IT Business Services
Department Plan 2009-2014
The Business Services Department of Information Technology is organized into five major areas: 1) Accounting Services, 2) Telecommunications Services, 3) Communications and IT Web Presence, 4) IT Sales & Maintenance, and 5) Data Center Operations.
The mission of the Business Services Department is to provide excellent service for IT as well as the other campus constituency groups that we support.
- Exceed Customers’ Expectations
- We exist for our customers
- Don’t aim for meeting their expectations – Exceed them
- Treat customers as if they could find a different provider
- A Culture of Excellence
- Okay is not good enough – excellence is the goal
- Understand the reasoning behind operational processes and modify as appropriate
- Metrics are key to understanding progress
- Celebrate successes
- Communication is Critical
- Listen to gain understanding
- Set expectations and communicate status
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
- Take Action
- Find ways to “Get Stuff Done”
- Follow up and follow through
- Together Everyone Achieves More
- Partner with others; leverage strengths to maximize performance
The Accounting Services Team (AST) of the Business Services Department primarily provides centralized accounting and HR support to other Departments within the Division of Information Technology. Accounting support includes support for accounting, purchasing, accounts payable, budgeting, and reporting. HR Support includes hiring/termination paperwork, payroll and other employee-related functions.
The AST consists of 3 full-time staff – a Business Manager Executive and two accounting associates. The Accounting Services Team works closely with central university accounting staff to ensure that Information Technology’s PISTOL and other official financial reports and information are accurate. In addition, AST provides accounting and business operations support for IT Sales & Maintenance, as well as the Telecommunications areas.
IT Accounting processes and procedures augment PISTOL reports and provides additional accrual-based accounting and financial reporting.
Action Item 1: Design and implement a Financial Management/Contractual/Obligation Database that will provide improved financial reporting, as well as create the ability to more accurately track contractual and other obligatory commitments.
Action Item 2: Provide additional accounting and business operations support to the areas of Telecommunications and IT Sales & Maintenance.
- PC Sales & Maintenance
- Inventory control
- Commission revenue tracking
- Accrual based accounting (Financial reporting, A/P & A/R)
- Implement a process to convert Telecommunications operations into a standard Best Business Practice model including inventory control and accrual-based accounting functions.
The 3 full-time and 3 part-time staff of the Telecommunications Support Team (TST) of the Business Services Department are organized to provide help desk and billing support for telecommunications activities.
Telecommunications Help Desk Services:
The Telecommunications Help Desk provides installation and troubleshooting support for network data connectivity, cellular, and telephone services, including Voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephony. Working closely with IT Telecommunication and Systems Services (TSS) staff, TST provides customer service to campus departments, faculty, staff, and students and schedules Technical staff when repairs and maintenance are necessary.
Action Item 3: Modify the existing Help Desk structure and activities:
- Create lists of supported items
- Refine call logging procedures
- Implement service level expectations and documentation guidelines
Action Item 4: Continue to implement Help Desk Best practices. For example, develop reporting metrics associated with the efficiency of the Help Desk Call Center operation utilizing industry-standard measurements such as ‘Calls Received’ & ‘Abandoned Calls’, and report these quarterly in the Business Services Department Business Review.
Currently, UW faculty, staff, and departments can purchase cellular services at discounted rates from Verizon Wireless (VzW), based on the State of Wyoming rates. There is no discounted service plan available for students. Recent competition in cellular services has resulted in increased coverage areas and possibilities for new partnerships. A number of universities have developed unique relationships with cellular companies for services that have enhanced the campus learning experience, reduced costs, and increased revenues.
Action Item 5: Identify further opportunities to leverage mobile technology to enhance the overall campus experience for Students, Faculty and Staff.
During the Fall of 2004, Blackberry services were offered on a limited basis to select faculty and staff using the Blackberry redirector service. The redirector service offered limited connectivity to Microsoft Exchange services as compared to using the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) to connect to Exchange. BES connectivity allows for real-time access of all exchange services, including email (and attachments) and calendar, as well as Internet connectivity. The University purchased/implemented a BES in April 2005, allowing users to manage/utilize their MS services remotely. The University allows users to leverage the University Exchange Services.
Action Item 6: Investigate and implement new Blackberry services/devices to ensure that the University and the employees have access to the most up-to-date cellular/PDA technology available on the market.
Telecommunication Billing Services:
The Telecommunications Billing staff provides billing support for all IT services, including telephone, cellular, data storage, server support, etc. IT relies on revenue generating activities to supplement state appropriations for providing IT services to the campus community. Pinnacle Axis is our current telecommunications billing software. With the changing telecommunication environment and implementation of new technologies, such as VoIP telephony, it is imperative to continually review existing systems and assess their ability to meet the demands of these new environments.
Action Item 7: Review the current phone system-related rate structure and make appropriate changes.
Action Item 8: Audit the University’s Telecommunications Billing process to insure that all items are accurately and completely invoiced. In addition, ensure the clients’ needs are being met and make adjustments as appropriate. Success will be determined based on feedback from clients.
Communication is crucial to understanding customer needs and providing high-quality customer service. One full-time staff provides design and administration of the IT Web site and assists IT departments with creating documents and publications, including the IT Newsletter, for communicating IT products and services.
Action Item #9: Evaluate the IT Web presence; identify and implement appropriate changes in order to facilitate improved appearance, navigation and better meet the needs of our clients. Improvement will be measured based on feedback from clients.
The IT Sales & Maintenance Unit has certified knowledgeable technicians who provide quality repair and sales consultation services in the shortest time possible to all campus locations on supported machines. Our overall goal is to exceed the expectations of our clients. We will proceed with the following:
Action Item# 10: Implement an effective IT Store to meet the needs of the campus community. Success will be measured based on feedback from clients.
Action Item 11: Evaluate hardware service offerings to the campus community and identify opportunities for expansion.
Action Item 12: Increase communication and marketing of provided services to campus.
Action Item 13: Coordinate with the IT Academic Support Unit to successfully implement the Service Center in the new IT Center as it pertains to IT Computer Maintenance.
Data Center Operations is responsible for the reliable day to day operations of the following Data Centers:
- University of Wyoming’s centralized Data Center
- Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) Data Center
The Data Center staff’s primary activities include monitoring the various environmental and mechanical systems as well as proactive and reactive problem resolution to ensure the infrastructure for key University systems remains viable.
The new Information Technology Center has, at its core, a new Data Center that has been designed to address the space and infrastructure shortcomings of the current Ivinson Building machine room and to address future needs. The new Data Center has been designed to accommodate additional electrical, cooling and emergency power demands as part of the initial plan and construction. Occupancy of the new facility should begin at the end of 2008. The machine room is designed around the concept of a “Tier 2” datacenter as defined by the Uptime Institute.
The new IT Data Center was designed to house our current mix of administrative and academic computer systems and provide the option to house additional systems that are now located in other parts of campus.
Action Item 14: Prepare the New IT Data Center to function as an effective Tier II Data Center in order to meet the needs of the Campus Community.
- Play a key role in the move of existing computer systems to the new Information Technology Center.
- Plan and execute policies, procedures and guidelines for the new datacenter.
- Implement tools and facilities to automate and monitor systems and computer operations remotely in order to improve operational efficiency as well as the timeliness of response to issues.
Action Item 15: Enhance WTBC Data Center Infrastructure
- Enhance WTBC Building Automation System (BAS)
- Assist with UW Physical Plant’s upgrade of the existing BAS system
- Ensure that data points are integrated and available to extended architecture systems that support operations.
- Install and integrate sensors with data collection systems
- Provide trend analysis to appropriate parties.
- Enhance WTBC Network Monitoring
- Integrate WTBC network monitoring systems more closely with WTBC client and ISP endpoints for a comprehensive view of UW managed network health.
- Create more detailed views of WTBC network traffic.
- Expand network monitoring systems and capture data on client and ISP edge network availability.
- Provide trend analysis to appropriate parties.
- Enhance redundancy and efficiency of data center operations
- Assist with UW Physical Plant’s upgrade of the WTBC’s Cooling and Electrical systems.
- Install a second water chiller.
- Modify overhead ductwork.
- Install a maintenance bypass for data center ATS.