Agreement Between ITaP and EVP&T Organizations Opens Way for a Consolidated Desktop Organization - 05/18/10

Business Services, Housing and Food Services, Physical Facilities and ITaP are taking steps to consolidate their desktop computing support areas into a single organization.

The Office of the Vice President for Information Technology (OVPIT) and Executive Vice President and Treasurer (EVPT) authorized the consolidation as a way to control costs and eliminate duplicate services. The action follows the Campus IT Plan Committee’s April 20 announcement regarding campus-wide integration of IT.

The new organization will be a single administrative unit that will report to Customer Relations in ITaP.

A committee of representatives from each area has formed to implement the change and define the new organization. The committee believes that because the units serve similar purposes, the restructuring will offer staff expanded opportunities to become specialists in their areas. That, in turn, will provide additional opportunities for professional development, career advancement and skill-building for staff members in these areas.

Terry Schroeder, assistant director for Business Services Computing (BSC), says the new consolidated desktop support organization will be collaborative, effective and more efficient.

“By creating a ‘common good’ service falling under ITaP in the OVPIT,” Schroeder said, “there is an opportunity to leverage best practices, cost-saving measures, expertise and specialization across a greater piece of the organization.”

Christopher L. Frazee, manager of networking and operations for Physical Facilities Computing, said the committee is already discussing current and future service models, communication with customers and migration of services.

“Although the four areas have many similarities,” Frazee said, “the committee is working diligently to address the needs of the diverse customer skill sets and desktop computing environments that each area currently supports.”

Jody Couch, director of information technology for Housing and Food Services (HFS), noted that customers value the high level of service and support they currently receive.

“By working together to design the new support unit, we plan to create an organization that recognizes the need for individualized service while taking advantage of large-scale efficiencies,” Couch said.

Initially, customers should not see any change in their service, said Julie Kercher-Updike, associate vice president of ITaP Customer Relations.

“Anytime you have a major change in the way you provide services, it’s a good idea to take it slow and make sure you minimize the impact to the people being served,” Kercher-Updike said. “To that end, our approach will be to merge the desktop support organizations effective July 1, but continue to provide support just as it’s done today.”

The vision, she said, is to create an administrative shared service support structure that will better meet the customers’ needs. 

“We plan to do this by reorganizing the staff into specialized support areas,” she said. “For example, some of the staff might specialize in printer support while others specialize in solving desktop problems remotely. Having a larger pool to work with gives us the capability to convert our generalists into specialists.

“It’s important to note that we won’t convert into a service based organization structure overnight. We plan to take a phased approach and change the way we do business over time. We believe this phased implementation will be the least disruptive to all involved.”

Gary Rantz, director of desktop computing services for ITaP, said the consolidation also will give the support staff time to decide what areas they would like to specialize in and how their skills will best fit into the new model.

“Our overarching goal is to improve service levels while implementing new cost-saving initiatives without additional staffing resources,” he said.

For more information about the consolidation, please contact Rantz by email.

The committee members are:
Terry Schroeder, assistant director of BSC
Brad Peart, manager of Distributed Computing, BSC
Gary Rantz, director of Desktop Computing Services, Information Technology Customer Relations (ITCR)
Scott Trimble, Desktop Computing Projects, ITCR
Jody Couch, director of HFS IT
Thomas Bunton, associate director of HFS IT
Chris Frazee, manager of Networks and Operations, Physical Facilities Computing
Deanna Shafer-Rater, group lead, Customer Workstation Support, Physical Facilities Computing
Dwight Snethen, director of Customer Service Center (CSC), ITCR
Ryan Stremke, service desk supervisor, CSC, ITCR
Paula Mezo, service desk process manager, CSC, ITCR