Tech Scoop – October

Thursday, October 22, 2020

ZOOM – Upcoming Changes

  • Penn has just signed an Enterprise Agreement that will include licensing for all faculty/staff/and students.
  • What is the impact for VPUL?
    • VPUL licensed products for VPUL staff and student organization leadership via brokered ISC service; will
      transition to the new Penn Enterprise Agreement.
      • Student Organizations:
        • Student will receive licensing of Zoom from their respective schools.
        • Vanity URL: will be retired.
        • All students will have licensed accounts by August 24, 2020; with SAS migrating next week
      • VPUL Departments:
        • Vanity URL: will be retired; along with any branding
        • Staff will be provisioned accounts in
        • Zoom configuration will need to be change to reflect the above changes, as VPULTS auto-configured the zoom link.
  • What is the timeline?
    • VPULTS will be meeting with ISC project lead/partners later this week to finalize configuration and
      migration plans. Additional information will be forthcoming!

PENNFLEX Phone – PENNNET Phone Replacement

  • The Next Generation Unified Communications initiative set out to evaluate, select and implement a solution that would unify all or some of the Voice offerings that ISC manages for Penn today. Following an RFP and proof of concept process, ISC chose Vonage as its cloud communications provider. Penn has re-branded this service as PennFlex Phone. The goal is to transition all PennNet phone lines to PennFlex Phone by June 2022. The existing services will continue; however, mobile and desktop applications with messaging and audio/video conferencing are a few of the optional advanced feature set that the new system will offer.
  • Electronic Fax (e-fax) – looking into the future of PennFlex phone, the movement of electronic faxing may be something that you are thinking about for your department.
  • VPULTS will be meeting with ISC project lead/partners in the coming week to begin planning for the future of this technology. VPULTS is moving forward with a pilot then moving to implement across Division. Additional information will be forthcoming!


  • VPULTS is finalizing the transition of all VPUL websites to Pantheon (third-party hosting service) and WordPress.
    Communication went to Director’s last week; training sessions for all department website content owners is taking
    place this week and next week. Access to current CMS is retired.


  • We have not held any “TechTalks” since June; focusing on individualized training and project/specific-use driven
    learning of products. We are planning a few sessions in the coming weeks.

Other News

  • VPULTS will be upgrading our infrastructure (Pennovation Center) in the coming weeks.
  • Online appointment scheduling; continuing to work with vendor on implementation; QLess.
  • Calendly was approved for use at Penn; no Penn Enterprise Agreement; individual department, contact us!
  • Two-Step Authentication – O365 – many schools/centers adopted; VPULTS slated this fiscal year.
  • Account Management – please be sure to deactivate staff/work-study accounts no longer needed.

Do not hesitate to reach out – we are here to support you – chat via TEAMS or submit a helpdesk ticket!
Much health all!

Rob, Eric, Charles, Robert, Weining, Greg, Nasrin, Jordan, Steve, and Mary


Zoom Updates For September 21, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

New and enhanced features

  • General features
    • Calendar Integration sync improvement – Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
      Deleting a meeting in the desktop client will now delete the calendar event on the synced calendar, if write permission is given.
    • Enhanced Edit Country interface when scheduling – Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
      Adjusting the dial-in countries included in a meeting’s invite when scheduling is now enhanced to make adding, removing and reordering countries easier.
    • Enhanced integration with Outlook client – Windows
      The Zoom desktop client integration with the Outlook client now provides the option to sync your Zoom status and profile picture to Outlook.
    • Studio Effects – Windows, macOS
      Users can now apply eyebrows, mustache and beard, and lip color filters as part of their video appearance. This feature is currently in beta.
    • Enhanced scheduling with default settings – Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
      Scheduling a new meeting will always check the user’s web settings and use those as the default. Any changes from the default will be saved for that meeting only.
    • Share Device Audio – Android
      Mobile users can now share device audio in a meeting through the mobile app. Note: Not all mobile apps support their audio being shared, so functionality will vary.
    • Virtual Background support for Android – Android
      Android users can now utilize the virtual background feature. This feature requires Android 8.0 or higher and a processor with 8 or more cores. Supported processors include Qualcomm 835, Samsung Exynos 9810 and Huawei Kirin 980.
    • Additional MSI/GPO Options – Windows, macOS
      • Spotlight Self when speaking – zPolicy_EnableSpotlightSelf
      • Display up to 49 participants per screen in Gallery View – zPolicy_Enable49Video
      • Remind me () minutes before my upcoming meetings – zPolicy_EnableRemindMeetingTime
      • Default video rendering method – Windows
    • Uninstall desktop client via MDM – macOS
  • Meeting/webinar features
    • Roll-up Closed Captioning – Windows, macOS, iOS
      Closed captioning will now roll up as new captions are added. Users can also move through captioning by dragging the text.
    • Virtual Background not compatible explanation – Windows, macOS
      When you are unable to use the virtual background feature, the desktop client will provide clarification, for example, the i7-5500U processor is not currently compatible with this feature.
  • Meeting features
    • Self-select Breakout Room – Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
      The host can now create breakout rooms with the option for participants to self-select which breakout room they would like to join. If enabled, participants can move freely between breakout rooms, without needing the host’s help. Both the meeting host and participants need to be on Client 5.3.0 or later to self-select Breakout Rooms. 
    • Share files with Microsoft SharePoint – Windows, macOS
      Attendees can now share files from SharePoint directly through in-meeting chat.
  • Chat features
    • Hide chat bots in IM list – Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
      Users can hide chat bots deployed by their admin they do not have use for.
    • Right-click menu for links in IM chat – Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
      Right-clicking a link will now display a menu, providing options to copy or open the link.
    • Improved image preview and image viewer – Windows, macOS
      Images sent in IM chat integrate better with sent text, and images will open within the Zoom desktop client’s new image viewer.
    • Enhanced Link Preview – Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
      Zoom meeting links will now show more details, such as meeting name, ID, start time, Join button, and meeting duration when done.
    • Enhanced Search – Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
      Desktop users can filter by Order, Sent by, and date filters for file search. Mobile users can filter by Order for file search. All image search results will display as thumbnail previews. Channel and contact results will also be split into their own categories. Users can also clear the list of recent searches.
    • Mark as Unread for images and files – Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
      Transferred files and images can also be marked as unread.