IT Communication Processes

Information Technology Services (ITS) utilizes the below listed methods of communication and processes for reporting technology outages to the university community.

Communication Methods

  • Campus Update
  • Listservs
  • ITS Web Pages (ITS homepage, ITS Known Issues webpage, Live Chat webpage, etc.)
  • Direct Email
  • MyBGSU Portal
  • Digital Signage
  • University Calendar
  • Facebook/Twitter/Instagram
  • BGSU Homepage
  • Print/promotional material

The majority of the methodologies listed above target the university community as a whole and cannot easily target separate audiences or groups. However, the capability to target unique or specific audiences does exist when utilizing the following methods:

  • Direct Email (audiences can be segmented by undergraduate, graduate, faculty, classified staff, administrative staff, pre-students and retirees, OR a more granular approach can be taken and the message can be sent to a pre-selected group of usernames)
  • Campus Update (audiences can be segmented by ALL, STUDENTS, FACULTY/STAFF, GRADUATE STUDENTS or FIRELANDS)
  • Listservs

The following information outlines typical communication plans followed for communicating outages to the BGSU campus.

Routine/Scheduled/Planned Outages

Routine, or scheduled, outages are outages that are planned and scheduled in advance. The ITS Communications Team requires that project managers submit outage information for distribution at least 8 days prior to the outage window. This allows the team adequate time to ensure the information is communicated across all available and applicable mediums in a timely manner. We understand that there are times when an outage cannot be planned for that far in advance, and in those situations the communication process is adjusted to ensure we are giving the impacted population as much advance notice as possible.

Below are the steps of the ITS communication process for routine and scheduled outages:

1. ITS project managers (PMs) schedule the outage and communicate to the internal ITS outages listserv (outages@lists.bgsu.edu)

2. If the PM believes the outage merits campus communications (some outages are so minor, or so short, that communications are not necessary. In these cases, the PM will personally communicate the outage information with stakeholders and those impacted), he/she will send more detailed information to the ITS communications team at cio-comm@lists.bgsu.edu. This should be sent at least 8 days in advance to allow for messaging at least one week prior to the outage

  • ITS communications team reviews the outage information and determines the communication plan based on:

                         i.     Severity

                         ii.    Urgency

                         iii.    Impact

  • Communication plan is determined and messaging is drafted

3. For significant outages with a high level of severity, urgency and impact, a direct email may be sent to the affected audience. Examples of such outages would be large-scale PeopleSoft outages, or outages to campus systems lasting more than a few hours. ITS communications limits the number of direct campus email messages sent based on recipient feedback and to emphasize that direct emails reflect outages of more serious impact.

  • Direct emails can be sent to specifically targeted lists, or predetermined, mass email lists. The following audience categories are available in the mass mail system:

                         i.     Undergraduate Students

                         ii.     Graduate Students

                         iii.     Faculty

                         iv.     Classified Staff

                         v.     Administrative Staff

                         vi.     Pre-students

                         vii.     Retirees

  • Depending on how early the outage is scheduled and shared with the ITS communication team, direct messages may be sent in the following intervals:

                         i.       Approximately one month prior to the outage

                         ii.      Approximately one week prior to the outage

                         iii.     Less than 24 hours prior to the outage

                         iv.     Less than 12 hours after the outage is complete

  • A combination of two or more of the above is usually considered.

4. All scheduled campus outages meriting communication will be posted in Campus Update. The timing for messages to appear in campus update is dependent upon the lead time the communications team is given, as well as the severity of the outage. A typical outage will be scheduled in Campus Update:

  • Approximately one week prior to the outage
  • At least once the week of the outage (multiple submissions may be necessary)

Campus Update allows for a very high-level of audience targeting. When communicating via Campus Update, communications can be segmented into the following groups:

  • ALL (every group listed below)
  • STUDENTS
  • FACULTY/STAFF
  • GRADUATE STUDENTS
  • FIRELANDS

5. All scheduled/planned outages will be added to the ITS Known Issues page, under “Scheduled Outages”, available at www.bgsu.edu/issues.

6. All scheduled/planned outages shall be posted to the University Calendar, available at calendar.bgsu.edu.

7. If the outage impacts a service accessed within the MyBGSU portal, a message will be posted to the portal login page available at my.bgsu.edu. The message will appear for the entire outage window.

8. ITS will often post outage information to our Facebook and Twitter social media accounts. These accounts can be accessed at:

9. Scheduled outages may also be added to ITS-managed digital signs. These signs are displayed in the following locations:

  • Technology Support Center (TSC)
  • Bowen-Thompson Student Union (BTSU) – outside of the lab
  • Second floor of Olscamp Hall

**Project managers will always directly communicate scheduled outages with stakeholders and areas directly impacted prior to the sending of any campus messages

Emergency/Spontaneous Outages

Emergency outages are handled similarly to routine outages, but without the advance notice to the BGSU community. Communications usually include mass mail messages rather than Campus Updates because these can be sent out ASAP. The ITS communication team follows the steps below for most emergency outages.

Below are the steps of the ITS communication process for emergency and spontaneous outages:

1. Send direct email with outage details to campus via mass mail tool ASAP. The content of this message announces that an outage has been detected, and any next steps to be completed.

  • Direct emails can be sent to specifically targeted lists, or predetermined, mass email list. The following audience categories are available in the mass mail system:

                          i.     Undergraduate Students

                          ii.     Graduate Students

                          iii.     Faculty

                          iv.     Classified Staff

                          v.     Administrative Staff

                          vi.     Pre-students

                          vii.     Retirees

                          viii.    Everyone (includes all of the above)

2. Add all emergency/spontaneous outages to the ITS Known Issues page, under “Current Known Issues/Outages”, available at www.bgsu.edu/issues. Here, we can post status updates and fixes/workarounds.

3. Communicate via ITS social media accounts.

4. If BGSU email is down and not an option for sending communications, we can team with M&C to post a message on the BGSU homepage.

5. For emergency outages receiving a significant number of calls to the TSC, an alert may be added to the ITS homepage (www.bgsu.edu/its) and/or the ITS remote chat webpage (www.bgsu.edu/its/remote).

6. Send direct email message to campus with outage status updates as necessary.

7. Send an “all clear”, direct message to affected users once the issue(s) have been resolved

Fraud Notifications

Fraud Notifications are sent when a phishing attack on the university community has been identified. The BGSU Information Security team reviews potential phishing emails, and, if they are determined to be fraudulent, the team will identify the areas of concern and then send an alert to campus.

The steps taken to communicate a fraud message are:

1. Send a copy of the phishing message to campus via direct email, with details outlining why the message was deemed fraudulent and pointing out the areas of concern that users should be aware of.

  • Direct emails can be sent to specifically targeted lists, or predetermined, mass email list. The following audience categories are available in the mass mail system:

                                 i. Undergraduate Students

                                 ii. Graduate Students

                                 iii. Faculty

                                 iv. Classified Staff

                                 v. Administrative Staff

                                 vi. Pre-students

                                 vii. Retirees

                                 viii.Everyone (includes all of the above)

  • Fraud Notifications are sent to: EVERYONE

2. A copy of the edited fraud notification is uploaded to the BGSU Email Phishing webpage, www.bgsu.edu/phishing.

3. At times, information will also be communicated via ITS social media accounts, or with assistance from other BGSU social media accounts.

 

Have a question or recommendation regarding our communication processes? Is there another communication method that we could add to our list? Feedback is always welcome! Please send your thoughts to mcranst@bgsu.edu.