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Technology Services: From the CIO

May, 2018 CIO Update »

Welcome to Summer (and they say we’ll have some fun when it stops raining)! For this month’s entry, please see a preliminary view of the results of the Division of Administration’s annual Community Satisfaction Survey.  We also have the next installment of organizational overviews featuring our Application Services group.

2018 Community Satisfaction Survey Results:

We have received the results back from the  annual Community Satisfaction Survey.  Conducted by the VCU Survey and Evaluation Research Laboratory (SERL), the survey was sent to a set of of randomly selected students, faculty, and staff on both the academic and medical campuses of VCU.  There were 1042 responses (54%, students and 46% faculty and staff) with a relatively equal distribution across both campuses (52% from the MCV Campus and 48% from the Monroe Park Campus).

I am pleased to report that respondents consistently rated their experiences with Technology Services more positively than last year.  85.6% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with Technology Services Services (in 2017 that number was 85.8%), and the percentage of responses who were “very satisfied” rose from 48% to 52%.  Ratings also improved in all of the areas in which respondents were asked to rate TS.   [View Image]





When looking at more detail within the survey responses, some common themes emerge which validate where we are directing improvement efforts.  Multiple respondents cited difficulties with:  finding specific support or technical information on the TS web pages; the interface and ease of use of our ticketing system; and getting caught between Health Systems and VCU IT policies and processes.  We have already begun efforts to improve the TS web site; we have an RFP out for a new IT Service Management System; and we are collaborating with the VCU Health Systems IT and School of Medicine IT to work through making access to needed resources more seamless for those who work in both clinical and teaching/research capacities.

In looking at the results of this survey, along with the results of the surveys we receive back when we close a support ticket, it is clear that while we do have improvements to make, we are making excellent customer service a priority.

Application Services – Organizational Overview

Application Services is responsible for the university’s web hosting systems, the web content management system, the VCU mobile application, the university myVCU portal, the Google apps and myMail email systems, the AIM and QuikFM facilities management systems, the ImageNow document management system, the DocuSign electronic signature system, the Ivanti endpoint management and security system and the Service Desk service management system.   

Leading this office is Scott Davis, Director for Application Services. Jim Yucha serves as the Deputy Director for this office. This office consist of five integrated areas that support VCU’s core application needs.

  • Business Application Services: Led by Jason Fortney, this team focuses on integrating technical solutions with business processes, the BAS team provides strategic planning, technical leadership, development, support, and training for a variety of departmental and enterprise applications.  The team supports and implements COTS solutions, hybrid/customized integrations of commercially-available software, and bespoke, in-house developed applications to address unique business requirements where commercial software fails to meet university needs.  The team works closely with the Office of Facilities Management, and oversees the Ivanti Service Desk and Endpoint Management systems, supporting over 57,000 customers and 8,500 managed devices.
  • Campus Services IT: Led by James Daniels, the team provides technical leadership and guidance in support of various third-party applications for university Business Services, especially Dining Services and the Parking and Transportation Office.
  • Collaboration Services: Led by Connie Whetstine, this team provides technical leadership and guidance in support of the university email systems.  This includes the Maestro broadcast email communications system used to send VCU TelegRAM, listserv and Google groups. The team manages the many components of Google apps including Drive, Team Drive, Calendar, Meet, SmartSheets, Slides and Google Plus.
  • Records and Document Management Services: This group led by Barry Lanneau oversees and administers the university’s records management program.  The team also provides technical leadership and guidance for document management services including DocuSign and ImageNow.
  • Web Services: The team led by Jim Yucha provides technical leadership, governance, and system management for the VCU web.  Web Services supports a variety of strategic, key operational and supporting applications. In total, Web Services hosts over 800 web sites and supports more than 90 custom-built and vendor supported applications.  The central applications include the myVCU portal, T4 Web Content Management System, VCU Search, the Central Authentication System (CAS) and federated authentication system (Shibboleth), VCU Mobile, blogs, wiki, ArcGIS and Siteimprove.  Additionally, Web Services supports many departmental applications such as the Event Management System (EMS), Sunapsis, and Explorance Blue. [View Image]

Thanks to all for a great academic year!



April, 2018 CIO Update »

I think it might actually be Spring now!  For this month's entry, please see some news about continuous improvements to Blackboard, an overview of phishing and how we combat it at VCU, as well as a look at how our Information Security Office is organized. Blackboard Upgrade Preparations are well underway for upgrading the VCU Blackboard System, w . . .

March, 2018 CIO Update »

For this month's update, I would like to remind everyone of a key service we can use to help us better understand and manage the ever-changing technology landscape.  I also want to highlight an initiative on which we're collaborating with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.  Finally, I will continue to provide more detail on . . .

February, 2018 CIO Update »

Happy Almost Spring! For this month's entry, I would like to share updates on two services that are critical to how we access online resources at VCU.  I would also like to continue providing more insight into the operational areas of VCU Technology Services with an overview of the University Computer Center. eID Self-service Password Reset Update . . .

January, 2018 CIO Update »

Happy New Year!  For this month's update, I'd like to share some information from our Information Security Office regarding some new vulnerabilities that have created some challenges.  I would also like to introduce a new feature, in which over the coming months, I will have each area of Technology Services provide an overview of its function and stru . . .

December, 2017 CIO Update »

As we begin to wind down 2017 and prepare for 2018, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone on the Technology Services team for their hard work, dedication, and professionalism.  We have accomplished much this year and continue to be a critical part of supporting key initiatives at VCU. I also thank my colleagues in other VCU IT organiza . . .

November, 2017 CIO Update »

As the holidays approach, along with the possibility of some actual cold weather, I want to share additional information about VCU Technology Services projects and initiatives that we will be working on in December and well into 2018. Make It Amazing Customer Service (in our case Make IT Amazing): As previously announced, VCU's Division of Adminis . . .

October, 2017 CIO Update »

Unfortunately the Cubs are not in the World Series right now, so this Fall is not quite as good as last year for me.  However, the cooler weather and autumn colors are a welcome change.  As we more fully transition into Fall and start heading toward the holidays, I thought I would highlight some changes to two of our major services: TerminalFour's . . .

September, 2017 CIO Update »

With the school year in full swing and Fall officially arriving, I thought I would highlight several new initiatives that help to ensure that all of the services we offer can be easily accessed and utilized and that our user community can access and handle VCU data easily but also safely. The Learning Systems Academy The Learning Systems Academy w . . .

August, 2017 CIO Update »

Welcome to the new academic year!  After all of our summer preparation, classes have begun and VCU is once again bustling with new and returning students "making it real."  This month I'd like to highlight a couple of improvements we've made as well as provide a reminder: TS Training Rooms Refresh This summer, the Labs and Classrooms Computing . . .

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