More than a help desk: Meet the new UIndy IT
The most important amenities on the University of Indianapolis campus could well be the ones you can’t see – and it’s all thanks to the Information Technology Department. IT is the group behind those unsung success stories that keep UIndy’s cutting-edge technology in top shape, whether it’s the infrastructure under your feet or the email in your in-box.
Information Technology, which used to be known as Information Systems at UIndy, will be using the more common “IT” name from now on. Steve Herriford, UIndy’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Information Technology, explained why.
“We’ve done a lot of work in changing our relationship with campus and focusing on customer service. As part of this rebranding, we’re the new IT!” Herriford said.
Matt Wilson, Senior Director of Network Systems and Security, added, “It has to do a lot with standardizing with industry norms. I think ‘technology’ indicates a little more forward-thinking, technology-focused innovation.”
The goal is to get the word out to the campus community about what IT can do for them. The numbers alone are impressive. UIndy IT resolved 9,000 Help Desk tickets between 2015 and 2016. The department supports nearly 6,000 simultaneous wireless connections, 679 employee computers, 615 computers in 28 computing labs, and has overseen the installation of 305 miles of fiber on campus.
UIndy IT is much more than the Help Desk. Herriford said the university’s wi-fi capabilities are the result of several years of the IT department’s hard work.
With the number of wireless devices on campus tripling over the past several years, UIndy IT has ramped up its strategy to meet the need. Setting higher technology standards is part of the growth process. In the summer of 2016, UIndy IT implemented Wireless-AC, a new wireless standard that allows for greater bandwidth. “As more clients support it, we’ll be able to take advantage of that higher bandwidth,” said Wilson.
The department has had other big successes in recent years. Wireless Interactive Presentation System (WiPS) is one of those technologies that you may never have heard of that makes presenting more convenient.
WiPS solves several problems for in-class presentations: it allows instructors to move around as they lecture, and students don’t have to waste time plugging in if they bring their own device for a presentation.
Michelle Duman, Senior Director of Technology Planning and Acquisitions, called the introduction of WiPS a “huge leap forward in the classroom technology.”
Martin and Lilly Halls now have the WiPS technology, and there’s more expansion planned.
Another IT success that students burning the midnight oil will be grateful for is the implementation of mobile printing. Herriford explained that before mobile printing, students had to go to a lab to print their documents. Now they can send an email and go to a print station in any of the residence halls to print their data.
“That was a big win for us with the students. Previously, the only 24-hour labs were in the Krannert Memorial Library. The rest were closed at night. Now they can send it and pick it up in their dorm,” Herriford said.
UIndy IT also is constantly evaluating its security road map, which includes technologies like firewalls, malware detection, encryption, policy development and more. They also hosted their first annual security event last fall to help educate the campus community on the perils of phishing.
The Help Desk is available at 317-788-3318 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Students may also walk in at the Schwitzer Student Center, Room 212.
Help Desk walk-in hours:
Monday – Thursday 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Friday 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.