Weekly update 2006-05-05

This week: Facilities systems, Vermont State CIO visit, Hyperion demonstration, Sunguard Banner review, CIT space tour, VACC Director search

I will try to catch up with weeks I’ve missed, but so I don’t get further behind, here’s what I was doing last week.
I spent some time, in several meetings during the week, understanding how we manage and support FAMIS, Resource 25, and Kronos. These are really enterprise systems, and it’s likely we’ll assume responsibility for the infrastructure aspects of supporting those systems in the future. And as equipment inventory is definitely on our agenda, the ability of R25 to maintain the inventory of equipment in classrooms and labs would make it the appropriate place to record that information.
On Tuesday, I met with the Vermont State CIO, Tom Murray. He’s relatively new in his job, too. And in the state administration, about 80% of the IT support staff are funded by and located in the business functional areas. And the state’s computer room is outdated and inadequate. So we had a good deal to talk about. We’ll continue to explore ways to work together on issues of mutual interest, such as state networking and system backup sites.
Several of us (reps from Controller, etc) also met with representatives of Hyperion, the financial analysis and reporting package UVM uses. The complete package is quite extensive, but we were particularly struck by the potential of the Essbase system, that integrates data from a variety of sources into a single data warehouse-like environment. We have little expertise in that system at present. One idea I’m exploring is the formation of an “Enterprise Information Services” team, formed with staff from CIT and key functional areas, to use Essbase to develop an integrated information system for executive decision-making. We’ll be talking about that further.
Several of us (a different several) met with Sunguard (SCT Banner) representatives to talk about UVM’s Banner implementation and the idea of a re-implementation of Banner. The goal would be to gather under one project umbrella the implementation of services we have not been able to implement over the years, such as a portal. But it would also give us the opportunity to re-examine the implementation and look for ways to streamline workflow and improve services for students and faculty. We would also take the opportunity to re-evaluate the Institutional Study services we support and perhaps improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their work. I am drafting project prospectus for this that I’ll share when it’s more complete and has been reviewed.
VP Gower has been reviewing space occupied by the various organizations that report to him, so we toured CIT’s space on Thursday. That seems to have been a very helpful review in that he quickly recognized that CIT’s space is inadequate in both quality and quantity.
Finally, I spend 1.5 days with the search committee charged with screening candidates for the new position of director of the Vermont Advanced Computing Center. That new director will be a key partner for CIT, and it’s likely that he/she will rely upon CIT for infrastructure management. So it’s helpful for me to be involved in the interview process and know something about the candidates early.

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