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We Are the Office of Information Technology

System engineer works on a network router

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the IT department at Boise State? Max Davis-Johnson, CIO Office of Information Technology, introduces this short video that takes you through a day in the life of the IT department at Boise State.

Video Transcript

[intro music]

>> MAX: Hi, this is Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State University Office of Information Technology. I’m going to talk a little about life in OIT.

Higher Ed IT is unique. And it’s not any one thing we do, it’s just the variety of things that we do.

We have transactional systems. We provide servers and storage. We provide desktop systems. We manage applications. We provide this huge open network that needs to communicate all across country and provide wireless.

We provide help desk. We provide classroom technology. There’s just a lot of things that we do in our life in OIT.

But we’re driven by three core principles, directives and these are: one, we want to keep the trains running on time.

And what I mean “keeping the trains running on time,” systems need to be available, the networks need to be available, data needs to flow from system to system, upgrades to all the systems need to be made.

If we’re doing our job right there, you don’t even notice. And that’s the way it should be.

Another core driver is we want to be laying new track. Technology is always changing. We have to examine it and figure out what direction we want to take the track. We always have to be working to improve how our trains run.

And with the new things coming out we have to be able to go new routes.

And then the last thing is we want to create raving fans. And what I mean by that–you’re excited, you call us, we get you the help you need, we get you the support you need, you like what we do, we help you get your work done and get your job done.

So, I want you to just watch the rest of this video and it gives you a sense for what we do in a day in OIT.

>> NARRATOR: Today, over 17,000 students, faculty and staff will sign in to the Boise State University Wi-Fi network, a complex system built and maintained by our network and accounts teams who installed and manage access to over 1,000 Wi-Fi access points on campus. And our cybersecurity team ensures our network is secure and our data is safe.

Close to 15,000 people will sign in to myBoiseState, a custom web application that provides access to our email, student data, HR, learning management and other systems. myBoiseState was developed here on campus by our communications and web application development teams.

Our web application development team, working with project managers and business analysts in our project management office, build and maintain other custom applications like Major Finder that connects students with the best major based on their interests, aptitudes and career goals.

Our project management office also coordinates the work of our core systems development teams, who enhance and refine our HR, student data and learning management systems.

All of these applications run in the Boise State private and hybrid clouds designed, monitored and maintained by our system engineers and application administrator teams to make sure all of our servers, networks and architecture is up to date and backed up every night.

Our executive leadership team works with key University stakeholders to resolve the issues of today and make plans to address the needs of tomorrow.

The communications team makes sure the Boise State community is aware of maintenance outages and upcoming developments. This team also provides technology training and maintains the university website.

Throughout the day, just over 1,000 people will sign in to public computers maintained by the Customer Care hardware team. Faculty will sign in to computers in more than 100 classrooms and utilize technology designed for teaching and learning maintained by our Learning Technology Solutions team. Who, in addition to maintaining technologies like classroom capture video recording, also explore technologies like our new student response system. This allows instructors to quiz students, in real time in the classroom, all through students’ smartphones or computers.

In three primary locations on campus, the Help Desk, a blended team of professional staff and student workers, will assist around 200 people with a variety of technology solutions from troubleshooting account issues to installing software to teaching basic features of Microsoft Office and Google Apps.

Outside of class, students and instructors will generate over 30,000 sessions in Blackboard, our learning management system, where they upload assignments, interact with one another and review classroom capture videos on their computers and mobile devices.

Working with our R2 high performance computing cluster, researchers will process massive amounts of data and calculations that inform scientific discovery, bench research papers, and state-level decision makers.

And tomorrow morning, we’ll be here early to do it all again.

We are the Office of Information Technology at Boise State University.

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