Welcome to your calling as a technology specialist. As a technology specialist (TS), it is your responsibility to learn about meetinghouse technology so you can assist members and leaders as they strive to carry out the missions of the Church. You will help members use technology as you configure, test, maintain, and troubleshoot the devices in each meetinghouse.
This training program will help you understand the resources available to you, what is or could be expected of you, and how you can improve the use of technology within the Church. We hope this will help you serve in your current calling and in future endeavors.
The most basic resource available to you to perform your calling is the Meetinghouse Technology section of the Help Center (ChurchofJesusChrist.org/tools/help). The Help Center has a library of overview articles that will instruct and assist you in your calling. The site’s structure is consistent and easy to navigate, and the articles are simple and based on tasks that you may need to perform. There are four main resources to help you perform your calling:
The following “use cases” are instructive for recognizing issues that may come up and considering various solutions. Note that for any given issue, there are always resources to turn to.
In preparation for stake conference, you find that you need to limit wireless access in the meetinghouse to make sure there is plenty of internet bandwidth available for the streaming broadcast. Since you have never done this before, you head to the Meetinghouse Technology section of the Help Center to find some information to help.
Once in the Help Center, under the section for Meetinghouse Technology you find the link for stake conference. This sends you to the overview article, which lists a description and the related tasks for setting up the event. Looking through the tasks, you find one called “Disabling Wireless Access” and follow the link. This brings you to a how-to article that simply explains the steps for disabling the Wi-Fi. By following the steps, you are able to limit the wireless signal.
To verify that the wireless signal has been turned off and that the wired connections are still strong, you decide to run a speed test. To find instructions on running a speed test, you go to the “Networking Overview” article under Meetinghouse Technology on the Help Center. There you find the link titled “Internet Speed Tests.” This link sends you to the how-to article about testing the network speed. You follow these steps and verify that the wireless network has successfully been deactivated and that the wired network is strong and ready for broadcast.
Ward clerks contact you and tell you that they have not been able to access the internet for two weeks. They ask you to look at the firewall’s status.
Since the firewall was installed before you were called as a technology specialist, you head to ChurchofJesusChrist.org/tools/help/ to learn more about it. Once on the home page, you click Meetinghouse Technology on the side menu. From there you find the article titled “Firewall Overview” and read about the device.
While reading about the firewall, you learn that access and information can be found in Church Network Manager (CNM). You return to the network landing page, find the article titled “CNM Overview,” and learn how to access the device for the building.
After logging in to cnm.ChurchofJesusChrist.org, you look up the firewall for the building in question and notice that it shows as offline. When you visit the building and look at the physical firewall, you see that all the status lights are off. However, after checking the firewall cabling, you conclude that it is still receiving power. You give GSD a call to see if they can help you, but they determine the firewall has malfunctioned and will need to be replaced.
To find a replacement firewall, you contact the local FMG office and request a new device. They put in an order for a new firewall and collect the old one for disposal. Once the new firewall is shipped and installed, you verify on CNM that it has been activated and is working properly. You review the article and follow the steps to confirm that everything is installed properly.
During the Sunday session of stake conference, you receive a call from one of your assistants or technology specialists who is located in a different building. They report that the virtual broadcast at their location has gone out. They say that the internet is working fine at their meetinghouse and it is an issue with the originating site where you are. To verify this, you try to run a speed test on a clerk computer and see that you are indeed disconnected from the internet.
Since you have already read all the information about stake conference on the Meetinghouse Technology section of the Help Center, you have all the backups in place and have no need to worry. You quickly notify your assistant or other technology specialist and have them turn the volume up on the cell phone audio backups. Now that the receiving sites are playing the audio through the sound system, the meeting can carry on until you find an internet fix. Once you confirm that the receiving locations are getting audio, you move to the networking closet to assess the internet problem.
Since the internet is not working in the meetinghouse, you have no way of accessing CNM and checking the status of the firewall. Luckily, you remembered to save GSD’s number in your phone, and you give them a call. Once they get the meetinghouse information, they verify that the firewall is offline. They walk you through safely restarting the firewall to reconnect it. Once you have reset the firewall, you have internet access again. You call your assistant or other technology specialist and have them switch back to the normal virtual broadcast stream and turn down the volume on the cell phone backup for the remainder of the meeting.
These three case scenarios are examples of problems that you may come across as a technology specialist. There are several resources available to you that will assist you in the challenges you may come across in your calling.
Area Information and Communication Services (Area ICS)
Church employees outside the US and Canada who provide technical support to the Church workforce in their respective areas.
Facilities Management Group (FMG)
A group of Church and contract employees, led by a facilities manager (FM), that manages multiple meetinghouses, usually spread across many stakes. The FMG works primarily with stake presidents and physical facilities representatives (PFRs) to maintain Church buildings and properties.
Global Services Department (GSD)
An IT support group available to assist technology specialists with meetinghouse technology issues that they cannot solve on their own and that are not the responsibility of the FMG.
Information and Communication Services Department (ICS)
A Church department charged with providing technology services for the Church worldwide.
Internet Service Provider (ISP)
A local company that provides access to the internet.
Any computer purchased with Church funds for use in a meetinghouse, installed under the direction of the stake presidency, and managed in compliance with Church standards. Meetinghouse computers include clerk computers and others used for gospel-related purposes.
Meetinghouse Facilities Department (MFD)
A Church department charged with providing and maintaining Church facilities worldwide.
Meetinghouse Technology Coordination Team
A team of ICS employees charged with coordinating communications, training, and policy related to meetinghouse technology.
Stake Building Representative (SBR)
A high council member assigned to coordinate building needs with the FM and the technology specialist.
Technology Specialist (TS)
A Church member called by local leaders to provide technology support for meetinghouse products, leaders, instructors, members at meetinghouses, and stake family history centers.