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Issue 32

Issue 32, January 25, 2022

This communication is generated by UTHSC Information Technology Services to educate and inform our campus community about available technology tools, training opportunities, news, and events to help you and the university achieve excellence in patient care, education, research, and community service.
In this edition
  1. RingCentral, Our New Telephone System
  2. QuestionPro License Expires May 31, 2022
  3. Don't Doodle Around!
  4. Security Requirements for Researchers
  5. REDCap
  6. Free Upcoming Training Sessions
  7. How to Build Excel Interactive Dashboards
  8. TOO MANY EMAILS? Use These Proven Techniques
  9. Tacoma Public Schools Reduce New Employee Setup Time by 80%
  10. Spot and Stop Messaging Attacks
  11. ITS Spotlight: Brad Terhune
RingCentral, Our New Telephone System

In 2022, RingCentral, a Voice over IP (VoIP) system, is replacing our antiquated UTHSC telephone system.

A VoIP system allows you to make calls over the internet instead of through a traditional phone network. It is a newer technology that is more flexible and offers many benefits we didn't have with our old system. Plus, it will help us avoid outages (of which we have seen an increase with the old system).

Why is Our Phone System Changing?
  1. Our current phone system is old. Like way old.
  2. Our outages are increasing.
  3. RingCentral offers a ton of benefits our old system cannot.
What Benefits Does RingCentral Offer?

Among the significant benefits RingCentral offers are:

  • You can make and receive calls from multiple devices (cell phone, computer, tablet).
  • Transfer calls from one device to another without disconnecting.
  • Free long distance! (excludes international calls)
  • It is easy to move the service when you move to another area or office.

Does RingCentral require me to use my cell phone for work calls?
You are not required to use your cell phone or other personal devices to make work calls, but RingCentral can be used on it if you choose to do so.

If I set RingCentral to forward to my cell phone, will I receive work calls at night?
No! You can set work hours within RingCentral to turn your calls off at the end of the day.

I don't want people I call to see my cell phone number - is that going to be a problem?
RingCentral conceals your cell phone number, only displaying your UTHSC phone number to the caller.

How Can You Get Ready?

Check your work address and phone number. Visit the Updating Your Work and Personal Information article for instructions to verify and update your work information.

ITS’s Telecom team will be rolling out RingCentral in batches over 2022. You will receive communications with specific details before your move. Watch for more information!

QuestionPro License Expires May 31, 2022

With the announcement of the new five-year agreement with Qualtrics, Qualtrics is now the university-recommended tool for web surveys; access to QuestionPro will end on May 31, 2022.

What to Do Before May 2022
  • Migrate any existing QuestionPro surveys that will continue to be active after May 2022.
  • Export data for QuestionPro surveys you wish to retain before the license expires.

Visit OIT's website to learn more about the transition to Qualtrics.

Don't Doodle Around!

Sometimes, the easiest way to schedule a meeting or appointment is to have everyone choose their available times via a polling system.

We know some of you are using Doodle for this, but we ask that you to find an alternative.

Why? Because our Cybersecurity team has received numerous messages recently about a Doodle malware outbreak. Malware is software designed to attach and disrupt your computer, and no one has time for that!

If you are using Doodle and your browser asks you to download software, don’t.

Then next time you need to schedule a meeting or appointment, use one of these M365 alternatives:

Attendees vote on a selection of available times! Installing FindTime / Creating a FindTime Poll

MS Bookings
Great for appointments. Bookings includes a web-based booking calendar that integrates with Outlook to optimize your calendar and give your customers the flexibility to book a time that works best for them. Visit our Microsoft Bookings TechConnect article for instructions.

Outlook Scheduling Assistant
Schedule meetings through your Outlook calendar. The scheduling assistant lets you know when all UTHSC meeting attendees are available (provided they put their meetings and other busy times on their calendar), making it easy to find free time to meet. Using Scheduling Assistant

Still have questions? Contact our Service Desk at or 901.448.2222.

Security Requirements for Researchers

We focus on a TechConnect article that you may not know we have in each newsletter issue. If you are a researcher, you may be aware that we have security requirements for data collection, but do you know:

  • what is considered classified information vs. confidential information?
  • those systems containing data categorized as Classified require special attention and are not allowed to be connected to the UTHSC network?
Learn more about UTHSC Cybersecurity's steps to make certain research data is protected by visiting our Security Requirements for Researchers.


REDCap is a secure web platform for building and managing online databases and surveys. REDCap’s streamlined process for rapidly creating and designing projects offers a vast array of tools that can be tailored to virtually any data collection strategy.

REDCap provides automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to Excel and common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R), as well as a built-in project calendar, a scheduling module, ad hoc reporting tools, and advanced features, such as branching logic, file uploading, and calculated fields.

Check out the TechConnect REDCap article for info and support.

Microsoft has some excellent FREE training courses we recommend. As UTHSC faculty or staff, you can access all Microsoft 365 apps listed. Students may not have access to all these apps.

Introduction to Microsoft Outlook
Get started by learning to navigate Outlook, customize your experience, and increase productivity. Register

  • Jan 27 - 8:00 am - 9:00 am
  • Jan 31 - 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Feb 01 - 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Explore Teams and Channels in Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a robust collaboration tool, providing you anywhere, anytime access to your group projects, daily operations, knowledgebase resources, and large scope initiatives. Register

  • Jan 27 - 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  • Jan 31 - 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
  • Feb 03 - 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Introduction to Microsoft Planner
This 1-hour training will introduce how to use Microsoft Planner to allow teams to work together effortlessly by organizing projects visually in an easy-to-use application that works seamlessly across all your devices. Register

  • Jan 27 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Feb 04 - 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
How to Build Excel Interactive Dashboards

What is one of the best ways to display the information you have gathered in an Excel spreadsheet? With a dashboard! Excel dashboards make it easy to share your data findings with others.

Kevin Stratvert demonstrates how to create an interactive dashboard in this 20-minute video.

TOO MANY EMAILS? Use THESE Proven Techniques | Outlook Tips Included

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of emails in your Outlook account? Watch this 13-minute video for some tips on how to take control of your inbox.

Lean 6 Sigma
Tacoma Public Schools Reduce New Employee Setup Time by 80%

After a brief hiatus, we are back with this inspiring article about how Tacoma Public Schools reduced new employee setup time by 80%.

How did they do it? By asking every school district to strive to:

  • Reduce waste
  • Streamline processes
  • Build a culture of problem solvers

It may seem complicated to get started with taking a deep dive into your work processes and thinking about how to improve them. But wouldn’t you like to get 80% of a task time back?

Watch this video to learn more about how Tacoma Public Schools made lean work for them!

Spot and Stop Messaging Attacks
From the SANS Ouch! Newsletter

What are Messaging Attacks?

Smishing (a word combining SMS and phishing) are attacks that occur when cyber attackers use SMS, texting, or similar messaging technologies to trick you into taking an action you should not take. Perhaps they fool you into providing your credit card details, get you to call a phone number to get your banking information, or convince you to fill out an online survey to harvest your personal information. Just like in email phishing attacks, cybercriminals often play on your emotions to get you to act by creating a sense of urgency or curiosity, for example. However, what makes messaging attacks so dangerous is there is far less information and fewer clues in a text than there is in an email, making it much harder for you to detect that something is wrong.

A common scam is a message telling you that you won an iPhone, and you only need to click on a link and fill out a survey to claim it. In reality, there is no phone, and the survey is designed to harvest your personal information. Another example would be a message stating that a package could not be delivered with a link to a website where you are asked to provide the information needed to complete the delivery, including your credit card details to cover “service charges.” In some cases, these sites may even ask you to install an unauthorized mobile app that infects and takes over your device.

Sometimes cybercriminals will even combine phone and messaging attacks. For example, you may get an urgent text message from your bank asking if you authorized an odd payment. The message asks you to reply YES or NO to confirm the payment. If you respond, the cybercriminal now knows you are willing to engage and will call you pretending to be the bank’s fraud department. They will then try to talk you out of your financial and credit card information or even your bank account’s login and password.

Spotting and Stopping Messaging Attacks

Here are some questions to ask yourself to spot the most common clues of a messaging attack:

  • Does the message create a tremendous sense of urgency attempting to rush or pressure you into taking action?
  • Is the message taking you to websites that ask for your personal information, credit card, passwords, or other sensitive information they should not have access to?
  • Does the message sound too good to be true? No, you did not really win a new iPhone for free.
  • Does the linked website or service force you to pay using non-standard methods such as Bitcoin, gift cards, or Western Union transfers?
  • Does the message ask you for the multi-factor authentication code sent to your phone or generated by your banking app?
  • Does the message look like the equivalent of a “wrong number?” If so, do not respond to it or attempt to contact the sender; delete it.

Call an official organization directly if you get a message from them that alarms you. Don't use the phone number included in the message; instead, use a trusted phone number. For example, if you get a text message from your bank saying there is a problem with your account or credit card, get a trusted phone number on your bank’s website, a billing statement, or from the back of your bank or credit card. Also, remember that most government agencies, such as tax or law enforcement agencies, will never contact you via text message; they will only contact you by old-fashioned mail.

When it comes to messaging attacks, you are your own best defense.

Brad Terhune

In each issue, we feature one of our amazing ITS team members. We learn more about Brad Terhune with our Customer Technology Support team in this segment.

What is your role and how long have you been in ITS at UTHSC? I’m the Assistant Director for our Customer Technology Support department here at UTHSC. I manage our Service Desk technicians and the Computer Lab Manager for ITS. I’ve been working here since Lisa Aitken hired me as a student assistant on our Service Desk in late 1997. I moved into doing full-time onsite technical work in April 1998. All told, I’ve been working at UTHSC for about 23 years.

What is a day in the life of Brad like? There are very few typical days at the ITS Service Desk! It's hard to say what each day will bring, and I’m not certain I’d know a typical day if I had one. That being said, I spend the majority of my work time helping my team with any technical issue that comes along. I could not do what I do without the invaluable work of Kyle Smith, Kyle Joyner, Joseph Callaway, Nigel Riggs, and Camielle Smith. As our ITS Change Advisory Board chair and a TechConnect project committee member, I also spend a fair amount of my day in Teams and Zoom meetings.

What is your favorite thing about working at UTHSC? Over the years, I’ve worked with many people both inside and outside of UTHSC ITS. I enjoy talking with people and helping them fix computer problems. I’d have to say that my favorite thing about working at UTHSC is the friendliness of the folks that I get to be around on a day-to-day basis.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? I love playing racquetball. It's one of the things I miss the most since the pandemic began. Also (and this is really not well known!) I was a theater kid growing up and was the lead in a musical at Rhodes College my freshman year. I also love the outdoors. My father was an avid outdoorsman and brought me along on numerous adventures in the outdoors. I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to hike the Inca Trail in Peru up to Machu Picchu. I’ve also hiked in the Talkeetna Mountain range in Alaska, the North Cascades in Washington State, and Glacier National Park in Montana.

May 26, 2022