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IT Strategic

  1. 1. A. Introduction Mission Statement The Information and Educational Technology team provides service and support to the students, faculty and staff of Mt. San Antonio College by providing leadership in the development, integration, application and delivery of information and educational technologies. The IET team shall efficiently and effectively manage communication, academic and administrative computing, printing services and related information resources that support and enhance teaching, community development and public service at the College. Vision Statement In order to fulfill its mission, IET asserts the following responsibilities: - To deliver prompt, courteous service to all clients. - To direct IET planning at the institutional level and provide leadership to departments within the College to ensure the appropriate implementation and application of technology - To establish, communicate and enforce standards for the use and delivery of information and educational technology. - To facilitate and encourage the use of information technologies within the College. - To maintain the mechanisms for appropriate information technology access, security, availability and integrity. - To manage the physical infrastructure in support of IET, assuring the reliability and availability to meet current and future requirements. - To identify, implement and manage institutional databases as a college resource. To support departmental data bases to the extent that IET resources allow. - To evaluate and enhance the effectiveness of IET resources including human, physical and financial resources. - To research and evaluate emerging technologies and to implement and integrate new technology. - To educate and train the College Community in the use and application of information and educational technology through consultation and instruction. 1
  2. 2. - To represent and act as advocate for the College Community at the local, state, national and international level. - To use educational technology to provide faculty more flexibility in the method of delivery of instruction and instructional material. In order to accomplish the mission and vision statements listed above Mt San Antonio College requires a comprehensive plan for information and educational technology in conjunction with a commitment to action. The need for this plan is necessitated by several factors: • The acceleration of technological advances • The College-wide planning effort for Vision 2020 • Recent changes that created the Information and Educational Technology team • The Chancellor’s Office Telecommunication & Technology Plan II (TTIP II) In preparing this plan, IET has adopted the four major objectives of the Chancellor’s Office TTIP II plan. The four objectives are: • Implementing Information Technology Across the Curriculum • Infusing Information Technology in Student Services • Improving Student Access to Information Technology • Increasing Staff Access to Information Technology A major goal of this plan is for Mt. SAC to become a leader in the use of information technology among California Community Colleges. This is important not just for our standing among the other colleges in our use of information and educational technology, but also important to Vision 2020’s commitment for Mt. SAC to be recognized as one of California’s very best community colleges. Mt SAC is approaching this new strategic plan from a position of already having many comparative advantages. We plan to establish a position of technology leadership that is consistent with our current strengths including: • The largest single campus community college in the State • A dedicated and skilled staff committed to providing outstanding service and support to the College’s students, faculty and staff • A commitment by College Senior Administration to provide the latest technology for faculty • Campus network expansion to gigabit bandwidth • Integrated Community College Information System (ICCIS) • Strong academic programs that emphasize information technology 2
  3. 3. • A vision: o To be a premier community college o To be a leader in teaching, learning, programs and service o To provide access to quality education, focusing on student success within a climate of integrity and respect o To consistently exceed expectations of our students, staff and community It is becoming clear that the College will participate in many of the following changes: • New ways to deliver instruction are becoming rapidly available • Ability to reach students in many ways other than the traditional classroom setting • Students and faculty will access information and learning materials from on and off campus using laptop computers • The Internet and the Web will be primary communication links and user interfaces • Information systems coupled to the Web will change many of our business processes making them more effective and efficient • Distance Learning will require new methods of delivering student support services remotely • New methods of communication among the campus constituents will raise issues of access, security, and privacy Information and educational technology is in a state of flux. We were not able to predict a few years ago where we are today. Even with our best efforts we cannot predict where technology will be in the future. This plan will not be just a plan for the Information and Educational Technology team but rather a plan for information and educational technology for the entire College. Full implementation of this plan will require that much of the activity and funding take place at the Division and departmental level. This is consistent with the distributed nature of information technology. It is recognized that this plan requires expenditures beyond what we have become accustomed to and implementation of all elements of the plan will be competing with other College needs. The major focus of this plan is on the design, development, and application of information and educational technology in support of teaching and learning, service, and the conduct of College business. Toward the realization of this, there are set forth in this plan a number of recommendations. The timeline of this plan is intended to cover the period of FY 2002-2003 through FY 2005-2006. 3
  4. 4. B. Fiscal Planning Information and educational technology is now a fundamental part of Mt. SAC. Given the importance of technology in teaching and service we should no longer budget for technology on a crisis basis. Planning for the full cost of technology, including on-going replacement and support must be built into the budgeting of all units of the College. This applies to all components of technology: • Desktop computers for faculty, staff and students • Classroom presentation equipment • Central systems (ICCIS) • Distributed systems (imaging systems) The IET team feels strongly that a permanent base budget must be established for the critical components of information technology. This includes, but is not limited to, the IBM enterprise server, staff, faculty, and student computers, servers, network infrastructure, and voice communication infrastructure. One method to achieve that is to lease/purchase equipment rather then outright purchase. A related issue, which also has fiscal implications, is our ability to recruit and retain the technical staff needed to support information and educational technology in academic and administrative departments. It is important for us to recognize that the information and educational technology function depends upon the skills of technical staff, and that those skills are in high demand locally and throughout the State. Mt. SAC has been building a foundation for the IET infrastructure for the past few years. Sound fiscal planning will be required in order to assure the maintenance of this infrastructure at state-of-the-art levels. The fiscal planning should include life-cycle replacement policy in the planning at every level of information technology investment in the academic and administrative departments. It may be in the best interests of the College to incorporate the Chancellor’s Office Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model (see Section J) while planning for the College’s strategic plan. The TCO model budgets a standard amount per year per personal computer (PC) for life-cycle replacement of faculty and staff computers as well as network components and the cost of staff support. 4
  5. 5. C. College Information Systems Information technology has become a key component in the management and operation of the College’s administrative systems. The College’s information systems are seen and used by students who access these systems through the Web and by faculty and staff in departments within the College. These systems are an essential component of the administrative affairs of the College in support of teaching, learning, and service. Information is a strategic asset for the College and must be carefully managed. The challenges of replacing a thirty year old information system and implementing an Integrated Community College Information System (ICCIS) has shown us that managing the information resources of a community college the size of Mt SAC can be a huge undertaking. The College Information System (CIS) team within IET has been given the responsibility for managing our information resources. Mission Statement The CIS team supports the administrative computing needs of the College. This department is responsible for advising the Vice President of IET in advancing a coordinated and comprehensive application systems strategy for the College. It is also responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of the College's integrated administrative information systems. This department shall provide timely and accurate informational reports as required for planning, decision- support, and government compliance. The operation, maintenance, and support of the College’s data center, which includes mainframe hardware and support devices and Interactive Voice Response systems, are also this department’s responsibility. The team is responsible for preparation of the College’s Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plan. Department Functions The College Information System department is comprised of five units: Administrative Computing, Technical Writing/Training, Database Administration, Systems Programming, and Computer Services support. The Administrative Computing unit's primary responsibility is the development, maintenance, and support of administrative software systems in use. One Project Administrator, nine Senior Systems Analyst/Programmers, and one part- time hourly Senior Systems Analyst/Programmer positions make up this unit. The part-time hourly programmer has worked for Mt. SAC both as a consultant for three years and two years in a part-time hourly capacity. This individual provides applications programming support for the Registration and Attendance Accounting sub-systems as well as providing some back-up support to the Database Administrator. No other programmer is cross-trained in these functions or as a Database Administrator at this time. 5
  6. 6. The Project Administrator oversees and guides analyst/programmers in the development of ICCIS. This position also has responsibility to coordinate the integration efforts between sub-systems to ensure proper referential integrity. Analyst/programmers perform analysis, design and programming of computer programs in support of such activities as admissions, registration, counseling, student records, transcripts, research, and state reporting to name a few. In addition they act as technical liaison with vendors of software programs in use for Financial Aid and other administrative functions. Programmers also design and develop applications for delivery via the Web or kiosk. Staff members from this group also provide support for the development and deployment of the College’s Data Warehouse. The Technical Writing/User Training unit assists in user system testing, ICCIS user support, develops ICCIS user documentation, and provides user training services. This unit is made up of one full-time Training & Applications Specialist and one part-time hourly position. This group also handles first- and second- level ICCIS user support issues referred from the Help Desk, and shares responsibility for the administration of ICCIS user security clearances. The Systems Programming unit supports the enterprise server operating system software installation and configuration, conducts performance analysis, assists in problem resolution, and monitors system and network performance. This group also administers user security for this system as well as being responsible for administration of the Help Desk software server, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) servers, network configuration and security, and email servers. Systems programmers are also responsible for system backup/recovery functions and assists in the implementation of interfaces with administrative databases and cross-system communications. One Senior Systems Programmer and one Systems Programmer make up this unit. The Database Administration unit is responsible for the installation, maintenance, and utilization of the development, quality assurance, and production databases to ensure that data integrity is maintained during new releases of both applications software and the underlying database management system. This unit is made up of one Database Administrator (DBA). One part-time hourly programmer provides minimal backup to this position. A DBA’s responsibilities are more focused at the collection of database requirements as opposed to application requirements. Database requirements include the number of transactions per second that the database must support, as well as backup and recovery requirements, necessary security procedures, and distribution of data. The DBA also defines and documents the conceptual and physical database model and ensures standardized usage of data elements as well as appropriate usage of the College’s databases. 6
  7. 7. Computer Services has several areas of responsibility: ICCIS user support, production scheduling and control, coordination of maintenance support (both preventative and maintenance) for the mainframe computer and its peripherals, monitoring of Mt. SAC’s network resources, and central computer data center operations. 1. The Operations Scheduler handles the day-to-day user requests for batch jobs that cannot be submitted online, handles first- and second-level ICCIS user support issues referred from the Help Desk, and administers ICCIS user security clearances. 2. Production Scheduling and Control is responsible for: • The development of the daily computer operations schedule for three computer operations shifts; • The submission of input to the college's administrative information system; • The set-up and submission of administrative system jobs (ICCIS Student Information System, Human Resources, Facilities Management, Financial Information System, and Sigma SAM systems) and their verification; • Assists the administrative computing unit in the development and maintenance of the administrative information system; 3. Computer Operations is responsible for the running and printing of administrative system jobs, faculty test scoring, survey processing, and mainframe operations and computer network monitoring. Other functions include network systems backup, mainframe systems backup, and monitoring of Mt SAC’s network resources. The Computer Operations staff includes one Lead Computer Operator and two Computer Operators. College Information Systems Staff No. Detailed Skills Narrative Required Experience Director, 1 Plan, organize, and direct the Bachelor's degree in computer College design and implementation of information systems, computer Information the College's integrated science, or other related field or five Systems information systems in support years of programming and data of the administrative, processing experience. Master's instructional and student degree preferred. services functions of the College. This position is also Two years in a lead or supervisory responsible for the College Data capacity. Center’s enterprise server and support devices. Four years experience with a computer system which supports a large teleprocessing network and experience in programming are desirable, two years of which must have included work with mainframes. 7
  8. 8. Operations 1 Organize and perform technical Equivalent to an Associate degree Scheduler/ duties in support of the day-to- and one year of related experience. Support day operations of the College’s Specialist Data Center. This position Knowledge of applicable systems and (Range 73) establishes, maintains, and related technical terminology, revises master and daily applications, features, and/or services production schedules. Duties for customer service. include setting up job submittals, processing job results, analyzing Demonstrated knowledge of output, and communicating with mainframe computer systems and users on scheduling PCs. requirements, job status and corrections required. This Excellent interpersonal and position coordinates the day-to- communication skills. day multi-shift operations, supervises the Hourly Report / One year experience in the operation Computer Operator, and of IBM S/390 computers and maintains user mainframe and peripheral equipment. Also network security access. Also experience with system and network backs up the Computer monitoring. Operator position when that person is unavailable. Experience with the following software: VSE/ESA, VM, NVAS, Functional supervision may be VTAM, DOCS and CICS, TCP/IP, exercised over the Lead VTAMPRINT, OMEGAMON, Computer Operator and Power/VS, and VSE job control Computer Operators with language. regards to the submission of production jobs. Lead 1 Monitors system performance, Three years of experience in the Computer assists users after 4:30pm each operation of IBM S/390 computers Operator day when the Help Desk closes, and peripheral equipment. (Range 74) runs production jobs, runs system backups, troubleshoots Three years experience with system abnormal systems behavior, and network monitoring. monitors and maintains forms inventory, confers with Experience with the following programmers when jobs software: VM, VSE/ESA, Netview, abnormally terminate, confers TCP/IP, NVAS, VTAM, OMEGAMON, with systems programmers and DOCS and CICS, Power/VSE, and database administrator on VSE job control language. system related issues. A Lead Computer responsible for monitoring and operating mainframes and network server systems incorporating high- speed peripherals, such as consoles, readers, magnetic tape units and printers, and related equipment in support of 8
  9. 9. a large teleprocessing network. This position is also responsible for identifying and resolving problems according to established procedures. Functional supervision may be exercised over Computer Operators. Computer 2 Under general supervision, a One year experience in the operation Operator Computer Operator operates of IBM S/390 computers and (Range 57) and monitors mainframe peripheral equipment. computing equipment and network server systems One year experience with system and incorporating high-speed network monitoring. peripherals, such as consoles, readers, magnetic tape units Experience with the following and printers, and related software: VSE/ESA, VM, TCP/IP. equipment in support of a large NVAS, Netview, VTAM, EPIC, teleprocessing network. This OMEGAMON, DOCS and CICS, position is also responsible for Power/VSE, and VSE job control identifying and resolving language. systems problems according to established procedures. Runs production jobs, assists users as needed, assumes Operations Scheduler duties in absence of that person, and runs system backup jobs. Hourly 0 Prepares and delivers One year experience in the operation Report production report output. of IBM S/390 computers and Distribution / Performs computer operator peripheral equipment. Computer duties in absence of Computer Operator Operator. Performs Computer One year experience with system and Operator duties on Saturdays network monitoring. from 8 am – noon. Experience with the following software: VSE/ESA, VM, NVAS, VTAM, Netview, EPIC, OMEGAMON, DOCS and CICS, Power/VSE, and VSE job control language. Senior 1 Supports VM mainframe Associate degree in computer science Systems operating system software or computer information systems Programmer installation and configuration, required, Bachelor’s degree preferred. (Range 104) conducts performance analysis, monitors network performance, Five years experience with IBM S/390 server administrator for Help series computers and peripheral Desk software server, Interactive equipment. Voice Response servers, web/kiosk servers, network Five years experience with 9
  10. 10. configuration and security, e- networking, TCP/IP, network security, mail servers. Responsible for Cisco Router configuration, Domain VM user security and security of Name Services, Listman, e-mail servers under this position’s services, Windows 2000 Server, web control. Responsible for server administration, Lotus Notes, backup/recovery functions. Lotus Domino, Linux, and systems Assists in implementation of integration. interfaces with other administrative databases. Experience with the following Assists in implementation of software: VM, OMEGAMON, interfaces with administrative VSE/ESA, NVAS, Netview, VTAM, databases and cross system EPIC, OMEGAMON, DOCS and communications. CICS, Power/VSE, and VSE job control language. Extensive experience and knowledge in network, host, and Experience with the following information security. programming languages: Assembler, COBOL, REXX, EPOS scripting, Strong networking and HTML, LotusScript. troubleshooting background. Experience with TCP/IP, routers, switches, VLANs, firewalls, DHCP, DNS, IPX, Token Ring, Ethernet, SMTP, POP3, IMAP. VSE 1 Supports VSE mainframe Associate degree in computer science Systems operating system software or computer information systems Programmer installation, configuration, required, Bachelor’s degree preferred. (Range 102) problem resolution, conducts performance analysis, monitors Five years experience with IBM S/390 VSE and CICS performance, series computers and peripheral and provides backup database equipment. administration support. Responsible for VSE user Three years experience with security. Responsible for networking, TCP/IP, Linux, and backup/recovery functions. systems integration. Assists in implementation of interfaces with administrative Three years experience with the databases and cross system following software: VM, VSE/ESA, communications. Provides NVAS, OMEGAMON, VTAM, TCP/IP, support and VM/VSE training to DOCS and CICS, Power/VSE, EPIC, the Data Base Administrator and MAXBACK, VTAMPRINT, VSE application programmers. utilities, and VSE job control language. Experience with the following programming languages: Assembler, COBOL, REXX, HTML. 10
  11. 11. Database 1 ADABAS product planning and Associate degree in computer science Administrator installation, change control, or computer information systems (Range 104) verifying all system resources as required, Bachelor’s degree preferred. required, backup and recovery planning and execution. Monitors Five to ten years of experience in a and tunes database for disk DBA role with experience in ADABAS usage, performance, and database design, development, and integrity. Performs problem maintenance experience. investigation and resolution. Handles database and ICCIS Three years experience with IBM user security functions. S/390 series computers and Responsible for backup/recovery peripheral equipment. functions. Responsible for administrative databases Experience with installation and use of including the data warehouse. ADABAS, SYSAOS, NATURAL, Establishes procedures to NATURAL SECURITY, CONSTRUCT, ensure proper updates and data PREDICT, and REVIEW, and other integrity. Assists in SoftwareAG products. implementation of interfaces with other administrative databases. Three years of recent paid experience in programming and systems analysis and design for medium or large scale, multi-programmed computers using ADABAS and PREDICT. Three years experience in a large, complex administrative or educational organizational environment with an IBM mainframe system using VSE/ESA, VM, and CICS, POWER/VSE, and VSE job control language. Experience with the following programming languages: Assembler, COBOL, REXX, HTML, NATURAL, and CONSTRUCT. Project 1 Under general supervision, Associate degree in computer science Administrator provide primary leadership for or computer information systems (Range 104) implementation, maintenance, required, Bachelor’s degree preferred. and new development of application systems, and Five years of progressively supervision of responsible technical experience programmer/analysts in support required. of campus student administrative applications. Three years of recent paid experience Performs analysis of business in programming and systems analysis needs and performs applications and design for medium or large scale, programming tasks. Assumes multi-programmed computers using departmental supervisory ADABAS and PREDICT. 11
  12. 12. responsibilities in absence of Director. Three years experience in a large, complex administrative or educational Coordinate system changes and organizational environment. integration with other programming project teams for Experience with the following tasks that overlap into another programming languages: Assembler, team’s area. Work closely with COBOL, REXX, HTML, NATURAL, staff to ensure tasks are CONSTRUCT. completed to specifications, fully tested, and implemented. Senior 9 A Senior Systems Associate degree in computer science Analyst / Analyst/Programmer, working or computer information systems or a Programmer independently or as a team closely related field which includes at (Range 102) member, analyzes work least two programming languages and procedures of operating systems a course in the use of database and coordinates the work of a management software. Bachelor’s project group engaged in degree preferred. analyzing, designing, and implementing information Three years of recent paid experience systems. Programming in programming and systems analysis responsibilities span a range of and design for medium or large scale, platforms including mainframes, multi-programmed computers using minicomputers, local area ADABAS and PREDICT. networks, and personal computers. Two years experience in a large, complex administrative or educational Under direction, performs organizational environment with an complex computer systems IBM mainframe system using analysis to determine VSE/ESA, VM, and CICS, administrative system POWER/VSE, and VSE job control requirements and desired language. outputs; perform a variety of complex applications Experience with the following: programming; design, write, COBOL, REXX, HTML, NATURAL, maintain, enhance, and install CONSTRUCT, Visual Basic, Java, software programs to assure XML, ASP, .NET, SQL Server, SQL, proper systems operation and CICS, Dreamweaver, C++. produce desired output; coordinates the work of a project group engaged in analyzing, designing, and implementing information systems. Analyst / 0 A systems analyst/programmer Associate degree, in computer Programmer performs systems analysis and information systems, computer (Range 92) programming, working with science, or a closely related field considerable independence on which included at least two fairly complex systems and programming languages and a course programs or on major segments in or the use of database of the most complex projects. management software. Bachelor's This position also assists degree preferred. 12
  13. 13. analyst/programmers in a higher job classification on the most One year of recent paid experience in complex projects, and may business applications programming provide work direction and and systems analysis and design for technical assistance to assigned medium or large scale, multi- programming personnel. programmed computers. Programming responsibilities span a range of platforms Experience with NATURAL, including mainframes, local area CONSTRUCT, ADABAS, CICS, and networks, and personal PREDICT desirable. computers. Experience with the following: HTML, Visual Basic, Java, XML, ASP, .NET, SQL Server, SQL, Dreamweaver, C+ +. Training and 1 This position is responsible for Bachelor’s Degree with an emphasis Applications providing technical training and in Information Systems, Computer Specialist expertise to end users on Science or related field. (Range 83) various software and systems applications and assisting with Minimum of two years experience various technical projects from developing technical documentation planning to final development; and testing systems application developing course curriculum software. and preparing training materials; recommending software and Strong customer service skills. systems applications; developing and maintaining standards for user documentation on software and systems applications. This position also troubleshoots and resolves end user problems with existing and new software applications; responds to user questions and issues; evaluates and tests new software and systems applications for quality, accuracy and effectiveness; maintains logs and tracks identified errors; and, reviews and maintains and updates security access to end users. Hourly Sr. .5 Same as Senior Systems Systems Analyst/Programmer Analyst/ Programmer 13
  14. 14. Hourly .5 Same as Training and ICCIS Applications Specialist Technical Writer / Tr. Total 20 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Employees -1997 -1998 -1999 -2000 - - - 2001 2002 2003 Managers Manager 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Total Managers 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Classified, Full Time Computer Operations 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Scheduler Lead Computer 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Operator Computer Operators 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Technical Writer / 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 Trainer IT Project Administrator 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 Sr. Systems 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 Programmer Systems Programmer 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Sr. Systems 4 4 4 4 5 6 9 Analyst/Programmer Systems 2 0 0 2 2 2 0 Analyst/Programmer Database Administrator 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 Total Classified, Full 11 11 11 13 14 16 18 Time Non-Student Hourly Report Distribution/ .5 .5 .5 .5 .5 .5 0 Computer Operator ICCIS Technical Writer / 0 0 0 0 .5 .5 .5 Trainer Sr. Systems Analyst / 0 0 0 0 .5 .5 .5 Programmer Total Hourly 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 1.5 1.5 1 14
  15. 15. Staffing Current The size of the College Information Systems staff is adequate. The Project List is a dynamic document where tasks are completed and added daily. Because of this, sufficient resources will never be available to overcome the project backlog. The College Information Systems staff accomplishes as much as possible with the resources available. The department has hired a number of new employees since the implementation of ICCIS. Job duties of others have changed with the Classification Review process. The applications programming staff is made up of two programmers and a project administrator that have been with the College prior to the purchase and implementation of ICCIS. These three people are relied on extensively to provide guidance and support to the newer programmers who came to Mt. SAC with little or no experience in the programming languages or no experience with an educational institution. Staff members continually strive to expand their knowledge and skill sets by exchanging ideas and attending internal “brown bag” lunches to discuss technical topics pertinent to their needs. The College Information Systems team is concerned about the lack of back up for the systems programmers, database administrator, and major system functions. Without database administration support, programmers cannot add additional fields or files to the database or migrate changes to the Production environment. Having a competent back up person for each function and system assignment is desirable but there is never enough time to focus on this effort without taking time away from other priority projects. Planning for the Future All Information Technology organizations face similar issues with regards to staffing and planning for the future. It is difficult to attract and retain qualified employees. Salaries at Mt. SAC are not competitive with business and industry which makes it difficult to attract qualified, skilled, and talented employees. For example, DBA salaries start in the $90,000 range in non-educational environments but Mt. SAC’s pay ranges from $57-79,000 for this position. Today, with the slow economy and tight job market, Mt. SAC would have a better chance of attracting potential employees but we too are faced with budgetary issues which prevent hiring. In addition to the economic issues surrounding the hiring process, there is a shortage of persons with skills needed by Mt. SAC. Local colleges and universities do not teach mainframe skills or those skills our programmers require. Vendor training is expensive and also requires travel expenses to send employees to training. Mt. SAC has saved money by bringing trainers to the College to train groups of programmers. 15
  16. 16. There are employees that will consider retirement within the next five to ten years. The department has had very good luck with two programmers that were hired and trained to use the programming languages. It is the department’s plan to “grow our own” skilled staff when openings become available. We must proactively drive this process to minimize the impact of this staffing challenge. Administrative Information Systems Administrative information systems are computer applications that serve the administrative and business functions of the College, including maintenance and enhancements to systems. These systems include the support of online transaction processing systems, data warehouse systems, decision support activities, interactive voice response systems, Web application servers, and integration and data exchange between systems which reside on multiple hardware platforms. Information and Educational Technology currently supports several administrative Information Systems, such as ICCIS, Sigma Systems’ Student Aid Management (SAM), and the Data Warehouse. ICCIS is the College’s integrated administrative information system, which handles Student Records, Human Resources, Student Fees/Financial, Facilities, Security Access, and on-line Batch Job Submission. Student Financial Aid transactions are handled by a combination of Sigma Systems’ SAM system and in-house ICCIS developed applications. ICCIS (Integrated Community College Information System) ICCIS grew out of the 1996 purchase of the Florida Community College Software Consortium’s INTEGROW system. Mt SAC obtained the product in its early stages and created a California version of the system. INTEGROW included modules to support Student Records, Human Resources, Facilities Management, Financial, Security Access, and online Batch Job Submission systems. Mt. SAC was offered the opportunity to join the Florida Community College Consortium (FCCC) as a non-voting member. This membership would entitle the College to obtain software upgrades and enhancements to the software product for a yearly fee of $50,000. In 2000, consideration was given to this proposal but it was determined that Mt. SAC’s version of the software was substantially different than Florida’s and there was no easy way to align the Florida and California software versions to take advantage of and benefit from the Consortium’s offer. Phase I implementation of ICCIS included Facilities, Human Resources, Security Access, online Batch Job Submission, Finance as related to student fees and obligations, and a major portion of Student Records. 16
  17. 17. Phase II implementation of ICCIS focused on refinement of all sub-systems already implemented, the addition of new functionality, and providing greater reporting capabilities. New functionality in Phase II included: degree audit, graduation, automatic awarding of degrees/certificates, student fee payments by credit card on the IVR system, and web enablement of student records processing. Credit card fee payments will be complete in Fall 2002 as will the rollout of additional web applications. As of Fall 2002, ICCIS functionality is much more stable than it was two years ago. Fewer problems are being reported and the applications programming team is able to concentrate on providing additional functionality and make enhancements to current functions to better support the needs of the user community. The chart on the following page illustrates the functionality and status of ICCIS functionality identified for implementation. ICCIS has additional functionality in the areas of Finance and Human Resources that is not identified in the chart because of Administrative Services’ contract with the Los Angeles County Office of Education for budget, accounting, and payroll functions. ICCIS Statistics and Functions Former October May July Projected System 1999 2001 2002 2004 Source Program Modules 7,339 9,257 11,900 12,786 15,000 Database Size N/A 25.2GB 36.5GB 40GB 65GB Database Files 71 207 282 336 400 Student Records 872,079 886,493 926,503 974,795 1,000,000 Total Database Records 14,924,194 33,586,75 48,122,984 66,140,384 67,000,000 8 On-line Functions 134 217 530 870 800 Reports 928 45 200 300 900 Monthly Transactions N/A 1,000,000 1,500,000 3,000,000 5,000,000 Average CPU Utilization N/A 90 – 90 – 100% 40% 90 – 100% 100% User Accounts 1,117 950 1,365 1,567 1,700 Telephone Registration Lines in Use 48 12 – 72 12 – 72 72 72 World Wide Web Connections – Student 0 0 0 3 500 & Staff Network Printers 0 32 58 65 80 Online Functions Student Applications Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Assessment Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes Counseling/Advisement Yes No Yes, partial Yes Yes Standards of Progress – Yes No Yes Yes Yes Probation/Dismissal Educational Plan No, manual No No Yes Yes Registration Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Registration Prerequisite Verification Partial No Yes Yes Yes Registration Illegal Repeaters No, batch No Yes Yes Yes Registration Holds & Overrides No Yes Yes Yes Yes 17
  18. 18. Former October May July Projected System 1999 2001 2002 2004 Academic History – Credit Yes Yes, Yes Yes Yes partial Academic History – Non-Credit No No Yes Yes Yes Academic History – Credit External Yes, limited No Yes Yes Yes Credentials Term End Grade Processing Yes, batch No Yes Yes Yes Transcripts Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes Degree Audit Yes, batch No Yes Yes Yes Degree Audit Substitutions No No Partial Yes Yes Degree Audit Waivers No No Partial Yes Yes Graduation Petitions Yes No Yes Yes Yes Graduation Posting Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Auto-identify Degree & Certificates No No No No Yes Electronic Exchange of Transcripts No No No Possibly Possibly Evaluate Incoming Electronic External No No No Possibly Possibly Special Student Populations Tracking No No No No Yes Disabled Students Programs & Services Yes No Yes Yes Yes Extended Opportunity Programs & Yes No Yes Yes Yes Services Athletic Eligibility Certifications Yes, batch No Yes Yes Yes International Students Yes, batch Partial Yes Yes, Partial Yes ESL Students No No Yes Yes Yes CalWorks & JTPA No No Yes Yes Yes Veterans Yes No No No Yes Enrollment Verification Yes, No No Yes Yes manual Student Services Tracking Yes No Yes, partial Yes, partial Yes Automatic Assignment of Email Address No No No No Yes Student Telephone Access – Yes Yes, Yes Yes Yes Registration, Grades, Open Class partial Search Student Record Web Access No No No No Yes Student Record Kiosk Access Yes No No Yes, partial Yes Attendance Accounting Batch No Yes Yes Yes Student MIS Reporting Yes, batch Yes, Yes, batch Yes, batch Yes, batch batch Community Education Center - MetSys Yes No No No Yes interface Student Health Services - MedPro Yes No Yes Yes Yes Interface Library Services – NOTIS/SIRSI Yes No Yes Yes Yes Interface Photo ID Interface No No No No Yes Student Financial Aid Student Financial Aid Management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Document Tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Award Packaging Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes EDE Data Exchange Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Financial Aid Disbursement Checks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 18
  19. 19. Former October May July Projected System 1999 2001 2002 2004 College Work Study Functions Yes No Yes, Yes, partial Yes partial Auxiliary Services BiTech Interface No No No No Yes Financial Aid MIS Reporting Yes No Yes Yes Yes Curriculum / Class Scheduling Course Dictionary Management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Class Scheduling Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Instructor Resource Management Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, partial Yes limited partial partial College Term & Session Calendar Date Yes, Yes Yes Yes Yes Management limited Class Roll Sheet Attendance Processing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Curriculum / Class Scheduling MIS Yes No Yes Yes Yes Reporting Class Schedule Download for Schedule Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Production Course Dictionary Download for Catalog Yes, No Yes, Yes Yes Production batch batch partial partial Program of Study for Catalog Production No No No Yes Yes Class Schedule / Bookstore Database No No No Yes Yes Interface WebCMS & ICCIS Interface No No No No Yes Faculty Class Web Access No No No No Yes Faculty FTEF Load Reporting Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, partial Yes limited partial partial College Calendar MIS Reporting Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, manual Yes manual manual manual Human Resources Employee Demographics Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Position Control Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Classification & Assignment Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Hourly Faculty Payroll Yes No Yes, Yes Yes partial Hourly Faculty Substitutes Yes No No Yes, partial Yes Automatic Assignment of Email Addresses No No Yes No Yes Staff Web Access No No No No Yes Student Fees - Finance/Chart of Accounts / Obligations Student Fee Calculation Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Credit Card Payments No No Yes No, testing Yes Fee Exemption Calculation Yes Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes manual manual manual Refunds Yes Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes manual manual manual Student Fee Billing No No No No Yes Student Obligations & Holds Yes No Yes Yes Yes Student Obligation Notification Yes No No No Yes BiTech to ICCIS Extract for 1098-T No No No No Yes Processing 19
  20. 20. Former Octob May July Projected System er 2001 2002 2004 1999 ICCIS to BiTech Student Address Extract for Yes No No Complete Yes Refund Processing AuxSvcs not implemted Facilities/Parking Master Calendar No Yes Yes Yes Yes Master Events Calendar No No No No No Facilities Inventory No Yes Yes Yes Yes Parking Permits Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Facilities MIS Reporting No Yes Yes Yes Yes System Functions Application Security Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Distributed Network Printing No Partial Yes Yes Yes Departmental Databases College departments may create and maintain departmental databases. IET does not have any involvement with these databases. It is not known how many departmental databases exist, the reasons for these databases, if these systems are adequately backed up, properly secured, or accurately maintained. These systems generally run on an employee’s personal computer or on a small departmental server. IET does not create data extract files for the majority of these databases. It is, however, a concern when it is found that that these databases are not properly maintained and secured. The lack of integration between various databases becomes problematic for the user community when data in ICCIS does not agree with their own database or if the data captured is in a different format and there is a desire to integrate the databases with ICCIS. For example, it is difficult to determine which student identification number is correct when the change is made in one database and not in the other(s). The proliferation of personal computers and local area networks has, in many cases, improved individual productivity while at the same time created mini versions of the mainframe computer. Whereas the mainframe creates a single bottleneck in terms of service and support, these many smaller systems create many, many smaller bottlenecks. These systems require substantial staff time in collecting data, keeping it up-to-date, and reconciling discrepancies between multiple databases. These tasks add additional costs to personal computer maintenance, hardware and software upgrades, training, and user support. IET recommends that consideration be given to consolidating the functionality of departmental databases into the College’s integrated system to reduce the need for duplicate data entry and ensure the databases are properly maintained and secure. 20
  21. 21. Administrative Systems’ Planning Administrative systems’ planning is intended to promote the alignment of administrative systems with the needs of the campus. The College Information Systems programmers work on projects approved and supported by the Vice President of the area that generated the work request. Prioritization of work requests was formerly done by the Administrative Systems Advisory Committee (ASAC). Currently, each VP now has the responsibility of setting priorities for work requests in their respective area. It is the intent of the College Information Systems group to devote programmers to work simultaneously on the highest priority projects established by each Vice President. In the event that projects are competing for the limited programmer labor pool the Vice President of IET with the advice of the Director of College Information Systems will resolve the order of project completion in order to meet the needs of the campus. Project Approval and Prioritization Process Programming modifications and new programming requests are to be submitted in writing to the Director, College Information Systems, using the ICCIS Request Form. This form is available at the Help Desk. The form is also available electronically by request. Emergency requests and problem reports are handled as they arise. Problem reports receive the highest priority. All standard requests for new or modified programs will be reviewed by the Vice President of the requesting area for consideration and approval. The Vice President will consider the impact of the request on other project requests that are in progress or not started. Each month a status report of projects completed, those in progress, and those on hold will be sent to each Vice President for the purpose of keeping them informed on progress of the requests from their area. The Vice Presidents are encouraged to contact the Vice President of IET with any questions and concerns they may have on projects in their area. Discussion can be held at the weekly President’s Cabinet meeting to review the latest status report and resolve issues. Current and Planned Projects Online Student Services To provide seamless access to services at the College, it is necessary to have a variety of student services available via the Internet. This will allow students to experience Mt. San Antonio College with a minimum amount of on-campus time. 21
  22. 22. Web and kiosk access to ICCIS is the transformation of a traditional on-line application for use over the World Wide Web. For example, the new kiosk system has the ability to deliver information via the kiosk or the World Wide Web. The kiosk uses a Web browser and Web server to present information on the screen, which then makes it easy to deliver the same information over the Web with no change to the kiosk application. The kiosks currently support the ability to vie and print: the student class schedule, unofficial transcript, and semester grade reports. Plans for additional functionality are identified below. This project will greatly enhance kiosk and web site functionality without the duplication of effort. This project involves student and faculty access to ICCIS data. All access is controlled by the requirement of a student or employee number and a personal identification number (PIN). This will grant the person access to his or her own information as well as other general campus information, such as the class schedules. The following student records accesses have been completed: Student Class Schedule, Open Class Search, Student Term Grade Reports, Unofficial Academic Transcript, PIN Number Change, E-mail Address Update, and Class Schedule Search. The following have also been identified for student records access: Admissions Applications – Focus to include the community education and non-credit programs as well as credit programs. Student Records – Ability to review and update mailing address information, telephone number, program of study, and educational goals. Also provide support for enrollment verifications, transcript requests, and other current paper-based functions related to student records. Class Registration – Process student class registrations including support for wait lists and a conditional drop/add process. Student Accounts – Provide ability to check account balances, deferred payments, obligations, pay fees and obligations with credit card payments, request refunds, and request 1098-T forms. Assessment/Placement – Provide ability to view assessment scores and course placement. Degree Audit – Provide ability for student to check their educational progress against a selected Program of Study, transfer credits to the California State University system, and other baccalaureate-level institutions. Provide ability to compare against Articulation Agreements with other institutions. Student Educational Plan – Couple the advisement function with the ability to complete, update, and track status against an individual educational plan. 22
  23. 23. Financial Aid Status – Focus on access to awards, award letters, student document requirements, missing documents, scholarship information, and related web sites. Other Web accessible Student Services information requested includes: Transfer Registry – Students complete application to the registry to receive services and to enable staff follow-up and measurement of progress towards goal; this is a College-wide goal and KPI. Career Placement Registry - Students complete application to the registry to receive services and to enable staff follow-up and measurement of progress towards goal; this is a College-wide goal and KPI. Web Page Development for Student Services – prioritized, integrated – the look and placement of student services on the College’s website—how will integrate to other offices, services, how to link to other college and off- campus sites. Student Services departments have indicated a need for assistance with this development and maintenance effort. Key Links to On-Campus and Off-Campus Sites – ASSIST, scholarships, services, CSU and UC applications for admission. Online Faculty/Staff Services The following have been identified for Faculty/Staff access: Faculty/Staff Records – Ability to review and update mailing address information, telephone number, e-mail address, personal web address, faculty teaching schedule, and faculty office hours, etc. Provide ability to update or reset the assigned personal identification number (PIN). Forms and Applications – Provide for electronic forms processing. Implement WebCMS – Course Management System WebCMS was purchased to handle the Course Approval process. IET is working on the implementation of this software application. Extensive changes to the standard course outline have been made to enhance WebCMS’ ability to better validate data input as well as enable automatic update of ICCIS when a new course or new course version is approved. Data Warehouse Support The following have been identified for Institutional Research access support: Data Warehouse – Ability to review pre-prepared data warehouse reports. Research Reports – Provide reports on student and staff data profiles. Focus on enrollment trends, special student populations, and institutional effectiveness reports. Chancellor’s Office Reports – Provide access to current and historical reports and data from the Chancellor’s Office. These reports and data come from Mt. SAC’s MIS reporting to the Chancellor’s Office. 23
  24. 24. Enhancement of the Instructor Resource Management Functions Instructor Resource Management functions have been partially implemented. There is an Instructional Management work team that has been meeting to identify the changes necessary to support full and accurate FTEF reporting, calculation of the Full-Time Faculty Obligation (FTFO), monitoring of the 50% and 60% rules, and to better support the requirements of the Hourly Payroll system. Implementation of Wait Lists, Guaranteed Enrollment Plans This project is under investigation and definition. The work team is talking to other California Community Colleges to determine how other schools handle wait lists and to discover potential pitfalls and decisions that must be made before programming begins. SEVIS: INS Mandated Tracking of Foreign Students SEVIS is a mandated compliance issue from the INS. The College must comply with this mandate by January 31, 2003 or it will not be allowed to accept foreign students. Implement Credit Student Refund Policy Changes Automate functions of the fee refund policy once it is approved by the Leadership Council. The proposed changes will require additional programming to handle the automation and reduce the amount of manual data input. Implement Credit Student Fees Calculations Standard fees are calculated correctly in ICCIS. Problems come about when some fees are to be waived or not accessed. These transactions are currently being handled manually by the Bursar’s Office. Changes to the Student Fees assessed amounts, calculations, and automation will be addressed once the student fee assessment policy is approved by the Leadership Council. Complete Data Conversion Problem Resolution IET plans to complete the data conversion error resolution process this fiscal year. There are approximately 60 Course IDs that overlap with other Course IDs and cause problems on student transcripts when it cannot pull up the correct course and course version. These Course IDs will need to be changed to eliminate the overlap and student academic history problems. 1098-Ts: IRS Reporting of Student Fees In 2003, the College must provide students with detailed fee information related to the fees paid for classes. Some fees paid by students are in ICCIS, others are in Bi-Tech, the system purchased and used by Auxiliary Services to handle its accounting functions. Auxiliary Services is contracting with the vendor to provide an extracted file for using in calculating total student fees and producing detailed 1098-T forms. 24
  25. 25. Interfaces between Bi-Tech and ICCIS, Bi-Tech and Sigma SAM, ICCIS and MetSys The Interface Team is exploring ways to exchange data with Bi-Tech and MetSys. Bi-Tech data extracts are handled by contracting with the company to provide the extract file. Mt. SAC must also contract with Bi-Tech for data import into Bi-Tech functionality. ICCIS and Sigma SAM already exchange data but additional data exchanges may be identified as necessary. MetSys, a software application used by the Community Education Center, has data export capabilities but no data import capabilities. Discussions will take place with the vendor once the data to be exchanged is identified. Eliminate the Use of Social Security Number for Students and Staff Identity theft and increased concern for privacy draws attention to the use of Social Security Numbers (SSN) as identifiers of our student and staff data records. The State of California enacted legislation in July 2002 to restrict the use of SSN. Per legal counsel, this restriction applies to K-12 but does not apply to higher education. Federal legislation is still pending related to similar restrictions but as of this time has not made it through committee approvals. It is predicted that this legislation will not be passed or enacted this year. IET plans to determine the scope and estimate for moving to an assigned number for student and staff records. Tracking of Special Student Populations Special student populations have been identified in conjunction with Student Services and Student Learning. ICCIS currently has the ability to track a student population at the student level rather than the term level. There is a need to also track a population at the term level. IET plans to add this functionality at the term level which will enable better cohort tracking. Technology Trends Administrative and Academic Information Systems The World Wide Web brought more information that anyone thought imaginable to the fingertips of those requesting information. No longer is there a need to go to a specific location to obtain a particular service when it can almost always be obtained from any computer with an Internet connection. Increasing demands for information services to faculty, staff, and students is driving the need for greater convergence of administrative and academic information systems. The growing e-learning environment, whether it is a whole or partial online course, requires information from administrative systems as well as providing the capability for a faculty member to organize and control the delivery of course materials to students. Course Management Systems for the e- learning environment is not something that administrative systems software vendors gave much thought. Consequently, the software applications available 25
  26. 26. to support the e-learning environment have been developed as stand-alone systems. Currently, no single vendor is able to provide the level of integration between systems to automate the administration of the e-learning environment and couple this with the information resources available in administrative information systems. This is not to say that it is not on the horizon, because it is a vision of education-application systems ERP vendors today. These vendors have formed partnerships with Course Management Systems software vendors to bring the needed integration between administrative and academic systems. Batch, not real-time, processes are being used to update databases in the e- learning academic environment. This prevents round-the-clock access to information as well as a substantial time delay before the e-learning system is updated with the current day’s administrative system activities. In the April 2002 issue of Syllabus, Bob Moul, SCT Global Services, says, “As the traditional definitions for what is administrative or academic continue to blur, the focus for future technology applications needs to be on a broader, e- education architecture. The institution’s strategic technology plan must look across all current application systems for gaps in the support of teaching, learning, and business processes, as well as deficiencies with respect to the expectations of users. The goal is to equip the institution to adapt to, and keep pace with, what is becoming a dynamic market for postsecondary education services, traditional and non-traditional.” Information Systems and the Internet John Van Decker, an analyst at the META Group IT Research firm in Stamford, CT, predicts that it is only a matter of time before organizations will shift to web- based applications. ICCIS is a legacy system which was not designed to be web-based but has been made Web-accessible through the use of a middleware application server. In general, legacy systems are increasingly difficult and expensive to upgrade, support, and maintain. Van Decker states that companies “will lose out on the savings that easy-to-maintain web-based solutions provide.” On the other hand, replacing any existing information system is expensive to replace, not only in terms of software and hardware but also in terms of human resources, process reengineering, and training. A web-based solution can provide open access to legacy data silos where data is stored on the mainframe as well as take advantage of using network servers and personal computers to bring together a flexible architecture in a decentralized management role. All of this information can then be pulled together into a Web portal. Forging ahead with the use of Internet technologies to pull together a wide range of information together in a Web Portal should be carefully planned and thought out in terms of the system architecture and the content to be brought together for presentation and use. 26
  27. 27. The use of Internet technologies will not necessarily reduce the employee headcount for an organization. A greater potential lies in making improvements in business processes and in systems rather than in the area of reducing the need for staff. Enterprise Application Integration/Interoperability Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is the unrestricted sharing of data and business processes among any connected applications and data sources in the enterprise. The need for EAI comes from the proliferation of in-house developed or purchased stand-alone systems without considering a central vision or strategy. Many times the applications use older technology but function well for the organization. Many of these systems use non-standard data storage and application development technology. Additionally, many application software packages were not designed to access other systems outside their own. Many systems were not designed to be web accessible. Mt. SAC has many stand-alone systems that users now want to connect and share data between. For example, there is a need to share data between ICCIS and MetSys. ICCIS is a mainframe-based system and MetSys is a FoxPro database on a Windows NT network. Data is extracted from ICCIS and sent to: the Library’s proxy server; SIRSI, a library automation product; Student Health Service’s MedPro system; the Data Warehouse. IET has many additional requests for data extracts, such as: Photo ID system, SacBookRac book inventory system, and Microsoft Access compatible extracts for student progress research and tracking purposes. Essentially what is happening is the ICCIS system extraction and replication of data to other of the College’s databases. Of course, when the data changes in ICCIS, it again must be extracted and re-loaded on these systems. Though this approach is workable, it is obvious that it is time-consuming and requires different strategies for transferring data to other systems. Several software products address the issues of application integration. IET has investigated these products and are developing a strategy for easy sharing and access to data in the many stand-alone systems on campus. This investigation is being done in conjunction with the Data Warehouse project. Portals A portal is a Web site or service that offers a broad array of resources and services, such as e-mail, forums, search engines, and on-line shopping malls. It is used to create a personalized vision of the Web. From an academic standpoint, a Web portal can be used to deliver information specific to the College’s programs and services. It can also allow for a student or staff member to set specific preferences about the content they wish to view when entering the portal. 27
  28. 28. A portal offers the opportunity to bring all College information resources together in an organized manner to make them easily accessible and have the ease of dynamically changing the content once the portal has been created. A well- planned strategy for a portal includes course capabilities, campus life services, and administrative services. Course capabilities include links to class sites, a grade book entry/display system, and the ability for students to submit assignments online. Campus life services include information about campus events, links to other campus media, ability to locate fellow students, purchase books online, and the ability to purchase tickets for campus events. Administrative services include the typical administrative transactions students must do to register for class and pay for fees. Additional links could be provided for making counseling or health services appointments. Major ERP vendors utilize Web portals as part of their product offerings. There are also free Web portal software products available (i.e., uPortal) as well as the products being marketed such as Campus Pipeline. META Group’s Research Trends for 2002 include predictions that 2002/03 will be the year when organizations begin to exploit portal architecture and Web services principles. By 2006, the personalized portal framework will be used for most common services. Gartner Group predicts that 80% of U.S. colleges with enrollments of more than 1,000 will have a campus portal by 2005. Business intelligence tool suites will also begin to be deployed through enterprise portals. Web portals are a technology trend that should be further investigated and studied for use at the College. Web Services Web services came about from an evolution of component-based software development which can be used to support Enterprise Application Integration. It does not, however, eliminate the need and use of an Enterprise Application Integration middleware infrastructure. Web services are not transactional in nature and provide basic non-session- based “request/response” functionality. In addition, Web services standards do not yet define security, operational management, workflow, business rules, transactional integrity, and other elements of an enterprise-ready computing platform. Web services provide a platform for almost limitless interoperability between different programs and computing platforms. They are built on HTTP and XML, rather than on proprietary protocols, and exchange information using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Each service describes its own capabilities using Web Services Description Language (WSDL). Web Services are open in nature. For example, an application needing a particular service could locate it on the Web using Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI), determine its capabilities by examining its WSDL document, and immediately 28
  29. 29. begin using the service. It is this openness that makes Web Services a target for hackers. Security poses the greatest risk for this technology. The key security requirements for Web services include authentication, authorization, data protection, and non-repudiation. In digital security terms, non-repudiation means to ensure that a transferred message has been sent and received by the parties claiming to have sent and received the message. Non-repudiation is a way to guarantee that the sender of a message cannot later deny having sent the message and that the recipient cannot deny having received the message. The use of digital services is one method for obtaining non-repudiation. At this point, industry standards are in the development stage to address these issues. As with other Internet technologies, there are competing standards that are working on the security issues. Ultimately, the success of Web Services in an e- commerce environment will depend on these standards. Web services and related technologies show great promise. These services allow the re-usability of software that was closed and can now be shared on the web as a service with a minimum of re-work of the interface. When built on top of existing architectures, an organization can expect a high return on investment. META Group also sees great promise in Web Services. Its Research Trends for 2002 indicate that Web services will emerge in 2005/06 and displace component- oriented development such as J2EE, CORBA, and COM+. XML Extensible Markup Language, or XML, is a specification developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). XML is a pared-down version of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), designed especially for Web documents. SGML is a system for organizing and tagging elements of a document for formatting purposes. It allows designers to create their own customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations. XML has already emerged as a standard for Web services. By 2005, the META Group predicts that XML will be dominant in the data exchange layer when integrating disparate systems. The distinct advantage of XML is the ease of data exchange that is possible by establishing a mutually-agreed upon format. Each partner in the data exchange is able to maintain its own closed, proprietary system without having to take into account the architecture of the other partner’s systems. Use of XML also has risk with respect to security. Until security standards are set, the use of XML data sharing should be limited to a virtual private network (VPN) or extranet. XML currently is transmitted unencrypted which poses great security risks when sensitive information is transmitted. 29
  30. 30. Mt. SAC must acquire and utilize this technology in the near future. SEVIS, the INS’s newly developed system for tracking and reporting foreign nationals, must be fully operational by January 31, 2003. SEVIS was developed using XML, and Mt. SAC is required by law to comply with SEVIS reporting requirements or cease to allow foreign students to attend Mt. SAC. Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plan The development of a Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plan is broken into two components—disaster planning and disaster recovery. Disaster Planning is the process of anticipating and providing for disasters. A disaster can be an act of nature (earthquake, flood, or fire), a human act, hardware failure, software error, or erasure of an important file. Disaster planning focuses primarily on three issues: 1) maintaining the contingency plan for the recovery of systems and information; 2) maintaining the integrity of the information; and, 3) keeping the information system running until normal operations can be resumed. Disaster recovery is the implementation of the business resumption plan. Although Mt. SAC has known of the importance of disaster planning and recovery for many years, very little has been done in this area and IET is not adequately prepared for a major disaster. Mt SAC’s Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plan will encompass all central computing, network infrastructure, and telecommunications equipment. 30
  31. 31. D. User Support & Network Services The use of information and educational technology at Mt. SAC depends on providing students, faculty, and staff with appropriate access to technology. The nature of academic work will require students, faculty and staff to have reliable and high-speed access to the network from offices, homes, and virtually all areas of the campus. Telecommunications has become one of the most important and fundamental technologies in recent years. It promises to be even more so in the future. It is changing greatly the manner in which we teach and conduct business. Telecommunications at Mt. SAC consists of two components: the voice, video and data campus networks and services, and the connections from this infrastructure to national and international telecommunications networks Mt. SAC is fortunate in that we have considerable expertise and organizational strengths and skills in the management of our communication networks. The User Support and Network Services team within IET has the responsibility of maintaining and configuring the campus networks to the latest standards. Mission Statement The mission of the User Support and Networking Services team is to provide timely, competent, and friendly support for all district owned technology systems including client/server networks, digital imaging systems, desktop computers, and voice/data communications systems campus wide. The team uses a pro- active approach in striving to exceed customers’ expectations in an ongoing pursuit of service excellence. Additionally this team is responsible for providing recommendations to the Vice President, IET, for upgrades and enhancements to the campus voice and data network infrastructures Department Functions The User Support and Network Services department is comprised of four units: Telecommunications & Audio Visual, Network Administration, Desktop Support, and Help Desk. The Telecommunications & Audio Visual team is responsible for designing and implementing the physical aspect of the campus communication infrastructure. The Mitel telephone switch and the Active Voice Response voice mail system are the key components of the voice communication system on campus and are the responsibility of this team. Additionally, the installation of the campus’ data infrastructure consisting of routers, switches, and hubs as well as cabling and jack termination is overseen by this team. The quantity and complexity of the Audio Visual work has increased tremendously in recent years necessitating a re-evaluation of both the quantity of the staff and the position descriptions. Historically this work consisted of things like bulb replacement and removal of 31
  32. 32. broken media lodged in the works of a projector. Advanced diagnostic and soldering techniques are now employed to do component level repairs on the high tech electronic components of the audiovisual equipment on campus requiring maintenance and repair. Recent staffing changes will require outsourcing of some of this work. Network Administration is another major growth area on campus. This group is responsible for server maintenance as well as network security and integrity. The rash of highly publicized attacks on various business enterprises has brought network and server security to the forefront of most enterprises. IET currently has four and a half Network Administrators. Each has a unique area of responsibility. Three oversee the computer operations in academic areas: the LTC, the Business Division, and one works to improve network server administration in the other unsupported academic areas. The other two share the centralized IET server support. One of those also supports Community Ed while the other is contracted out to Auxiliary Services half time. All of these individuals also endeavor to insure that Mt. SAC has a safe and secure network environment by constantly monitoring and improving our network security. Future concerns in this regard will be the wide-spread implementation of wireless networking technologies on campus. The Desktop Support team is responsible for installing, maintaining, and supporting enterprise desktop computer systems and their peripherals. They also provide consulting and recommend solutions to client hardware and software problems. Additionally they assist with maintaining the safe and secure computing environment by installing and keeping current workstation antivirus software. With the passing of the Campus bond project and the associated growth both in the Campus and in the quantity of technology on it, this team will need to grow with the campus to continue to provide the high quality support the campus has become accustomed to. Additionally, the Open Space Technology (OST) report clearly indicated a desire to “align support services with instructional hours”. To accomplish this alignment, additional staff is required. The Help Desk acts as the campus community’s single point of contact for the resolution of technical problems. In addition to providing initial first line (level one) support, the Help Desk also prioritizes and dispatches the unresolved calls creating an efficient call resolution process. This team too is affected by the increase in quantity of systems on campus and the stated desire to “align support services with instructional hours”. Of concern in this area is our reliance on part- time hourly staff for so vital a function. Staff churn has consistently been an obstacle to maintaining the desired Quality of Service (QOS). Adding additional full-time staff will be required as Campus reliance on this service increases. 32
  33. 33. ProjectsPriorities Because of the nature of this department most of our projects and priorities span across several functions. Meaning several or all of the units within the department are involved at various stages of the project. One of our key projects is the Campus Network Upgrade. We are installing a distributed network core with 4 to 8 gigabit interconnectivity. From the core we will provide switched gigabit links to each building and switched 10100 megabit connectivity to each desktop or, at least, to each classroom. This is a significant upgrade to our current and past shared 100-megabit backbone and shared 10- megabit desktop connections. This is required to support many of the programs currently on campus and most of those proposed. For example there is currently a Real AudioVideo server on campus capable of 100 simultaneous sessions of streaming video. If this server were put into use with just one or two sessions it would monopolize the current campus network rendering everyone else on campus unable to access the network. Upcoming projects, which require an upgrade to the network, include the LTC Language Lab going on-line with massive streaming audio files, Library Databases on-line, the new Real Audio & Streaming Video server, Distance Learning in General, and The Document Imaging system. Many of the reasons stated for the Campus Network Upgrade also apply to the need to upgrade the Campus Internet Connection. Two years ago we were able to double the size of the campus Internet connection from 1.5 Mbps to 3Mbps. Immediately we were using 75% of the new connection and within four weeks we had hit 100% utilization during peak times. The demand for Internet bandwidth continues to grow. The Chancellors office via the 4CNet and TTIP programs have been trying for over a year to upgrade Colleges such as ours to a 10Mbps fractional DS3 level of service. This has been an on-again off-again effort which is currently back on. We anticipate that even this upgrade will be insufficient to support the current demand. IET undertook a project to provide an additional 10Mbs fractional DS3 and has identified funding for it. We hope to install that within six months of 4CNet installing the infrastructure to support it. Location and quantity of Emergency Phones has become an issue on campus. IET’s Telecom team is working with Facilities and Maintenance to plan for and install several more “Blue Light” style phones around campus. Our Telecommunications budget of $10,585 is woefully insufficient to maintain the needs of the campus. This year a required software upgrade to the campus PBX cost $40,000. Estimated costs to install the phones required to accommodate the growth in campus staff was $30,000. Assuming we proceed with the proposed project to install a phone in every classroom and to provide a phone for each faculty member there will be an additional 400 instruments and 33