Office of Learning and Information Technology
University of Wisconsin CIO Council
September 18, 2008
Cisco CTS3000 Regional Telepresence Sites at Milwaukee, Madison and Bloomington
CIOs and their Representatives
To use the Cisco Meeting on Us service and the CTS3000 Telepresence System:
- To "look everybody in the eye", look at the center of the screen.
- Look toward the center of the screen when talking, even if addressing someone at the other site who appears to be on the edge of your screen.
- The direction of the sound will appear to come from the appropriate person at the other site.
- There is about a two second delay for the video to switch to the appropriate site when someone starts speaking.
- For computer presentations, the last VGA connection that is physically made is the one that is shown at all the sites.
- It may be difficult to tell when the three screens are representing different remote sites because the rooms all look alike. It is possible for a site to disable this feature such that all three screens always depict portions of the same remote site and switch from site to site to follow whomever is speaking.
Brian Remer is the new Interim CIO at UW–Parkside.
UW-River Falls is currently interviewing CIO candidates.
Campus IT plans need to be submitted well in advance of March 2009. Ideally, they should go to the Board of Regents in February.
Ed Meachen reported that the issues with sending a sizable contingent to the Alliance Conference are similar to last year. The State of Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) has concerns, and as well UW System Administration (UWSA). Ed Meachen will share with the chancellors a letter that he is writing to DOA explaining that the Alliance Conference is a user conference, not a vendor conference. He is requesting a written response from DOA. It is critical that the Human Resources System (HRS) project team attend.
John Krogman expressed concern that the UWS institutions will consequently need to spend more money on consulting engagements than they would spend on sending additional staff to the conference. Ron Kraemer emphasized that due to UW-Madison's role in supporting UWS enterprise systems, it is especially important that a number of their staff attend.
Ed Meachen and Al Christ are in the midst of visiting the UWS institutions to give updates on the developments in the HRS project over the last year. Ongoing support for the HRS project from institutional leadership is crucial given the state of the economy. The project budget will be taken to the various governance groups over the next several months.
Lorie Docken explained that the HRS project intersession that ran from June through mid-September provided a deeper understanding of current business processes, PeopleSoft capabilities and the options available. The capabilities of a basic configuration of the modules was explored using typical UWS business processes and actual data. The project team now has a basic development environment to use.
The HRS team is developing a set of business process spreadsheets for HR, benefits and payroll to do fit-gap analyses. The Decision Council and project sub-teams are looking at how to address the gaps. Estimates for the scope of the project and the effort required are being refined.
Some key decisions on the horizon include:
- budget functionality - The legacy UWS budget system includes pieces of HR functionality but doesn't include certain, needed functionalities. The UWSA budget shop is small and staff resources are not available to do an in depth analysis.
- self-service for benefits administration - The policies and practices of the State of Wisconsin don't mesh with PeopleSoft's capabilities, e.g., deductions are taken in advance of coverage and there are non-standardized enrollment windows for different benefit plans.
- decentralization of appointment processes - The decentralized nature of appointment processes, especially at UW-Madison, is challenging for a centralized HR system. David Dumke and Elena Pokot explained that the comprehensive institutions may also want to decentralize the data input for their hiring processes. Institutional HR directors may not fully understand how much work actually goes on in the departments during a hiring.
- work study students - A bolt-on to handle work study students may be necessary. The Work Study Working Group has mapped out the business processes and requirements.
- payroll interface/funding edits - Funding edits are a consequence of the decentralization efforts and the payroll interface involves the Shared Financial Systems group.
- recruiting - The team is looking at the Talent Acquisition Manager to see if it would fit into the UWS environment.
- time reporting and time collection devices - The web-based Time and Labor module will work for collecting time and attendance data in many areas, but not those where a physical time clock is required. PeopleSoft does not deliver a physical time collection option.
A Decision Council Authority Statement was presented to the Service Center Steering Committee in August. Based upon feedback, the statement was modified to state that the Decision Council has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the entire Steering Committee. All decisions will be reviewed by the Steering Committee (which usually meets immediately after every other Decision Council meeting). The Steering Committee can also determine that a proposed decision should be re-directed to the UW Service Center Executive Committee.
Project teams have a certain amount of latitude for project planning and budgeting for the immediate future. The overall direction and approach will be finalized by the end of the calendar year. The implementation and budget plan will go the Common Systems Review Group (CSRG) in early January for fiscal year 2010. After approval by the chancellors, it will become a public document.
The project team is planning another series of regional sessions in the October/November timeframe to review the basic system configurations and show people what the HRS system looks like with UWS data.
An RFP process is underway to select an implementation partner. The previous contract with Ciber only goes through fit-gap analysis.
The HRS Steering Committee is meeting twice a month. It recently completed a risk identification session. Steering Committee members will be taking ownership of detailing the risks and developing mitigation strategies.
The upcoming D2L contract will likely run for five years. The contract language is now under discussion with Legal Affairs and Procurement. It will likely include an optional subcontract for an e-portfolio module and a learning object repository. David Dumke explained that UW-Stevens Point is looking for interim e-portfolio hosting services from the D2L company and is waiting for a letter of intent that would cover three UWS institutions and a fixed number of seats. The letter would be subsumed under any forthcoming master agreement. Under the likely terms, faculty will be able to configure e-portfolio sites and receive training this fall. In the new year, students would come onboard.
Ed Meachen expressed concern that there is no single e-portfolio product that will meet the needs of all of the UWS institutions and disciplines. Bruce Maas pushed for the need to gather requirements before picking products. Mary-Alice Mursaki pressed for delivery of D2L functionalities that were promised years ago but still haven't been arrived, such as whiteboarding and open standards.
Lorie Docken reported that the Supply Management Project Steering Committee met last week. Elena Pokot is the representative of the CIO Council. The committee has focused on the development of a business case to present to the CSRG on September 25. Key business needs include:
- expediting business processes to save staff time, increase efficiency and decrease overhead
- enabling data-driven decisions to cut the costs of goods and services with greater reporting accuracy
- reducing the administrative effort required by faculty and staff when going through purchasing processes
Elena Pokot explained there is a choice to be made between exploring the additional capabilities of the Shared Financial System versus adding PeopleSoft modules.
The next steps include:
- sign off on the project charter
- vendor data element standardization to assist in reporting to DOA
- additional analysis of purchasing business processes
- direction from the CSRG
Peter Mann reported that the close of the spring and the start of the fall semester were both very successful. The new D2L version is operating well on the new hardware. Additional hardware was kept in the wings, but not needed.
There has been a 16% increase in login traffic in Fall 2008 compared to Fall 2007. There are record setting numbers of peak login attempts. Additional peaks are expected at the six-week point and the end of the current semester.
Knowledge sharing with other multi-state groups has been valuable and has resulted in better interactions with the D2L company. There has been positive feedback from the UWS campus administrators and site liaisons. Learn@UW is used in about 75% of the 18,000 UWS courses. Use of D2L for submitting grades is growing as well. It is not known if the gradebook tool is being used by faculty throughout the semester, or just for entering final grades.
The Council members expressed their appreciation to Learn@UW and the site administrators for how well the system has been working.
UW–Madison - Big infrastructure projects are underway. The identify management engagement with Oracle is going well. An unlimited ImageNow contract for UW–Madison will likely be signed today. Student data is being pushed to both D2L and Moodle. Use of Moodle has been growing.
UW–System Administration - Moving their email system to Zimbra, similar to UW-Milwaukee. Expecting challenges with the calendar. Moving the Transfer Information System (TIS) Phase 1 to Oracle. There should be no changes to the public view.
UW–Colleges/Extension - Continuing to work on the Pyle Center data center buildout for central IT services. Building out the e-App system with new hardware and infrastructure.
UW–Stevens Point - The sensitive data initiative is expanding campuswide. Policies for defining sensitive data have been submitted to campus administration. Various products are being tested to identify sensitive data on faculty and staff computers. Sensitive data will either have to be removed or approved. A number of Sharepoint pilots have been held for committee work and collaborative instruction prior to a campuswide rollout. Office 2007 was pushed out to all desktops over the summer. Preparing for the October Board of Regents meeting. The meeting will be streamed by the Pyle Center.
UW–Platteville - Six new classrooms were added over the summer. At the halfway point in the Voice over IP rollout. The second engineering building will open for the spring semester with 30 classrooms plus a distance education classroom and computer labs. Preparing for the PeopleSoft upgrade. Has a new disaster recovery site in the library basement.
UW–River Falls - The CIO search is nearing completion. A chancellor search is in progress. There is also an interim provost and three of four deans are interims. A licensing glitch resulted in finger pointing between the vendor CDWG and Microsoft. A firewall problem prevented Macintosh computers from getting IP addresses. A new center for multi-disciplinary research has opened. Two natural gas generators are serving one of the three data centers. A data center consolidation plan is underway to bring equipment from the three data centers together.
UW–La Crosse - Students experienced challenges in getting online in the residence halls. Consequently, equipment upgrades have been moved up. Four year old student lab computers caught on fire when they were rebooted after the labs were cleaned. This resulted in the purchase of 150 new machines. Partial technology upgrades in 48 classrooms with seven receiving new podiums. Migrating to a new storage area network. Went live with PeopleSoft admissions earlier this month. Making plans to roll out Exchange 2007 next summer. Office 2007 is running in the labs and classrooms, but there are problems with the large software image that includes 50 titles . Designing technology for a new academic building on a very limited budget. Five residence halls have wireless coverage. Experienced a spike in RIAA cease and desist notices. Met with a local group of educational institutions to establish a community area network. The discussions will be expanded to the local medical facilities and the city. Expanding online offerings with a new director. Participating in the UWS Quality Matters initiative.
UW–Eau Claire - Began the search and screen for a new chief business officer. The campus strategic plan is focusing on academic departments. Began piloting Microsoft Live Meeting internally, then the College of Business started using it for a distance education course. A new data center project is getting underway. There was a spike in RIAA notices. Looking for a consultant for PeopleSoft Financial Aid.
UW–Stout - PeopleSoft student system went live, but losing a key staff member. Five year-old RIAA subpoenas recently arrived. A student laptop request for proposals brought in 9 solicitations from 6 vendors. A letter of intent was issued to HP. Over 4,000 laptops were distributed in a week and a half at the start of the semester. Experiencing some security issues using Oracle RAC in Windows without an edge firewall.
UW–Green Bay - Recruiting for several campus senior management positions. Office 2007 was deployed over the summer. Most of the phone lines were removed from the dorm rooms. Finishing remodeling of the Union. Clickers went into production with 1,700 students. Not enough high-tech classrooms are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Beginning the PeopleSoft upgrade process. Switched from Gateway desktops to HP. Getting a steady stream of RIAA notices.
UW–Whitewater - Now has a permanent chancellor, but several other key positions are interim. Deployed identity management in May. Enabling self-service for student applicants. Looking to outsource email for alumni with a federated authentication solution. Doing a similar project for student organizations. Deployed a firewall. Migrated Novell file storage from Netware to linux. VoIP pilot is expanding to almost 500 units. Outdoor wireless coverage is about 75% and is actively being used by students. Lorna Wang is on a two-year interim assignment at UW System Administration as Director of Academic Technologies.
UW–Milwaukee - Going through the institution's first Master Planning process with partners Sasaki and HGA. Trying to make the case to the committee that infrastructure is more than just buildings and wiring. Went live with Zimbra email and calendaring for 50,000 accounts. There have been issues for power users of the calendar. Work-arounds have been shared with Stanford, Georgia Tech and Guelph University. Course meeting times are automatically populated in student calendars. The faculty can own the calendar entries for their courses and take control of the information. Enterprise instant messaging (IM) will be offered in the spring. Different stakeholder groups have different expectations for IM. There is calendar integration with the advising appointment system. Two migrations from Exchange to Zimbra have gone well. The tools for migrating from Groupwise are not as robust. Users are overwhelmed with the pace of technology on campus due to changes wrought by central IT, the Graduate School, Learn@UW, Human Resources, etc. Training is usually not well budgeted and isn't unified across systems. Dr. Melissa Woo, the new Director of Cyberinfrastructure is interviewing faculty and processing the results of the research computing survey that was conducted in the Spring. A second data center has been approved. A PeopleSoft development freeze will go into effect in a couple weeks in preparation for a spring upgrade. About 100 faculty wanted help with classroom technology on the first day of classes. Would have liked more time to test the e-App before the start of the semester. DMCA notices are down. Every computer is scanned as it comes into the residence halls and peer to peer software is removed in accordance with the residence hall network use policy. Most students don't realize that they have peer to peer software on their computers. If they put peer to peer software back on their computers, the institution has at least tried to help them avoid trouble. A good EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference is being planned for March in Chicago with pro-active outreach to faculty, library staff and distributed IT staff.
UW-Parkside - Brian Remer has been CIO for three days. His term runs through May 31, 2009. He is interested in learning outside perspectives on UW-Parkside. His first priority is communicating with campus stakeholders. Upgraded to Exchange email from pine during the summer. Looking for alternatives to hosting the student system. The business intelligence i-strategy bid is generating excitement. Preparing for the upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.0 with preparation at an Oracle lab. Students are signing up for the emergency notification system that uses text messages, screen pop-ups, phone calls, etc. Even students have been complaining about the pace of technology change.
UW–Oshkosh - The Campus Solutions 9.0 upgrade was completed on schedule. The MILER team's assistance with the interfaces was very valuable. It is no easier to update the new version of Financial Aid than the old one. Five staff will be retiring shortly. e-Billing was added to the version 9.0 release. It will be demonstrated at the Alliance conference. There are now dual fiber paths to the six main academic buildings with fully redundant dual core switches. Securing funding for an alternate data center and the Mars intrusion detection system. The campus website is being redesigned with a marketing layer. The residence life directors have complained that students have too much bandwidth.
Ken Splittgerber reported that yesterday a vision and initial goals statement were created. Feedback will be gathered at the WHEPSUG conference.
Chris Holsman reported that Oracle consultants gave an executive presentation on an identity and access management (IAM) vision and strategy to enhance common systems, enable the HRS deployment and facilitate local and systemwide identities.
A suite of Oracle products were purchased and Oracle talked with the leading stakeholders at UW–Madison and UWSA. A gap analysis and roadmap were delivered.
The consultants heard from the stakeholders that:
- there are too many IDs per user
- many workflows are manual
- there is no use of identity federation
- the current UWS Identity, Authentication and Authorization system (IAA) is maintenance intensive
The consultants observed:
- autonomous campuses and departments
- a preference for developing systems as opposed to buying systems
- a lack of clarity in service offerings
- weak systemwide policies and enforcement
The consultants focused on authentication, security and automation in their recommendations as the next steps for the UW System.
Architectural Roadmap Recommendations
In the first phase, the authorization hub services will be abstracted from the data layer via Oracle Virtual Directory. The second phase will consist of Oracle Identity Manager and Access Manager for provisioning, workflow and compliance with levels of assurance without any effort on the part of endusers. In the third phase, the Oracle federation product will be introduced. In the fourth phase, self service and other services will be expanded, but no new technologies will need to be implemented.
Use Case Testing
A lab environment has been set up and five use cases have been tested including the integration of campus directories with IAA to provide single views of persons. The testing of an HRS functional user provisioning workflow was very challenging due to Java details. An access control policy with a complicated rule set was developed in conjunction with the UW–Madison library. The use cases are documented on the project wiki.
The subsequent steps include reviewing the architectural recommendations and budgeting for all of the remaining phases.
Chris Holsman presented the results of a UW–Madison DoIT effort that looked at the services of HRS and the overall IT environment. IBM provided an architecture workshop that focused on how to deploy the various technology components. Four domains of capability were identified:
- application services
- information services
- common IT services
- infrastructure services
The workshop provided an assessment of where the campus is at and delivered 700 customized IT roadmaps for technology deployment as well as potential initiatives and projects. Most of the projects are not technical, but rather functional and governance in nature.
Since the workshop, the roadmaps were reviewed for HRS relevance and the capabilities were mapped to the HRS milestones. The five most pertinent roadmaps were selected:
- Identity and Access Management (IAM)
- Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
- Master Data Management (MDM)
- Business Intelligence (BI)
The team then analyzed what was already underway at UW–Madison in these five areas, whether or not HRS was the target of the efforts, and what tasks need to be completed by particular phases in the HRS project.
The overall recommendations include:
- begin overall coordination of infrastructure and development
- create technical and functional teams
- develop strategies and project proposals
- develop budgets
- address governance across the UWS
The five roadmaps need to be implemented across all of the vertical UWS common systems. Explaining the added value of the five levels of middleware investment to the CSRG will challenging. Clear examples of how the investments will facilitate change are needed. Proof of concepts will also be needed as the projects unfold.
Laura Dunek explained that student records, transcripts, timetables and course catalogs are now digital in nature and exist in PeopleSoft and/or on a separate file system. Over time, these vital records may not be retrievable to validate enrollments and degrees, which could affect an individual's employment and licensure. The technology is on the horizon to preserve digital records in perpetuity in digital repositories, which will require resources to acquire and operate. There are two potential solutions to bridge the 5-10 year gap until the digital repositories are available.
- Print and retain the vital records in paper format
- Implement a plan to pull records off of operational systems and store them in PDF form. Such an effort would include converting the records in a timely fashion and renewing the records on a regular cycle.
On an interim basis, UW–Madison University Archives is pulling timetable information off the web and storing it in a library. Unfortunately, there is not a single unified document, i.e., exam schedules may be stored in a separate place from the course schedule and course descriptions.
David Dumke asked what the downside was to continuing to bring forward records in operational systems as the UWS institutions have for years. Laura Dunek explained that the vendors have not built 100 to 200 year archival capabilities and records management capabilities into their systems. The UWS needs to identify what the vital records are and determine a coherent way to access and verify them into the future.
Laura Dunek would like each institution to explain what it is currently doing in this regard and a draft will be reflected back to the institutions for comment.
Nancy Crabb reported that the UWS IT Management Council is meeting November 10 and 11 in Green Lake. The keynote is a demonstration of the California State Digital Marketplace that is designed to procure digital course materials, including textbooks and beyond. It is currently in an alpha state and holds some promise for reducing the costs for textbooks. It has a very nice interface for students.
The Cisco CTS3200 is an alpha unit located in San Jose. It accommodates up to 18 people in two rows, not just one. A few core tenants of telepresence are:
- quality - no significant latency or video degradation
- reliability - single button press to initiate the meeting
- simplicity - no need for anyone to help the meeting participants use the system
When classes have used this technology, they have found that it works best if the faculty member is on one end of the front table so they can maintain eye contact with the remote sites and the people next to them and behind them by turning sideways. Another possibility is for the faculty member to use their own, probably smaller, telepresence unit.
It is possible to stream content through the smaller units when they are not used in a telepresence application, e.g., emergency notifications. Computer videos default to 5 frames per second unless all sites have upgraded to 30 frames per second bandwidth.
The CTMS is a telepresence multipoint switch that can accommodate up to 48 screens in one conference, e.g., sixteen remote locations with three screens apiece.
There are minimum, maximum and recommended sizes for the telepresence rooms as well as lighting, acoustic and HVAC recommendations.
The CT Manager is the middleware that is used for scheduling the rooms via Outlook or Lotus Notes to enable one button connectivity in the rooms themselves.
The next meeting of the CIO Council is October 16, 2008 at 780 Regents Street in Madison. Meeting dates, the directory of UWS CIOs, and CIO Council meeting summaries are available at: www.uwsa.edu/olit/cio/.