“I ask a question and there’s always an answer,” Jason says regarding the environment on the deskside team. “We support one another when we need to,” and, “they [colleagues] care about where you’re going and what you’re doing”. As a deskside analyst at IST led by team lead Kris Lizuck, Jason’s primary focus is to assist clients in break-fix situations, as well as mobility deployments. As part of the deskside team, “customer service and customer support” are the main points of focus for Jason. As first responders he says, ”it’s important to build a great rapport and make the client feel comfortable about what’s happening and assure their issue is being worked on and resolved”.

Based out of the Humanities building, Jason works with clients in the Northeast quadrant of campus. The majority of his clients are from the Arts faculty, though he also supports Ancillary Services, I-House and Residence Services. At the university, Jason says the customer service focus is ”quite a bit different here” and adds the role promotes, “a lot of interaction with clients, you’re very much encouraged to go out and mingle with clients and get your face out there; if I’ve dealt with them and they remember who I am, it’s important to the job.”

Back to School

After a brief work sojourn, first teaching ESL in Vancouver and then selling Apple products in Edmonton, Robbie Medeiros returned to the University of Alberta. Previously, he had been part of the international admissions unit in the Office of the Registrar; now he is a deskside support analyst with Information Services and Technology.

Although Robbie has never thought of himself as a “techie”, he has always been interested in technology and, more importantly, “in learning new things”, an essential attitude for a new deskside support analyst on campus. Also very helpful in “playing catch-up with gaps in his [IT] knowledge” is being part of “a dynamic team” that is happy to answer his many questions. In turn, Robbie helps his team provide classroom support, install software and set up IT for a variety of offices, mostly at the Faculty of Law and School of Business.

In his free time, Robbie “likes to perform” and is a member of several groups in Edmonton, including Rapid Fire Theatre. As a part of the Tales from the Improv Zone troupe, he appeared in the Fringe show, YEGDnD, for a second time this summer. It is not surprising that Robbie enjoys performing on stage, or that he enjoys “being back at the University and being surrounded by so much research and, especially, being surrounded by students”, as he was once a student of Theatre and English here too.


“The team is a bit like a multi-tool” with “a lot of different skills” James says of the Deskside 5 team led by Team Lead Eric Cheung. The team consists of individuals under LCS (Learning and Collaboration Support) who primarily focus in areas such as “video conferencing, event production, room bookings” and Deskside individuals who focus on computer operations. James fits into the role as the “front line support with clients”, “if somebody has an issue and they call the help desk and it’s not something they can do over the phone, I get sent out to look at it”.

Currently, James is assigned to the Southwest quadrant of the university and looks after several departments within Ancillary services, which include Residence and Parking, among others. He says the role allows him to interact “with a lot of different teams” around campus including “System Administration, Edge networking and Core Networking”. James is pleased to be a part of the IST team where the most rewarding part of his job is “the feeling of helping someone do their job”.

Compatible & Relevant

After eight months on the Application Development team, Shawn acknowledges the team dynamic as one that adapts, “they pick up any project and run with it, even if it’s out of their league, they will figure out how to do it”. He recognizes this ability as a beneficial skill for the team to have in their jobs, and within their industry, “the success of our team depends on their ability to adapt quickly to our environment, I believe in the software industry this changes too fast for them to not have that skill.”

Shawn notes his day-to-day workload is “full of meetings” and sees this as beneficial as they provide the opportunity to broaden a clients understanding of “what is possible for the average facility”. He believes the most important ability one can have in a rapidly changing industry is to stay “compatible and relevant”, though he admits it is a hard balance.

Shawn is a strong believer in IST culture, which he echoes, is a “one team, one voice” message. He believes he joined IST at an opportune time where he is able to see evidence of the message being adapted among the department and simultaneously lead by example in delivering that message.

PeopleSoft Financial System Update

During the weekend of August 15-18, the PeopleSoft Financial system will be unavailable due to scheduled updates.

Updates will begin Friday, August 15 at 5:00 PM. Access to the PeopleSoft Financial system will resume Monday, August 18 at 7:00 AM. Please see the official release below:

Published Date: August 8, 2014

Directed To: All PeopleSoft Financials Users

Subject: PeopleSoft Financials System Will Be Unavailable - Friday, August 15 at 5:00 PM to Monday, August 18 at 7:00 AM.

This notice is to inform users that the PeopleSoft Financials system is scheduled to be unavailable Friday, August 15 at 5:00 PM to Monday, August 18 at 7:00 AM to allow for system changes relating to Grants Management functions in support of research administration and reporting. During this time users will not be able to access or login to the PeopleSoft Financials system. This will impact all Financials users including those who enter/approve expense claims and purchase requisitions and access Researcher Home Page/eTRAC.

More information on these system improvements will be communicated as part of the implementation go-live notification.

Access to PeopleSoft HCM, Campus Solutions, and Bear Tracks will not be impacted by this system change and will follow the regular availability schedule.

There is no further information in the Production Notice on the Website.