Service News

Feb 23, 2015 - 10:26 am

FRS is a legacy financial system that has been replaced with Workday Financials. The FRS application will be taken out of service in early May, 2015 to accommodate decommissioning of the mainframe computer. When this happens, FRS, Web Ledgers, and Web Requisitions (Web Reqs) will no longer be available. While the FRS application will be shut down, financial data from this application will be available through the Cognos reporting tool.

How do I get Cognos Financial Records Reports?
To request Cognos access, submit an access request for the Financial Records Reports folder (supervisor approval required). Need help submitting an access request? Contact

NOTE: Cognos Financial Records Reports will be available for the foreseeable future. If you don’t need access now, but find you need FRS data in the future, you can request access at that point with supervisor approval.

Can I get Cognos training?
Yes! To help you with this transition, in April we are offering several 2-hour Cognos training classes to teach you to navigate and make the most of running reports in Cognos. A Controller's Office representative will be on hand to answer questions and help participants identify which Cognos report(s) will help you find the data you need. You must have access to Cognos before attending a class.

CIS also offers a 2.5 hour Introduction to Cognos Connection & Running Reports class monthly. If you cannot attend any of the sessions offered by the Controller’s Office, you can attend one of these sessions instead. If you have already taken this class, you do not need to take the training we are offering, but you are welcome to attend if you think it would be helpful.

In the Controller’s Office, contact Pedro Lopez (
In CIS, contact Wendi Lewis (

Feb 16, 2015 - 9:51 am

Earlier this week, Residential Life and CIS announced an improved IPTV service for residential undergraduates starting January 5th (edited to add: it was made availble early, on December 22nd!). Here are some of the exciting features:

  • Works wirelessly anywhere on campus: will no longer require an ethernet cable

  • More channels: over 20 additional channels for a total of 60 (see channel list)

  • Additional access: off-campus students and other members of the Brown community will now be able to watch eight local HD channels while on campus

  • New DVR feature: record shows for later viewing

  • More ways to watch: access on a computer, a mobile devices using iPhone and Android apps, and on a television using a Roku or by hooking up a computer to your TV

Residential Life will send instructions for accessing the new system at the beginning of the semester. 

Dec 9, 2014 - 3:48 pm

Exciting news: Brown's Google domain (including now has unlimited storage for Gmail (email), Drive, and photos. At the bottom of your inbox at, you'll notice your storage amount is no longer listed as a percentage.

Oct 31, 2014 - 12:51 pm

On Monday October 20th, you’ll notice a new look for the Brown Directory, MyAccount, and Activate. This change is part of the replacement of Brown’s identity management system, the system that stores identity information for members of the Brown community. 

MyAccount will be unavailable starting at noon on 10/17 until the upgrade is complete. Otherwise, we expect the appearance of these sites will be the only change you experience, but if you have a problem accessing a Brown system, contact the IT Service Center as usual; it may or may not be related to this change.

Sep 17, 2014 - 2:04 pm

As announced, the Brown-Secure wireless network is no longer available. If you are on campus and have a Brown username and password, please connect to the new network, "Brown" instead. To set up the new network for the first time, visit on your computer or mobile device.

Aug 12, 2014 - 8:06 am

As mentioned in our previous announcement, the "Brown" wireless network is now available. This new network will replace Brown-Secure as the recommended secure wireless network at Brown. To connect for the first time on a computer or mobile device, visit

Aug 1, 2014 - 7:39 am

Over the coming year, we will be upgrading Brown’s wireless network to offer faster speeds, better connectivity and roaming, more device support, and additional access points.

As a part of this change, we will be retiring the Brown-Secure and Brown_EZ networks and replacing them with a single, secure network called "Brown". Brown-Guest and Eduroam will remain available for guests. Our timeline is as follows:

  • July 21st: a new network called “Brown” will become available in all areas covered by the wireless network. 

  • July 24th: The Brown_EZ network will be retired.

  • July 21st through August 11th: Brown-Secure and Brown will be simultaneously available to give people time to connect.

  • August 11th: Brown-Secure will be retired. The available networks will be Brown, Brown-Guest, and Eduroam.

During the three weeks between July 21st and August 11th, everyone on the Brown campus should connect to the new network by visiting on a computer or mobile device. Those who are not on campus can do so when they return.

We will update you about our progress as we install access points and test various devices on the new network.

Aug 1, 2014 - 9:46 am

Earlier this year, Google Calendar started automatically including a Hangout (video conference) link in every calendar event. This change has caused confusion for events that are held in person or utilize other conferencing options such as WebEx. For this reason, we will be disabling the automatic addition of Hangouts on Wednesday 7/16.

You will still be able to easily add Hangout links to calendar events by clicking the "Add a Google+ Hangout" link, but they will no longer automatically appear on every event. If you plan use Hangouts in any upcoming events, please review your calendar after this feature is disabled and add them where necessary.

Curious about Hangouts? Find out how to use them in our article Create and Use a Google Hangout.

Aug 28, 2014 - 6:17 pm

Many faculty and staff in Brown departments currently use Department File Services to share files with others in their departments and back up files (instead of keeping them on local hard drives, which can lead to data loss). Over the next month, CIS will be upgrading the technology behind Department File Services to provide an improved experience, reliability, and more space.

What to expect

Before and after the migration, you will receive an email from your departmental computing representative (ITSC or DCC) with the date of the migration and instructions for accessing your Departmental File Services after the migration. File shares will be unavailable from midnight until approximately 8AM on the day of your migration, so you should save and close all open shared files before the migration begins.

Accessing shared drives after migration

Most Windows users with Brown-owned computers will not need to take action; the shared S: and U: drives on your computers will automatically be mapped to the new location the first time you restart your computer after the migration. If you connected manually and the change doesn't happen automatically, see Connecting to Departmental File Services on Windows.

Since Mac users connect manually, they will need to use updated addresses to connect to shared drives. These updated addresses start with smb:// For full instructions, see Connecting to Departmental File Services on a Mac.

File permissions

Though the permissions of files will not change, please note that people will now only be able to view files they can access. This should reduce confusion.

Restoring backed-up copies of DFS files

You will have access to snapshots/backups of your files; hourly backups can be accessed for 48 hours, daily backups are kept for 6 weeks, and monthly backups are kept for 6 months.  For instructions, see the following articles:

Future plans

During another upcoming project, we will be able to redirect Windows users’ My Documents and Desktop folders to this storage, making it even easier for Brown to prevent data loss while still being able to work on files offline.

Jun 17, 2014 - 9:49 am

You can now enable add-ons in Brown's Google Drive to add functionality to your documents and spreadsheets. For example, add-ons are available to help you send faxes, create a bibliography, or translate text. Please consider that most add-ons were developed by third parties; many require permission to access all of your documents and your agreement with the app's own terms of service and privacy policy. Using an Add-on is similar to using any consumer service online - read and carefully consider policies and permissions before enabling. You can choose to disable an add-on at any time. At Brown, you will be unable to use any Add-Ons that require payment. 

See video

Mar 4, 2014 - 3:16 pm

On Monday March 3rd the old voicemail system will be completely decommissioned. All old messages left on the system will be lostforever. If you need final access to the old system prior to March 3rd please contract the Telecommunications office at 863-2007 for instructions.

Feb 7, 2014 - 9:04 am

Due to a change in the Google login page for Brown, we've received a lot of questions about being prompted to resolve a "conflict account" after logging in. This is normal, and simply means you once accessed a Google product with your Brown email address before we started using Google at Brown.  

For your privacy, Google does not automatically move any personal content into your Brown account. For that reason, you are prompted either to move content to your Brown account, or associate it with a new Gmail account or a non-Gmail personal email address. The decision you make is personal and depends on the type of content and what you intend to do with it.

For detailed information and instructions, see our page on resolving conflicting accounts.

Apr 9, 2014 - 8:15 am

Help us crowdsource Brown’s WiFi coverage issues! Report areas with no or low coverage by tweeting the location with the hash tag #brownwifi.


  • Be as specific as possible about the location. Include the building, floor number, and room number or landmark to help us find the spot.

  • We can only see public tweets – and for privacy reasons, don’t tweet the location of your dorm room. You can always email coverage issues to

  • We won’t be able to assist you at the location - the hash tag is just for reporting areas with low or no wireless access.  Immediate or unrelated issues should be reported as usual to the IT Service Center (, 3-4357).
  • If you’re on Twitter, follow us at @ITatBrown for tech updates.
Feb 7, 2014 - 9:04 am

Starting next week, the login page will look and function like a consumer (non-Brown) Google login page. What does this mean for us? Instead of logging in with just the beginning of our Brown email address (e.g., josiah_carberry), we will have to type the whole email address (e.g., The login page will no longer display the words "Brown University."


  • Instead of logging in at, you could also log in at or directly to any Google product that you are able to access with your Brown account.

  • Choosing “stay signed in” can be a convenient way to avoid retyping your username and password. However, if you do so, make sure your computer is password protected. If you need help setting up password protection, speak with your department’s computing representative, the IT Service Center, or the Information Security Group.

  • You can set up 2-step authentication on your Google account to prevent someone from accessing your account even if they have your password. 

  • This new login screen will be more resistant to security attacks and will allow you to more easily switch between accounts.

Compare the old and new login screens in the image below:

Dec 19, 2013 - 8:30 am

Google Calendar invites sent to Google Groups will now automatically update as people are added to or removed from the group. In other words, if someone is added to the group, they will automatically be added to the event; anyone removed from the group will no longer see the event.  Please note that group membership does not automatically update if more than 200 people are on the event's guest list.

More information on inviting groups to events
More information about Google Groups at Brown

Oct 3, 2013 - 12:39 pm

New Requirements for Access to E-reserves on OCRA 
Due to a change in the Library’s OCRA (Online Course Reserves) system on September 10th, the way instructors and their delegates manage reserves has changed. After logging in with their own Brown username:

  • Instructors will see a link to "Manage My Reserves" at which they can add delegates.
  • Delegates will see a link or multiple links to "Manage Reserves for [instructor's name]".  

If you experience problems logging in, or with any other aspect of the system, please email or

Requirements for Accessing OCRA Online Movies 
In order to access OCRA Online Movies, your computer must meet the following requirements. This applies whether you are accessing your OCRA course reserves through Canvas or through the Library Reserves site.

  • Network Connection: Online Movies are available only on the campus network, either over Brown-Secure, Ethernet, or from a computing lab. To watch movies from off campus, you will need to connect using VPN
  • Java: Make sure your Java is up to date. You can run the test by visiting:
  • On a Mac: Use Firefox or Safari - your movies will not play in Chrome.
  • On a PC: Use Windows 7 or earlier with Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Firefox. Windows 8 does not work with this service, so if you have Windows 8 you will need to view the movie in a computing lab

For issues viewing Online Movies, contact the IT Service Center

Aug 14, 2013 - 11:35 am

Tomorrow, Thursday, August 15th, CIS is transitioning to a new IT ticketing system for the University.

Ticket notification emails will now come from A convenient feature of the new system is that you can simply reply to these notification emails to update your ticket (at this time, you must reply from your main Brown email address, not an alias or personal address - if you use an alias, we recommend setting Gmail’s “send mail as” settings to “reply from the same address the message was sent to”). 

A new form for submitting help tickets will be linked from the left side of this website. Below is a quick tutorial on submitting a ticket.

See video

Aug 5, 2013 - 9:43 am

You can now record your Brown WebEx conferences. Follow the links in this announcement to learn how and read more about Brown's web conferencing options.

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