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ITS, FredNet merge, consolidate into DoTS

September 25, 2009

Over the summer, FredNet merged with IT Services to form what is now known as the Division of Technology Services (DoTS). Chief Information Officer Steve Reed described the merger as more efficient, cohesive and a better utilization of employee skillsets.

The University conducted an IT review and redesign project approximately four years ago. Out of this project, the recommendation to look at the merger of FredNet and IT Services arose.

The past issues with the separation of these two entities included duplication of services and no single point of contact for students [faculty] and staff. It is this single point of contact “that enables Technology Services to provide the best customer service,” Reed said. “You’re getting a one-stop-shop type of service where all questions students, faculty, staff and the community have are getting the same answers.”

Reed also believes that this merger creates a more efficient work place, increased quality of work and an increased response time. This, in turn, creates a more cohesive service.

DoTS is organized into an administrative group with four teams and currently employs the same number of students. The teams are broken down into Information Systems and Services, Customer Technology Services, Infrastructure and Security Technologies and Teaching and Learning Technologies.

According to the DoTS Mission Statement, “Division of Technology Services (DoTS) will provide a coordinated, cohesive and integrated service to the campus. DoTS will provide a single point of contact for problem resolution and service acquisition for campus constituents. DoTS will provide its services to the campus community with equality, efficiency and a spirit of helpfulness.”

DoTS supports everything including ResNet appointments, walk-ups and phone calls.

Customer Technology Support Team Coordinator Emily Hagstrom said she thinks that the students won’t see many changes from previous years, and the merger is a step in the right direction.
“Having a centralized technology services allows for the possibility of faster responses and no confusion on who supports what piece of technology on campus,” she said.

Technology Services sends out random evaluations to customers once their issue has either been resolved or closed. According to Hagstrom, “there are some very different opinions about the merger and changes, but the overall reaction is positive.”

The merging process for the student staff involved two weeks of training before the semester began. Customer Technology Support Team Coordinator Joe Kelly was one of the leaders who worked over the summer to create the training session.

“… [We] worked over the summer to create a training session that would best inform the student staff on how the merger would work and what they will be doing. We are all very excited to learn what it will take to make this merger a smooth transition for everyone,” Kelly said.
The project planning portion of DoTS has improved through the merger as well.

“Project planning is a lot more effective, not only from a staff efficiency, but also from a fiscal efficiency,” Reed said.