COVID-19 UPDATE: Collaboration technologies to assist employees working from home

WHAT

Technologies for consideration while working and collaborating from home.

WHEN

As of Tuesday, March 17

IMPLICATIONS

As DC transitions to online learning and service delivery, which includes working and collaborating from home, IT Services would like to share some of the main methods that you could take advantage of.

The technologies listed below are available to all DC employees and/or large user groups. If you need more information, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Office Phone Teleconferencing

  • DC’s office phones can handle a teleconference of up to 6 people, including yourself and anyone off campus. To initiate a teleconference, call on your office phone:
    • Dial the first person. When the person answers, push the “Conf” (Conference) button. This will put that person on hold.
    • Then dial the second person. When that person answers, push the “Conf” button to add them to the conference. Continue this process to add more people.

Cell Phone Teleconferencing

  • Employees with a college-issued cell phone can do teleconferencing with a small number of people from a cell phone. The procedure for this may vary depending on the type of device you are using. To find out how to teleconference on your phone, specifically, refer to user instructions per individual providers. If you have any trouble, connect with the IT Service Desk.

Teleconference Bridge

  • For a large number of people that want to participate in a teleconference, use a teleconference bridge. All the participants dial the same number and use a conference identification code to be connected to the same teleconference meeting.
  • A dean or department head can request one or more conference bridges for the department by submitting a ticket to the IT Service Desk. Include the name and email address of the conference moderator and indicate what the maximum number of teleconference participants would be.

Skype for Business

  • Skype for Business is a software-based communication and collaboration tool that all DC employees have access to.
  • This tool allows you to engage in audio or video discussions, meetings, or white-boarding sessions. You can share screen drawings, presentations, and documents on your computer desktop with many participants.
  • Up to 10 users can connect through Skype’s conference call function, while group chat allows for up to 100 people to participate at once.
  • The software should be available already on your institutionally-provided laptop or desktop running Windows. For a Mac, any device not running Windows, or a non-institutional computer, you can download the app from Skype for Business Download. Click here to access detailed installation guides for Windows,Mac, IOS, and Android.
  • Once downloaded, sign in with your work email address and network password.

Office 365

  • Office365 is a Microsoft toolset providing a suite of Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. You also receive OneDrive, which allows for online document collaboration and provides one terabyte of secure storage. Other online collaboration tools included are Planner, Teams, Forms, Stream and Sway.
  • Faculty and students already have access to Office 365 and other employees will receive these tools starting Tuesday, March 17 through to Tuesday, March 31. Roll out will proceed on a department-by-department basis. The IT Service Deskwill alert users via email once they are provisioned.
  • For more information on how to log in to Office 365, view the Accessing Office 365 guide. A list of references and self-guided learning resources, including LinkedIn Learning modules and recorded training sessions, is also available to provide further support.
  • CAFE’s training site offers useful resources on using Office 365 Teams, including:

VPN

  • VPN allows you to create a secure tunnel to the campus network to access resources such as shared folders, Banner and FAST. VPN access is not required for Outlook (email), DC Connect, MyCampus, ICE, Office 365 or Skype for Business. These resources can be accessed directly.
  • When you are connected to the college network through VPN, all internet traffic goes through the college network.
  • To request VPN access:
    • Download the VPN access form available on ICE.
    • Complete the form and obtain your manager’s approval.
    • Submit the form to the IT Service Desk
    • When approved, you will receive an email notification from the IT Service Desk with instructions on how to download the VPN client.

This is new territory for many of us. Your patience and cooperation are appreciated.

DC continues to actively monitor the COVID-19 situation and the potential impact on our community. Please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/coronavirus for updates and FAQs.