Duke ITAC - September 26, 1996 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - September 26, 1996 Minutes

Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC)

Minutes, 9/26/96

Present: Dave Kirby, Anne Beckwith, Roger Loyd, Brian Eder, Landen Bain, John Eisemerger (for Melissa Mills), Jim Dronsfield, Mike Pickett, Betty Le Compagnon, Robert Wolpert, Kim Woodlief, Jeff Chase, Steven Natelborg, and Evan Scheessele as scribe.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Robert Wolpert at roughly 4:10 p.m.

Review of Minutes & Selection of Scribe

There was only one correction noting the difference between "Cable" and "Cable and Televideo" as to the content of the ITAC minutes from the 9/12 meeting.


  • Mike Pickett -
    • SAP
      • The procurement project is moving along,
      • an SP2 (IBM RS6000) is on order to support the procurement card and the SAP installation.
      • An EDI vendor "Sterling" has been selected for the procurement card and is being researched for scalability as an institutional solution
    • Review of Computer Job Positions
      • an outside consulting group will help us create a survey form that will be completed by employees in the computing job family. The results will help us accomplish the following goals:
        • fewer position titles (cleaner, more meaningful)
        • clear career paths
        • working on putting Duke in a better position to be competitive with RTP and elsewhere else on a salary and position basis.

Review of Strategic Plan Cover Letter (handout)

After a draft of the cover letter was examined through email it was officially given to Vice Provost Le Compagnon.
  • The letter contains no real summary of the report, as no summary could do it justice.
  • The letter and report will eventually be posted to the web to help spread the ideas presented therein and gather feedback.
  • Betty will craft a response to the report.

Discussion Topics for Dr. Trask's Visit

Dr. Trask will be at the 10/10/96 ITAC meeting. After initial discussion about what should be covered while he is present, it was decided that:
  • the minutes taker should already chosen before the meeting.
  • we'll be sharing with him the Strategic Planning document before the meeting
  • our time with him will start at 4:30, beginning with a report from the Remote Access Subcommittee

Other topics that could be discussed depending on how the process moves:

  • funding strategies
  • long-term funding issues
  • the decision making process - e.g. Purchasing/SICC
  • ask him to speak on the SAP process
  • his prospective on how *we* should focus
  • possibly his prospective on student/academic issues
    • we should invite the Provost at a later time.
  • work process redesign
  • an administration perspective on the role of I.T.
    • efficiency
    • cost/benefit discussion
    • % total spending on I.T.
    • discussion on shared costs outside of admin. control
Betty will be sharing some of these ideas with him beforehand

SICC (System Integration Coordinating Committee) Update

SICC recently had a meeting where:
  • the Migration Planning Document was distributed
    • it was well understood that the document was a *draft*
    • there was a good sharing discussion about the document
  • discussions on Peoplesoft and the Student system/HR system
    • Peoplesoft as a company is doing really well and expressed to Duke that their offer on a Student/HR system was running out
    • we wanted the student system, wanted to wait on the HR,
    • we got Peoplesoft to split the offer on packages, we signed on the student system. Duke also signed on the HR system, but with a rescind clause to leave our options open.
    • SICC is now looking at SAP's HR system for comparison
      • a three week decision process
    • SICC is looking at solutions that are the most 'open-ended'
    • a discussion on 'show-stoppers' in products and the decision process for a specific product
    • a quick comment about looking for the X12.58 security standard in products

Client Server Readiness Update (large handout)

Welcome Janet Pumo

We had a quick but clean walk through of the Client/Server Implementation Readiness Assessment of the University Procurement Project. Interesting pages of the report and comments:

  • Page 4 - Interviews - 24 individuals from a variety of groups using procurement
  • Page 5 - Assessment Methodology - Project organizational readiness vs. project complexity - a graph.
  • Page 6 - explanation of the Y axis of the page 5 graph
  • Page 7 - explanation of the X axis of the page 5 graph
  • Page 9 - Where does Duke fall on the graph? In the good 'gray' band
    • interestingly, interviewees had hard comments to make, but gave high scores in comparison when asked to be quantitative.
  • Page 10 - More details on the Y axis. A graph breaking down readiness vs. assessment topics
  • Page 11 - Graph showing consensus by interviewee group
  • Page 12 - Strengths and Improvement areas summery.
  • Pages 13-17 - Details of issues that Duke should address
  • Pages 19-23 - Specific recommendations
  • Page 24 - Implementation Initiatives
  • Page 25 - Proposed tier for action items
Comments and discussion
  • It appears that Duke is pretty ready, even though we might not think so
  • there's some discrepancy between perceptions and true experiences

Cluster Planning Approach

This is a follow-up from last week's discussion. For the medium term ITAC is going to ask separate faculty and student groups to propose a plan for this coming summer's round of cluster upgrades. For the time being there won't be a standing committee under ITAC addressing this issue. The student group charged by Betty for this task is the DSG Student Computing Committee, organized by Evan Scheessele. That committee will be responsible for delivering a plan/report to Betty by the end of the Fall '96 semester.
  • There was discussion about getting an outside prospective after a plan is drafted.
  • There was discussion about the 'good will' moving around of old cluster machines to needy departments.
  • There was finally a discussion on the need to advertise the process that will be followed.

Other Business

Mike Pickett - A group is going to University of Toronto to look at the SAP implementation.

John Eisen - a question about available training for Windows NT and Oracle.

  • Jim Dronsfield - Maybe.
The meeting concluded at about 5:40pm.
Scribe: Evan Scheessele