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Microsoft Teams performance tips

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Many SU staff members have experienced lost connections during a Teams meeting or sometimes have technical glitches such as poor or broken voice connections. With this short article, we provide some tips to ensure that your next Teams meeting has minimum disruptions. The tips are split into three categories:

  1. Good practices
  2. Preparing for a trouble-free meeting
  3. Steps to take if you experience a poor connection

The good practices include:

  1. Regularly shut down and restart your PC – at least once a day. The shut down and restart cleans the PC of processes taking up resources. A good habit is to shut down at the end of the workday, and start fresh in the morning.
  2. Regularly run updates, ensuring that the operating system and applications are up to date. This should happen almost automatically on University owned PCs.
  3. Regularly run virus checks.

Preparing for a trouble-free meeting – especially important if you are the host or presenter for a meeting:

  1. Close all unnecessary applications.
  2. Test if you have sufficient Internet bandwidth available. You can do this by running an Internet bandwidth test at Speedtest by Ookla – The Global Broadband Speed Test.
    For voice only and sharing images you need less than one MB/second. For sharing applications and using your webcam, you need between 1 and 2 MB/s.
    For video you preferably need 2 MB/s.
  3. Test if your PC has sufficient resources.
    For Windows 10 press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
    For a Mac the equivalent is the Activity Monitor: Press Command+Spacebar to get the Spotlight search field. 
    Start typing “Activity Monitor.”
    The CPU usage percentage should be under 50% and memory usage below 60% before you start MS Teams.
  4. If your MS Teams app was open before a meeting, quit and start MS Teams again at least 10 minutes before your meeting.
    To do this right click the Teams icon on the task bar and Quit, then start again.

5. If you share your Internet with other users (e.g. at home), ensure that the others know and do not hog the Internet connection. (e.g. do not play video, stream content, run updates).
Turn the camera off and use audio only if  the speed test or PC resources tests did show limitations.

6. If you are the host or presenter and have doubts about your Internet connection, rather work from your office on campus where you are unlikely to run into limitations. Use Ethernet (a cable connection to your router) rather than Wi-Fi if you have Ethernet available.

7. Have a second device with Microsoft Teams as a standby, e.g. a mobile phone with an LTE data connection. Practice switching devices so that you are familiar with how it works before you host a meeting.

Steps to take if you experience a poor connection:

  1. Turn the camera off if it was on.
  2. Turn off incoming video: (last item under the three dots menu).
    You will still be able to see shared screens and comments.

3. Switch to another device as a last resort, for example MS Teams on your mobile phone or tablet.

3 day online Excel course

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

Due to Covid restrictions training will still be hosted online through our training partner Stellietech.

The following course dates are available on Sun-e-hr for staff members to enrol.

10-12 May 2021
17-19 May 2021
5-7 June 2021
7-9 June 2021
2-4 August 2021

Should you be interested in attending you must please apply via the Sun-HR System by following the steps below:

>employee self-service
     >>training and development
             >>>learner home
                     >>>>Information Technology
                                >>>>>Online Excel course

COURSE OUTLINE:

Import Data and Navigate workbooks

  • Import Data from Text Files
  • Import Data from CSV Files
  • Search for Data
  • Navigate to workbook Elements

Format worksheets and workbooks

  • Modify Page Setup
  • Adjust Row Height and Column Width.
  • Customise Headers and Footers

Customise Options and Views

  • Customise the Quick Access Toolbar
  • Explore Workbook Views
  • Freeze Rows and Columns
  • Change Window View
  • Modify Basic Workbook Properties
  • Display Formulas

Configure Content for Collaboration.

  • Set a Print Area
  • Save in Alternative File Formats
  • Configure Print Settings
  • Inspect Workbook for Issues.

Manipulate Data in Worksheets

  • Use Special Paste Options
  • Use Autofill to Fill Cells
  • Insert and Delete Rows and Columns
  • Insert and Delete Cells

Format Cells and Ranges

  • Merge and Unmerge Cells
  • Alignment, Orientation, and Indentation
  • Use the Format Painter
  • Wrap Text Within Cells
  • Apply Number Formats

 

 

Error reporting FAQs

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

How do I report an IT problem, request or enquiry?

Option 1
Log a service request on our ICT Partner Portal
 with the following information:

1. Description of problem
2. Telephone number
3. Room Number
4. Department and building
5. Asset number of computer, laptop, printer, etc.

Requests will be logged automatically and reference number sent via email.

For video instructions on how to log a request on the ICT Partner Portal, click here. More information on our Service Catalogue.

Option 2
Contact the IT Service Desk – 021 808 4367

We require username and asset number in order to assist OR leave a voicemail message.


How do I follow up on the IT request I have logged?

Whether you have called the IT Service Desk at 0218084367, sent an email to help@sun.ac.za or logged a request via the ICT Partner Portal at https://servicedesk.sun.ac.za you can do the following:

  1. Log in at https://servicedesk.sun.ac.za with your username and password.
  2. Select: Requests, My requests. The status of all the requests that you have raised will be displayed.

How do I follow up if I sent an email to help@sun.ac.za?

If you send an email to help@sun.ac.za it automatically logs a request on the IT Service Portal. You can check on the status of your request as follows:

  1. Log in at https://servicedesk.sun.ac.za with your username and password.
  2.  Select: Requests, My requests. The status of all your requests will be displayed.

How do I follow up on a request I reported by calling the IT Contact Centre?

If you call the IT Contact Centre, the service agent will log a request on your behalf on the IT Service Portal. You can check on the status of your request as follow:

  1. Log in at https://servicedesk.sun.ac.za with your username and password.
  2. Select: Requests, My requests. The status of all your requests will be displayed.

Can you follow up on a request emailing help@sun.ac.za again?

If your request have already been logged and you have a reference number, please do not send another email to help@sun.ac.za. This will log a second, duplicate request which will only clog up the system and cause confusion. The same goes for replying to emails from help@sun.ac.za. Rather click on the request number and add your comment on the system.


How do I add a comment to my request?

  1. Log in at https://servicedesk.sun.ac.za with your username and password.
  2. Select: Requests, My requestsThe status of all the requests that you have raised will be displayed.
  3. Click on the reference number of a request to see its details.
  4. Type your comment in the text box and click on Add. The comment will be added to the request. You can also add screen shots for clarification

What does the different status options mean?

WAITING ON SUPPORT =you are waiting for a response / feedback from IT regarding your request.

WAITING ON CUSTOMER =IT is waiting on a response / feedback from you regarding your request.

IN PROGRESS = your request is being attended to.

ESCALATED =your request is escalated for further investigation.

RESOLVED =your request has been resolved.

CLOSED = your request has been closed.

 

 

Online Excel training now available

Monday, June 15th, 2020

If you want to brush up on your Excel skills, we have just the solution for you. 

You can now do an online Excel course which covers all the content of Microsoft Office Excel 2019 needed to become internationally certified. It also aims to help with the navigation of Excel within the office 2019 and 365 environment.

The course takes place over four days and there are fixed training periods you can choose from. The next session takes place 24 to 27 August.

The only prerequisites are that you are computer literate, you have a desktop or laptop, Office365 and an internet connection.

To enrol for the course, you can register on SUN-e-HR. Browse to my.sun.ac.za, click on the SUN-e-HR tab and log in with your sun account. After logging in, you can go to
Training and development-> Learner Home->Information Technology and the Excel course will show there.

As soon as you’ve registered StellieTech, the company responsible for the training will contact you. Their trainers will follow along with your training progress and assist you to make sure you are on track throughout the programme.

The training material that will be covered is exactly the same as the material covered in StellieTech training centres. All aligned to the global industry standard and internationally accredited certification. On the platform, you will find their pre-assessments, training videos, practice simulations, post-assessments, and downloadable workbooks & follow along files. Everything is clearly laid out in the platform and very user friendly. 

More detailed information on the Excel-course.

Online survey tool for SU staff and students

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

 

The web-based e-Survey service (SUNSurveys) is available to support academic staff and students of the University of Stellenbosch using online surveys for their academic research. SUNsurveys is also regularly used for staff opinion polls, voting and service delivery surveys.

Information Technology uses Checkbox as platform for our surveys. Checkbox is an intuitive survey creation tool with real-time reporting which allows for surveys to be customised. 

To register for use on Checkbox and send out official Stellenbosch University surveys, you can apply for the service online. More information on our Service Catalogue.

Once you have registered, support will be provided throughout to enable you to set up your survey, as well as training if needed. Additionally Checkbox has detailed help guides which will assist you will any potential problems you may encounter.

Take note that before you are allowed to send out a survey for research purposes, you will need institutional permission. Full information on the process can be found on the Information Governance website 

If you have any enquiries, please log a request on our ICT Partner Portal at ICT Partner Portal.

 

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