Furthering the University

As a deskside analyst working in the northern quadrant on campus, Kirk McKenzie’s main focus is to minimize technical interruptions for users. Kirk, who works on Eric Cheung’s deskside team, specifically looks after the needs of chemistry and science faculties on campus. Technical requests can often take many forms and include varied tasks such as new hardware installations or inquiries around printers, and software licencing. For Kirk, resolving these issues all contribute to “enable teaching and learning and research” as users are able to continue accomplishing their goals uninhibited at the university.

Working with technology has always been commonplace for Kirk who enjoys dabbling with “building computers [and] networks at home”. Mostly self-taught, Kirk has built his knowledge from hands-on experience in previous helpdesk and analyst positions and his natural interest in the subject.

Degradation: Campus Voicemail Issues

Some users are experiencing intermittent issues with connecting to the campus voicemail system as well as slow or delayed playback of greetings and messages. If your call does not connect to the voicemail system please keep trying. The voicemail is functioning so If you hear pauses or delays in the playback please be patient.

Information Services and Technology (IST) is aware and working with the vendor to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.

Searching for Efficiency

Encouraging new ideas and adjustments to workflow are all part of the day-to-day for Shama Rana and fellow business analysts at IST. The team, led by Dagmar Morin, primarily focuses on “looking for efficiencies” in an effort to “make peoples’ jobs simpler, more efficient”. The process first begins when management in a given business unit recognize a need for improvement; thereafter, business analysts are brought in to observe and assess the workflow first hand, “you’re looking at their day-to-day activities their day-to-day job, that’s the part I love”. Shama is grateful to be in a role that allows her to interact with a diverse group of people and learn about their particular assignments as it offers the ability to “improve their day-to-day lives”.

Shama sees the role of business analyst as a natural fit and found she was already by instinct performing many of the tasks associated with the role “you’re doing it but you didn’t realize you were doing it”. Once a project is completed, Shama will move on to tackle the next project in her portfolio, “you’re always moving from one to the other … your role is to look for these efficiencies in a particular area and when that comes to an end, move onto the next area”.

Scheduled Outage

During the weekend of July 18-19, Bear Tracks and Campus Solutions will be unavailable due to a scheduled upgrade. System upgrades will begin Saturday, July 18 at 2:00AM and will continue through Sunday, July 19. At the time of the upgrade, users will be unable to access Campus Solutions, HCM, Bear Tracks and PeopleSoft financials.

Access to these applications will be fully restored on Monday, July 20 at 7:30AM. We appreciate your patience during the upgrade!


First Contact

As one of IST’s computer operators, Vedran Kurbegovic can monitor “pretty much any [IT] device on campus from a switch to a router to a computer”. He also monitors “the humidity, the temperature, and any environmental changes in the data centres” as any “sudden spike” in conditions could cause a lot of problems. The core switches are the most critical as “everything else is connected to them so if one of them goes down, then 60 other things go down”. The optimum temperature range for the data centres is 20-26 Celsius and any variation of that range would affect “millions of dollars of equipment”.

Vedran and IST’s other computer operators are the first contacts when incidents occur and are the key communicators in those situations. They know who to call and are “the first ones notifying the teams to come and get the incidents resolved”. Although the data centre “is our main concern”, they are “also responsible for communications after hours, for IT calls and stuff like that”. When Vedran began working for IST, he “was on nights for 12 hours by myself and pretty nervous at first, but after a while you get used to it, and once you know the steps it’s all the same”. Still, it is reassuring to know that Vedran and his colleagues are on the alert for unexpected incidents however routine the process may be most of the time.