MSU IT Council receives updates on network, email, student success projects

The MSU IT Council met on October 7.  Below are the high-level topic summaries from the meeting.

Data center and network planning projects

MSU IT Chief Technology Officer Nishanth Rodrigues updated the IT Council on projects to build a new data center and upgrade the campus network.

A new data center would strengthen MSU’s technology environment for academic, administrative, and high performance computing. The MSU Board of Trustees provided authorization to start the planning and approved hiring a construction management and architectural engineering team. The Board of Trustees will also determine how the data center will be funded. Information gathering is underway through meetings with colleges and business units. Deloitte has been hired to develop a data migration plan.

As part of the Network Planning Project, a campus wireless and wired assessment, a network closet assessment, and interviews with colleges and business units were completed. The collected information has been analyzed, and a design is in progress in conjunction with IBM for both the wireless and wired campus network. This design will then be used to produce a Request for Proposal for the network upgrade implementation.

Office 365 status

Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors were migrated to Office 365 email from MSU’s Legacy Email service. Seniors will be migrated to Office 365 in November. In total more than 35,000 student mailboxes have been migrated without any major problems.

Student success initiative

MSU IT Director of Academic Technology Brendan Guenther presented on integrated advising and planning and the Predictive Analytics Project. This project will enable student information to be analyzed and provide early identification of at-risk students to campus advisors. Project collaboration partners include the Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, Residential Education and Housing Services, and MSU Information Technology.

Through predictive analytics, MSU aims to increase graduation rates for first-generation, full-time college students. The project also aims to reduce opportunity gaps for students from lower income and minority backgrounds.

IT Service Management

MSU IT Assistant Director Dush Fernando provided an overview of efforts toward IT Service Management at MSU based on ITIL Best Practices. The approach moves from informal, reactive service management to a formal, repeatable, process-driven, and proactive service management structure. Components include incident management, change management, service asset and configuration management, and an ITIL service portfolio and catalog.

In May 2015, the IT Service Desk was positioned as the single point of contact for services, incidents, and requests. A next step is tracking IT services in a single service desk product.

About the IT Council

The MSU IT Council serves as a primary IT advisory body. Membership is open to the primary IT leader from each of the degree-granting colleges, core academic units, major academic support units, and other major business units.

The MSU community is encouraged to seek out their IT Council representative or visit the IT Council website for more information on topics of interest.