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OIT Technology News: May 2014

Access.SMU Upgrade

Access.SMU will be upgraded this summer and rebranded this summer.  Although many of the changes will be behind the scenes, there are a few things you'll notice once the upgrade is complete. 

  1. New Name:  The Access.SMU service is actually comprised of several different modules including Payroll, Human Resources, Student Information etc.  Behind the scenes, the HR and Payroll modules will be separated from the Student Information programs.  They will be linked together but will exist in separate databases.  To reflect this new change, Access.SMU will receive a new name.  Details will be released shortly!
  2. Revised Login page:  The login page will get a fresh new look as part of the rebranding.
  3. A New look and feel for the Employee Self Service pages.

There are a few other cosmetic changes but the underlying functionality will be consistent.  The upgrade will occur in June and Access.SMU will be unavailable throughout the weekend.  The IT training team is busy revamping the various training guides and online training modules to assist administrative users following the upgrade.

The upgrade process for Access.SMU is a lengthy and highly coordinated endeavor.  A team of developers as well as module leads from across campus are involved for over a year in the development, testing and customization of each version. During the upgrade itself, OIT personnel are working round the clock to ensure the success of the upgrade. Then extensive testing by individuals across campus is completed before the service is available to the campus. Just know that during the outage, a huge team is working diligently to make sure Access.SMU remains a valuable service to the Campus Community.

AirPlay—Now compatible with the SMU Network

Apple’s AirPlay functionality relied heavily on a home/consumer network configuration.  Unfortunately, that type of network configuration is not scalable in an enterprise environment.  Therefore, AirPlay has not been functional on the SMU network.  With iOS version 7.1, Apple has changed the way the devices interact and pair together to share content.  The good news, is that these devices will now work on our network!

The new connection method actually utilizes Bluetooth to find and pair the devices.  Your device must have a specific version of Bluetooth as well as the latest OS in order for this to work.  The following are the requirements for this new connection method:


  • Apple TV with version 6.1 (device can’t be older than 2 years)
  • iOS device with version 7.1 (iPad 3 generation or beyond, iPhone 4S or beyond, iTouch 5th generation or beyond, iPad mini- all versions)
  • Internet Connection on both devices
  • Bluetooth 4.0

How to connect

  1. Enable Bluetooth on both devices
  2. Enable the security option which requires a one time on screen code before using AirPlay. This will prevent others from sharing content with your device without approval!
  3. AirPlay should appear on your iOS device. Simply connect to the right device and enter the on screen password if configured.

Unfortunately, Chromecast devices still rely on the WiFi to make the connection and therefore are not compatible with our network. 

Heartbleed Vulnerability.. Have you Changed your Passwords?

Last month, the security vulnerability known as Heartbleed made the headlines and sent IT departments worldwide scrambling.  As a precautionary measure, everyone is encouraged to change their passwords to ensure the privacy of their data and accounts.  This includes your SMU account as well as all of your external online accounts.  For more details, click here.