Letter from the CIO

Oliver Gruter-Andrew, Chief Information Officer

Successful organizations in all areas of human endeavour must be able to adapt to changing environments. An organization's IT function is now not only to enable the use of technology, but to be a partner in growth and transformation, integral to the change needed for success. As a result, IT departments also now focus on building trusting, constructive relationships - technology adoption and sustainment is, at its heart, all about people. However, a relationship of trust does not happen overnight. Communication, consistent engagement, and flexibility are key elements in building successful partnerships. Developing IT teams that interact with the enterprise at all levels will lead to an IT department that becomes an active and influential participant in solving organizational challenges, ultimately ensuring that IT strategy, and the strategy of the enterprise are aligned.

At UBC, we have been making significant progress in partnering initiatives between UBC IT and the academic and research functions. We have become responsible for overall IT support in a number of Faculties and research groups, and have extended opportunities for partnerships in areas that have their own support groups. Key to the success of these initiatives has been the underlying analysis of the client environment and objectives, and the recognition of the need for flexibility in our delivery model. In our enterprise initiatives, we've worked closely with our executive sponsors to understand the strategy and desired outcomes, and developed engagement models that ensure we seek feedback widely, across all areas of the institution and at all levels. The recent selection of the new student information system reflects the model, and there is recognition that this approach should be extended in future projects.

Looking forward to the future, there is more work to be done to build a culture of engagement throughout all of UBC IT at all levels. We need to ensure that we have partners across the institution that can identify and lead initiatives so that desired academic or research outcomes are achieved, and we need to ensure broad opportunities for participation across campus where warranted. A review of our IT governance model in the near future will help align institutional priorities with resourcing and IT spending, and ensure that IT activities reflect institutional strategy.

True engagement across UBC means that the institution and the IT delivery organizations work hand in hand to ensure university investments in IT are used effectively to transform processes and enable UBC to be a place of excellence in learning, engagement, international partnerships, innovation and research.

Signature of Oliver Gruter-Andrew

Oliver Grüter-Andrew
Chief Information Officer

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About UBC IT

We are a service organization that continually engages with our community to provide technology which enables an exceptional learning and research environment at UBC.



8 Enterprise Architecture
9 CIO Office
37 Digital Media Technologies
39 Client Services
45 Okanagan IT
69 Application Development Services
103 Application Management Services
151 Infrastructure

On Campus

100% Wireless-enabled
Academic Buildings
to stay connected and boost productivity
9,000 In-residence
Internet Ports
for high speed connectivity

Virtual Servers

4,000+ Virtual Servers to enhance sustainability and savings


11,005 Desktops supported
13,262Voice Over IP 2,600Non-IP Phones UBC Phone Numbers supported


5,696 Active Courses supporting an online learning environment
45,902 Active Users accessing an online learning environment

Mailboxes Supported

42,284 Student & Alumni Email service hosted at UBC
15,903 Faculty & Staff Email service hosted at UBC

Virtual Desktop Interface Terminals

1,598 To Stay Connected
to your workstation anywhere with an internet connection

Information Stored

8,192,000 GB
of data secured and protected

Campus-Wide Login

130,000,000 CWL Authentications Per Year
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SupportiveFaculty of Education

In recent years, we have continued to form new partnerships between UBC Information Technology (UBC IT) and other faculties and departments to deliver IT services directly to staff and faculty. These partnerships are intended to help ensure the technology strategy is aligned to the overall faculty or unit strategy. For some partnerships, such as with the Faculty of Education, IT staff changed their organizational reporting lines and transitioned to new or similar roles within UBC IT. These changes can be difficult, and therefore to support staff through the change, and to help them be successful in their new roles, UBC IT has several mechanisms in place.

An Open Dialogue

With major structural changes in an organization, staff anxiety levels can be high and concerns for the future are top of mind. To mitigate these concerns and to help staff adjust to the unknown during the transition period, a client services manager from UBC IT is assigned to provide guidance to IT staff and to assist with the partnership. For the Faculty of Education, Client Services Manager, Baljit (Balli) Chahal focused on three major principles when providing guidance to the IT team: stability, trust, and opportunity.

"The IT staff needed as much stability as possible during a period of great uncertainty, at the same time they needed some assurance that there was the possibility of a role for them within UBC IT after the transition was complete," said Chahal.

To maintain operational service standards during the transition period, the client services manager works to ensure existing service levels are maintained by working closely with staff on a day-to-day basis, managing daily operations and introducing UBC IT best practices. For the Faculty of Education, Chahal also held weekly one-on-one meetings with each IT staff to listen to their concerns about the changes taking place and to offer direction for their work.

Gaining staff's trust through the transition is critical in order to foster a strong working relationship. Client Service Managers provide as much transparency into the process as possible by delivering regular updates about the changes in their unit and ensuring commitments are kept. Staff members are also encouraged to voice their opinions so they are involved with the change and contributing to the process.

"It was really important that I be approachable, and so I kept my office door open for staff as much as possible. Their needs were a priority to UBC IT. I also promised that I would follow through with answers to their questions," said Chahal.

Michael Shepard, an Application Systems Administrator at UBC IT, was one of the Faculty of Education staff that was affected by the transition, "Balli was very clear on defining the parameters within which he was operating, and the parameters that applied to us, both during and after the integration. This honesty during the process was extremely helpful. I felt that UBC IT was trying as much as it could within its limitations to provide an IT solution for the faculty and a place for staff."

Transitioning to a larger organization can sometimes be overwhelming and staff may not always be aware of the benefits and professional development opportunities available to them. For the Faculty of Education, Chahal arranged a number of informal meetings for staff to meet with the service owners whose teams were providing services to the Faculty of Education (e.g. Desktop Services and Systems). This created opportunities for staff to learn and ask questions about the functions of the different teams and services offered, and the projects and roles within UBC IT. For each transition process, UBC IT takes into consideration the current role, interests, and career aspirations of each staff member when evaluating the opportunities that are available in the department for new employees. Chahal worked closely with the various service owners to ensure that each staff member was matched with roles that were suited for them. He provided valuable insights to UBC IT service owners due to his frequent interaction with the team and his knowledge of each individual staff member's strengths, weaknesses, goals, and career aspirations.

I felt that UBC IT was trying as much as it could within its limitations to provide an IT solution for the faculty and a place for staff.
Michael Shepard, Application Systems Administrator

Preparing for Success at UBC IT

Once staff arrangements are complete and each staff member is assigned to a role, the respective manager within UBC IT prepares staff for their new roles by equipping them with the tools and knowledge necessary to be successful in their jobs. Employees are provided with training if required, and may attend information sessions within the teams that aim to develop their skills and knowledge of UBC and UBC IT processes, culture, and expectations. In addition, managers within UBC IT are provided with training on coaching staff and matching staff career interests with opportunities that will help achieve their goals and aspirations.

"As a manager, I understand the apprehensions that new staff experience as they transition to UBC IT. One simple way to address this is by having informal conversations with them to know their strengths, interests, as well as career goals. I try my best to get them involved in projects that they are interested in and that fit their competencies. I also encourage them to register for workshops or conferences that can enhance their skills or that can contribute to their career goals," says Bryan Swan, Senior Manager, Desktop Services.

All IT positions within UBC IT are based on UBC's IT Career Framework. This framework shows the many IT positions that exist at UBC, the skills and competencies required for each position, and helps staff envision and plan their career path. Other professional development initiatives that UBC IT has in place are 360 degree reviews, as well as performance reviews, training activities, and career planning, all supported by a comprehensive performance management tool that maintains an employees' personal career history, and supports goal setting and career management activity.

"For me, the integration of the Faculty of Education's computing support staff into UBC IT was a positive experience. I'm in a new position that is interesting, challenging and has more scope for growth. I still work with good people, but there are more of them," says Shepard.

Enhancing our support for the integration of new staff to UBC IT is a continuing process. All partnerships are unique and each new staff member brings a wealth of personal and professional experience that deepens the breadth of UBC IT's combined skillsets. Opportunities to improve the transition process to ensure that new staff members have the resources and support that they need for success at UBC IT are reviewed regularly, and UBC IT has consistently sought feedback from staff who have gone through the process to find out how the department can improve.

"Not everything is perfect. There was the expected stress and concerns regarding change and uncertainty. UBC IT is a large organization and can be less flexible in some areas. But people do say I smile more...," added Shepard.

From start to finish, the Faculty of Education describes the transition process and its current partnership with UBC IT.

Other ways that UBC IT is being supportive

Activity/Project Goal Results and Accomplishments to Date
Learning Space Upgrades Enhance teaching and learning environment with audio visual (AV) upgrades that encourage interactive learning and accommodate a variety of teaching styles
  • Completed 35 audio visual upgrades to existing classrooms
  • Introduced over 30 new audio visual enhanced classrooms across campus
Flexible Learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Enhance educational outcomes for UBC students
  • Completed over 60 videos for flexible learning and MOOCs
  • Co-produced a video with Stanford University that 180,000 students registered for and was featured on The National for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
Teaching Assignment Section Management (TASM) and Scheduling System Replacement Projects Enable the process of assigning Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Instructors to a section and identify their duties, such as assisting, coordinating, marking and submitting grades
  • Improved efficiencies in scheduling and timetabling and improved visibility into teaching and non-teaching duty assignments, course scheduling and room utilization.
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SecurityData Encryption Program

With large public organizations now being a main target of cybercrime, the need to secure data is more important than ever before. UBC has invested in enhancements to its Information Technology security platform to protect Personal Information, and through the Data Encryption Program, UBC IT is continuing to protect computers and mobile devices that are at risk of being compromised as the result of unauthorized access, theft, or loss.

The Pilot Program

At UBC, a vast quantity of information is collected each day relating to academic research, financial transactions, and faculty, staff and student information. The prevalence of data breaches in higher education has been steadily increasing and UBC, and other organizations like UBC continue to be a data rich target. Data breaches in higher education can be expensive, damaging, and potentially dangerous for those who have their information exposed. As a university, we are stewards of this information, and need to ensure this information is kept safe.

Originally introduced in 2012, UBC IT's Data Encryption Program was implemented to defend against breaches and attacks that can result from improperly stored data. This program was introduced to the campus community through a 1,000-device pilot project. The pilot team, consisting of key information security experts at UBC, identified high risk group devices at UBC which required encryption immediately in order to mitigate data loss. After working with the community to ensure that all high-risk groups across campus were included in the pilot, in 2013, UBC IT continued work with the program encrypting devices at the Sauder School of Business, Arts ISIT, Continuing Studies, Dentistry, Enrolment Services and other potentially high-risk departments across campus joining the pilot.

From the knowledge gained in pilot, the Personal Information Security & Governance Program led by Jennifer Kain, Director of Personal Information Governance & Security in Risk Management Services, created a risk assessment chart. The chart indicated which departments at UBC were at a high-risk of exposing Personal Information, and which were at a less significant or at a medium-risk.

Data Encryption Program Launched Across UBC

Earlier this year, with the completion of the pilot program, a UBC-wide Data Encryption Program was launched to protect personal information assets stored at the university. While encryption services were already available for staff and faculty to encrypt their UBC-owned hardware, the goal of the Data Encryption Program was to install McAfee Full Disk Encryption on all laptop and desktop computers used at UBC that house sensitive or personal information. For individuals who did not wish to encrypt their devices, there were alternate UBC hosted solutions available, such as Personal Network Drives, Team Network Drives, or SharePoint.

The Data Encryption Program built awareness of the risks involved with storing and accessing private or confidential data on mobile devices. Furthermore, UBC IT continues to help the community protect data assets by providing assistance, training, and expertise to encrypt desktop and laptop computers.

The benefits of encryption have already proven significant. A break-in at the Faculty of Arts led to the loss of two laptops containing sensitive information. While the stolen hardware was not recovered, data was not compromised due to the encryption.

Larry Carson, Associate Director of Information Security Management
UBC is a large and diverse environment and providing security awareness can sometimes be a challenge. I cannot stress enough that the encryption of laptops and other mobile devices is the single best protection UBC faculty and staff can employ against unauthorized disclosure of Personal Information due to theft or loss.
Larry Carson, Associate Director of Information Security Management

The Future of the Program

Enterprise data protection remains a top priority for UBC. It is estimated that the cost of data loss to an institution ranges from $140 to $197 per exposed record (Symantec Data Breach Risk Report).

The Data Encryption Program is supported by a dedicated project manager and two computer technicians. The team has already encrypted 477 UBC-owned laptop computers that house sensitive or personal information with industry-standard McAfee Endpoint Encryption.

By working with departments across the university to implement data encryption, UBC IT is raising awareness about security issues and the proper handling of data. While the full project is expected to be complete in 2016, high-risk desktop and laptop computers on campus should be encrypted by 2015.

For more information about the project, please visit the Data Encryption Program Website.

Other ways that UBC IT is being secure

Activity/Project Goal Results and Accomplishments to Date
Electronic Funds Transfer Reduce the number of paper cheques being issued by Payment and Procurement Services
  • Eliminated security issues related to paper cheques for suppliers  to lower exposure to cheque frauds
  • Improved speed of payments to suppliers
  • Reduced administrative costs
Security Centre Operations Response (SCOR) Develop Information Security Incident Response capabilities for UBC
  • Formed a virtual team that is comprised of representatives from various teams within UBC IT who triage and coordinate the handling of information security incidents
  • Enhanced incident management processes and implemented changes from lessons learned of previous incidents to reduce the risk of information exposure and repeat of incidents
Security Awareness Training Raise awareness around information security for faculty and staff
  • Trained 475 faculty and staff across 17 departments in Vancouver and Kelowna on basic information security practices
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CollaborativeStudent Information Systems (SIS) Roadmap Initiative

An enriched and supportive student experience is considered a key component to achieving a fulfilling and successful academic career in today's society. Traditional teaching and learning tools have greatly evolved over the years to meet changing needs and modern advances, such as flexible learning. It is pivotal for UBC to adapt to these changes by investing in and providing the underlying technologies to support this transformation. Working with departments and faculties across both the Vancouver and Okanagan UBC campuses, the Student Information System (SIS) Roadmap Initiative was a major collaborative project co-led by Enrolment Services, Faculty members, and UBC IT, with a focus on enhancing the student experience. Sponsored by the UBC Registrar, UBC Chief Information Officer, and Associate Deans from Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, the aim of the Initiative was to review the aging, custom-built student information system (SIS) and assess the best solutions for the future.

The Collaboration Process

The formal review of the SIS began in early 2013 with a health check for all application areas. There were four areas which emerged requiring immediate attention. The business units for these application areas along with faculty and UBC IT support conducted independent formal evaluations of commercial software to find the best in class tools to meet their requirements. In all four application areas, the evaluation process selected the product SITS:Vision by United Kingdom company Tribal Education. Based on these positive evaluations, the SIS Roadmap Initiative was undertaken to evaluate the viability of the product, SITS:Vision, to replace the current SIS. The Initiative was led by Kate Ross, Associate Vice President of Enrolment Services and Registrar, Oliver Grüter-Andrew, UBC Chief Information Officer, various faculty members, Enrolment Services and UBC IT leadership who were responsible for requirements gathering, vendor evaluation, university-wide outreach and reference visits to a number of UK universities.

Community feedback was a critical component to this initiative and resulted in approximately 77 university-wide consultations and two Town Hall meetings conducted across the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. Students, faculty, and staff were invited to participate and identify issues, priorities, and concerns regarding the present student system and the prospective future system. This comprehensive process was a major step in starting a collaborative change environment as transparent to the campus as possible, while creating a thorough and stable plan for renewing the student systems and working towards an enhanced student, staff and faculty experience. In June 2014, after significant review, SITS:Vision was recommended and endorsed by the University Deans and Executive as the product best suited to replace UBC's core student system.

Kate Ross, AVP and Registrar
Our vision is to build a student system that facilitates student, staff, and faculty success through the student's academic journey with confidence and ease. It will transform our work creating a cohesive, integrated experience for all users anywhere, any time, and on any device,
Kate Ross, AVP and Registrar

A Roadmap for the Future

The new student system will aim to transform student administrative processes over the next five to seven years, starting with streamlined procedures for graduate student admissions, student financial support, student fee management, and Sauder Executive Education. The remaining student system applications require further evaluation to determine prioritization. Taking a critical look at UBC's academic model will also be an instrumental part of the planning process.

Other ways that UBC IT is being collaborative

Activity/Project Goal Results and Accomplishments to Date
Online Advising Management System Help the UBC advising community provide consistent, timely, integrated support to students
  • Implemented a framework to support information sharing and increased collaboration across 27 advising units in support of students' academic success.
Wireless Service Delivery to UBC Affiliated Units Provide broad wireless access to UBC network
  • Worked with Health Shared Services BC (HSSBC) to deliver eduroam wireless access in Prince George and other BC health authority areas
  • Provisioned infrastructure to support the opening of UBC Vantage College
  • Wireless rolled out to student residences for the first time
  • Collaborated with Student Housing and Hospitality Service and UBC Properties Trust to provide IT connectivity to the new Ponderosa Commons Buildings, which house 1,000 students and 5 departments.
Client Engagement Maintain regular contact with units and departments to improve transparency and delivery of service
  • Engaged with clients in over 2,900 hours face-to-face contact between our clients and client service managers
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Cost EffectiveUBC Digital Media Technologies

The use of video is expanding at an epic pace. Technology research company, Gartner, estimates that 90 percent of all content on the internet will be video by 2017. At UBC, the desire to use video for teaching and learning has been in great demand over the past year. With no enterprise-level system to manage content, the community was often left to fend for themselves and utilize public services that presented data storage and privacy concerns. With a strong demand from all stakeholder groups at the university, UBC IT and the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology took on the challenge of implementing a solution that would be best-of-breed, reliable, and cost-effective for use within the teaching and learning space. In addition, with the recent move to the Connect e-Learning platform, it became clear that providing a fully integrated media platform that could allow faculty, supporting staff, and students to upload, transcode, manage, search, and share video, audio, and motion graphics was essential.

The Pilot Project

Through a series of consultations with over 15 faculties and supporting central units, a unanimous decision was made to select Kaltura as the underlying technology to support the UBC Video Share service. The vision of a shared platform extended far beyond UBC in the planning stages of this project. In collaboration with BCCampus, a government-funded shared service organization, Kaltura was piloted for use at UBC and five other academic institutions throughout the province. This shared service not only saved over $100,000 for UBC, but the negotiated contract saved participating institutions almost 40 percent on licensing costs, ensuring all BCCampus members are able to utilize the platform without significant financial hurdles.

The initial goal for the pilot was to have about 3,500 videos in the system by the end of the year. It was anticipated that a small number of courses would include video content initially. However, excitement for the system vastly exceeded expectations; within the first 9 months of the pilot year, over 15,000 videos were in the system representing teaching and learning materials from over 100 courses. Between October 2013 and May 2014, the growth of video assets more than doubled with an average of 1,020 videos being added monthly. This represents a 214% increase in total video assets and a 46% growth rate during this period. While these statistics are encouraging, the true measure of engagement by faculty and staff is evidenced in the number of video 'views.' These exceeded 140k for the fall and spring academic terms alone. This represents over 1 million minutes of video played, all of which occurred with little communication about the service.

"This term we are requiring students to watch a short video before each class. They take notes on the video using the template we provide. Then, during class, we focus on developing problem solving skills. Freeing up the class time from information transfer allows instructors to model expert thinking, engage students in group work, and address misconceptions," says Jackie Stewart, an instructor in the Department of Chemistry, who is just one example of how professors are using UBC Video Share to their advantage.

Videos can be integrated into many different course items such as tasks, assignments, surveys, forum discussions, and blogs.

"Kaltura makes it simple to upload a video to Connect," says Stewart. "We want to make the videos available to students in a professional manner, it's great to be able to integrate them with the pre-class videos and notes."

Instructors find it advantageous to be able to translate their knowledge through a medium that the students can relate to. At the same time, students find it very convenient to be able to access their materials anytime and anywhere.

Mika Vivar, a fourth year student in Biochemistry believes the new platform helps lift materials out of the textbook and into reality, "It's really interesting to see how UBC is embracing technology to reach out to students. It's as if instructors would do anything in order for their students to excel."

Future Direction

This fall, UBC Video Share was pushed into production via Connect to the entire UBC community to access the service. The growth is expected to continue as video, audio, and motion graphics become a mainstay of course content and student project work. These platforms are now evolving rapidly with respect to their core capabilities and UBC IT will be focusing on enhancing those capabilities for the UBC Video Share service over the next year. Kaltura has also been successfully implemented at five campuses across the province through BCcampus' shared service program. All partnering institutions benefit from the same high-quality of service, but without the requirement of investing significant capital on infrastructure and licensing fees. This partnership ultimately reflects UBC IT's commitment to collaboration and being as cost-effective as possible for the university community.

The longer-term goal of the steering committee responsible for overseeing the service is to continue to monitor the current implementation while keeping abreast of future trends that may directly impact the service and its direction. As the needs of both users and their supporting technologies change rapidly, the steering committee will continue to assess whether the technology platform is the right choice for UBC and how best to maximize its value.

Other ways that UBC IT is being cost-effective

Activity/Project Goal Results and Accomplishments to Date
Virtual Server Service and Storage Service Decrease costs of Virtual Server Service and Storage Service
  • Achieved over 80% savings on CPU and Memory for virtualization services (Virtual Server Service and EduCloud) by negotiating lower pricing and increasing density on hosted service
Wireless network upgrades Find cost effective ways to provide UBC connectivity
  • Extensive wireless upgrades to the campus to reduce reliance and cost of hard-wired connectivity.
  • Saved $984,000 by installing wireless access points where hard-wired ports were normally needed
Migration of Partners' services to UBC IT Services Decrease total cost of ownership for IT systems by leveraging available UBC IT Services.
  • Migrated, and in the process of migrating numerous departments onto UBC IT services. This includes Robson Square, Risk Management, Parking and Security, ECE, Applied Science, CFIS. FOGS, etc.
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Client ExperiencePartnership Experience — SALA

Each partnership with UBC IT is unique and the experience working side by side with the partnering unit to develop an optimal customized solution that meets their needs and supports their future goals is extremely rewarding. However, accomplishing such a task isn't without challenges or obstacles. Each unit has its own overarching goals and strategic plans, and its resources, and learning and work environments differ from one another. The School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) is a partner with many unique needs. It is an accredited school that offers a certification process for architects and produces leaders in creative sectors that contributes to the development of many global landmarks and visual identities. As the school continues to evolve and expand its scope, it is critical for SALA to ensure that its technological resources meet the demands and needs of its community.

Before partnering with UBC IT in June 2011, the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture's (SALA) ability to deliver IT support for its community was challenging with limited interaction between its IT personnel and the SALA community. The school has five facilities located across the UBC Vancouver campus, hosting labs, lecture halls, and studios. With constrained IT resources and knowledge, SALA had difficulty maintaining its services and meeting expectations. IT equipment and hardware were below standards, governance and support processes were not well defined, and support capability and availability were limited.

Understanding SALA's Unique Requirements

The student learning environment plays a pivotal role in SALA's IT environment. With today's rapid globalization and urban development issues, such as economic stability and sustainability, SALA trains students to be educated across many disciplines so they can think systematically and strategically, and develop innovative solutions. With the architecture discipline, student assignments are often visual imageries rather than written reports. Large scale posters, three-dimensional models of 20 feet stories buildings, and blueprints of landscapes and homes are just some of the elaborate visual projects that students have to produce. Hence, the demand for quality output is extremely high, where offsetting paper and colour combinations can dramatically change the project's final look. To create these visual imageries, the tools that student operates, such as modeling and rendering software (i.e. Adobe products, AutoCAD, Rhino, Vectorworks), scanners, printers and plotters, are highly specialized. They also require support teams to understand how they work together. Project deadlines are frequent, placing heavy emphasis and stress on systems at many times during the school term.

"The student culture at SALA is quite unique from other faculties. Students often spend long hours at school completing their assignments to meet critical review deadlines, sometimes lasting overnight and weekends. This requires IT equipment to be functional and well-stocked 24/7," says Shirley Tanoto, UBC IT Senior Client Services Manager.

The Solution Development

From the start of the partnership, an IT committee, which included all major stakeholders in SALA, was formed to help facilitate an IT support solution. Due to students' high usage of IT equipment at school, this was the first time that students were part of the project scope in a partnership with UBC IT and had representation on the IT committee.

UBC IT wanted to put together a solution that would offer seamless support for students. Although UBC IT provides the support for the tool remotely and on-site, a local presence from someone who used the tools regularly was missing. Response time was also critical as printing issues can have a large impact for the lab. Student Plotter Assistants were hired to complement the support for SALA's highly complex and specialized learning tools and IT environment. Their role met the demand for support during peak times of the semester to meet student project deadlines. They also provided a two-way communication between students and UBC IT. This allowed the committee to focus on more strategic planning, improving processes and projects initiatives. UBC IT also continues to build a strong working relationship with print vendors and ensuring that SALA has the support that they need for their hardware and software. Along with finding the right support model, UBC IT helped SALA reduce their overall IT support costs which allowed SALA to utilize the savings in other much needed program areas.

However, implementing the solution was not without obstacles. With SALA's unique and highly specialized IT environment, both parties of the partnership had some difficulties executing the changes and had to make revisions to overcome the barriers. Initial feedback gathered from surveys and SALA's IT committee indicated that UBC IT's ticketing system (used to manage IT support) was not easily adaptable for SALA's community. They appreciated the opportunity to interact with someone who knew the school well and had a strong knowledge of their equipment. The labs also had challenges due to older software and performance issues. Working with UBC IT Desktop group and the IT Committee, a modified support model was arranged, giving the community the additional option of in-person support while at the same time still encouraging users to use the ticketing system. Enhancements of the lab machines and software were also explored to improve the overall experience for the students.

The Solution Today

Although the path to finding a solution that would meet SALA's needs was not flawless, more recent feedback has been positive and the community seemed to have a higher satisfaction with IT services than before the partnership began. The important element has been the willingness of both parties to raise concerns and then work together to find options and ways to implement solutions.

"We noticed an increase in the level of engagement from staff and faculty and decisions about IT support are made faster, making projects move along further," says Annalisa Meyboom, Assistant Professor of School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

The IT committee that was formed at the beginning of the partnership has been effective in ensuring constant communication between UBC IT and SALA, continuing collaboration and understanding client needs. Today, the committee meets on a monthly basis to discuss new IT initiatives, provide support feedback, and allows UBC IT to share information about new services and potential projects. SALA will work with UBC IT on implementing a Pay for Print service that improves the ability to track printing expenses, adding and reorganizing their studio equipment into new lab spaces and deploying a new lab studio for Master of Urban Design Program for the fall.

"Overall, it has been a really supportive and positive collaboration. UBC IT has brought in a broad range of expertise and help in the areas that were needed," added Meyboom.

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Client Feedback


Partnership involves a collaborative agreement between two parties to achieve a common goal. From the feeling of apprehension to gaining trust and confidence; Melody Burton, Deputy University Librarian, describes how collaboration led to a strong partnership between Library and UBC IT.


Launching a new initiative doesn't need to be daunting if you have the resources to support your needs. Barbara Gobis, Director of Pharmacists Clinic describes how UBC IT was involved in building Canada's first university-affiliated patient care pharmacy clinic.


Jamal Kurtu, Director for IT at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences talks about how their journey with UBC IT began from the planning stages of their award-winning building to their current challenges and needs of their faculty. He discusses how these experiences have contributed to the development of a solid relationship between the two departments.


Information technology is essential to one of UBC's core commitments, Research Excellence. UBC IT is dedicated to providing researchers such as Dr. Corey Nislow the technology and infrastructure to support their research needs.

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Our StatsKey Performance Indicators

Below are measureable values on some of our key focus areas: Accountable, Collaborative, Reliable, Secure, Cost Effective, Sustainable, Innovative, and People.


Number of tickets resolved 123,509
Resolutions within Service Level Agreements 86.31%
Adherence to budget revenue 100%
Adherence to budget expenses 97%


21 Surveys
6,453 People Reached Through Events
1,870 Social Media: Youtube views
513 Social Media: Twitter followers
710 Social Media: Facebook likes


100% UBC Core Network Availability 1
100% UBC Wireless Core Availability 1
99.79% PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal
99.91% Student Information Systems Uptime
99.11% Financial Management Information System Uptime
99.70% Human Resource Management System Uptime
99.91% Human Resource Management System E-Recruit External Uptime
99.22% Learning Management System Uptime
1Availability for the core is calculated based on uptime of equipment supporting the central network and does not include local building network access.


924 Encrypted Workstations
244,985,979 Suppressed Spam Messages

Cost Effective

Percentage of UBC IT spending
As a percentage of overall UBC spending
Operational vs. capital spending 92% vs. 8%


4,000 Virtual Servers
208 Physical Servers
Energy saved from Virtual Servers 1,420 KW/H


193,855 Total views of online Audio Visual Services lectures


Employee Turnover 16.5%
Internal Promotions 16.9%
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Future Outlook Transforming with Student Information System (SIS) Roadmap

With the recent selection of SITS:Vision by Tribal Education to replace the current Student Information System (SIS), UBC's student administration processes are expected to undergo a transformation over the next three to five years. This process has begun with streamlining procedures for graduate student admissions, Sauder executive education, student financial support and student fee payments. Within the next year, applicants to UBC graduate programs will be the first to experience these changes with a new flexible and intuitive online application process.

UBC will be the first school in North America to implement this best in class software, building a new system that will continue to evolve student information and interaction for the digital age. The new system will support over 65,000 students and 15,000 academic and administrative staff across the university. It will encompass all aspects of the student academic journey, from prospectus to alumnus, and support activities such as recruiting, curriculum, admissions, finance, progression tracking, and other key areas to support faculty, staff and student success.

Research IT Support

To provide access to innovative computing support and technology resources, UBC IT will launch Research Computing Services (RCS), an IT support group for researchers designed to support and advance the university's increasingly diverse research environment. RCS will build upon what is already delivered as IT support for researchers on campus, and will work closely with faculties and departments to extend the existing offerings. The partnership will provide a stronger support network, giving researchers the advantage of focusing on their work, rather than on having to spend time managing technology.

Researchers will receive support with hardware and high performance computing, and also in the consultation process before and after research grants are awarded. Additionally, the RCS group will provide assistance to researchers through training and education services, including scientific and technology support in emerging research areas, as well as in the enhancement of High Performance Computing (HPC) capabilities.

Flexible Learning

Flexible learning is an initiative aimed to develop and deliver effective and dramatic improvement to students' learning experiences. Since Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) were launched at UBC, enrollment rates have been impressive with hundreds of thousands of students throughout the world registered for courses. UBC IT's professional video production team, UBC Studios was the key partner in the production of UBC's first round of MOOCs in 2012 and 2013. In the upcoming years, UBC Studios will continue to work closely with the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology and produce more MOOC classes offered by UBC.

As the learning environment evolves, enhanced knowledge is also required to support new technologies. UBC Studios will provide consultation to faculty and support staff regarding media production for Flexible Learning initiatives free of charge, and co-facilitate DIY Media Community of Learning, helping those on campus looking to gain knowledge on how to do it themselves through workshops and learning groups.

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