FY13 Projects
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Plan
Initiative % Complete Comments
3 Relocate network infrastructure to University Center 100 All of the University Network Infrastructure fiber optic, copper, network equipment, cable TV, Fire Life Safety systems, etc has been moved from Masselink to Rankin Center. Telephone services have been migrated from Masselink to Rankin as well.
4 Increase Internet bandwidth 100 The Internet bandwidth on campus was upgraded from 1GB to 10GB August 2012.
5 Migrate Banner servers to Linux 100 The move of the web application and database services are completely migrated. The project is closed.
6 Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.x 100 The Blackboard Learn 9.X upgrade was completed August 2012. The system was migrated from an external hosting environment to being internally hosted by IT Services and upgraded to the latest version.
7 Upgrade Alumni Donor systems 100 New hardware was purchased and an upgraded application was installed.  Project is closed.
8 Upgrade FLITE library system 100 The new library system, Sierra, project started in December of 2012. IT Services is providing support services as needed for the project and the majority of the work is being completed by the vendor. This project is in the final verification stage.
9 Implement IT Support Proposal – satellite campuses 100 The IT Support Plan for satellite campus was approved in November 2012. All technical support staff have been hired and deployed at various locations in Grand Rapids.  You can read the proposal here.
10 Improve desk side support, Hire 4 PT staff in TAC (3 years) 100 Four desktop support technicians have been hired as part time temporary employees and have been deployed in customer support locations per our Academic Alignment strategy. You can read the complete strategy here.
11 Formalize TAC 24x7 services (external) 100 IT services entered in to an agreement with a vendor to provide evening, weekend and holiday telephone support for students, faculty, and staff. The go-live date for the services was November 2012. The service has been successful with over 2,294 customers serviced through May 30, 2013.
12 IT Network infrastructure: ongoing upgrades 100 A tentative plan and schedule was created for upgrading both the wired and wireless network infrastructure. The plan was reviewed by Administration and Finance and Academic Leadership in the fall of 2012 and revised based on feedback.  Network upgrades and wireless enhancements have been completed in the following buildings: PHR, SCI, IRC, SWN, and FLT.  We also upgraded the links between all of our core routers from 1 to 10 Gig. You can view the network infrastructure plan and schedule here.
13 Upgrade wireless networks in academic buildings 100 A tentative plan and schedule was created for upgrading both the wired and wireless network infrastructure. The plan was reviewed by Administration and Finance and Academic Leadership in the fall of 2012 and revised based on feedback. The FLITE building was the first customer to receive the new wireless equipment as a pilot in FY13, though the start date for this initiative is FY14. You can view the network infrastructure plan and schedule here.
14 Implement alternative email and calendaring system 20

After months of careful deliberation, Microsoft Office 365 has been chosen to replace Lotus Notes as the University's faculty and staff service for email and more.

Microsoft Office 365 was selected as the next generation collaboration and productivity suite for many reasons.  This product will provide Ferris faculty and staff with enterprise-grade communication and productivity services like email, online document editing and storage, instant messaging, and web conferencing.  In addition, Microsoft Office 365 was able to meet our security and accessibility needs.

During the next six months, our IT staff will work on the implementation, communication, and training plan for the University.  The conversion for the faculty and staff email is planned for January 2014 through August 2014. You can learn more about the initiative here.

15 Implement Microsoft Systems Center 50 The servers have been purchased and deployed.  Vendor has confirmed initial configuration. Training has started.  Management of servers to start in December.
18 Pilot Virtual Desktop Interfaces (VDI) for labs 100 The equipment and software has been purchased and provision for use. Most college leadership has been given a presentation on the concept of Virtual Labs. The colleges have shown different levels of interest and ideas on how they could help pilot the concept. The pilot is set to begin for COB, COET, COEHS, CAS, COP.
19 Increase use of student employees (10) 100 All students have been hired and are deployed to customer support locations per our Academic Alignment strategy. You can read the complete strategy here.
20 Upgrade satellite campus Internet connectivity 100 The planning for the first satellite location, EIO in Grand Rapids has been completed. The upgrade to a dedicated 1GB connection to Merit, our internet provider, was completed December 2012. Remaining items include installing a dedicated Fiber Optic feed from Merit, network and firewall equipment. The tentative schedule has completion before fall semester 2013.
21 Develop external hosting model 50 Modification to current process and procedures as well as a reduction of obsolete servers has reduced the need for external hosting.  Once these actions are completed, this project will be revaluated.
27 PC Replacement program 100 Program process enhancements were employed.  Meetings with deans seeking changes in the program have been completed. Workstation data transfer process is close to completion. Some computers still need to be ordered. The number of computers replaced were 371.

Last updated: 12-10-2013