Faces and Voices

Keith Curtachio

Portrait of Keith Curtachio, Director of IT for FSA/Campus Dining & Shops.

Keith Curtachio, Director of IT for FSA/Campus Dining & Shops

Keith Curtachio is Director of IT for the Faculty-Student Association, which provides dining, catering and concessions on UB’s three campuses. They also manage your UB Card and many of the services you can use with it.

One of the largest organizations of its kind in the country, Curtachio told us how technology enables the FSA to coordinate a large workforce, provide essential services to students around the clock, and realize ambitious projects like the upcoming One World Café on North Campus.

When it matters most

“Our front-line managers want to be out among the customers, so we’re identifying ways to bring their offices to their laptop or their phone.”
Keith Curtachio, Director of Information Technology
Faculty Student Association

Not even a blizzard can stop Curtachio’s team.

“For two days campus was closed,” Curtachio said. “But our services were not closed. We were in high gear, in fact, filling in the gaps. My staff didn’t have to worry about travel—we popped open our laptops at home, and used Skype and Jabber to communicate with each other, monitor systems, handle problems, take phone calls.”

Jabber extends your UB desk phone’s features to your laptop or mobile device; Curtachio’s team is in the beginning stages of implementing it. “When you’re late because of the weather, or at home with a sick child, you can still get things done when you need to.”

More flexibility means better customer service

This type of flexible approach is not an accident—it evolved out of the need to deliver the best possible customer service.

“We pride ourselves on customer service,” Curtachio said, “and in food service you can’t deliver customer service from behind a desk. Our front-line managers want to be out among the customers, so we’re identifying ways to bring their offices to their laptop or their phone.”

In his 30 years at the university, Curtachio has been a part of the technological revolution that made this kind of flexibility possible. “The first ten years I worked here, you had to be somewhere specific to work,” Curtachio said. “There was teleconferencing, but for that you needed these really expensive rooms built for that specific purpose.”

“All those features that were reserved for big business are now available to everybody… just jump on a Webex and click a button.”

A glimpse of the future

Curtachio and his team are now leveraging their technology-enabled workflow to make UB’s upcoming One World Café a reality, and bring the best possible experience to UB students.

“Mobile is everything,” Curtachio said, “for our team as well as our customers.”

Curtachio helped his team implement UBbox a few years ago for easier collaboration. It’s already making a positive impact in the One World Café project.

“With email, you never know if you’re looking at the latest version of something,” Curtachio said. “That’s a major concern on a construction site, where blueprints are changing from day to day. With One World Café, we’re using UBbox so everyone can log on from anywhere and see the same document.”

This technology-positive approach will benefit customers too, who will have the option to pay by iPad or smartphone. “We want diners to be able to take what they want, pay for it on their phone, and walk out when they’re done,” Curtachio said. “That’s our goal for One World Café.”

If you’d like to share your tips for using technology to stay organized and accomplish goals with the UB community, send an email to ubit-communication@buffalo.edu.