By Suzanne Stinson, Manager, UCLA Software Central; and Gabe Youtsey, Chief Innovation Officer, Agriculture and Natural Resources. You can’t say no one listens! Last November we put out an appeal to UC IT to identify IT products and services considered most urgently needed by our community. The goal was to get user input to inform the systemwide UC IT Sourcing Committee in prioritizing and negotiating UC wide technology contracts for IT products and services.
We received over 500 responses! The three suggestions that got the most community votes were Slack for team collaboration, UC wide web hosting, and research data sharing and management with Globus. You can read the proposals on UC Next, the ideation platform created by UC staff.
We wanted to take a minute and let you know what’s happened since your vote:
- Slack: The UC CIOs have joined together and purchased a paid instance of Slack for the UC IT community. This means that all messages are archived; we get the convenience of threaded conversations (rather than using email lists); and we also can benefit from Slack integrations with Zoom, Box, and many other applications. We have a team just for UC IT – UC Tech. If you’re in IT at UC, please join the team. You can participate as much as you want. It’s been amazing to see the organic growth of Slack across the UC IT community, with over 2000 people now on the team. There are lots of public channels to join. But the bulk of Slacking across UC IT is in private channels and direct messages. Obviously, it’s filling a communications and team collaboration need.
- UC wide Web Hosting: UCD, UCSF, and UCLA are working together to build a systemwide web hosting service using Drupal 8, via a cloud hosting service. UCD is taking the lead in building it out now, and the collaborating campuses are building a service and governance model so any campus can participate. There will be a UC Drupal Group meeting at UCCSC on Monday, August 7, 2017, from 3:00m – 5:00 p.m. in the UCSD Price Center “Bear Room” for those who are interested.
- Globus: This is a priority for the UC IT Sourcing Committee, which will propose it to the IT Strategic Sourcing team in UCOP Procurement Services for consideration.
There are some other exciting IT strategic sourcing initiatives underway:
- A network and computer infrastructure request for proposal is underway, designed to refresh a number of vendor contracts, offerings and pricing over much of our IT infrastructure. Teams from across the campuses and medical centers have worked together to create a common set of requirements. The request for proposals is targeted for release in mid August, with agreements expected to be in place in November 2017.
- Another priority that emerged from the procurement vote was for Lynda.com. Following UC IT Sourcing Committee prioritization, the UCOP IT Strategic Sourcing team will work on sourcing systemwide agreements for supplemental online learning platforms like Lynda.com.
- IT Strategic Sourcing is investigating options to establish a new UC wide agreement for the Google Cloud Platform, the only major cloud IaaS provider that UC does not have a systemwide contract with.
For questions or suggestions on systemwide procurement priorities, send us an email or find us on the UC Tech Slack Team. If you’re going to the UCCSC, you also might want to attend the August 9 session, “IT and Strategic Sourcing – Partnering for the Greater Good,” presented by Tom Trappler, Associate Director, IT Strategic Sourcing, UCOP; Brett Pollak, Director, Workplace Technology Services, UCSD; and Gabe Youtsey, Chief Innovation Officer, ANR.