1 CHAPTER: Administration STATUS: Approved TITLE: NCREN Video Quality Assurance Group PAGE: 1 of 1 SPEC#: ADM.GRP.001 AUTHORS: Mick Kreszock, Darleene M. Heath DATE: Approved September 1997; Revised format and minor content changes July 2001 This document outlines the responsibilities and membership of the NCREN Video Quality Assurance Group. A. Provides input regarding the direction of the NCREN Video Quality Assurance effort. B. Fosters attitudes that embrace a commitment to a quality network. 1. Encourage honest and frank discussion and communications. 2. Solicit feedback from the community and customers. 3. Seek innovative methods to achieving and maintaining quality. C. Reviews current and new procedures and documents. 1. Ensure clarity of documents to avoid multiple interpretations. D. Ensures that all documents contain the information as specified in the Document Control document. 1. Route documents for additional approvals when required. 2. Set standards for training and continuing education of video managers and program coordinators. E. Ensures compliance with Quality Assurance policies and procedures effort. F. Provides a systematic and helpful structure for all sites by measuring their success, tracking problems and taking positive corrective action when problems arise. A. The composition of the six-member Quality Assurance Group is designed for maximum representation across the community. B. Manager, NCREN Video Services. C. Chair, NCREN Video Directors plus one additional director. D. Chair, NCREN Video Managers plus one additional manager. E. Chair, Program Coordinators group. F. The additional video director and manager which, collectively, should be selected by their peers to meet the following minimum criteria: 1. No institution will be represented by more than one person 2. One representative from an institution with multiple interactive video locations, rooms, and management structure. G. A chairperson, selected by the membership, will rotate upon consensus of the membership. H. The composition of this group will be determined annually on or before July 1. IV. Related Documents A. ADM.QAP.001 Document Control Procedure
2 CHAPTER: Administration STATUS: In Review TITLE: NCREN Video Network Control PAGE: 1 of 1 SPEC#: ADM.GRP.002 AUTHORS: Darleene M. Heath DATE: Approved January 1998; Revised format and minor content changes July 2001; Reviewed June 2006 The Network Control staff is responsible for the switching, production, monitoring, and technical quality of all video sessions that utilize the NCREN gateway service. A. Monitors the overall quality of all sessions. B. Builds the routing programs that switch among the participating institutions. C. Directs the setup and testing for all sessions. D. Sets overall audio levels for each session. E. Connects and routes audio and video signals to participating institutions. F. Maintains interface with site operators via IP phone (or landline phone for sites without IP). G. Troubleshoots problems that occur during the session; escalates problems to appropriate staff as warranted. H. Notifies sites of technical problems that occur during live sessions. I. Maintains or makes, as necessary, contact with institutions or network providers outside of the NCREN community (for example, dialup sites, NCIH, Sprint, AT&T). J. Gathers participant numbers for each session from the participating institutions. K. Issues a report summarizing each session. L. Issues trouble tickets, follow-up and closes open tickets as warranted. M. Assists with training of new site operators as warranted. Video Network Control staff employed by MCNC
3 CHAPTER: Administration STATUS: Approved TITLE: Program Coordinator PAGE: 1 of 2 SPEC#: AUTHORS: DATE: ADM.GRP.003 Darleene M. Heath, Video Program Coordinators Approved January 1998; Revised format and minor content changes July 2001; Minor content changes June 2005, effective July Purpose The majority of NCREN s scheduling operation is a decentralized process which is successful only through the combined efforts of each participating institution. To increase success and maintain continuity of service each institution employs a Program Coordinator to serve as the single point of contact for the institution. Utilizing a single point of contact reduces duplication of effort, minimizes the possibility for double-booking of resources, and maximizes the success of interactive video sessions. Each Program Coordinator abides by the policies defined by their employer and local responsibilities will vary. This document outlines the critical functions of the Program Coordinator when performing the duties required by NCREN. I. Responsibilities A. General duties and experience required of the program coordinator 1. Provides front-line assistance in the scheduling of NCREN resources for clients supported by their institution. Assesses the client requirements and coordinates a plan to accomplish the request. Accurate and timely relay of information to the NCREN Video Services and Coordination staff (Videoreq) and to peers is vital for success. 2. Understanding of interactive video communications and of NCREN video configurations and capabilities. 3. Ability to meticulously handle multiple, detailed requests. 4. Computer literacy is essential. B. Provide front-line assistance to clients 1. Establish self as a focal point for client. 2. Meet with clients to discuss programming requirements. (May require system/room orientation.) 3. Recommend options for achieving the most effective program session. 4. Coordinate technical programming segments of the client request with video manager or technical staff responsible for monitoring and switching the session. 5. Update client on changes and progress to sessions in a timely fashion. 6. Periodically check with clients for changes in their requests. Issue reminders or send queries during times that sessions are most subject to modifications (breaks, holidays, etc.). C. Process broadcast requests 1. There is no single tool utilized by the Program Coordinator to schedule interactive video sessions. It is a mixture of tools, technology, and manual processing. A program coordinator is often required to duplicate all or portions of a request; thus, attention to detail is extremely important. 2. Provide all required information to network scheduling staffs. (Do not assume that a previous request is on file and that the information can be readily retrieved.) 3. Forward confirmations to participants as necessary. 4. Provide additional information (specific room requests, participant names/numbers, billing information, videotaping privileges, abstracts, program descriptions, biographies, etc.) to the receive site coordinators. 5. Receive site program coordinator confirms availability to the originating site within 48 hours and immediately update the originating site program coordinator if there is a change of status at the receive institution. 6. Immediately notify Videoreq and participating sites regarding time or resource modifications.
4 CHAPTER: Administration STATUS: Approved TITLE: Program Coordinator PAGE: 2 of 2 SPEC#: AUTHORS: DATE: ADM.GRP.003 Darleene M. Heath, Video Program Coordinators Approved January 1998; Revised format and minor content changes July 2001; Minor content changes June 2005, effective July D. Maintain local programming schedule 1. Check the NCREN weekly logs upon availability. Cross reference NCREN log, BVOC scheduler and local scheduling tools. Confirm their accuracy and contact NCREN scheduling staff with any discrepancy, inconsistency or question no later than 12:00 noon each Monday. 2. Periodically check the NCREN weekly logs to ensure it accurately reflects scheduled requests. 3. Cancel all sessions with Videoreq and other network providers upon notification by client. 4. Remind clients of requests that are in the hold status. Update Videoreq per policy (VSC.SCH.002) regarding holds. 5. Read and acknowledge electronic mail at least twice each day (morning and afternoon). E. Coordinate academic semester schedules 1. Notify clients of scheduling time lines; distribute related forms and information. 2. Compile and review submissions for appropriate information and campus feasibility. 3. Enter requests into appropriate scheduling database(s). 4. Review and distribute requests from other sites as necessary. 5. Diligently work with Videoreq on the development of draft schedules. Provide quick turnaround between clients and Videoreq in the negotiation of options. 6. Carefully review drafts for accuracy (i.e. start/end/exception dates, start/end times, sites, etc.). 7. Notify clients upon confirmation of requests from appropriate institutions. F. Act as site liaison for session participants 1. As an originating site, provide session materials, notes, agendas, etc. to receive site and on-site session participants. As a receive site, distribute materials to on-site session participants. G. Act as site liaison for Videoreq 1. Assist with technical trouble-shooting of problems (either directly or seeking the appropriate personnel). This may include assisting with microphone checks, site certification, etc. 2. Assist with troubleshooting of billing issues. 3. Provide statistics as requested by NCREN. H. Program Coordinators should keep colleagues abreast of their schedules and should temporarily delegate their duties during their absences. II. Membership Staff employed by the institution to fulfill the program coordinator responsibilities as required by NCREN
5 CHAPTER: Administration STATUS: In Review TITLE: Site Operator PAGE: 1 of 2 SPEC#: ADM.GRP.004 AUTHORS: NCREN Video Managers DATE: Approved February 1998; Revised format and minor content changes July 2001; Updated June 2006; approved w/the exception of II B. This document describes the duties of the site operator in relation to NCREN programming. A. Managed Services programming and events utilize NCREN video network infrastructure resources as well as the active involvement of MCNC staff members and NCREN video operations control room facilities. B. Self-Managed Services programs and activities only utilize NCREN video network infrastructure resources. Local sites are responsible for all aspects of operational support, to include troubleshooting local and or remote issues. A. Managed Services Programming (NCREN staff monitored ) 1. Site Operators should possess working knowledge of video telecommunications and a basic understanding of NCREN interactive video configurations and capabilities. 2. Remains in the work area during the entire session to ensure performance of site operator functions. This should include the monitoring of incoming and outgoing video and audio signals. 3. Ensures local site reception, switching, routing, and transmission of the video and audio signals associated with scheduled NCREN sessions. 4. The site operator will interact with appropriate network control or remote site operations staff to resolve technical and session related issues, and will contact appropriate local staff as warranted. 5. Conducts and coordinates local pre-broadcast setup, testing, and troubleshooting. 6. Serves as the primary site contact for local participants and communicator of issues to appropriate local staff. 7. Provides relevant session information to appropriate network staff either before, during or immediately after programming. 8. Performs facility orientations and/or operational standards presentations for participants as necessary to ensure consistently smooth operations and to help establish and or modify participant expectations. 9. Explain and coordinate the use of instructional media equipment as necessary. 10. Provides administrative duties as necessary to ensure smooth operations. B. Self Managed Programming (Non-NCREN Staff Monitored) NCREN video groups agree that NCREN institutions should follow the above procedures to the extent possible during Self Managed or non-ncren monitored sessions. 1. Each site and/or network involved in a self-managed session might have its own set of policies and procedures. It is the responsibility of the originating site to understand the applicable network infrastructure and or operational issues and convey them to each participating site. 2. Help calls to NCREN s Video Network Control for self managed sessions are assisted to the extent possible. Delays may occur in the troubleshooting process of self-managed sessions since the NCREN staff will not readily have all of the information necessary for quick and efficient assistance. 3. NCREN and VNS/NCIH have agreed on a troubleshooting process for sessions utilizing the NCIH H.323 service.
6 CHAPTER: Administration STATUS: In Review TITLE: Site Operator PAGE: 2 of 2 SPEC#: ADM.GRP.004 AUTHORS: NCREN Video Managers DATE: Approved February 1998; Revised format and minor content changes July 2001; Updated June 2006; approved w/the exception of II B. a) Unless otherwise specified, H.323 endpoints placed at NCREN institutions by MCNC staff have been designated as dial-in to the VNS/NCIH service. The site operator must dial in to the VNS/NCIH service during the scheduled test time. b) If NCREN s Video Network Control is not involved in the session, the site operator should call the VNS/NCIH Customer Support Center at for any technical issues. c) If NCREN s Video Network Control is involved in the session, the site operator should follow the procedures outlined in the Managed Services Programming section of this document. C. Originating Site Specific 1. Discusses directives and requests specific production techniques prior to the session to enhance the interactive value of the session. 2. Provides directives and requests specific shots when necessary to enhance the value of the session. 3. In the event of site specific technical troubles and after consultation with the program sponsor, the site operator decides if/how a previously scheduled site can join the session. 4. Provides approval for requests to record a session. Technical operations staff employed by each institution.
7 CHAPTER: Administration STATUS: Approved TITLE: Video Services and Coordination (Videoreq) PAGE: 1 of 1 SPEC#: ADM.GRP.005 AUTHORS: Darleene M. Heath DATE: Approved December 1997; Revised format and minor content changes July 2001; Reviewed June 2006 The Video Services and Coordination staff (Videoreq) reserves all network resources including channels, control rooms, audio bridges, gateways, etc. and maintains a centralized master log of all scheduled and requested sessions. A. Processes broadcast requests; schedules sessions by cross-referencing existing sessions, plus technical, facility, and channel capabilities. B. Requires constant communications and negotiation with the program coordinators. C. Maintains and disseminates weekly programming information (logs, technical information, etc.) to NCREN central staff, program coordinators, and other site representatives as necessary. D. Coordinates the development and planning of NCREN semester schedules. E. Assesses user needs and coordinates appropriate related activities (including cost estimates, scheduling, engineering assistance). F. Assists with the training of new program coordinators. Video Services staff employed by MCNC.
8 CHAPTER: Administration STATUS: In Review TITLE: Video Director PAGE: 1 of 1 SPEC#: ADM.GRP.006 AUTHORS: Video Directors DATE: Approved July 2001; Updated June 2006 The purpose of the Video Directors Group is to recommend policy and procedures for the management activities of the Institution s interactive video operations while participating in NCREN activities. In the event that the Video Directors, as a body, need to escalate an issue, such issues will be escalated to the NCREN Advisory Committee. A. Provide a single point of administrative contact, as close as possible to the operational level, for the integrated use of the NCREN interactive video facilities at their respective Institution. B. Address policy and procedure questions associated with the use of the Institution s interactive video facilities for participation in NCREN activities and formulate policy using appropriate Institution technologies for participation in NCREN activities. C. Recommend and establish, as appropriate, campus policies and procedures related to the use of the Institution s interactive video facilities for participation in NCREN activities. D. The NCREN Quality Assurance process and its related documents should be utilized as a guideline to establish the Institution s interactive video facility policies and procedures. It is the responsibility of each site s Video Director to verify that print copies [of the QA documents] in their possession are current and accessible. E. Maintain Institution coordination for effective communications regarding NCREN interactive video facilities and utilization. Establish liaisons with other Institutional committees and external working groups as appropriate to facilitate the effective and use of resources for participation in NCREN activities. Maintain Institution-wide reporting and communication to ensure optimal facility operations and utilization. F. Work with appropriate groups to plan, evaluate, and recommend action relating to new facilities/technologies development and implementation. Evaluate and recommend network operation procedures and equipment needs, upgrades and replacement items. G. Identify issues related to operations and support, and advise local video and IT staff, Institutional senior staff, NCREN, and the NCREN Advisory committee as appropriate. A. Video Director from each institution, Chair of the Video Managers Group, and an MCNC video representative(s). B. Video Director Group Chair shall serve as a member of the NCREN Quality Assurance Group and attend the NCREN Advisory Committee meeting for informational reporting purposes between the collective video groups and the Advisory Committee. C. The Chair of the Video Directors Group will be determined annually on or before July 1.
9 CHAPTER: Administration STATUS: Draft TITLE: Video Managers PAGE: 1 of 1 SPEC#: ADM.GRP.007 AUTHORS: Video Managers DATE: June 2006 The purpose of the Video Managers Group is to coordinate the day-to-day technical capabilities and operation of the campuses and NCREN video facilities. In the event that the Video Managers, as a body, need to escalate an issue, such issues will be escalated to the Video Directors Group. A. To provide a single point of operational contact for the integrated use the Institution s video facilities in participation in NCREN activities, to include the coordination of support, facilities, and session switching for campus approved sessions. B. To establish and maintain procedures for monitoring quality control, daily set-up, and regular testing needs, and for handling emergency situations. C. Implement campus policies and procedures related to the use of the campus and NCREN video facilities to provide for the smooth operation of programs originated from or received by the site through NCREN resources. D. Identify policy and budgetary, staffing and planning issues that need to be addressed by the Video Directors Group and subsequently escalated to the NCREN Advisory Committee. E. Evaluate and recommend network operation procedures and equipment needs, upgrades, and replacement. F. To provide a forum for discussion among and between engineers, operators, IT staff and other technical personnel. G. The chair of the Video Managers Group is elected by peers, serves as a liaison to the Video Directors and Program Coordinators groups, and is a member of the NCREN Quality Assurance group. A. Video Manager from each Institution, Chair of the Program Coordinators group, and MCNC video representatives. B. The Chair of the Video Managers group will be determined annually on or before July 1.