Virtual desktops, Emory heroes and other COVID reflections

photo of child art

The Leonard Family “Corona Chain.”

I am sure we all agree, there are lots of changes in our professional and personal lives resulting from the new way of life brought on by the COVID-19 epidemic…

Our operations have been significantly impacted by the transition to a mostly off-campus working model for LITS and our customers. Among the very positive results has been our transition to virtual computing for some of our customer groups. Our team has enabled 100 concurrent Windows ‘virtual desktops’ (securely accessible by any device with a modern browser). These can be used by employees to work with an Emory desktop remotely without having to haul a desktop home. This is an especially good fit for staff at Emory who are not able to take advantage of the portability offered by a laptops. We have tested this with Chromebooks and other devices, and the solution has no requirement for an IT person to install anything on a machine to use it – only a web browser!

Additionally, as many of you know, Zoom is our bread and butter for everything from remote staff work arrangements to distance learning. So far it is holding up extremely well. General status of the platform can be viewed any time at Kudos to our Messaging and Videography teams for a job well done in providing support for our campus.

In LITS and across our campus and health care locations, there are lots of heroes in our midst right now. In addition to our first responders, public servants, and health care workers on the front lines, let’s be sure to thank our IT support and service teams – especially those who are compelled to remain physically on site, risking exposure, to keep our critically important health, safety, and communication systems running. THANK YOU to LITS Client Services, Field Services, the Network Operations Center, and others who must remain on campus in support of Emory’s mission during these very challenging times.

Working at home every day has its ups and downs – especially for those of us who have grade school children – as we juggle their school work on top of all of our own daily responsibilities.  At our house, our kids are putting a ring on a “Corona chain” for each day they are out of school. For each link in the chain, we’re recording something positive in our lives. For the grown-ups, this past Friday, our neighborhood held a virtual happy hour using video conferencing through Google Hangouts. Four neighbors attended and shared in enjoying a grown-up beverage to unwind from the wild week. Not the same as all being on the back deck – but close!

Stay safe everyone!  Hoping things get back to normal sooner rather than later!

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