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ITPG Meeting Notes: 2011-5-19

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Attendees (24):

John Ajao, Kip Bates, Ted Cabeen, Michael Colee, Bill Doering, Doug Drury, Ann Dundon, Kirk Grier, Karl Heins, Richard Kip, Bill Koseluk, Dan Lloyd, Elise Meyer, Bruce Miller, Alan Moses, Tom Putnam, Andy Satomi, Kevin Schmidt, Chris Sneathen, Jamie Sonsini, Heidi Straub, Colin Thompson, Paul Weakliem, Jim Woods

Administrative Items

1. The Meeting Notes from the 4/21/2011 meeting were approved.

2. ITPG Annual Report Review and Discussion

Half of the subcommittee reports have been received for inclusion in this report.  What should be included in this year's report, as well as what should we do next year? 

One difference in IT governance this year is that some of our most successful committees were a mix of both technical and functional staff., with the functional staff being those one level below the ITB/executive level, e.g., iTOE & ITIF.

it.ucsb.edu is working very well, and we have achieved a good level of communications with IT staff.  Some committees don't use it as often as perhaps they should. 

Where should our focus be shifted to next?  Should we push our top 3 projects more next year?

The WSG only has 2 ITPG members, and they bring ITPG focus to web functional people.  The WSG gets a lot done.  The Campus Calendaring Group is going to have a recommendation that will first be brought to the ITPG then on to the ITB.  Including functional people in that group is on their list of things to be done.

MSOs don't appear to understand IT projects or IT things.  The highlights that are shared at ITPG could be distributed further.  Perhaps we could even make it bi-directional, maybe with a public forum where we can see input from others.  Or we could include distribution to D-List or ABOG.  There is great information in the meeting notes.  This group is best source for sharing IT information.  Perhaps we could boil the meeting notes down. (NB: Please see the draft "Keyboard Shortcuts" as a possible example of this.)

Can we find ways to improve sharing common solutions around campus?  That is one value of annual report - to talk about what we've done and what we should be doing.

Can we build inventory or profile of what departments are doing for technology platforms?

The big strength of this group are the subcommittees.  We get people who are interested in driving a project and produce report.  e.g., calendaring, BEG wiring standards.  The ITPG Communications group should drive the newsletter.  Should there be an ITPG communcations position?  Marketing?  We should keep consistent with the subcommittee model, because it works.

What sort of formal or informal communications do ITPG members have within their department?  Perhaps we could do a Bring Your Boss to ITPG meeting.  The PPS project is a technical project, but they want to solve an HR problem.  They want functional result.  There isn't broad interest in IT, there is broad interest in the effect of IT.  We have been unable to articulate what we're doing, at the same time that IT funding has decreased on campus. It is beneficial to have IT people at functional committees.  E.g., there are no IT people in the other OE groups.  Can we ask ITB to include us in more subcommittees?  EISPG and ATPG do have both, but they are primarily information sharing committees.

How do we find common solutions?  With ITOE how do we move forward on projects that are discovered?  This needs to be part of the communication process.

The relationship between IT and leadership and functional staff was also discussed at the March ITLC meeting.  A model proposed with respect to the Working Smarter Initiatives, of which the PPS Replacement Project is their first major effort, was:

Executive Steering Committee (Executive Sponsors and CIO – Ultimate decision authority)
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Functional Organization (The functional process owners)
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ERP Competency (Tactical Functional staff and IT staff)
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Program Office (Program Manager)
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Individual Projects

IT needs to be present at each layer.

Please see page 91 of the EVC's End of the Year Report for the mention of "Redesign IT Organizational & Governance Structure Evaluate clustering opportunities for IT help desk, desktop support services" during the EVC's discussion of OE Phase II.  Service Now is being used at other campuses.  LSIT evaluated the similar product Remedy.  One of these tools costs ~$28K for 50 seats.  The challenge is setting up people who can care and feed the system.  Set it up and add functions.  Another option is SAAS.  One would need to come up with staff.  You have to maintain the inventory, and as it grows, you get leverage. The incremental cost to add a function is low.  With respect to "IT help desk", the low hanging fruit is to organize how we do this service, not to buy software.  The Help Desk should be bottom up not top down.  Is ITPG at the bottom level of this?  There is no traction for this.  If that is goal, then we should each do it within our own units.  It must be customer oriented.  You need both functional & centralized support.  A Central help desk gives people a place to call if they don't know where to go.  Currently, users call one direction for phone and another for network.  Or do people send questions over the fence.  We have many to many relationships.  ECI has dual help desks, the departments have a help desk and the college has a centralized help desk.  User contacts their local help desk who relays the question to the central help desk, who relays the answer to the local help desk, who relays it to user.  And reverse.  A subcommittee has been formed for the issue of IT help desk cluster – look at clustering or surveying what's out there.

Jim is considering asking the ITB for funds for IT training.  The OIT has funded WSG training and presentations.  We should expand that because it has been a great model.  Perhaps funds could go to the CIO for presentations or scholarship for training UCCSC etc.  Voting should be limited to active members. 

Member Announcements

1. UCCSC 2011 @ UC Merced has been announced.  There is now a Call for Proposals.  Selection of proposals for UCCSC sessions will be done by voting by authenticated users.
There are no plans for virtual sessions.

Informational Items

CIO Report - Tom Putnam

We aren't planning to move our FIS to UCLA.  We're trying to put together a list of options, with the help of Gartner.  Some options: Kuali - Colorado State University may now have fully deployed it.  Another option is code translation like Student Affairs' SIS project which is converting the mainframe code to a .net, Csharp & SQL server environment.  Another option is to see whether the PPS Replacement Project winner has an FIS solution.  Or do we get more money to keep our current system under maintenance and at the current revision levels.  However, the effort to upgrade may be more costly to buy a new system.  We hope to get to decision point to in next 6 weeks.

There are other major systems going forward at the same time.  They are down to the last couple of vendors for PPS replacement system.  The results will be announced Real Soon Now.  A lot of work going on to redefine payroll.  There will be both a North and South cluster to have specialists in the system.  E.g., new hire processing   Discussions about governance – the plan is to have one system that serves all campuses and medical centers, but each campus has their own dependent systems.  There will be an elaborate system for governing it.
OE is recommending clustering.  Is clustering part of the PPS cost savings?  We spend a huge amount of time and effort doing things to PPS.  We aren't looking to save money on computing.  Clustering people who specialize in HR type input.  What % of PPS preparers would be reduced.  Using those numbers as part of TCO.  Trying to set where that bar should be.

OIPP (Online Instructional Pilot Project): There is currently discussion on where to put these courses, since a number are to be cross campus.  There is an RFP for yet another LMS.  How to get IdM into this new system?  This is funded by a loan not by donors.  There are academic senate committees discussing this.  Project assurances don't match funding.  $3M for pilot platform assumes exceptance.

CISO Report - Karl Heins

Subcommittee Reports

Backbone Engineering Group (BEG) - Elise Meyer for Glenn Schiferl

They have not met since our last meeting, but we would like to have a meeting soon to discuss the topics of Wiring Standards Progress, unet - a proposed OIT utility network to provide transport to FM building services such as security cameras, door access, and fire alarms; Continuing the VoIP discussion; progress on a design for the fiber plant upgrade.

Security Working Group (SEC-WG) – Kevin Schmidt/Karl Heins

At their last meeting they discussed:

  • Whole disk encryption targeted for laptops with PII. The backend processes have been in development, but progress will slow since Andrew Bowers is leaving.
  • The way that we manage DNS will be changing to improve our security posture.  There will be a note sent out inquiring about use of private IP space.
  • VPN issues - departmental VPNs need to provide better monitoring and awareness of use.  There are 2 departments that are interested in trying out an OIT service to allow campus VPN users to gain access to a department VLAN.
  • It should become a SEC-WG recommendation that one should block RDP access unless coming through a VPN.

Their next meeting is June 2nd, Broida 3302.

Web Standards and Content Working Group (WSG) - Ann Dundon

They are busy with training activities. Their Social Media Workshop was attended by 90 people from 50 departments, and there were 27 people on the waiting list. The workshop provided training with respect to policies about Social Media, Social Media best practices, and guidelines for assessing whether Social Media is appropriate for a department to be using.  There were also presentations by departments that are using Social Media tools today. Their Credit Card Processing & PCI compliance Workshop was attended by 45 people from 36 departments. It provided precise information about what one needs to do to become a merchant on campus. They will be having two sessions on Cascading Style Sheets, an Introdution on 5/24 and Intermediate on 6/9.  These will be hands on in the computer labs. They fill up very quickly.  They assume no knowledge of CSS.

An activity of the UC electronic accessibility leadership team had 5 people going to a session at UCSD and today is their second one in Oakland. There is an EALT project to scan 7 major websites on each campus to look for conformance to ADA standards. Departments will have 2 months to make improvements, then report results will go to ITLC.  The websites to be scanned have already been selected and they include the main website, HR, major division websites, and Student Affairs.  Mark Grosch has access to the scanning tools so people may request that their site be scanned.

ITPG Communications - Ann Dundon

IT Training: We developed a survey for both IT managers and ITPG members.  We hope to learn what is the status of IT training on campus and to get feedback for improvements.  The survey should go out by the end of the month.

We've learned that UC Davis makes their training available through their learning center, and that other campuses can subscribe to other campuses training courses through the learning center.  Davis' training is from Skillsoft, and we anticipate licensing issues.  Alternatively, we could select a topic, have a group of people that are interested and then have a roundtable discussion about it.

Identity Management Subcommittee (IdM) - Matthew Dunham/Karl Heins

Didn't meet this month.

Campus Calendaring Workgroup - Jamie Sonsini

They have not been meeting as committee, but rather the four evaluation groups have been working on their product evaluations, which should be a direct response to their criteria.  Evaluation responses are due before next Wednesday.  They've scheduled a series of meetings to gather responses and produce final report (July).  They plan to correspond and communicate with functional group.  John Forrest from Berkeley (ex-UCSB) will let them know what's going on with Bedework.  UCB's Operational Excellence Initiative has gotten involved and so they are now looking at Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365.

Parallel but further behind our effort is the system-wide collaboration effort.  We have elected to proceed with what we're doing.  The expectation is that we will be done with our analysis before ITLC.  So then we will have the choice moving forward on our own, or waiting to see what ITLC comes up with.  We have the time pressures of the End Of Live for Oracle Calendar.  However departments would be wary of implementing one email solution this year and then another next year.  Will the system-wide process come to a conclusion?  The worst case scenario is that we go one way and system-wide goes another.  If compatibililty is their requirement then our choice will influence their choice.  This is a campus decision rather than an IT decision.  Leading is not a bad thing.  If our selection is contrary to what is already implemented on campus, would people change?  Their is a strong directive from UCOP, i.e., if people want to implement software then we should be implementing common software, and if you want to do something different, then you need to get an exemption for the president.  Is an email system big enough to warrant this?  If ITLC bogs down we should do our own, if ITLC moves quickly, then?  This is a bottom-up committee, and the ITLC is top-down.  Our work could inform the ITLC committee.  The defacto situation is that MSFT Exchange is spread around the system.  If we get prices similar to what the ITLC RFI produced, it would be hard not to go the same way.  Irvine has a similar process going with a similar timeline too.  The plan is when we get to some point in the process (while crafting final report) involve functional and financial people.  Subcommittee has representation of most of the campus, but they need to bring in the functional people.  This isn't an evaluation based on features, but rather based on integration and costs.  Is it opt-in, or purchased for everyone? Another issue will be support structure.

Liaison Reports

Information Technology Board (ITB) – Jim Woods

Enterprise Information Systems Planning Group (EISPG)

Academic Technology Planning Group (ATPG) - Alan Moses

Research CyberInfrastructure - Arlene Allen

IT Infrastructure Committee - Tom Putnam

The committee is sending a recommendation forward to the ITB tomorrow to convert from the existing monthly Data Network Surcharge on telephone lines and annual IP Address Recharge  to an FTE-based to start with this coming Fiscal Year.  What are we going to do about research?  Their share will be funded by central account paid for by indirect overhead return.  What is the scope?  It includes the same things that we have been paying for today.  It does not include IdM.  The goal for the first year is to keep it revenue neutral.  Individual departments will see fluctuations.

If this recommendation is approved by the ITB, then we'll submit rate & recharge package that includes extensive campus consultation. (NB: There is now a TIF Project site with more information available.)

Project Reports - a brief report or location where projects will be located

Financial Information System (FiS) - Doug Drury

Student Information System (SiS) - Lubo Bojilov

Collaborate - Alan Moses

Discussion Items

1. IT Vendor Fair

Please let Joe know your appreciation for this event.  And maybe even volunteer to help next year.  Also thanks to LSIT to rent the room.