SMU Employees Now Able to Opt Out of Campus Mailings

One of the most popular topics on Operational Excellence comments form is the desire to reduce the volume of printed materials in campus mailboxes. In response to those requests, the Office of Information Technology, Human Resources and SMU Mail Direct have worked together to devise a new opt-out solution for these campus mailings. Starting today, SMU faculty and staff can choose to stop receiving promotional brochures, flyers, invitations, and other printed mail from campus departments. Continue reading SMU Employees Now Able to Opt Out of Campus Mailings

A Tour of the Sitecores

Aren Cambre, director of the Web Application Services team, is collaborating with other universities to share knowledge on Sitecore and web content management.

Aren CambreThe Higher Ed Sitecore users group, started in 2008, now includes over forty universities and nonprofit organizations. “This spring, we are taking this to the next level by creating the tongue in cheek-named Tour of the Sitecores.” Aren Cambre explained, “With this Tour, each month, a member institution will present its Sitecore solution to others using GoToMeeting. The goal is that we can share knowledge on how each of us set up and develop for our Sitecore environments.”

This collaboration will be especially useful to SMU in the near future.  OIT is planning a major Sitecore upgrade this spring, where tapping in to those resources will be helpful. Also, as OE2C has centralized developer resources, OIT has been given an opportunity to make the Sitecore experience better for our users. Gaining insight from other universities will allow us to focus on what will deliver the best value.

Service Desk Quarterly Reports

Since a majority of the help requests are captured within our help desk ticketing system, we have access to a large amount of data regarding the types of issues or requests being made on a regular basis. Although the ticket metrics do not provide a comprehensive picture of the work being done by IT, it does provide some valuable information about trends, typical response times and areas for improvement.

A few weeks ago, a report was sent to each of the schools capturing some general information and metrics gleaned from the ticket system as well as key highlights from the shared services transition.  The metrics presented can serve simply as a baseline for understanding service levels.  After producing the initial report, we’ve identified several processes where we need to report in much more detail to capture the actual service level.  So adjustments are being made so the data will be more meaningful to the campus community.

For example, a single account request may involve up to 14 different sub-tickets before it is complete.  The response time in the reports capture the average time to resolve an account issue but does not take into account how many subtickets are involved!  So in future reports, I hope to illustrate how long it takes for each subgroup to process their portion or how long it takes for access to each system.

The first reports are now available for the SMU Community. It is our goal to share our progress as we implement and improve this shared services model.  This report will be published on a quarterly basis. To access the report, visit

Shared Services Update

It’s been eight weeks since the announcement was made regarding IT Shared Services.  Since that announcement, IT has been working diligently to transition and establish the road map to meet the critical objectives of this new service model. OIT has identified the following critical milestones for IT:

  • Integrate the infrastructure for Cox, Lyle and Law
  • Unify the ticketing system for tracking and managing customer requests across all IT groups
  • Establish the two governance councils
  • Design and implement a distributed desktop support and classroom support framework
  • Implement an e-forms tool to help further expedite processes across campus
  • Establish an ERP Steering Committee and begin streamlining the ERP processes
  • Complete the transition of individuals into the new Academic Technology roles

The timeline for each of these items can be viewed on our website.

On September 28, we completed the unification of the ticketing system.  Requests are now entered into the same application and can easily be transferred to the appropriate support personnel.  We will work on several changes to the customer request portal ( to provide a more robust support experience including live chat with the Help Desk staff, and access to the knowledge base to help resolve issues quickly.  Stay tuned for more information on these upcoming changes!

During the month of October, the IT Leadership team will meet with the various Deans, VPs, and leaders throughout campus to share the vision for Academic and embedded support.  In addition, several Open House meetings will be announced where faculty and staff can visit with the IT Leadership team and learn about the vision and plans. Please join us if you are able!