Testing and Extending Penn's New Model for Computing ServicesFebruary 27, 1997
EXTENDING THE NEW MODEL
In addition, pilot projects continue to test aspects of Penn's new model for computing services:
Support in residence: Phase 3 (frontline support as close as possible to users): Extend to all campus residences the successful pilot to deliver computing support in residence to Penn students.
Team leaders:Rationalize network central services fee (network as regulated public utility): As a first step toward running Penn's network as a regulated public utility, rationalize the "central services fee," which covers network infrastructure. Determine appropriate services, service levels, and fees, and explore more strategic approaches to billing. Establish a proto "public utility commission," or governing board, to make these decisions in consultation with the Penn community.
Team leaders:Services for providers of computing (secondary support): Begin putting in place a coherent and effective set of services directed to providers of computing in Penn's schools and units. Define performance measures, service-level agreements, and formal ways to get customer feedback. Determine organizational structures; resolve cross-ISC intake and resource allocation.
Team leaders:Dispatch services (frontline support; sell services where it makes sense): Research the Penn market and develop a business plan for selling dispatch computing services (on-site computing support on a fee-per-incident basis). Example services might include configuring software and hardware, recovering files, and optimizing systems. Determine organizational structures; resolve cross-ISC intake and resource allocation. Phase II: If markets prove to exist, roll out initial services.
Team leaders:Frontline support-for-hire (service bureau; primary support): Review and adapt for broader implementation the distributed staffing program of Penn's central computing group, in which local units contract with Information Systems and Computing to locate computing support staff on-site. Explore market needs and develop a formal business plan. Determine organizational structures; resolve cross-ISC intake and resource allocation.
Team leaders:Link help desks across campus (frontline support; services for providers of computing): Link help desks across campus by sharing software that tracks problems and solutions. Set common standards and practices for using the software. Arts & Sciences and ISC will initially deploy the software; the Library and the Engineering and Medical Schools will help shape the implementation.
BEYOND PILOT STAGE
Other pilots have already moved to steady state--or to larger arenas. Descriptions of those original pilot projects are listed here.
Support in residence for students (frontline support as close as possible to users): Pilot the viability of moving to residence-based frontline computing support for undergraduates; lay groundwork for transition. Begin with one residential unit and closely coordinate with broader efforts to restructure student services across the University.
Team leaders:New learning spaces (process team): Explore innovative approaches to new "learning spaces" at Penn. Create financial incentives for Penn's public computer labs to replace their machines on a four-year cycle.
Team leaders:Facilities management-for-hire (secondary support; sell services where it makes sense): Improve, expand, and formalize ISC's program of facilities management, in which ISC provides technical and operational support for computer systems that belong to clients. Treat the recent contract with the School of Dental Medicine as a pilot to learn more about running this service as a business.
Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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