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Max’s Minute: The Summer of Enterprise and Infrastructure – June 2021

Max Davis-Johnson, CIO Office of Information Technology (OIT), discusses OIT’s summer 2021 projects including the two ongoing enterprise transformational projects and another that begins this summer, exciting network infrastructure upgrades, building a modular data center, and continued work on classroom technologies.

Video Transcript

Max’s Minute: The Summer of Enterprise and Infrastructure — June 2021

Hi, this is Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State University, Office of Information Technology. Today I’m gonna talk about things we’re gonna be doing here in the future this summer.

We’ve got a lot going on. You know it’s spring now, the river’s flowing. We’re coming out of the pandemic so not only the campus, but also the community, is starting to open up. It’s an exciting time I think for all of us.

Enterprise Transformational Projects

Speaking of exciting times, we currently have two enterprise transformational projects that we’re working on.

Our HCM, aka Oracle Finance, excuse me, Oracle HR-Payroll project and then also our Canvas project. And then we also have another enterprise transformational project that we are finally starting. I say finally because we’ve been talking about it for a long time, but it’s our enterprise implementation of Salesforce.

And so with HCM, we’re excited about that, we’re going to be going live in September. Here in June we’re going to start doing a hands-on with the system so users, super users, people that actually interact with the system, can start to get the look and feel of the system and understand how it works, and understand the processes that they’re going to be using.

Up until now we’ve been more in demo mode and trying to answer questions, but moving to more of a hands-on where you can actually touch the system, is going to help everybody’s understanding of how the system’s going to work when we go live in September.

Canvas, again, is a large enterprise transformational project. We’re actively converting all the courses for faculty members as we transition to Canvas. The idea is that we will be on Canvas completely in fall of this year.

We’re halfway through conversion. We plan to have the majority of courses, and I say majority, 90 plus percent converted come July.

There’s already been training, there’s been workshops, there will continue to be workshops, training and helping faculty adapt to the new learning management system—and students for that matter too.

So we’re really excited about those because this will change how we work here at Boise State.

Both of these systems are more sustainable systems that not only will we be on the current release but we’ll have continuous improvement. They’re cloud-based systems so we’re really excited about our move there.

The other enterprise transformational project that we have going on is our Salesforce implementation which we’re kicking off this summer.

Our initial focus will be on the marketing and communications piece and that will expand to all the different facets of Salesforce. When we start advising, which will hopefully start in the fall, it will span over that, it will span recruiting, it will also be an overlay piece to Advancement as we move forward with Salesforce for the enterprise.

The Summer of Infrastructure

This is also what I would call the “summer of infrastructure.” We’ve got a lot of networking equipment, we’ll be replacing a lot of our core routers, our core controllers, access points all across campus, and at the same time we’re also going to be fully vested in our Nutanix server and compute.

Nutanix is, it’s called, bear with me for a second, it’s a hyper-converged architecture where both compute and storage are combined into the same basically server or machine, and from the outside it looks like one big system or glob of compute and storage that allows us to scale, it allows us to be more efficient, it allows us to react quickly to all these different loads. And really it’s a virtual private cloud that we’ve always had but we’re taking it to the nth degree.

Along with that we will be putting in place a modular data center here on campus. I.e. we will be putting a lot of this equipment into and taking a lot of our infrastructure out of River Front Hall. It’s never a good idea to have a data center on the ground floor of a building called River Front Hall. And so this will mitigate some of those concerns in case the river does get a little out of control behind us here.

These are all things that Boise State needs to do. Like I said, we’re investing in the future here so we’re really excited about getting these in place.

Classroom Technology

Last summer we made a huge investment in the installation of classroom technology. We’re going to continue fine tuning and tweaking that investment in moving forward and allowing faculty and staff to continue to utilize this new classroom technology.

Please Reach Out To Us

As always, there’s a lot going on. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to us and we’ll respond quickly.

Again, thank you for watching and listening and we’ll see you soon.