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Accomplishments Report - Administrative

Developing a Robust Data Ecosystem

Academic Year 2018-2019

Universities accumulate mountains of data. But what is done with all this information? Here at CU Boulder, the Office of Data Analytics (ODA) specializes in data integrity, access, analysis, and visualization. In order to best support ODA and the campus, OIT is bringing many data sources across campus into one location for deeper, more meaningful analysis. 

Over the past year, OIT prioritized the creation of a data services team. They partnered closely with ODA to evaluate and improve the university’s “data lake” (a single store of all CU Boulder’s enterprise data) and data infrastructure. From that work, the team chose a platform, Amazon Web Services, and is working with the Office of Integrity, Safety and Compliance to ensure proper security. Work will continue to evolve in this space so that the campus can make better data-informed decisions. With this, we can identify and act upon campus opportunities in a more productive and efficient way.

Seamless Overhaul of Essential Identity Service

Academic Year 2018-2019

Many may not have noticed, but February 2019 marked the complete overhaul of one of CU Boulder’s most essential IT services, the Identity Manager service. Oracle Identity Manager (OIM) replaced the legacy Sun Identity Manager application. This service creates and updates IdentiKeys for CU Boulder students, faculty, and staff. It’s such an integral part of the campus community’s daily lives that any problems to this essential service can significantly impact campus productivity. 

Although this transition was long and involved, the final launch had minimal impact on end-users. Behind the scenes, OIM was actually in production for several years prior to February 2019, and the project team worked to quietly and incrementally move as much functionality as possible to the new platform ahead of the cutover. From the time that accounts were created in OIM in parallel with the legacy service until launch, there were more than fifty official changes deployed, with legacy components being turned off along the way. This approach allowed team members to learn and improve with each transition, and the final cutover only required a small number of changes.

Benefits of the new service

One of the main enhancements with OIM is the new end-user interface The cleaner design is more intuitive, offers additional self-service options, and provides a better first impression for incoming students and employees. Because the new site is abstracted from OIM, it is more flexible, customizable, and creates opportunities to bring in other aspects of identity and access functionality for users.

The move to OIM has automated work that was previously manual and allowed the retirement of numerous legacy processes that were fragile and hard to support. The new platform and supporting architecture position us to be more stable, extensible, event-driven, and consistent. From a security and vendor perspective, OIM is fully supported, regularly patched and updated, and supports custom functionality.

This project took a village and required support from many teams. Leveraging CU Denver’s OIM expertise and infrastructure helped create a community of collaboration among the Identity & Access teams across the CU system that still persists today.

Taking Care of Core Campus Functionality: Investing in Wi-Fi

Academic Year 2018-2019

Over the past two years, CU Boulder prioritized upgrading campus Wi-Fi networks and made significant investments to do so. Wi-Fi in eighteen buildings was upgraded and improvements to the campus networks continue to be made with ongoing incremental adjustments to maintain network health and improvements in Wi-Fi coverage in specific areas based upon campus feedback.

Additional Way to Gather Data

Knowing where to upgrade is key to improving the Wi-Fi experience on campus. The UCB Wireless Quality Reporter app, developed this year, helps obtain that necessary data. This simple-to-use mobile app allows users to rate the performance of UCB Wireless by selecting if the Wi-Fi is bad, ok, or good in certain locations across campus. The data that comes from these anonymous reports are analyzed and helps identify specific areas for possible upgrades.

Renegotiation Provides Savings to Students and the University

Academic Year 2018-2019

As part of the Financial Futures initiative, our campus negotiated an enterprise license that significantly lowered the price of the Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) suite of software and provided Acrobat Pro at no cost to university-owned computers. For the first time, students can purchase the suite of creative tools for digital imaging, design, web, and video, as well as online services including free storage for files, at the same reduced prices, offered to faculty and staff. The price for Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) suite is now $95 a year ($65 for half year). That’s a substantial savings compared to the previous annual cost of $330 for students and $240 for faculty and staff. 

Staying in Tune with Residential Students Needs

Academic Year 2018-2019

The way students consume media has evolved. Based on comprehensive usage data and survey feedback, Residence LIfe identified that students were underutilizing existing cable TV service in residence halls and desired a steaming TV option that would enable mobility when consuming video entertainment. In the interest of providing value both in cost and positively impacting the student experience, OIT and Residence Life partnered up to deliver Stream2 IPTV service from Apogee to the CU Boulder campus. With Stream2, students can download an app to watch live TV and sports from their computer, tablet, phone, Roku, or Amazon Firestick, giving them access to their favorite shows from anywhere on campus! This new service also comes with 20 hours of DVR recordings.

MS Teams Now Available to Campus

Academic Year 2018-2019

This past academic year, Microsoft Office 365 Teams, a chat-based collaboration tool was made available to all CU Boulder affiliates. Backed by Office 365 advanced security and compliance capabilities, Microsoft Teams is a secure collaboration application that brings together people, conversations, and content so that users can easily collaborate to achieve more. It’s naturally integrated with familiar Office applications and allows seamless collaboration on documents.


  • Chat one-on-one or in groups
  • Create channels to organize your conversations
  • Seamlessly move from chat to an online meeting
  • Schedule online meetings easily through Outlook
  • Office integration includes access to SharePoint and OneDrive for secure document storage and sharing 
  • Co-author Office documents within the app
  • Manage projects and tasks using integrated tools such as Planner and Trello 
  • See a team member’s current status
  • Available across all platforms: desktop (Windows, Mac and Linux), mobile, and web browser

New Service Offering - Jamf Pro

Academic Year 2018-2019

The Jamf Pro endpoint management service was made available in August 2018 to allow IT departments to better manage Apple macOS computers and iOS devices. With Jamf Pro, IT Professionals can easily deploy software packages, push system and application patches and updates, create and manage device policies, lock/delete devices if they go missing and more. The service manages the Jamf Pro backend infrastructure and provides common software packages for deployment. This saves IT admins time and effort and allows them to focus on department-specific needs.

Currently, 2,347 computers and 580 mobiles are managed by Jamf Pro and there are 30 centrally packaged applications (e.g. Microsoft suite, Adobe suite, Zoom video conferencing, antivirus, etc.) available. The service is not just for IT Professionals. Departments who need to manage Apple endpoints are encouraged to leverage this service to minimize redundancies and increase efficiency.

Cloud Services to Improve Efficiency

Academic Year 2017-2018

Working with the Office of Data Analytics (ODA), OIT helped deliver a cloud solution through Amazon Web Service (AWS). ODA is now able to deliver predictive analytics at a much faster rate so that researchers can better determine appropriate funding in a more timely manner. While ODA focused on developing the solution, OIT worked on the infrastructure, procurement, and IT security. This was just the start of our public cloud service offerings. More to come in the future as we work to fulfill the campus cloud strategy.  

Classroom Capture Grant to Support Faculty

Academic Year 2017-2018

Faculty asked, OIT listened. CU Boulder’s Classroom Capture service has expanded. During the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters, all courses and education-based events that support the academic mission of the university are now eligible for Classroom Capture at no cost. Previously, Classroom Capture was available only as a common-good service to classes with a course code. This pilot expands beyond just courses and will fund Classroom Capture for education-based content that supports the academic and teaching mission of the university.

Network Upgrades 

Academic Year 2017-2018

Despite undergoing continuous improvements and upgrades over the years, the demand for network connectivity continues to grow. Over the past year, significant investments were made to upgrade the campus network to meet the ongoing needs of our campus.

Upgrading the Network:

  • The campus backbone, which carries data between the core routers, was upgraded from 40 Gigabits per second (Gbps) to 100 Gbps.
  • Distribution uplinks, which carry data from the core routers to distribution routers, were upgraded to 40 Gbps from 10.
  • From the distribution routers, data is transported to individual buildings across campus. These links were upgraded from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps.
  • The campus’ link to the Internet was upgraded from 30 Gbps to 70 Gbps and will be upgraded to 90 Gbps in the near future.

Upgrading the Network Equipment:

  • Res Hall switches were reconfigured, updated and consolidated.
  • All residence halls, with the exception of family housing buildings which have unique requirements, received new Wi-Fi access points.
  • Wi-Fi access points in key large lecture were upgraded.
  • A number of complete building upgrades were completed.

Improving Advancement

Academic Year 2017-2018

In 2015, CU President Bruce Benson tasked our campus community to improve data held in Advance, our fundraising system, and then link that data in a constituent relationship management (CRM) data platform. Before a solution could be developed, the issue needed to be fully understood. CU Boulder Advancement (CUBA), Central Advancement and the University of Colorado Foundation engaged OIT’s Business Analysis and Solutions Architecture (BASA) team to help assure that the future technology would meet their evolving data needs.

Over the past year, the BASA team worked to understand the state of the current processes. From there, they mapped 40 critical business processes, identified ways technology can increase efficiencies & reduce the burden on employees, and provided recommendations. Through these processes, partnerships across the fundraising system are forming and silos are breaking down to transform the way we do donor management across Boulder and the system.

New Recruiting System

Academic Year 2017-2018

To recruit and hire top faculty & staff, we need a recruiting system that is efficient and intuitive while meeting Boulder’s talent acquisition needs. The former Taleo recruiting system was outdated and cumbersome so OIT teamed up with Human Resources, University Information Systems and Strategic Relations to integrate a system that not only improved the experience for candidates, but greatly enhanced the workflow for recruiters and hiring managers. The new Applicant Tracking System Avature was rolled out to staff in May 2018 and to faculty in August 2018. This new system reduced the paper burden and consolidated many Human Resources business processes. By having a centralized portal that is easy-to-use, CU Boulder employees have more time to dedicate to other important tasks and potential candidates have a better first impression of CU Boulder.

Continued Investment in Dedicated Desktop Support

Academic Year 2017-2018

As a campus standard and common good service, Dedicated Desktop Support (DDS) provides proactive and reactive technical support for computers, tablets, and mobile devices. By providing DDS as an enterprise service, OIT enables departments the time to focus on their academic priorities instead of computer support. Within the past year, DDS resolved 14,814 incidents and requests with a 97% satisfaction rate.