November, 2017 CIO Update

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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 Administration is actively pursuing making significant improvements in customer service by utilizing the framework of Disney’s customer service model.  One of the best ways to ensure quality customer service is to empower the team members who directly interact with our customers to be able to do the right thing and make decisions that help people get what they need when they need it.  To that end, the team of Technology Services directors is in the process of conducting exercises with groups of staff across the organization to review our customer service survey results and to get ideas on how we can better empower our team to provide the highest levels of service.  We’re working to answer the question:  What do our team members need to Make IT Amazing for our customers?

So far, we’ve received many great ideas regarding obstacles we can remove or procedures/policies we can modify that will make it easier for our team members to deliver the highest levels of service. While there will be more extensive communication on this, here are a couple of examples of initial findings and outcomes from this initiative:  In the Network Services Group, the Installation technicians are often asked by the customer while in the field to adjust the placement of a jack before installing. Currently, the technicians would have to go back and get permission from their management to make the adjustment, which was always approved if the technician supported the move. Installation techs will now be given the authority to go ahead and adjust jack locations (and note the change) at their own discretion, thus saving time and satisfying the customer.  One other example is that multiple teams expressed a desire for more cross-training and mentorship, both as way to be better equipped to address customer needs but also to help advance their careers.  The Technology Services leadership team will be working on a more formal way to address this need.  This is just a small sample of what we’ve seen and heard.  Thanks to all of those who have participated.  For more information, please see

FY18 Technology Services Goals:

I would also like to highlight some of the progress we’ve made on our organizational goals for this fiscal year.  The Identity and Access Management system project continues to move forward with significant progress being made in configuration and testing.  The Banner 9 upgrade, while not without challenge, has begun to deliver significant improvements for much of our user base.  Our newly implemented SAS Visual Analytics environment is now in use and supporting new dashboards for strategic initiatives such as the new budget model.  Our fiber/network infrastructure replacement and upgrade program is on track for the year.  The Telecommunications team successfully upgraded the voicemail system last month and also brought Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, VA onto the VCU telephone system.  We have begun to implement Echo360 Cloud and are working to position ourselves to further enhance our lecture capture platform. We have contracted with Top Hat to provide a better Student Response System with full implementation coming in Fall 2018.  We continue to assist departments and schools in making their web sites fully accessible and ADA compliant, with more than 150 sites now remediated.  Finally, we continue to integrate the ITIL framework into our services and processes.  More detail on these and other projects can be found at

Finally. as we close out 2017, I want to encourage you to take a look at the Technology Services 2017 annual report if you haven’t had a chance to see it.  I sincerely hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday full of family and friends, and I wish everyone the best for the holiday season.



About This Entry

Published on Thursday, November 30, 2017, at 5:05 pm by alhenson in the Technology Services: From the CIO blog.
Categories: Uncategorized

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