President's Report Masthead
June 30, 2014

Information Technology Services activities

During the past three months, Information Technology Services (ITS) completed a variety of projects to support campus initiatives while continuing to update Binghamton University’s technological infrastructure.

Project Request update

A new project request process using the TaskIt system was announced to campus in July. Since July, there have been nearly 50 submissions ranging from small to large projects and categorized as either mission critical or innovative. This summer, several mission critical projects were completed, including upgrades to various systems, as was the first Innovative project by student developer Anuja Pharse who worked on a project for the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) to build a CCE Service Listings Database. The system provides the CCE with communication metrics to quantify volunteer efforts. Upon completion of the project, Pharse presented about her work and experience with the Innovations Team to both the Technical Advisory Board and the Senior Officers Group. The team has a variety of other projects in the queue and is also interviewing new student developers for the 2014-2015 academic year.

ITS launches new website

To help improve communication to campus, Information Technology Services launched a redesigned website at the end of August, using the latest version of the OmniUpdate content management system to build the website. The redesign included a reorganization of content so it is presented in a user-friendly way. New content was also created for the site to help users quickly find information. ITS invites campus to view the new website and provide feedback.

Operations and infrastructure projects

Information Technology Services worked on several technological infrastructure upgrades including to the data disaster recovery capability for the University. ITS launched a data backup system with redundant storage installed in multiple locations across campus in June and ITS now has near real-time data retention occurring simultaneously in separate locations enabling the University to recover from a data disaster situation much more quickly, efficiently and accurately. The new, automated system (EXAGRID) replaced an aging data cartridge backup system that required daily operator intervention. The EXAGRID system requires less power, creates a smaller carbon footprint and freed up over 30 square-feet of data center floor space in the Computer Center.

ITS also upgraded the Campus ESX (virtual cluster) to the latest software revision with zero downtime to campus.

Other projects that were completed this past quarter:
    • Upgrade to the firmware in the enterprise storage arrays
    • Addition of 15 new virtual servers for the systems area
    • Upgraded seven systems from unsupported windows 2003 environments to Windows 2012 solutions
    • Rewrote several ITS policies to bring them up to date
    • Wireless upgrades
        o Nearly 200 wireless access points upgraded or newly deployed
        o Hinman and Mountainview communities, Science Library, dining halls, additional lecture halls and classrooms. Appalachian Collegiate Center expanded for New Student Programs for Orientation.
    • Center of Excellence computer science tesearch data center network installed
    • Cisco ISE wireless authentication system was upgraded and connected to Eduroam federation – moved into testing phase.
        o Allows visitors to use their institutions’ credentials on “eduroam” network on our campus
        o Allows Pods credentials to be used on “eduroam” network at other institutions

University Enterprise Software

The University Enterprise Software group continues to maintain and upgrade critical campus systems in addition to developing new, innovative technologies:
    • Created a proposal to build a better portal and was selected over the responders to the Portal RFP. Work will begin on the project this fall with a target completion date of summer 2015.
    • Completed the first innovative projects pilot project in mid-July - CCE Service Listings - Capturing Communications Metrics
    • Successfully migrated Sodexo from Blackboard (old vendor) to CardSmith
    • Created a training database for Physical Facilities
    • Updated processes for the financial aid year 2014-2015
    • Upgraded the ODS database product to version 8.4
    • Completed the Common Application annual updates
    • Upgraded T2 Flex Software and implemented the e-business product to enable campus constituents to purchase parking permits and pay tickets online
    • Implemented a registration and billing system (CampusCE) for the Center for Innovative and Continuing Education
    • Automated the late add-drop-withdrawal registration process
    • Implemented the NACELINK by Simplicity online software for the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development, replacing the eRecruiting system, that enables a student to post a résumé, search for jobs and internships, and set up interviews
    • Implemented the Studio Abroad study-abroad software package to better recruit and process study-abroad work
    • Began the implementation of the Slate Student Recruitment software to enable the University to better recruit undergraduate and graduate students. This will go live for the Graduate School in November.

Academic and Research Services and Client Support Services

This area of the ITS organization completed a number of initiatives in addition to managing the upgrades of the public computers across campus.
  • Launched new ITS website in August
    • Upgraded the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to provide better performance and a more stable environment and to allow for future growth of the system.
    • Improved the process for faculty and staff to obtain a copy of the Microsoft Office Suite for download
    • Upgraded all computers in the PODS and Info Commons to Microsoft Office 2013 Professional