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January Tech Review Offers Transparency and Collaboration

Published January 25, 2017

A little more than a week after the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) ended in Las Vegas, UBIT held its own exhibition of the latest developments in technology here at UB. While we previewed recent developments like wireless screen casting and laser light projection, we weren’t just showing off—events like these are crucial for us to solicit feedback from IT staff about new and ongoing projects.

James Whitlock and John Pfeffer from UBIT Customer Service demonstrate screencasting technology for the classroom.

We call these events Future IT Upgrade Tech Reviews, and January’s event was the second of its kind. We’ve heard positive feedback from both distributed and central IT staff members in attendance; they appreciate the transparency and collaborative forum where questions can be asked and topics discussed face-to-face.

Distributed IT staff support faculty, staff and students in schools and departments all over UB’s campuses. They understand our customers’ needs from being on the front lines, and it’s from them we learn what we can do to best address them.

Their input is most crucial on some of our more technical projects. These topics aren’t flashy like what you’d see at CES, but they’re among our most important undertakings.

David Shurtleff from UBIT Customer Service answering questions at one of the roundtables.

For example, take our ongoing upgrade to the IPv6 network protocol. This, as you might imagine, is not one of our more attention-grabbing projects. But it is, nonetheless, an important upgrade that puts the university in line with the latest global standards, and ensures our technology is flexible for the future.

I was surprised to find the IPv6 table was one of the most active groups at the event. It’s a reminder why input from our distributed IT staff is so important: while many people have opinions about things like Wi-Fi, our university-wide IT team are the few people with the knowledge to speak on highly technical concepts from a position informed by the needs of the institution. That’s something we can’t afford to take for granted—and, believe me, we don’t.

So thank you to those who have attended these events in the past, and I sincerely hope more of you will consider attending in the future. We simply can’t do what we do without you.

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