Information Technology Services activities
Information Technology Services (ITS) has been very busy this past quarter. In addition to the completion of various projects and a ramp up in customer service needs due to the end of the semester, ITS recently completed a formal security assessment as well as launched the development of an IT Strategic Plan for Binghamton University – all while welcoming new, key hires into the ITS organization.
Faster wireless service
One highly impactful project completed this past quarter was a three-phase, three-year effort to upgrade the wireless network across campus. Over 100 new switches and 300 new wireless access points were added during this final phase that was completed at the beginning of May. Students, faculty and staff now will experience a faster Wi-Fi connection and the ITS staff now has updated, easier to maintain equipment. While planning this project, each area was reviewed to best understand how space was used, allowing for optimum allocation of resources and a cost savings on the hardware. Completion of this project also prepares spaces for continued installation of IP telephones across campus. All of these upgrades are just the beginning of the work ITS provides for reliable and fast connectivity for the University community.
Hardware Hackathon in the Emerging Technology Studio
Information Technology Services and the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Partnerships hosted a Hardware Hackathon in the Emerging Technology Studio inside the Technology Hub on April 15. Eleven teams competed in the 24-hour event with a goal to “...construct a device that is able to manipulate itself or its environment in some way, able to autonomously respond to changes in its environment and receive remote input from a person.” The teams, mainly comprised of Binghamton University students, consisted of three to five individuals and were provided access to soldering irons, 3-D printers, and a hardware kit containing an Arduino and other electrical components including LEDs, switches and displays. Nine of the 11 teams completed projects for judging and were eligible for cash prizes supplied by local businesses and other campus offices. Prizes were awarded for the “Most Technical,” “Student Choice” and “Judge’s Choice.” The event was a huge success and there are plans to grow the event in the years to come.
ITS fills key roles
ITS continues to reorganize staff to serve the transforming needs of the University, recently welcoming a new director for Technology Support Services. This area within ITS includes services such as the Help Desk, Desktop Support, the ResCon program and the Emerging Technology Studio. The new director, Michael Allington, joins us from St. John Fisher University in Rochester, N.Y., where he was the director of technology support services. Allington will work to implement a new information technology service management tool and to build relationships within the Division of Research to help fulfill the evolving needs of campus researchers and the academic community.
Another important role recently filled within ITS was that of senior project manager. Duane Thelman joins us from Ascension Health, where he was a project manager with experience implementing project management practices and processes. Thelman will work to implement project management practices within ITS to help manage the work that ITS does for campus customers.
Security Assessment and IT Strategic Plan
Information Technology Services recently took steps to assess the security of the University’s systems and identify next steps in how to protect the institution’s assets. Gartner Consulting completed upwards of 60 interviews with various individuals who work with IT systems across campus and provided recommendations that our director of security operations and IT staff will work to implement. This security road map spans several years. More information surrounding specific projects and key security initiatives will be forthcoming to the campus community.
ITS, with the help of Goldstein and Associates, recently began the process of developing an Information Technology Strategic Plan for Binghamton University. This plan is being developed through interviews and discussions with various groups across campus to best understand the immediate needs surrounding technology at Binghamton University, as well as future technology needs. The consultants have engaged with campus leadership, faculty and IT users across campus to get a good feel for where we are at now and where we want to go. With the development of this plan, ITS can then identify key projects and initiatives that will support the plan. The final plan will be complete by the middle of the fall 2016 semester and more information will be shared at that time.
Other ITS projects
The following is a short list of other ITS projects that were completed this past quarter:
• Creation of an automated degree conferral process using the Degree Works software
• Development of an Open SUNY feed for distance learning courses
• Addition of escalations to Physical Facilities work orders with a survey included to solicit requestor feedback
• Finalized implementation of the Undergraduate Admissions Slate in addition to adding Nelnet to Slate to accept admissions payments
• Integration of Code of Conduct into the Password Change web application.
• Upgrade of ODS to version 8.5 and update of ODS meta data
• Installation of Infosilem scheduling software
• Door access work to convert Clearview Hall and the Commerce Road Tarco building to proximity card-capable door readers.
• Development of a parking solution through the door access software allowing Parking Services staff to control the gates on and off campus. Software permissions have locked down and limited the ability to interact with other door access devices.
• Assessment of a Data Center assessment
• Completed rewiring in the Student Wing, Old Digman Hall, the Library Tower as well as 13 telecommunication and data rooms in the Library. This work was completed by the Telecommunications team.
• Implemented a new analytics call recording system for the University Call Center
• Continued installation of VOIP phones
• Completed a pre-orientation project using the portal. This work was completed by the Emerging Technology Studio staff.
• Submitted an increase to the technology free Fee for review.
• Created the Project Management Office within ITS.
• Hosted a University Centers Chief Information Officers meeting on campus, hosting the CIOs from the University at Albany, Stony Brook University, the University at Buffalo and Binghamton University.