Published December 10, 2012
Due in large part to the nature of our work and the volume of our workload, we don't often enough step back and reflect on our accomplishments as an organization on behalf of the university. As the year winds down, I thought I would take a minute to acknowledge a few of our most recent accomplishments.
First, as you are all aware, the new UBIT website (including a new website for the Center for Computational Research) is now up and fully functional. As was pointed out in the fall CIO newsletter, the new site is not merely a fancier wrapper around existing content, but a complete rethinking of the way we optimize and deliver Web content. The final product, which will serve us well now and into the future, was the result of many months effort by the dedicated staff of IT Policy and Communication, Enterprise Infrastructure Services, Enterprise Application Services and several staff members from CCR.
Second, we recently had a soft release of our new mobile computing strategy. If you have not done so already, I encourage you (especially on your smartphone, or tablet) to check out the new mobile site. Native iPhone and Android apps, based on this framework which do not require the development and maintenance of separate applications, will soon be released. The new mobile computing strategy leverages the new Web content management system and is enabled by the continued build-out of the campus Wi-Fi and cellular Distributed Antenna System (DAS) deployments. I am confident that the mobile computing strategy developed here will serve as a model for many other universities – it is that well-planned. Hopefully our staff will attend and present our findings at workshops and conferences (we don't do that often enough).
Finally, CIT staff recently successfully completed the transition of UB's Web content management system (ubcms.buffalo.edu) from Sun Solaris to Intel Linux-based hardware in order to achieve substantial performance gains in both the authoring and publishing environments. What made this transition remarkable and I believe speaks to the high capability of our staff was that the transition was undertaken on a system that was already operating in a production environment and with high visibility: UB's website. The cutover to the new system went without a hitch and the early results in terms of response and performance are remarkable (as someone who has worked in the old authoring environment can testify to).
While there are many other equally good examples I could include, I believe these are reflective of the capability and quality of the work carried by our staff. Thank you.
Thomas R. Furlani, Chief Information Officer
University at Buffalo, 517 Capen Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260