Introduction

This guide provides an overview of the range of ICTS services and support that are available to you, whether you are a student, a new joinee, an existing staff or an existing student.

For a comprehensive listing of every service, please visit www.amrita.edu/amritapuri/icts 

About ICTS

Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) 

  • ICTS enables the Amrita University (AU) community to adopt and exploit information technologies to enhance their work 
  • is responsible for the strategy, planning, management and provision of all core ICT services and infrastructure to campus
  • provides full end-user support and training to Staff members and Students
     

What Services can you access?

This booklet briefly outlines the ICT services you can access.  The Core ICT Services Service Level Agreement (SLA) document describes every service available from ICTS, shows you how to access each service, who is entitled to the service, if there is a cost associated with the service, what training and documentation are available for that service and much more. 

Core ICT Services Service Level Agreement 

The Core ICT Service SLA is essentially a service catalogue. It shows you what services are available to you, how to access them, what policies or guidelines apply to them, and where to find training and user documentation.  

Chargeable services

Some ICTS services like personal printing, photo-copying etc. are chargeable.

Getting Help

The IT Helpdesk is the first point of contact between ICTS and AU staff and students. All calls are logged using a help desk ticketing system which facilitates the tracking, reporting and resolution of calls. 

Log a support call

Contact the IT Helpdesk using any of these methods:

Log an online support call:  https://helpdesk-icts.amritavidya.edu:8080/

  • Send an email to ICTS-helpdesk
  • Phone during support hours at Extension 6600 from Monday - Saturday 08:00 - 22:00
  • Track the progress of your support call at
  • https://helpdesk-icts.amritavidya.edu:8080/
     

Call escalation procedure

If you want to escalate an existing, logged call, then contact the people below in the following order:

  1. Helpdesk Manager (Ms. Sharanya: 5506)
  2. ICTS HOD (Mr. Anoop: 6601)
     

For a comprehensive listing of the contacts in order to escalate, please view the Escalation Matrix

Ways to get help

For student computing labs, first level support is provided by lab administrators in those student computing labs that are managed by ICTS. Basic support can also be obtained from the ICTS Front Office on 1st Floor of the Engineering College Building. Students can also get support online through social media. Our Facebook account is monitored on regular basis. 

Students in Hostels

ICTS does provides direct WiFi support and essential access to communication services to students in hostels. 

ICT policies and guidelines

You are required to use computing and information resources responsibly and to guard against abuses.  A comprehensive list of ICT policies and guidelines is maintained on the ICTS website at this link

Here are a few of the more important ICTS-related policies that you should read:

  1. Acceptable Use Policy
  2. Internet Usage Policy
  3. Password Policy
  4. Electronic Mail Policy
  5. Wi-Fi Use Policy
     

The ICTS website

Visit the ICTS website for informative articles, end-user documentation, service announcements, training information, software downloads, helpdesk information and much more.

The ICTS Front Office

Friendly, knowledgeable staff is on hand to help you configure your ICT equipment so that it connects safely to the AU network. They will assist staff, Third Parties and students to manage password changes, provide desktop support, network support and communications support. The ICTS Front Office is in room A-103, 1st floor of Engineering College. Office Hours: Monday - Saturday 08:00 - 22:00

Getting started

New Staff Members

The next few pages will help you to get started. 

You will find information about…

  • What should be at your desk
  • Setting up your computer and phone
  • Your network account and password
  • Accessing and installing software
  • Your email account
  • Printing 
  • Accessing files on the network
  • Accessing the Internet 
     

Getting access to AU facilities and ICT services

Your access to AU services is based on your role in the organization. The AU Role Model lists the type of access given to the different groupings of staff, students and visitors. Information about individuals and their roles is stored in a secured central identity. As soon as the HRgets your data, automatic processes kick-start a chain of events that will give you access to the services that you need.  This process is called “provisioning”.  When your association with the university ends, your access to services is automatically removed by a “de-provisioning” process.

Staff and Third Parties: Before enquiring about access to ICT services, please ensure that you have handed in all forms and documentation to the applicable person (HR representative / Third Party administrator). Accounts are not created unless an entry exists in either the HR database.

Students: Check with the Faculty Office that your application was successful.

What should be at your desk

As a new AU staff member (or third party, if applicable), ICTS will:

  • provide a computer workstation pre-loaded with the standard AU software,
  • ensure that there is a working network or wireless point,
  • ensure that you have a working telephone and an extension number,
  • enter your details onto the AU people searchdatabase, and
  • Ensure that you can connect to a printer as per your requirements. 
     

Things you need to do on arrival

  • Change your password.
  • Check the access levels and permissions you have on the network
  • Check all the software you would need is loaded on the computer
  • Visit the ICTS website and AU website.
  • Look at the training offered and discuss a training plan with your line manager.
     

Systems you may need access to

Based on your role at AU, you will be given access to the systems. There are different systems used at AU. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Total Information Support System (TISS) platform at AU. This platform has different modules integrated with it e.g.
    1. the Print Portal – AUs online centralized Print Management Services,
    2. online Wi-Fi Registration – for online Wi-Fi registration of mobile devices, laptops and tablets.
    3. Asset Management – for tracking the asset movements,
    4. Help Desk – for logging and tracking of support calls etc.
  • AUMS is a Student Administration System which is web-based and allows account holders to  manage student admissions, registration, course results, fees, financial aid, graduation, timetables and admission to residences.
  • VPN system allows delegated account holders to access to the AU network and other IT resources remotely.  
     

Review the AU Role Model and Core ICT services SLA if you need access to these systems. Depending on your role at AU, you may need access to certain services. 

Your network account and password

Change your password every 90 days At AU your password must be changed every 90 days or sooner if you suspect that it has been compromised. This reduces network vulnerability and increases security on the network.  

Things to remember when you change your network password

Your new password will automatically synchronise across the network and you won't have to make any changes for other systems as AU provides single sign-on to the systems. 

For detailed instructions, see the section on Things to remember once you have changed your network password on the ICTS website 

Your password ...

  • must not contain any spaces
  • should be as difficult as possible to guess and not use obvious words or dates such as your family’s names, birth dates, or ages
  • should be longer than six characters. 
  • should include a mixture of upper and lower case letters and numerals
  • could include punctuation marks, such as: ()~!?<>*^_ 
  • must be changed immediately after first use and whenever prompted (every 90 days) so that you don’t get locked out
  • must be kept secret - do not divulge it to anyone else - not even to an IT consultant.
     

Your network account

In order to access the Internet or the AU network  and any of the many ICT services available at AU -  you will need a network account, consisting of a username and a password.   Examples of usernames at AU Staff username (compromising of first name and/or last name)

Student ID  e.g. I5PHY08008

Staff accounts:

Only after all the necessary administrative forms have been completed, and the data has been processed in HR database, is an instruction sent to ICTS to create an account. The temporary, default password that is assigned to your account is the birth date in ddmmyy format.

Student accounts:

As soon as your application to study has been processed, you will be given a Student ID numberwhich will be your login ID.  Your default password must be changed immediately as it expires soon after first use. 

Third Parties or visitors:

Departments are responsible for creating Third Party accounts for all visiting lecturers or short-term contract staff.  Heads of Departments must nominate one staff member who will undergo training and be given the required authorisation to register visitors onto the Third Party System. This person will capture information about the visitor (Third Party) onto the Third Party System, along with the type of access to which s/he is entitled.  A Third Party number will be assigned and a request automatically sent to ICTS to provision the required access. Note: Depending on the person’s affiliation to AU, s/he may be restricted to a select range of services. 

Managing your password

Initial passwords expire quickly — change your password immediately after first use

Your default password is temporary and will expire soon after initial use.  You must change your password immediately after receiving it.     

Your email account

Staff and postdoctoral fellows use Zimbra email as their email and calendaring system.  Desktop clients are available for Windows, Apple Mac and Linux; via an IMAP client; or via the Internet using the Web Mail interface.

Mailbox size and email address

Staff members and postdoctoral fellows are given a 500 MB mailbox and an email address. Based on their tenure and on special requests the mailbox size limit is increased.

Access your mail via your mobile device

You can access your mail from anywhere on your mobile device by using the Webmail interface. 

Printing 

Network printing

Shared, networked printers are accessible to staff, Third Parties and postgraduate students via ICTS Centralized Managed Print Services, a secure, web-based printing solution.  Under special circumstances, staff will be given rights to use a network printer. Printer usage is monitored.  Personal print and copy jobs are chargeable.

The AU Network

Wired network

ICTS maintains a large fully-switched network, connecting a number of campuses to state-of-the-art data centers.  Most of the network infrastructure consists of high-speed   fibre-optic cabling that allows connection at high speeds. 

Wireless network

AU makes use of secured wireless access points situated across campus. Wireless access points are installed and maintained by ICTS.  Any “rogue” devices found attached to the network will be removed as they contravene the Network policy and. If not correctly implemented, they pose a security risk to the network. In order to connect to the AU wireless network, you need to follow the setup instructions on the ICTS website or on TISS platform in the online Wi-Fi registration module.

Residence network

AU residences have access to the wireless network. A project is underway to extend wireless networking to all AU-owned residences.

Your network drives

The drive mappings are visible when you connect to the AU network.

Z: drive - Your own space on the network (staff and PG students)

Your Z: drive is an area on the network where you can store your personal files. Staff and PG students are allocated 500 MB of space.   Staff members who accidentally delete or overwrite a file can request a restore from backup.  Staff members may also request additional space for their Z: drive.  On their HODs permission ICTS will assign additional storage space.

Voice services

Telephone information

To get an outside line, first dial 0  if you are using a standard handset and then dial the area code and number you need. To phone an extension, dial the 4-digit extension number directly. 

You can access People Search to locate the extension numbers of staff at AU Amritapuri Campus.

Installation of new telephone points

Contact the IT Helpdesk to arrange for the installation of any new telephone points. You will be required to provide details as well as written permission from the fund HOD.  

People Search

The AU People Search allows you to search for people by department, faculty, first name,last name and phone number.

Telephony systems at AU

At the moment, AU is in the transition phase between two systems  viz. the PABX and the Internet Protocol  (IP) telephony systems. Standard phone  Your handset is plugged into a telephone socket in the wall. We have step by step  instructions for using this handset and its features which include setting up automatic  ring-back, follow me and last number redial. 

IP telephony Your handset is plugged into your computer via a data cable. You need to log on to your handset using your username and password. This handset uses the Microsoft Lync software which allows you to send instant messages, make phone calls and to either host or  participate in audio, web or video conferences,    | Phone & Fax | Phones | Telephony Services at AU.

Video conferencing

ICTS offers video conferencing at AU. There are different options to choose from; you can:  

  • use application-based video conferencing software,
  • orshared video bridge.
     

Hardware and software

Hardware and software purchases

ICTS provides an acquisition service that includes sourcing and purchasing of:

  • Computer hardware (including Windows, Linux and Apple Mac desktops and notebooks) 
  • Software
  • PC peripherals 
     

The Acquisitions Services team procures appropriate, cost-effective solutions of IT purchases that are compatible with the AU standards and environment. Suppliers are sourced through formal tender processes and pricing structures are negotiated to ensure competitive pricing and quality of goods.

Software installation

AU has negotiated formal software site license agreements with many software vendors entitling specific members of the AU community to use the software.   Standard software is distributed to networked computers.

Accessing the Internet

Internet bandwidth management at AU

AU implemented bandwidth management to analyze, control and prioritize campus Internet bandwidth.  This provides better support for academic and administrative requirements and aligns patterns of Internet use with AU’s core business needs. Internet traffic is managed as follows:

  • When required, bandwidth is allocated to essential services, e.g. e-Learning services.
  • The volume of Internet traffic is recorded and assigned to individual users. 
     

Note: The volume of Internet traffic is centrally recorded. Volume, not content, is recorded – AU protects the individual’s right to privacy. Monthly bandwidth reports are regularly observed.

Each staff accessing the Internet receives a quota.  This quota was approved by all faculties on campus and was based on usage information gathered across campus

Research computing 

High Performance Computing (HPC) is a research and support service available to AU researchers, students and staff.  HPC utilizes multiple processors to perform concurrent jobs in parallel to solve advanced computation problems.  

On the move

Access your email from home or while you are travelling.

You don’t have to be on campus to access your email.  

Webmail App

Gives you access to your mailbox via a web-interface.

The Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to connect securely to AU’s network using your own Internet Service Provider. Once connected, you can then access information on your office workstation and AU’s centrally stored network drives. 

WiFi hotspots on campus

A number of wireless hotspots are available in public spaces across campus.  You will need to set up (configure) your mobile device or laptop in order to access the secure wireless network.

Training and user documentation

ICT training Instructor-led training courses

ICTS offers courses in Networking, Systems Administration and Graphics in our well-equipped training lab. Customized training is also provided, whether it be refresher courses or mini-workshops.  

Self-help training

The ICTS website features many user-friendly articles that will assist you in accessing and using the software and services available at AU. 

Playing IT Safe

  1. Create strong passwords that include a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation marks.
  2. Before you leave your desk, lock your workstation by pressing the Windows key + L or by pressing CTRL + ALT + Delete simultaneously on your keyboard, then select Lock Workstation. When you return to your desk, just type in your network password and continue working. 
     

Securing your computer

ICTS makes anti-virus and windows software updates available immediately to ensure that your computer remains protected.  Staff members who connect to the AU network  will automatically receive the latest daily updates of the anti-virus and Windows updates and will install the update in the background each time the machine connects to the AU network.  If you are unsure whether your campus PC is receiving the latest updates, contact ICTS. If you are a student or staff member who doesn’t connect to the network, you must ensure that you either manually download and install the updates, or that you configure your anti-virus to receive the updates from respective repositories. Note: Don’t install more than one antivirus program on your computer.

All software programmes and operating systems are vulnerable to attack, which is why  developers regularly release patches and updates. ICTS provides an automatic update and patch service for Windows, Apple Mac and Linux computers via the Windows Server Update Service (WSUS). For your computer to receive these updates, make sure that it is connected to WSUS. If you are unsure contact ICTS.

ON EXIT

For Staff and Employees exiting Amrita University

So far, this booklet has given you information about how to access ICT services during your time at AU, but you also need to know what to do when you leave AU. 

Before you leave, consider the answers to these questions:  Who is going to take over from you?  What information are your colleagues likely to need?  What information do you want to take with you?  What will happen if people continue to send email to your AU email address once you've left?

Staff and Third Parties

Your account will be de-activated the day after you leave AU and you will not be able to access your mailbox or any AU network services. After 3 months your account will be permanently deleted from the AU servers. This means that you need to manage the information in your mailbox and on the AU network before you leave.

Students

You will have no access to any systems (network, systems) from the date that you end your course of study (either through dismissal, non-completion or through successful  graduation). After a further 3 months, your account will be permanently deleted from the AU servers.

View the Checklist of things to consider 

Email account: 

  • Forward relevant email messages to either a personal account or to your colleagues.
  • Set up a rule that will forward messages (addressed to you) after you’ve left.
  • Unsubscribe yourself from any AU mailing lists.
  • Re-assign ownership of any shared folders, mailboxes or nicknames. 
     

Information stored on your hard drive, network drives

  • Back up any personal information to a removable storage device.
  • Delete any personal information from your hard drive.
  • Give a backup copy of all departmental information (from your hard drive, your Z: drive and any folders to which you had access) to your line manager.
     

Software licenses (staff and students)

  • Remove any AU site-licensed software from your personal laptop or home computer.
  • Hand over the software license documentation and the software media (if  applicable) for any AU-purchased software to your line manager. 
     

Staying Informed

ICTS uses a number of methods to keep campus informed, and in some instances you have a choice in what you would like to receive.  We use the ICTS Feedback account to send out notifications. Send your communication suggestions or comments to ICTS and we’ll respond as soon as we can. 

Service Announcements

ICTS sends communications to the entire campus about significant or widely used ICT- related services to ensure that all and students are informed.  

ICTS offers support and troubleshooting 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. through ICTS Facebook page

We also post information about ICTS services, ICT issues on campus and interesting news about IT and technology.