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CAS Computing will merge with ITS on October 1, 2021
In Fall 2020, the Office of the Provost asked the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean's Office to explore integrating CAS Computing into ITS. For the past several months, there has been extensive discussion between the CAS Dean's Office, CAS Computing and ITS, with a focus on how the service provided by CAS Computing could be maintained within the ITS infrastructure. After much analysis and deliberation, all parties agreed to move this initiative forward. ITS is committed to providing the College with service that is at least equivalent to what they received from CAS Computing.
Effective October 1, 2021, CAS Computing staff will merge with ITS. All College technology support will be provided through the ITS Service Desk. This date was specifically chosen to occur after Fall start-up activities.
A transition plan is well underway. Between now and October 1, the CAS Computing and ITS staff will engage in knowledge-sharing, job shadowing, and other activities to assure continuous service to the College.
Throughout the transition, CAS Dean's Office, CAS Computing and ITS will work closely to address questions, service gaps, and other concerns.
What to Expect During the Transition Period
CAS Computing will continue to support the College through Thursday, September 30, 2021.
- Requests for service may be submitted to email@example.com through the end of September.
- Starting October 1, all requests for service should be submitted to the ITS Service Desk.
- Starting October 1, all requests for desktop support will be assigned to the ITS Field Support Group. Any member of that team of IT professionals may respond to your request. It may occasionally be a former CAS Computing staff member. It will not always be the same person.
- Starting October 1, CAS Computing and ITS will work together to ensure any outstanding requests sent to CAS Computing are being addressed.
Desktop and Mobile Device Support and Procurement Services
The ITS Field Support Group (FSG) responds to requests for assistance "in the field." Initially, FSG staff will shadow CAS Computing staff as they assist the College community. Over time, all 14 members of the FSG staff will have the knowledge and familiarity to respond to requests from the College, regardless of who is on staff on any given day.
In her new role as Manager, Desktop and Mobile Computing, Helen Strother will be responsible for services that support university-owned devices. She will work closely with FSG to refine and develop standards for computers and related equipment and oversee procurement consulting services.
The CAS Dean's office will continue the CAS Computer Replacement Program (CCRP) for Departments as funds allow. Helen will be developing standards and guidance for the CCRP, new faculty, and the campus community. This will ensure all faculty and staff have the necessary equipment to perform their teaching, research and business activities in a secure, effective manner.
Classroom and Conference Room Support
ITS already provides AV support in many CAS classrooms. This will be extended and formalized to encompass all classroom technology and conference room support as well. ITS classroom and conference support across campus is handled by the ITS Field Support Group, a team of IT professionals ready to offer hands-on assistance. Whenever classes are in session, classroom support is offered Monday-Thursday 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM and Fridays 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM through the ITS Service Desk.
CAS Computing Staff
All CAS Computing staff will be fully integrated into ITS.
- Helen Strother will take on the role of Manager, Desktop and Mobile Computing, reporting to Debora Cheney. This key management position oversees desktop and mobile device support, and software compliance and distribution. Helen will supervise the Endpoint Management Group and reside in the Information Technology Building (ITB).
- Mark Bryan, Paul Farrell and Dave Huffy will be members of the Field Support Group, reporting to Kyle Pulliam. They will relocate with ITS staff in the LC-SB area.
- Adam Cowie will be joining the Endpoint Management Group and continue reporting to Helen Strother. He will move to ITB.
- Xiaonong Zhang retired from the University on August 16, 2021. ITS is searching for a Research Technology Analyst to fill this vacancy.
Q: What changes on October 1?
A: Beginning on this date, all technology services and support will be provided by ITS.
Q: What happens to any requests for service I had with CAS Computing?
A: Any open tickets with CAS Computing will be reassigned to ITS. No action needs to be taken by members of the College community. ITS will contact individuals with new a ticket/reference number. ITS and CAS Computing will work together to assure all outstanding CAS Computing requests for service are addressed.
Q: Can I still get help from CAS Computing?
A: CAS Computing will respond to your requests through September 30. On September 15, cross-training between CAS Computing and ITS staff begins. As a result, a CAS Computing and ITS support person may respond to you together.
Q: After October 1, can I still call my CAS Computing support person?
A: After October 1, all requests should go to the ITS Service Desk, where your request will be assigned to the appropriate team.
Q: What if I have special IT needs that ITS staff do not understand?
A: CAS Computing and ITS staff will work closely to make sure these needs are met. This cross-training will increase the number of staff who can respond to your request, and leverage collective knowledge.
Q: What is happening to CAS Computing staff? Are any of them losing their job?
A: All CAS Computing will be incorporated into ITS, assigned to groups where their unique knowledge and skills will be most useful.
Q: Can I still "drop by" and get a problem solved?
A: Visit the ITS Service Desk, located in the University Library. You may also email askIT@albany.edu, call (518) 442-3700 or submit a Service Desk request.
Q; Does ITS offer any self-service information?
A: Visit the ITS askIT Knowledgebase to find answers to questions, instructions, and troubleshooting information.
- The combined organization will benefit from the collective knowledge of both groups.
- CAS Computing expertise in Macs and desktop support in research labs will elevate support in these areas.
- CAS conference rooms and classrooms will benefit from ITS' well-developed A/V technology delivery and support.
- Extended hours of support for classrooms will occur whenever classes are in session
- The ITS Service Desk provides a single point of contact, eliminating any confusion over who handles a request.
- A consistent technology experience for all members of the campus community, and greater transparency on the state of information security at the University
- Support provided by multiple, structured service delivery teams rather than a single individual
- An efficient, effective use of personnel and budgetary resources
- Increased professional development and growth opportunities within a larger, diverse organization
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