Office of Learning and Information Technology
CIO Council Video Conference
Thursday, July 18, 2013
CIOs and their Representatives
Flex Degree Program - SIS and CRM RFPs
Ed Murphy reported that UW-Extension is putting out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Student Information System (SIS) and an RFP for a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to support the new UW Flexible Option. Both RFP documents have been drafted and are being reviewed by the UW-Extension purchasing department. An evaluation committee has been selected from a variety of the UW System (UWS) institutions. The RFP evaluation criteria and a scorecard are also undergoing review.
The proposed timeline is for the RFPs to be posted on VendorNet through the month of August. The evaluation committee will meet during the first two weeks of September. The finalists will be brought in to give day and a half demonstrations in mid to late October with a goal of having contracts signed by the end of 2013.
Ty Letto is an advisor to the RFP process and has provided a template for describing how new systems should interact with the rest of the UWS infrastructure. Elena Pokot requested that the RFPs be shared with the CIO Council. John Krogman would like pricing information for the other UWS institutions that might be interested in also acquiring a CRM. Jacques du Plessis asked to be included in all communications that are happening with UW-Milwaukee.
Laura Kite said conversations regarding a second round of academic programming are taking place with UW-Stevens Point, UW-Parkside, UW-Stout and UW-Madison. Additional programming is also being discussed with UW-Milwaukee. Working groups are being formed to focus on veterans affairs and the implications for auxiliary services.
There will be a two-day operations retreat next week that will focus on people, processes and some technology for the first cohort, Flex 1. The goal is to create a seamless experience for the students whether it be through manual or technological processes.
SIS Executive Committee Update
Chip Eckardt explained that the SIS Executive Committee is a group that gets things done. It is currently working on rewriting the Central Data Request (CDR) system. The project will begin with a process for getting data into the CDR system in a user-friendly way without the need to install software on desktop computers. Feedback is being solicited from all of the UWS institutions before the project gets underway.
Some members have recently left the Executive Committee and moved to other positions with higher salary and more responsibility. Eckardt is expecting a replacement from UW-Milwaukee and also looking for someone with financial aid experience.
David Pagenkopf announced that the State of Wisconsin is embarking on a large ERP implementation that may result in PeopleSoft staff being hired away from the UWS. Meanwhile, UW-Madison has had three PeopleSoft developer positions open for five years. Therefore, UW-Madison is developing a PeopleSoft/Oracle Academy to grow their own entry-level staff. They will target people with a Computer Science background or other Enterprise Research Planning (ERP) system experience. The effort will be organized similar to police academies and include classroom training and hands-on experience.
The academy will be hosted by UW-Madison and run for five weeks, perhaps with some breaks in between. The agenda will include:
- Familiarity with the PeopleSoft environment
- PeopleTools 1 and 2
- Practicum in either labs or at remote locations
- Applications Engine and PeopleCode
- Practicum with peer mentoring support
The program will end with an evaluation test before graduation. A third party instructor will be hired to train 16 students during the October/November timeframe. Pagenkopf’s group will provide mentors. UW-Whitewater, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Milwaukee have already expressed interest in sending staff.
UW-Madison plans to hire new trainees rather than retooling existing staff. Pagenkopf has been exploring the question of whether employees who benefitted from the training investment could be expected to stay with the UWS for a certain length of time. Human Resources recommends an incentive approach in which employees going down less lucrative career paths would appreciate the benefit of moving to a new track. Marcia Henfer noted that some people like to live in particular areas of the state and may not feel inclined to relocate after the training.
Ruth Ginzberg, Brian Kishter and Warren Robards are still working with Adobe to analyze how much the UWS has spent in the past. A new offer has been received from Adobe for a suite of products (including fillable forms that can be saved) for use on all institutional computers with the option to purchase additional student licenses at a lower price. The offer includes work-at-home rights. John Krogman stressed that UW-Madison has not decided whether to go with this offer or not. The distributed IT departments would need to pay for the costs for their staff. After students graduate, they would likely need to pay to a monthly fee to retain access to the software and any work stored in the cloud.
If an institution should choose not to participate, they could buy products on a one-off basis or try to negotiate their own license. The Midwest Higher Education Compact (MHEC) has put out an RFP for “creative software” which the Adobe company or its resellers can bid on.
Kishter will do further analysis of Adobe’s proposal. By the next CIO Council Meeting, the UWS institutions need to determine whether they are willing to participate.
David Miller apologized for the surprise the CIO Council members received when UW System Administration announced that it had decided to not fight the networking bid protests. The procurement decisions were sound and it was the decision of an executive leadership team to strategically go in another direction rather than continuing with the procurement.
Bruce Maas explained that the recent developments are not a negative reflection on WiscNet or the DoIT staff. Wisconsin is recognized has having one of the best-run networks in the country. David Miller concurred with Maas’s assessment. John Krogman will be chairing a Tiger Team that will lead efforts to surface all of the networking issues and needs for each UWS institution. The team has already identified major assumptions that need clarification from the sponsors. Wisconsin will ultimately wind up with three networks: BadgerNet, the new UWS Network and WiscNet’s reconstituted network. The disaggregation will result in increased costs. An orderly implementation timeline will be developed by October 1. Bills for WiscNet services during the 12-18 month transition will be forthcoming.
Whitelisting IPs of UW Email Servers or Add Email Domains to SafeSender Lists
Chip Eckardt reported that UW-Eau Claire has added a number of campuses to their SafeSender lists so that inter-campus programs are not impacted by spam blocking if an account is compromised. So far their experience has been positive even if a small amount of additional spam gets through. There does not appear to be much in the way of new spam, just the same the spam that is already circulating.
Werner Gade reported that the UW-Colleges have not seen any negative impact since they whitelisted UW-Madison. Chris Liechty inquired how often blacklisting has occurred in the past. Eckardt explained that when someone complains it is almost pro forma to immediately remove the blacklist, from the other institution.
Elena Pokot reported that since UW-Whitewater has been occasionally blocked by Google and other sites they have put technology in place to prevent spam email from getting off the campus. Often server addresses change during maintenance, so it is a challenge to keep the appropriate machines whitelisted.
There will be an email follow-up to this conversation.
Draft 2013-14 CIO Council Meeting Schedule
A new meeting schedule for 2013-14 was distributed.
VMware Software Purchases and Support
Ruth Ginzberg reported that she has been in contact with Stephen Reed who distributed a survey last night inquiring whether other campuses would be interested in using an enterprise license agreement for VMWare. Ginzberg would appreciate being copied on the replies. Meanwhile, there is a MHEC VMware contract under re-negotiation. John Krogman reported that UW-Madison intends to purchase from VMWare resellers. Ginzberg explained it is also possible to purchase off of the State of Wisconsin software reseller contracts although the pricing may not be attractive. Large orders can always be bid for competitive quotes.
Meeting dates, Directory of UW CIOs, Meeting Summaries: