5 great software tools for Fall 2018

by Elizabeth Jenike, IT Services

As we gear up for the semester to start, now is a great time to brush off your knowledge about the useful free and discounted software available to faculty and staff at Miami.

Visit the software catalog to download all of these handy tools and more:

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office 2016 logo

Thanks to an agreement with Microsoft, the most recent version of Microsoft Office is available for free for all faculty, staff, and students. You can put it on up to 5 devices each of phone, tablet, and computer versions, and it’s available for both Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS operating systems.

Go to to download your copy. All you have to do is put in your Miami email address and password, and the system will recognize you as affiliated with Miami.

Microsoft Windows

In the same vein, faculty and staff can get a discounted copy of Microsoft Windows if they so choose. (Note: This is free for students.) This is the Windows Education version.


The AppPortal is a helpful tool that can be used to stream software directly to your device without downloading it to your hard drive. Some use it to access programs that wouldn’t normally run on their current operating system. For instance, there is not a version of Microsoft Access available for Mac OS. However, if you run Microsoft Access through the AppPortal, you’ll be able to use the program on your Mac.

The AppPortal provides access to MInE, Kronos, and Banner applications, as well, on the AdminVPN. For more information about how to access AppPortal, please visit the Knowledge Base.

Cisco AnyConnect VPN

You know it, you love it: The virtual private network provided by Miami is a secure way to connect to Miami resources when you’re away from campus. If you teach study abroad classes during Winter Term, or if you travel to a conference, connect to the VPN to access Miami tools like MInE, Banner, or Cascade. For some applications, you may need the AdminVPN.

For more information about VPN and AdminVPN, check out the Knowledge Base.


Read&Write is a powerful tool that is used for translating documents from text to speech. It does so much more than just that, however. It is an all-around useful program that makes documents, files, and web pages more accessible by providing the ability to spell check, define, or pronounce keywords, highlight important sections of whatever you’re reading, and translate from other languages into English.

Read&Write Logo thumbnail

Earlier this year, we took a deeper dive into Read&Write. In talking to Autumn Meade, the accessible technology coordinator for Assistive Technology Services, we learned that this tool isn’t just for students with special needs—anyone can use it as a supplement to their studies or research.

Read&Write is available to all faculty, staff, and students at Miami, and we highly recommend taking a look.

Other software

We also offer programs like Matlab, LabView for Students, SAS, and Adobe Acrobat at discounted rates. To learn more about software, including information about how to request a particular software be purchased for your department, please visit the software catalog.

With these tools in your belt, you’ll be ready for the students to come back and for the fall term to begin. Here’s to a great semester!

Banner 9 Finance Update

Attention! Attention! Banner 9 Finance is waiting for you now.

September 30, 2018, will be the final date for you to use Banner 8 Finance. Beginning on October 1, you will be required to use the upgraded version of Banner Finance as all access to Banner 8 Finance will be closed down.

Have you taken training yet? If not, there are new classes being scheduled weekly through September. The sessions are an hour long and cover basic navigation in the new Banner 9 Finance system. Sessions are scheduled for Oxford, Hamilton, Middletown, and VOA so you don’t have to travel off-campus to attend training.

Banner 9 Finance training sessions

This workshop is scheduled in the TRAIN system with multiple sessions planned between now and September for all campus locations. You are encouraged to sign up for training well in advance of the October 1 conversion date so that you have time to learn the new look and feel of Banner 9 Finance and get accustomed to the navigation changes.

Workshop: Banner 9 Finance Basic Navigation

Workshop Code: BAN9FINNAV

Finance Navigation training is also available through Canvas.

We hope to see you there!