Happy New Fiscal Year from OIT Design

Greetings from OIT Design!

Hope everyone’s summer is off to a great start. As we begin July, we find ourselves (as do many of you) staring into the yawning abyss that is the new fiscal year. It’s a time of flurried activity that stands in stark contrast to the traditional idea of “summer vacation” (more on that later…).

We’ve accomplished so much this past (fiscal) year: welcomed new team members and new clients, revised and updated many of our products, practices and services, and generally extended and improved our efforts to provide the best possible web experiences for the campus community. Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to this month as we look toward the 2016-17 academic year.

Move over WRAP, We’ve Got Shibboleth

One of the biggest tasks we’ve been working on is decommissioning WRAP authentication and replacing it with Shibboleth on all our client sites. WRAP was a homegrown NC State authentication tool that served us well for many years but is now being replaced by the more robust and widely-used Shibboleth. By this point all our clients should be protected by Shibboleth, which provides seamless integration with all campus authentication services.

Questions about our authentication tools? Contact OIT Design.

Also on it’s way out is InForm, the NC State forms processor. This service was developed over 15 years ago and is irrevocably tied to WRAP so it’s nearing the end of its usefulness. Forms have moved into new territories with a number of improved technologies; Gravity Forms (for WordPress), Google Forms, and Qualtrics, to name a few.  For more information, take a look at this SysNews post.

The New Hillsborough

No, this is not about traffic circles. This Hillsborough is the new and improved campus WordPress theme, which Brian has been hard at work on this month. This comprehensive update to one of our most popular, on-brand themes provides new functionality, cleaner code and an updated look. While the theme is not available just yet, Brian is hard at work putting on the finishing touches and it should be ready for general campus before the fall semester begins.

Maintenance Pricing Updates

OIT Design has updated our maintenance and support contract pricing for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Rather than using our current generic pricing model, we’re itemizing some of our services to more accurately reflect the relationship between resource dispensation and client needs. You can see an outline of these changes our maintenance pricing page. (You can log in with your Unity ID and password to view the page.)

Now is a great time to review our services and decide what might be appropriate for you. If you have any questions about what you’ve been paying in previous years and what services might make sense for you under the new pricing model, please contact Jen McFarland directly at jmriehle@ncsu.edu.

WPCampus

This is year marks the inaugural WPCampus conference, an annual conference for web professionals, educators and people dedicated to the confluence of WordPress in higher education. This year Brian will representing OIT Design and sharing ideas with other designers and developers from across the country.

As of this month, Jen and Brian are also leading the Digital Media Initiative at WPCampus, which features the WPCampus Podcast and will include a forthcoming series of webinars discussing WordPress in higher education. You can listen to their dulcet tones by subscribing to the podcast through iTunes or the RSS feed.

Vacation!!

With the end of the fiscal year securely in our rear view, several members of our design team will be taking advantage of the all-too-brief lull before the start of the fall semester to grab some quick vacation time. With this in mind, if you need to contact anyone at OIT Design, make sure to copy our workgroup (oitdesign@ncsu.edu) so that if the person you are trying to reach happens to be out of the office, another team member can assist you.

Also, keep an eye on our Twitter feed for pics of a bronze-skinned Brian in mirror shades, hanging ten on a massive wave while ripping a guitar solo.

Have a great month!