IT community to transform SU’s computing environment
IT community to transform SU’s computing environmentSeptember 07, 2006Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
Technology leaders in all of SU’s schools, colleges and departments have determined that the Novell computing environment will not meet future University needs. Therefore, after more than a year of collaborative research, planning and development, the IT community, working through the University’s Technology Leadership Committee (TLC), will be replacing Novell with Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD). This is an integrated technology that will provide students, faculty and staff more efficient and secure connections to their computing resources and services.
“I must commend the TLC for its leadership in launching a new era of information and technology services on the SU campus,” says Paul Gandel, vice president for information technology/chief information officer (CIO). “The collaborative spirit of the TLC is responsible for breaking the boundaries that in less cooperative environments would make it impossible to undertake such an important technological leap as SU’s migration to Microsoft’s Active Directory.”
The TLC works with the CIO to foster collaboration among campus IT professionals, monitor technology trends in higher education, identify and prioritize IT initiatives that support the University’s mission, and recommend IT strategic priorities for the University community.
Among the most significant changes for faculty and staff in the new AD computing environment will be in switching from Novell’s GroupWise e-mail and calendaring system to Microsoft’s Outlook e-mail and calendaring system. Outlook will be more effective in meeting the diverse communications needs of the University community and works more efficiently than GroupWise does with smart phones and other mobile devices. In addition, AD will provide students, faculty and staff more storage space for their personal files and other data, and more storage space for their e-mail. AD will also make it easier to share files and connect to personal network space, files, printing services and other resources from any computer on campus.
Full implementation of AD across campus is expected to take as long as 18 months. The timing of the move for units within schools, colleges and departments will be coordinated by local computing support staff. Local computing support staff will also be the primary contact for faculty and staff for unit-specific AD information as the project moves forward. General and technical information about the AD project and Outlook is available on the SUAD website at http://suad.syr.edu.
“The AD project is very different from other IT projects of this magnitude because it is truly a cooperative effort among folks from a number of departments,” says Andy Covell, director of information technology in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. “This is different than what happens on most campuses, and it speaks well of the way that SU’s IT community is trying to maximize its expertise to benefit both individual departments and the University as a whole.”