Deadline for installing emergency notification software is August 12

Emergency Alert SystemA new tool to support emergency notifications is being added to faculty and staff workstations this summer.

As recommended by the NIU Department of Police and Public Safety, the university’s Information Technology Steering Committee approved a requirement that this software be installed on all NIU-owned desktops and laptops by Friday, Aug. 12.

This requirement is for all workstations that are used by employees on a daily basis as part of normal business operations.

In the event of an imminent and verifiable emergency, when the NIU PD initiates an emergency alert, all campus computers that have the Alertus Desktop Notification software installed will be overridden with a full-screen alert and instructions. The user will have the ability to acknowledge the message and close the alert.

The Division of Information Technology (DoIT), in conjunction with the Department of Police and Public Safety, ran a successful pilot implementation of the software in the spring. The software is lightweight, runs in the background and will not interfere with the speed or operation of employees’ workstations.

Exceptions will be granted for embedded systems (machines that run other machines), personally-owned equipment, phones and tablets.  Servers, storage devices and student-owned computers are not included in this requirement. LAN administrators were notified of this requirement in May, and DoIT pushed the Alertus software down to all managed systems that they control (including labs) at that time.

Employees who feel this client will interfere with their ability to do their jobs can appeal this requirement with the Office of the Provost by sending requests to provost@niu.edu. They will need to provide a compelling reasoning as to why emergency communications will inhibit their ability to do their work.

This new tool is part of a larger upgrade to the university’s emergency notification system that is rolling out this summer.

For more information, contact your LAN admin or the DoIT Service Desk at (815) 753-8100. The software is currently available and ready for deployment to LAN admins through System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) for remote management of NIU-owned workstations.

For those departments not using SCCM, the software is available through Software Licensing and Distribution (in the right column, under “Install”).

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