Senior IS executive: Steve Sorsby, IT manager Reports to: Chief financial and information officer
Size of IS shop: 7
Mobile PCs: 80
Hand-held devices: 30
Total screens: 1630
Industry: Education services
PC environment: Windows XP, Apple, HP
Server environment: Windows 2003, Solaris, HP
DBMS: SQL, Oracle
Address: 18 Princess Street, Palmerston North
Key IS projects this year: SharePoint implementation; complete server
THE UNIVERSAL COLLEGE of Learning (UCOL) is a New Zealand
government funded Institute of Technology in the lower half of the
North Island. UCOL operates from three campuses in Palmerston
North, Wanganui and Masterton.
It has recently consolidated all of its Wanganui operations on to a new
purpose-built campus located on Taupo Quay. The campus was built
to provide a high standard of teaching accommodation for both staff and
students and to reduce operating costs.
Some of the immediate benefi ts of consolidation have been a reduction
in communication costs, improved desktop to student ratios and
a reduction in server and networking costs. Reduced support costs are
also anticipated due to the reliability of the new infrastructure.
This year will see further infrastructure upgrades on the Palmerston
North and Wairarapa campuses as the benefi ts of virtualisation
IT director Steve Sorsby says the objective of the virtualisation
project is not simply to reduce server box count, but to gain
improved reliability through application isolation and increased resilience
through automated failover.
“Virtualisation has enabled modest sized IT shops such as UCOL to implement
failover strategies that two to three years ago would have been beyond their reach.”
Sorsby says major challenges for 2008 include management of
unstructured data and staff recruitment and retention.
UCOL is embarking on a large data management project using MS SharePoint
as the platform and various third party products and companies will be
engaged to provide front end access, work fl ow and training. UCOL IT
staff will also play a major role in the project.
“Ensuring that the IT team are involved in the implementation and training of
large scale projects is one way to maintain interest and retain staff,” says Sorsby.