Communicating Success

Borislav Misita, a business analyst, is part of a small team within IST which is working on a big project: the Graduate Admissions. The Graduate Admissions project is intended to help streamline and speed up the application, review and admission process for graduate students. With a scheduled implementation for October 1st, 2015, the project will have a huge positive impact in not only departments offering graduate studying by accelerating admission adjudication time and getting high-quality applicants but also prospective graduate students. Prospective graduate students would be able to submit their application online, upload necessary supporting documentation, communicate with the departments online, monitor the application review progress, etc. Borislav’s goal is to help make the application process “more user-friendly” and “to speed it up”. Ultimately, he feels that the better process will allow the University “to be more competitive with other institutions”.

Borislav’s business and IT background—he has a degree in Economics and Computer Systems Technology as well as many years of experience as a business analyst—is an asset to his team and the project. His strength is communication as he “is more of a people person, likes communicating, talking to people rather than just coding”. And as the Graduate Admissions project involves many people from most of the University, great communication and people skills will be an essential part of its successful completion.

Professors & Students At the Helm

Classroom technology, specifically “A/V installation, design and implementation with new technology” are exactly where Allan Angeles places his focus everyday. As a Repair & Deployment technician under team lead Yvan Mireault, Allan is tasked with optimizing classrooms for use by professors and students. Each classroom setup has numerous elements to take into consideration: “projectors, sound systems, product inputs, videoconferencing, touch panels, programming” to name a few. Allan mentions once a classroom is setup, it is important to stay in-the-know of product developments since new products hit the market “every six months”. Though the team has a standard setup for every classroom, speaking to professors to determine specific needs can uniquely shape a setup configuration, including the influence of new technologies.

In addition to working with professors, Repair & Deployment collaborates with many teams around the university to assist in technology selection and solutions including networking, F&O, relationship managers, and event production. Allan appreciates the variety Repair & Deployment offers and regards the role as a “blessing in disguise” as it assists in keeping him active and on the move.

Facilitating Change

With a degree in Computer Engineering, and many years in systems administration, Fernando Andres knows that his “comfort zone is in IT”. And, as a technician in IST’s Data Centre, Fernando brings all his administrative and IT experience to help with the University’s “still continuing objective of [IT] consolidation of departments” through—in part—unifying their servers and adding their infrastructure to IST’s Data Centre.

Fernando’s years of IT experience –17 with HP in Saudi Arabia and 5 with the National Commercial Bank in UAE—afforded him the knowledge and expertise to suggest “to management that there are a lot of things that need to be changed”. And he is happy to have been “given the opportunity to do all those things that I know will make our data centre better”, particularly in the areas of service, availability and standardization.

Although Fernando prefers not to compare his previous workplaces to his work at the University—“it would be like I’m in the hot weather and then I came to the cold weather”—he is impressed by IST’s “work ethic”, and how “everyone is very professional”.  He feels that together “we are making something, achieving something”, not just for IST, but for the whole University.

Curious & Lucky

As a Systems Analyst on the Server & Application Hosting team, Dawn Taylor’s job is one project after another, “we do a lot of projects … right now I’m working on Splunk”. Splunk is a log aggregator that functions to collect information about servers and devices on campus; this in turn allows the team to monitor machinery and take action if necessary to “figure out what’s broken”. It also “drastically cuts down on the time needed to troubleshoot problems because we can look at more than one server at a time”.

Dawn’s focus surrounding Splunk is continual improvement of the program and ensuring program stability. Alongside program upkeep, the team is also raising awareness and encouraging adoption by more teams in IST. Apart from Splunk Dawn focuses on support of database applications, web server applications and Linux applications.

Since starting at the university, Dawn mentions a common drive is recognizable in each individual working on campus: “everybody [wants] the university to be better … everybody’s passionate about it and everybody will go the extra hundred miles to make it happen”. Dawn also finds a likeminded atmosphere for all who study and work here, “this place is Disneyland for people who want to learn” and with the hard work of everyone involved, “the place is becoming even better”.

Perspective is Everything

Navjot’s first experience with IST was at the Help Desk, where he was introduced to the vision that IST is here to help the people and support academic research. He self describes himself as dynamic, which mirrors how he feels towards the department. “It’s pretty dynamic. Priorities change, requirements change, and then you change.” He’s happy to be working with good people and in a supportive environment. He particularly enjoys the opportunity to try new things here and then receiving constructive feedback afterward.

Navjot is apart of the ITPMO Process Adoption led by Team Lead Praveen Avala. One of the projects that Navjot has been apart of is the Project Server Implementation. It's not live yet, but is “a tool to manage your projects and to look at resources, schedule your resources for casting and for budget scope.” He and his team design and model processes for project management, business analysis, and other programs.

"In my career, I started as a Quality Assurance Analyst. I moved into Consulting. It’s the same dynamic work, dynamic environment, and dynamic people.” Though Navjot’s work experience is always changing, he shares insight that it “depends on you. If you’re resistant to change, then it’s hard.”