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Initiative IV

Strengthen IT Foundations, Infrastructure, Operations and User Experiences


CWRU must continue to strengthen the foundation of our IT environment through service excellence and raising awareness of UTech’s resources. In order to promote more innovative uses of technology, CWRU must ensure that the foundational technology works. The IT environment must also be kept up to date with the latest industry trends, such as virtualization, cloud technologies, video conferencing and more.

The IT environment at CWRU has many great features available—but knowing what they are and how they may be used can be a significant challenge. Ensuring that the university community knows what relevant IT innovations (new and existing) are available to members of the university and how to fully take advantage of them must become standard practice.

Challenge: CWRU did not have a single video conferencing option that had the full requirements needed to meet the diverse needs of the university. The available solutions were fragmented, confusing and did not work without installing additional software. The School of Medicine also sought a way to communicate with faculty from various hospitals.

Solution: UTech researched, tested and piloted various video conferencing solutions leading to the selection of Zoom—an easy-to-use, integrated option that is fully featured and provides a universal solution across CWRU.

A research core is a business unit that provides a variety of services to researchers. There are more than 40 research cores across campus. Because these cores operate independently from one another, they use unique billing and reporting tools.  

The majority of these tools did not provide the functionality necessary to accurately pull metrics, summarize core performance or bill users for services rendered. This resulted in a great deal of manual data manipulation as well as limited ability to develop price points that could enable cost recovery.

iLab was chosen to consolidate the billing and reporting into one system. The implementation of iLab now gives cores the ability to connect their equipment to the network and schedule time on the equipment through iLab. Using one system reduces the amount of paperwork and allows for billing consistency, resulting in better customer service.

The Animal Resource Center (ARC) was using an out-of-date system to track animal inventory, health reports, trainings, billings and other functions.

The ARC documented their current business processes and their requirements for a new system, resulting in the selection of eSerius to replace the old system. As part of the implementation, the ARC changed the way it does business to match how the software works.

In August 2016, the system was implemented along with new equipment used for helping the inventory of the animals and creating health reports.

The New System:

  • Reduced the amount of paper stored by one third
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  • Increased animal health reports by 30%
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  • Increased inventory taking to two to three times a week
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  • Reduced monthly process down to a few hours from three full days

Every month, UTech’s Service Desk reports on metrics designated to ensure top-notch service excellence to the university community. These metrics track overall customer satisfaction, the average speed to answer a “help” phone call, the call abandonment rate and first call resolution. In the graphic to the right, the results are representative of a 12-month average from CWRU’s 2016/2017 academic year.

Case Western Reserve University played a significant role in the Republican National Convention (RNC) held in downtown Cleveland in July 2016. With more than several thousand  temporary residents on campus, including government officials and peace officers, UTech partnered with the university to ensure that, from a technology standpoint, everything went smoothly. The Enterprise Systems team took on many RNC- required technology projects including the following:

  • Upgraded critical network infrastructure to support the added load to the systems
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  • Deployed the "CWRU RNC Guest" wireless network to provide better internet speed
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  • Assisted in the setup of a Security Command Post in Leutner Commons
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  • Exercised remote working facility at the Squire Valleevue Farm

  • Leveraged the cooperative Internet2 Net+ discount pricing by obtaining several licensing agreements
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  • Developed a process to review all third-party contracts to ensure that information security and financial risks are evaluated, as well as identified opportunities to reduce cost and complexity through enterprise agreements
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  • Enhanced internet bandwidth to take advantage of in-state caching that will allow for better response to app streaming services
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  • Implemented “Default Deny” firewall rules in order to better protect assets located on the campus network from dangerous cyber attacks
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  • Enhanced business continuity by procuring Amazon Web Services as the secondary backup location
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  • Completed upgrade of all Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) located in the satellite equipment rooms (SERs) across campus to ensure power will stay on for 30 minutes in the event of an outage
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  • Implemented new fax server software that works over the network and eliminates the expensive analog telephone lines
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  • Procured the Cisco Call Center functionality for the unified communications system and implemented the first call center in the Dental Clinic in the School of Dental Medicine
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  • Made available 49 software titles to students on the [U]Tech Software Center—the majority at no additional cost