We want to help answer your questions regarding working remotely and continuing your department’s business operations as normal during an emergency or other disaster. Below is a list of common requests and questions we’ve assembled to help link you to answers and resources that can help. If you have any questions about the items below, or anything that is not listed, please reach out to Provost IT.


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Either Zoom or Slack can be used to host chats or video conferences online with up to hundreds of participants. Zoom works best to allow small or large groups of people, either inside or outside of the USC community, to conduct a video chat, class or meeting. With Zoom, participants can also dial-in via phone information that Zoom easily provides through their apps or web portal. Meetings can be scheduled in advance or held on-demand with what is known as an instant meeting. Outlook integration is also available. Both services are free for the USC community and easy-to-use.

To find out more about Zoom or Slack, visit our list of business continuity tools and resources and select the appropriate service from the menu of options. For questions on which type of service may work best for your individual scenario, contact Provost IT.

Slack works best an enterprise chat tool and allows you to message others within USC, create groups of people to share message or files with, and join large campus-wide discussions. For more information on how to use Slack, click here.
The feature that lets you do this is called Avaya EC500. You must have an Avaya desk phone for this feature to work, and your cell phone number must be pre-configured by IT into your desk phone. For more information on this service and process, click here.
The feature that allows you to login to your desk phone and make and receive calls remotely on your computer (via a “softphone” app) is called Avaya One-X. For more information on this feature, click here.
There is a tool available to do this called Blackboard connect, which USC licenses. For more information on how it works, click  here.
You can login to your USC computer or access USC resources remotely in one of two primary ways. The first is with USC’s VPN. By installing the VPN, you can securely access the USC network from a personal computer after installing a small application. After logging in, you can remotely connect to your desktop computer, connect to network files shares for your personal files or department’s files, check your voicemail via Outlook, and conduct other USC business. Click on any of the links above for information on those specific items. We recommend you test these steps in advance of actually needing to work remotely, if at all possible.

The second method that allows you to do all of the above through a simple and easy-to-use portal is called MyWork. MyWork is USC Provost IT’s virtual desktop and applications offering for select groups that we support. It allows you to access a full USC desktop, with the normal files, apps and tools you use day-to-day, all from within your browser and from any device, including smartphones and tablets. For more information on how to use MyWork, click here.

For  questions regarding the above options or getting them set up, contact Provost IT.

Loaner laptops are available on a limited basis for the departments we support. It is important to note that anything you can do from a loaner laptop can also be done securely from a personal device with the right tools. During an emergency, our supply of loaner devices may be limited. As a result, we strongly encourage using a personal laptop or desktop to connect securely to USC with the other tools and resources mentioned on this portal whenever possible. For more information on this service, click here.
Click here to read information specifically regarding this topic.
USC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching has prepared a fantastic and frequently updated guide with this exact information. It is available here. Other information for faculty regarding labs, seminars and course continuity – including an extensive set of frequently asked questions – can be found here. If you have questions specific to your course and are an instructor, contact your department chair or vice dean. Additional information on USC’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on USC’s centralized portal here. Provost IT is also happy to help faculty and staff with getting any of the tools or resources mentioned above.