Communication

Medium

Communication involves exchanging information between entities. Collaboration extends communication in ways that enable people to effectively and efficiently work together to achieve common goals.

Medium
Email

Email (electronic mail) is a means of transmitting computer-based messages over a network, typically the Internet. Today's email programs are often bundled with other tools designed to improve collaboration, such as calendars, contact lists, and task lists. 

NDIT provides email service to the majority of state government and many local government entities. There are nearly 15,000 entries in the email directory for state government.

Email Environments

Outlook Web App

Most of ND state government has standardized on the feature-rich functionality of Microsoft Exchange/Outlook to achieve a high-level of integration and interoperability. This service is also available to ND local government offices for a nominal fee.

Pioneer Web Access

Basic email is available to ND local government as a complementary extension of the statewide network.  The existing Pioneer service is moving from the current on-premises host to Exchange Online.  See instructions below on how to configure Outlook and mobile clients and migrate existing Pioneer mail and webmail contacts to Exchange Online.

Client Configuration

Move Pioneer Mail to Exchange

Transfer Pioneer Webmail Contacts

Office 365 Online Access

Some agencies are starting to move to Exchange Online as part of the Microsoft Office 365 service offering. 

Email Encryption

Email is inherently unsecured; therefore, NDIT offers an add-on feature that provides encryption for agencies that use email to exchange sensitive and/or confidential information. One must first be given permission send secure messages. Submit a Generic Service Request in WMS for permission. To send a secure message, simply add "Securemail:" to the subject line of outbound messages. The recipient automatically receives instructions to access the email via the Secure Message Center.

Voice Features

Users may initiate voice calls from within the Outlook client. Follow the Avaya Outlook Plugin Installation Instructions to enable the functionality to initiate a call through a user's desk phone.

Note: Follow the Avaya Lync/Skype for Business Plugin Installation Instructions to enable dialing capabilities from IM clients.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Requesting Service

NDIT’s online Work Management System (WMS) may be used to submit a "Email/IM/Rightfax/Quota" service request. NDIT's Enterprise Service Level Agreement includes Service Level Objectives and Standard Intervals for Request Fulfillment.

Fax

A fax (short for facsimile) is a document sent over a telephone line.

NDIT offers three options for faxing:

  1. Traditional Faxing
  2. Desktop/Application Faxing
  3. Fax on Demand

1. Traditional Faxing

Most fax machines require a special type of connection that NDIT can provide known as an analog line. In its simplest form, faxing is achieved in five steps:

  1. The sending machine scans a document
  2. The digital image is converted to audible tones (modulated)
  3. The sending machine connects to another fax machine
  4. The receiving machine accepts the incoming transmission
  5. The receiving machine demodulates and prints a copy

2. Desktop/Application Faxing

NDIT utilizes Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition (formerly Captaris RightFax) to enable faxing from any email-enabled device or application. This is particularly useful for people who wish to send and receive faxes directly from Microsoft Outlook.

Outbound Faxing

To send a fax using an email client, build the "To:" address by combining the recipient's fax number with the "@fax.nd.gov" domain. For example, to send a fax to 555-1234:

Outbound Fax Example

  • A prefix of "328" will automatically be dialed if you send to a four-digit number
  • A prefix of "32" will automatically be dialed if you send to a five-digit number
  • A prefix of "9" will automatically be dialed if you send to a seven-digit number
  • A prefix of "9,1" will automatically be dialed if you send to a ten-digit number
  • Dashes may be included in the number, but avoid spaces and parentheses
  • Fax and email recipients can be mixed in the same message
  • Store fax recipients just as you would email recipients in your Contacts folder
  • RightFax can be used through webmail
  • A cover sheet is not automatically created, so be sure to specify who the information is intended for and who it is from
  • Fax recipients will receive copies of any attachments included in the email
Supported RightFax Attachment Types
File Format Supported Versions
 
ANSI text (7 & 8 bit) All versions
ASCII text (7 & 8 bit) All versions
BMP Windows versions
DCX (multi-page PCX) Microsoft Fax
EPS If TIFF image is embedded
GIF All versions
HTML Versions through 4.0
JPEG (includes EXIF) All versions
Microsoft Excel Versions 2000 through 2013
Microsoft PowerPoint Versions 2000 through 2013
Microsoft Rich Text Format (RFT) All versions
Microsoft Visio (.VSD files) Versions 2000 through 2013
Microsoft Word Versions 2000 through 2013
Microsoft WordPad Versions 2000 through 2013
Microsoft Works Versions through 8.0
PCX bitmap All versions
Portable Document Format All versions
Post Script All versions
TIFF CCIT Group 3 & 4 All versions
Unicode Text All versions
UUEncode No specific version
UTF-8 No specific version
WordPerfect Graphics (WPG & WPG2) Versions through 2.0

Inbound Faxing

RightFax automatically converts inbound faxes to PDF documents and delivers them to an email Inbox. Typically, agencies set up one inbound number and route faxes to a shared Outlook Inbox that is monitored by administrative assistants.  Direct inbound faxing to specific inboxes is also available on a limited basis.

3. Fax on Demand

Fax on Demand utilizes Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition (formerly Captaris RightFax) to enable callers to request documents using their telephone keypads. The selected documents are then delivered to a fax number they specify.

Requesting Service

For Traditional Faxing, use NDIT’s online Work Management System (WMS) to submit a "Telecommunications" service request. When asked for the "Type of Set," select "Other" and specify "Fax machine."

For Desktop/Application Faxing or Fax on Demand, use NDIT’s online Work Management System (WMS) to submit an "Email/IM/Rightfax/Quota" request. Briefly explain in the "Comments/Special Instructions" what you wish to accomplish.

File Transfer

File transfer is a managed method of transferring data from one computer to another. As an alternative to email, file transfer is sometimes necessary to address security, size, and/or automation.

NDIT offers two options for transferring files:

  1. File Transfer Protocol
  2. Secure File Transfer System

1. File Transfer Protocol

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is the standard TCP/IP protocol that has been traditionally used to exchange files over the Internet. SFTP (also know as Secure-FTP and SSL-FTP) is an extension of FTP that adds support for data encryption. 

Scope Host Name Authentication Method
FTP/SFTP Environments
Internal/External  mft.nd.gov LDAP or Active Directory account.  

To transfer files via FTP, an authenticated connection to the server needs to be made using a web browser or an FTP/SFTP client. Use https://mft.nd.gov in your web browser (Chrome & FireFox are preferred).  FTP/SFTP clients (WinSCP, WS FPT Pro, etc.) have some extra features that make uploading/downloading files easy. The client interface is usually divided in two; the pane on the left shows the files and folders on your computer, and the pane on the right shows the files on the remote server. File transfers are made by simply dragging and dropping files from one pane to the other. Additional features of the FTP/SFTP client include multiple file transfers at one time, auto-resuming of transfers, and file queueing.

Use NDIT’s online Work Management System (WMS) to submit a "FTP Access" service request.

2. Secure File Transfer System

The Secure File Transfer System (SFTS) is a web-based application that provides an easy and secure alternative method to email when you need to transfer files, especially those really large ones. Notifications or invitations are sent among individuals to initiate action.

SFTS allows Active Directory (NDGOV) users to upload files into the system. An invitation to download the file is sent to the intended recipients, who are not required to be authenticated users. Likewise, NDGOV users can also send unauthenticated users an invitation to upload files into SFTS. Agencies may also set up Service Areas to exchange files; however, this method requires public users to easily create a NDGOV account. Expiration dates are used to manage the retention of files uploaded into SFTS.

For additional information, refer to the Secure File Transfer System Manual.

Key Features

  • Files are scanned for viruses
  • Data is encrypted via Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
  • Invitations are sent to specified individuals to download or upload files; authentication is not required through this method
  • Expiration dates are used to automatically purge files
  • Maximum file size is 2 GB
  • Eliminates (File Transfer Protocol) FTP servers

No request is necessary for Active Directory (NDGOV) users to leverage the base functionality. To manage Service Areas, use NDIT’s online Work Management System (WMS) to submit a "Windows Domain User ID" service request, and ask to be included in the ITDAPPSGRP-FILETRANSFER-ADMIN group.

Instant Messaging (IM)

Instant Messaging (IM) allows real-time communication with contacts.  People can instantly tell if a colleague is online and chat with them using text, audio, and/or video.  For a fee, collaboration may be enhanced with white-boarding, file transfer, application sharing, and remote desktop control.

Visit Microsoft's website for Quick Start Guides about Skype for Business.

Standard Features

Features within the Standard Features list are capabilities included within the FTE fee rate structure:

Messaging
Allow immediate, text-based conversations between colleagues.
Presence Detection
To enable one computer user to see whether another user is currently logged on. People have control over how their online status appears to others.
Desktop Audio/Video Conferencing
To allow PC to PC dynamic, on-demand sharing of information through a virtual "face-to-face" meeting.

Enterprise Features

The users that initiate the following features will require additional software licensing (Microsoft Enterprise CAL).  As such, additional fees apply for these features.  To request the enterprise features, please submit a WMS request.

White-boarding
To allow multiple users to initiate a white board session and write or draw on a shared virtual tablet.
Application Sharing
To enable the user the ability to initiate an application or desktop sharing event.
Remote Desktop Control
To enable a support professional to initiate an event to take control of all functionality on another user's computer.

Voice Features

Users may initiate voice calls from within the IM client.  A plug-in from Avaya can be installed that can function similar to Microsoft Remote Call Control (RCC) and allow the capability to initiate a call through a user's desk phone.

  • Avaya Lync/Skype for Business Plugin Installation Instructions​
  • Avaya Lync/Skype for Business Plugin User Guide
Note: Follow the Avaya Outlook Plugin Installation Instructions to enable dialing capabilities from Outlook and internet browsers.

Federation

Agencies may opt-in to communicate with other Skype for Business users outside of the nd.gov domain. Currently, federation allows people within state government to connect with people within the ND University Systems (ndus.edu) and the ND K-12 education community (k12.nd.us). There is no additional cost for this functionality, and it can be enabled per-agency upon request.

Requesting Service

NDIT’s online Work Management System (WMS) may be used to submit a Service Request for “Email/IM/Rightfax/Quota.” On the form, click the drop-down box by Instant Messaging and select “Add Instant Messaging to this Email Account.” When requesting a large number of IM accounts at one time, simply fill out one Service Request and attach a spreadsheet with all the User Names.

Requests are typically completed within one business day.

Video

Video communication enables face-to-face interaction in real time between two or more people using video and audio technologies.

Service Categories

  • Video Consulting
  • Video Scheduling
  • Video Conference Recording - Vbrick
  • Desktop Video
  • Web Streaming

Requesting Service

Contact NDIT's Service Desk or utilize NDIT’s online Work Management System (WMS) to submit a "Network" service request. NDIT's Enterprise Service Level Agreement includes Service Level Objectives and Standard Intervals for Request Fulfillment.

Resources

H.323 Standard

H.323 is a standard communication protocol approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to promote compatibility in videoconference transmissions over IP networks. The H.323 standard facilitates how multimedia communications occur between terminals, network equipment and services, and is part of a larger group of ITU recommendations for multi-media interoperability called H.3x. H.323 was originally promoted as a way to provide consistency in audio, video and data packet transmissions in the event that a local area network (LAN) did not provide guaranteed quality of service (QoS). It is now considered to be the standard for interoperability in audio, video and data transmissions as well as Internet phone and voice-over-IP (VoIP) applications because it addresses call control and management for both point-to-point and multi point conferences as well as gateway administration of media traffic, bandwidth and user participation.

Voice

Voice services include dial tone and telephone support as well as consulting, design, and engineering of voice technologies and applications.

Service Categories

  • Microsoft Teams Voice
  • Audio/Web Conferencing
  • Automated Attendant
  • Call Center
  • Call Recording
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Interpretation Services
  • Long Distance / Toll Free / Calling Cards
      • Telephones
      • Voicemail

      Requesting Service

      NDIT’s online Work Management System (WMS) may be used to submit a "Telecommunications" service requests. NDIT's Enterprise Service Level Agreement includes Service Level Objectives and Standard Intervals for Request Fulfillment.

      Call Center

      A call center is designed to receive large volumes of requests by telephone.

      Avaya Call Center Elite

      The calls are routed evenly between the call center agents based on priority, skill level, availability and/or time idle. Each call center agent logs into the queue each morning and logs out of the queue at the end of the work day. Real time and historical statistics are available on both the call center agent as well as the call center queue. Agents can answer calls using One-X Agent softphone client to answer phones using the client on the PC enhancing mobility and functionality.

      Avaya Call Management System

      The Avaya Call Management System (CMS) is an analysis and reporting program offering real time monitoring, historical reporting, custom reporting, task scheduling, exception notification and threshold warning, administration and configuration, and long term data storage for your Avaya call center.

      CMS Supervisor Set Up File

      Install Instructions

      Anywhere365 Snapper software