CUC’s TCC IT Infrastructure Services has been building a strong team and is taking steps toward appropriate centralization of networking services. On January 17, 2017 HMC officially handed responsibility for the CINE service to CUC. The CINE service provides connectivity between the colleges and beyond the colleges to our Internet Service Providers. The hand off in January was successful, as we had been preparing and gradually transferring responsibilities since last summer. There was no direct impact on people at HMC, since the CIS Help Desk is still the first port of call for network related concerns.
Along with Pomona College, Claremont McKenna and Keck Graduate Institute, we are participating in TCC IT’s “to the wall plate” network service. This became effective July 1, 2017 and the responsibilities were completely transferred by August 31st, when Roger Wiechman retired. This was also a smooth hand off to TCC IT with minimal impact on the people at Harvey Mudd.
The idea behind appropriate centralization was to allow the Consortium to take advantage of economies of scale and at the same time to free the College IT departments to focus on services that are best delivered locally. While I believe it will take some adjustment time to fully reap the benefits, we have already seen TCC IT deliver many advantages:
- They negotiated an excellent set of discounts and leasing terms with Cisco, based on the collective purchasing power of the Consortium.
- They negotiated for a “system” membership of Internet2, saving money overall and removing the need for each college to manage membership in Internet2.
- They negotiated an excellent license cost for Duo, software that we are using to activate multi-factor authentication on our systems.
- TCC IT has coordinated security initiatives that have focused on obtaining pricing favorable to Consortium members for IT security audits.
- They have worked closely with Pomona College on an initiative that will help the Colleges meet new audit requirements in relation to Financial Aid record security.
While there will always be bumps in the road for transitions like this, I am very happy with how well things have gone and with the strong work that our new colleagues at TCC IT have been doing.