more people who would interact with systems such as SAP to get this information). A widget allows the user to find others with whom they can collaborate. This was previously accessed using Scholars but MyRESEARCHhome makes it easier to make these connections.
MyRESEARCHhome was launched in the summer of 2016 but was not advertised. As features have been added, users have begun to adopt the portal. About 63% of the current users are from the School of Medicine which is understandable since much of the content is health related research. Arts and Sciences is also a big user as well as the Health System. The user population is mostly staff and the average number of visits per user has gone up from 3.3 to about 24 times. The average user behavior is to access the site, retrieve information, and exit. There are currently 5200 users, although we do not know how many are researchers since this is not classified. We estimate approximately 10,000 to 11,000 researchers are at Duke which indicates half of this community is using the tool. We hope that features we are introducing in the future will continue to drive adoption.
We do have a product roadmap that we are following. We launched with a focus on the research faculty and scientific staff as the audience. About a year ago, research administrators realized that workflows were not ideal and systems were not connecting, so rather than reinvent the wheel, they added a “research admin portal” into MyRESEARCHhome. This is now active as of a few weeks ago. This is the beginning of allowing grant administrators to submit grants and eventually work with faculty on budgets and finding other support within the tool. On the scientific side and currently in beta, funding opportunities will be added. This widget will recommend funding sources from different agencies to a user with support for "favorites" and including information like due dates. MyRESEARCHhome takes information from the user including rank, department, gender, and previous funding, then compares it against information from DFac, Scholars, Sponsored Programs, etc. All of this information is compared against the ORS funding database which is curated by full-time staff. We encourage departments to send internal funding opportunities to that database. MyRESEARCHhome presents a condensed view in a widget but these can be expanded to show more information. We have also been working with the idea that as a user works in the tool, it will learn about preferences and give better targeted recommendations.
MyRESEARCHhome automatically tracks what we know about you from Scholars and will save this as part of your funding profile. We are getting people within departments to suggest opportunities for the database for multiple sources. This will launch in full force in the fall after we have gotten and reviewed feedback.
Other exciting things are coming based on needs assessments and focus groups. We know that users would like to get consolidated approvals. Users see data in the universal work list but they also have requests from IRB or other entities that come from a variety of formats, so we are going to try to put these in MyRESEARCHhome not as a replacement but as a way to keep the user informed. This is starting simply by putting universal work lists with counts of how many items you have. There will be a similar function for research administrators. We know that users will not log into the portal everyday, so we want to allow people to create notifications or digests from the portal later this year. These are "medium" term goals. We do ask for and welcome feedback in the tool. We also meet with faculty individually making people aware of this tool. Once a user logs in and spends a few minutes in the tool, they see its benefits. We've worked with developers on the functionality, user interface, and appearance to make sure the tool has a modern look and feel. We are also looking for more people to be faculty advisers including those outside of the School of Medicine. MyRESEARCHhome is a complementary tool to My Research Navigator.
Q: How do you define research?
A: MyRESEARCHhome is targeted toward those doing health-related research but the tool is for anyone. If you have sponsored research dollars, these would appear in the tool. We tried not to be too narrow in our definition but we did have to scope in order to meet the needs of the greatest number of users.
Q: I currently get "cause" alerts which are supposed to do the same function as the pivot stuff. Is MyRESEARCHhome replacing these or supplementing them?
A: This is supplemental and is also the beginning of what MyRESEARCHhome expects to do beyond funding opportunities. We want people to build a profile so we can recommend relevant things to them.
Q: What about certifications or "conflict of interest" forms?
A: That is coming in eventually. As we get new systems available or online, we try to hook into them.
Q: Can graduate students also use this tool? And would this be under their own name or can you add them as helpers?
A: Yes, grad students can use the tool. However, users login under their own name and there is no support for delegation or association at this time. As a faculty member, I can see my own research dollars but I can't delegate that responsibility to someone else. We are working on trying to add this functionality.
Q: Is the reason there are not likely to be users from areas that are not health-related because of who has been using the tool or is it something intrinsic to the whole system? There are a lot of researchers who are not health related who could use this tool.
A: The honest answer is the initial funding source for MyRESEARCHhome was the clinical and translational sciences. But there is much broader opportunity for additional functionality that might be attractive to all researchers. Grant balances are informational and helpful for any researcher.
The "Find a collaborator" feature may be used once every three years and "Funding opportunities" perhaps twice a year. Looking at balances and who is being paid from what grant would be used monthly. Grants management is something used frequently. Standard forms which now sit on different interfaces with various levels of functionality would be nice to have. Financial projections currently are done poorly because they can be offset by one-off expenses that the system does not recognize as one-off expenses. If there could be more intelligent background processes for doing financial projections, this would be useful in the report section. This is available in Duke Mobile but you could plug this into MyRESEARCHhome.
The initial focus has been on connections. There is a "Resources and Services" widget which is currently health-focused where we have collated about 500 items. It need work but it could address financing and tracking.
If this feature is enhanced, this would attract more people to the tool. Currently, what the tool tells you about a grant is limited. The social collaborating funding opportunities is not something that attracts users toward weekly access of the tool.
We have received that feedback as well and we know most of our users are excited to have the information in one spot. We do believe it would be useful to see a grant balance easily accessible within the tool. For your awarded grants, it is necessary to click on the grant to get more detailed information. It starts with a high level view and it allows you to drill down into the details. That said, this may not be intuitive to a viewer. We would also be happy to meet with anyone and provide assistance as well as get targeted feedback.
4:25 – 5:00 – Smartphone ID Card Pilot and DukeCard Updates, John Board, Debbie Deyulia, Tracy Futhey, Barton Lawyer (25 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)
What it is: Through a partnership with Apple, the Duke community will soon be able to use iPhones and Apple Watches like DukeCards, for building access and payments. Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference previewed the addition of student ID cards to Apple Wallet, and Duke is part of the first pilot group to support this technology on campus. The DukeCard office will also provide an update on other recent projects.
Why it’s relevant: Duke is continually looking for technology to improve the experience for students, faculty, and staff. Adding DukeCard to Apple Wallet this fall will allow them to access buildings and make payments across campus in an even easier way. This partnership also positions Duke as a leader in next-generation technology on the world stage.
Apple and Android mobile phones have utilized NFC (Near Field Communications) chips for some time. Initially, the chip did nothing. Then Apple began using it as a payment function known as "Apple Pay". This feature was not available to us but it could be used in our environment for handling door access and purchases. There was an announcement at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference that the NFC chip was being utilized as student ID cards with a small group of universities. Duke was one of the participants and this will be implemented this fall.
The mobile device credential has been discussed in the industry for years including the option for contactless cards back in 2014. A large portion of our user community uses Apple mobile devices so we wanted to find a way to take advantage of this chip on these devices. Working with Apple and Blackboard, we were able to use the Wallet app to store the credential. We were able to provide a seamless user experience requiring only a tap of the device against the reader with no need to provide a passcode. It operated as a physical Duke card. The Android solution was not seamless in that it required an app and you did have to have your phone on and present it. We hope to have an Android solution available soon. We are operating on a very tight timeline with weekly and even daily patches. There are still issues with the financial component and we have to upgrade the physical readers to work with the devices. Documentation needs to be updated. Apple is supporting up to two devices such as two phones, a phone and a watch, etc. The phone has to be an iPhone 6S or newer and the watch Series 2 or newer.
We are still trying to determine what data is presented. We will show balances for up to three accounts as chosen by the user. We are starting with a group of 50 users next. The key requirement is using beta software, specifically iOS 12 as well as a pre-launch version the app. Participants should be aware that this software could be unstable. We will then expand to about 450 testers later this summer. Testers will receive an email and we ask that ITAC members take advantage of this opportunity. In the future, we could see using FitBits, USB, etc. There are challenges with this deployment including firmware updates to the doors, especially in the residence halls. And there is a security update required for every reader that support contactless entry. The mobile credential is stored in the "eAccounts" app which must be downloaded. Once you establish your credentials using shibboleth and multi-factor authentication, you will be able to get your mobile credential added to the wallet. Future functionality coming between eAccounts and the Wallet include supporting a deposit from a wallet credit card to a target such as Flex. We already have a mobile app for giving to Duke that is part of the Duke mobile app. This is a simple interface permitting a user to give a specified amount and that supports Apple pay. A parent could add money to a student Flex account. Over time we hope to have all of those options.
As we get into the world of watches, phones, and the Duke card, we have to make certain decisions how we want to enable them. How are we going to handle the multiple credentials, especially if a device or card has been lost or stolen? We need to remind the students of best practices around all of these options. Users should report lost or stolen items as soon as possible and not give these devices to other people to grant them access.
DukeCard has been working with developers in OIT on a tool that contains information about physical doors including location, name, etc. We have been working with Duke police who respond to door alarms; an overview Duke Police protocols related to door alarms was provided. This new tool can generate reports such as the top ten "alarming" doors. Duke Police can determine if the door is not shutting all the way because of environmental factors. For example, air conditioning can cause the door to not shut completely or humidity can cause them to stick.
Coming soon from BlackBoard is the ability to do custom development using API or "application programming interface" calls. As the mobile credential is adopted, a need would be to identify a person who is not carrying a Duke card. We need tools so that a police officer's phone can tap another device and verify who the person is. We want to access door transaction history, establish emergency door procedures, or even change the state of the door (perhaps even using facial recognition). The emergency management tools are a priority. BlackBoard currently doesn't have images in the system but these are being added. The Recreational Center is also interested in using images for verifying identity. The Duke ID card is also being updated including the language on the back of the card. DukeCard is working with Identity Management for on-boarding new hires. We are improving our online photo submission process so that we can reduce traffic to the office.
Q: In terms of the three accounts, there is the faculty charge as well as Flex money. How will this be handled?
A: It will choose the top three based on priority.
Q: Even though this is Apple wallet, this won't work necessarily with credit cards correct? We are interested in how this could work for accepting gifts to Duke.
A: That is correct. Payment at a Duke dining facility works the same as your DukeCard. Payment with a credit card is done on different scanner. We're working to develop a mounting system so you can see the two components with directions on how they are to be used. If you try to use a credit card on the Duke card scanner, it will recognize you have used a credit card but will not process the transaction. That said, we are not prepared to provide the option for giving to Duke via this system.
Q: I thought one of the problems with NFC was that it could be intercepted a meter away?
A: The hardware operates at very low power which requires a close connection; in reality a tap (the mobile device cannot be in your pocket). There is also an encryption key that is part of the transaction.
Q: Since you are involved with freshman orientation, is the plan to enroll every freshman with an iPhone?
A: No. We will not be ready at the start of the fall semester. The next operating system release will be late September.
Q: Eventually, will every card reader on campus have this feature including the parking gates, vending machines, etc.?
A: For the vending machines and door access, the answer is "yes". That said, low traffic vending machines may not be upgraded. Parking is a different matter but there are discussions on how best to do this. There are challenges because different systems are used in the organization. This is also true for dining options which may be provided by third party companies.
Q: There maybe situations where a financial transaction is taking place in faculty offices such as selling books at a book talk. Are there plans to make this more seamless and straightforward? For example, make available mobile readers?
A: There are handheld devices that we use at events available for loan. We do know that what you have described is a use case in the next iteration of this project. But for now, you can go to the DukeCard office and ask about using card scanners. We are testing using BlackBoard's contactless devices so users can use their phones.
Q: What are these portable devices?
A: The new ones are iPod touches with scanners attached.
Q: For the door activity reports, are you hoping to share this information from your tool with the various schools? There may be a disconnect between what the police have and what schools get in terms of information.
A: That is the goal since the current system can be difficult to navigate. There is no reason we would not display to the building owner the data about the doors, especially since that person has responsibility for them.
Q: Will a physical Duke card still be required in light of the mobile credentials?
A: Until we finalize policies, yes.
Q: Does the phone have to be "on" in order to touch a reader for access? For example, when the battery dies.
A: Yes, the battery powers the chip.
Q: Does the Apple Watch work without the phone?
5:00 – 5:15 – DukeFlyer 2.0, Teresa Jennings, Steve Toback (10 minute presentation, 5 minute discussion)
What it is: DukeFlyer is an internally developed application that simplifies the process of publishing electronic flyers to the university’s digital signage system. Anyone with a NetID can submit flyers to displays across campus and can easily monitor when and where their flyers are displayed. Digital signage display owners can easily manage their own flyers and displays, as well.
Why it’s relevant: The recent release of DukeFlyer 2.0 has further simplified the process for users, and it enables the publication of these electronic flyers to multiple platforms – which may include mobile devices, dedicated players, and desktop computers.
DukeFlyer 2.0 is a major update to the application developed in OIT. Prior to the upgrade, users submitted fliers to individual feeds which had to be approved by a device manager. This required the managers to check for submissions frequently. Sign owners also had their own content to manage. It was difficult to determine which flyers were relevant to the manager's audience. DukeFlyer 2.0 has eliminated the approval process and installed a public pool into which users submit fliers. Data tags allow sign owners to find content relevant to their community. Users are notified of the signs that have accepted their content. Users who are interested can go to flyer.duke.edu and click "Getting started" for more information.
Sign owners manage their own content but DukeFlyer 2.0 allows them to supplement with content from across the organization. The approval process and sharing of content has been simplified. The difference between Duke Digital Signage and DukeFlyer is that Duke Digital Signage is a server-based software service from Four Winds Interactive. It is the content management system that sends specific packages out to media players across campus. We are able to use the API to develop custom solutions such as DukeFlyer. DukeFlyer is a web-based application developed by Duke Web Services that ingests JPEG files, organizes them, attaches tags, and provides an RSS feed that is accepted by the devices across Duke. This protects our users from having to go into the complicated interface of Duke Digital Signage. The structure of DukeFlyer permits it to function regardless of our content management system provider without loss of data and organization.
Users of DukeFlyer include the flier submitters (anyone in the Duke organization). Users can go to the site, login, and immediately start uploading fliers. Blank Microsoft PowerPoint templates with the correct settings are available for download and designs are included which can be modified. Information should be short since a flyer is only displayed for about 10 seconds. Images can be added and there are links to royalty free pictures and graphics. When the flyer is ready, it is exported as a JPEG file, then uploaded to DukeFlyer. You can select the audience and appropriate tags for the content. You can indicate a start and end date after which your flyer will be deleted. Users are notified where their flyer has been accepted.
Sign owners are also users of DukeFlyer. They can delegate the process of creating signs to others in their organization but also look for fliers of general interest to their community. Sign owners should not overload their displays with too many fliers or information may be communicated. Sign managers can also make their content available in the general pool so other owners can display them. Sign managers can preview the feed on the website as it is appearing on their display (a new feature of version 2.0). They can also manage multiple feeds. Flyers can be cloned so that if information is important, it can be included multiple times in the feed. There is also support for horizontal and vertical signs.
Over 60 schools and departments are using the Duke Digital Sign service with over 200 players deployed to over 300 displays and approaching 400 individual flier submissions in 2018.
Coming next, we are looking at connecting other services to DukeFlyer. One common user comment is that they catch a glimpse of a flier and must wait for it to appear again. We hope to allow you to see on a mobile device the content that was displayed. We are meeting with the Duke mobile developers to discuss adding DukeFlyer to the Duke mobile app. In the first iteration, you would pick your location to determine what sign you were watching, scroll through the fliers, and even save the ones of interest to you. Another suggestion that we are investigating is a screen saver for individual computers that displays the content from DukeFlyer feeds.
There is some initial effort to get started with DukeFlyer. There is a hardware investment, RSS feeds, "tickers", and video. But if the need is to show fliers only, the only requirement is a television and an Intel stick. For less than $300, you can begin showing fliers. However, there is a requirement to tie into the Emergency Notification System and we are trying to find a solution for this.
Finally, we are looking to integrate into the Event Calendar so that fliers relevant to events are visible and optionally added to the public pool. We also hope to integrate video to DukeFlyer and move beyond still images.
Q: Can sign owners still make a decision about what they accept from the public pool?
Q: Can you clarify what is different about the approval process?
A: Previously, users submitted fliers to specific sign owners who accepted or rejected them. Now users submit their fliers to a general pool which allows sign owners to pick and choose what is relevant to their department.
Q: What about putting a QR code on a flier so a user could get more information?
A: Not many people use these but we could add them. We could also put a message on the sign telling users where to go if they missed a flier.
Q: Would fliers still have to be approved in the screensaver application you are developing?
A: This would be a future iteration where a feed is not associated with a physical display such as a television. Your feed would be consumed on individual computers and you would still determine what is included.
5:15 – 5:30 – Adobe Sign and Digital Signatures, Evan Levine, Terry Lonergan (5 minute presentation)
What it is: Adobe Sign is a cloud-based, enterprise e-signature service that allows users to electronically sign documents and create custom workflows, replacing paper and ink signature with fully automated signature processes using a web browser. With it, users can easily send, sign, track, and manage their signature processes.
Why it’s relevant: Evan and Terry will provide an update on this relatively new addition to OIT’s software services, including an overview of the service and how it has been received on campus.
"Adobe Sign" is the service Duke is now using for digital e-signatures. It is a cloud-based e-signature service that replaces "paper and ink" and which is legally binding. Duke has been using this service for a year using a “slow” rollout. There are two instances of this service: one for the University and the other for Duke Health which uses different security requirements. We chose Adobe Sign over competitors because of the contract terms, price point, customer support, and security features. Out-of-the-box, it integrates with services we already use such as Box, Salesforce, etc. If you have an Adobe Sign account, it is possible to send documents from Box for signature. This has been tested in Box but it is not currently enabled. This is done by "cc-ing" a unique folder address for the Box folder. There is no client software to install and only users that need to initiate a signature process are provisioned an account. Users who are signing need only a web browser and valid email account (this email address does not have to be associated with Duke). We have approximately 131 active users in our instance with 50 different groups. Duke University is operational but Duke Health is not live yet.
Workflow functionality is built into the application and we are testing this. For example, the Office of Student Returns needs health forms completed by physicians as well as approvals from the dean and advisers for students returning to campus. Adobe Sign is approved for PHI or "protected health information" use. But we do ask that users get approval from the Security departments before doing so. It is important to note that departmental policies and procedures should still be followed. The process for using Adobe Sign in its simplest form is that you supply an email address and a message. You can use PDFs as well as Microsoft Word documents. The user and recipient will receive an email with highlighted yellow prompts indicating where signatures are required. There are several ways to do a signature including using a stamp or images of your actual signature or even digital certificates. Adobe Sign features a tracking page which provides information on who has and has not provided signatures. The submitted documents do not leave the Adobe Sign instance. They are stored on Adobe servers although users may want to archive copies locally. Duke Engage used Adobe Sign for almost 1000 mailings with another university and departments have indicated this has greatly improved efficiency.
Q: Who are the heaviest users?
A: These include Facilities, Duke Engage, Continuing Studies summer programs, and Legal Affairs. We have had a quiet rollout as we continue to work with the Council's office and Procurement to make sure this solution is acceptable. As of today, Adobe Sign is live on the OIT Software web site. University users can use Adobe Sign after authenticating at a shibboleth-protected webpage. Previously, we granted access on a case-by-case basis.
Q: What is the URL?
A: Adobe Sign is listed on the software site license page at https://software.duke.edu. You can search for "Adobe" and it will be listed in the results. Duke Health system is still working on its provisioning process.