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RESTRUCTURING COMPUTING ACROSS PENN

Services for Local Providers Pilot Project - Approaches


Five approaches to services for local providers

Approach Who pays? Example services
from current portfolio
Features
Campus experts help each other. ISC coordinates or project manages. ("Facilitated Confederation")
  • Contribution in kind from campus experts, including ISC
  • Allocated funds to ISC for coordination
  • Questions escalated beyond frontline
  • Interest groups (PCNet, MacNet, Super Users, Lab Admin SIG, etc.)
  • Vendor relations
  • Security awareness and advice
Builds on Penn's flourishing informal network of campus experts. Model calls for more explicit coordination or project management from ISC. From all participants, model calls for more explicit definition of roles and responsibilities.
Formal campus teams As with other campus-wide process teams, funding comes from many sources: contribution in kind, allocated costs, central seed funds. Preferred strategy is to establish a budget line for the team itself.
  • Handle the "Fall Crush" of getting students connected and ready to use their computers
Some teams are ongoing. Other "nomadic" teams solve specific problems and disband.
ISC as provider Allocated funds to ISC
  • Support for problem-tracking software.
  • Support for network distribution of software
As with other uses of tax dollars, the pressure is to focus and delimit these services and to negotiate explicit service levels.
Entrepreneurial units sell services where markets exist Direct charges
  • Facilities management of computer systems
  • PennBack backup
  • Data & media conversion
 
Mixed strategies One approach: Allocated funds to ISC for doing or coordinating the service. Direct charges for the product itself (eg, site- licensed software).
  • User guides for campus-standard products (such as ELM email)
  • Some publications (such as PennNet Passport
  • Bringing training (for local providers) to Penn.
 


Principles for delivering and funding services to local providers

Principles for service delivery Principles for funding
  • Support local providers
  • Map what's there
  • Link authority and responsibility
  • Avoid referral and escalation
  • Keep it simple
  • Encourage the informal structure
  • Track usage
  • Promote standards
  • Identify tradeoffs
  • Expertise arises from actions
  • Communication is critical
  • Leverage existing resources
  • Taxes for central group that coordinates, but is not sole provider
  • Fund and staff support for local providers as part of the base process or service
  • Fund services and teams (not units)
  • Allocated funds where integrity of University data and systems is at stake, standards are encouraged, or for the good of the whole
  • Service bureaus where markets exist for custom or specialized
  • OK to mix allocated and direct


Local Services Pilot     Principles     Progress     Overview     Members    

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