Information and Technology Services undertakes projects and programs to provide an unparalleled IT environment and accelerate creativity and innovation by U-M faculty, students, and staff. View the list of all current work.

FY20 ITS Key Projects

ITS Key Projects are identified annually by the ITS leadership team. The list is intended to be used as a decision-making tool for ITS staff to focus effort on key projects first and to enable ITS to bring the greatest value to the university.

The following projects are ITS' Fiscal Year 2020 (July 2019–June 2020) key projects:

  • Campus Microsoft 365 Implementation

    Sponsor: Andy Palms
    Project Manager: Jeff Castle

    Microsoft 365 Enterprise is an all-in-one Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that includes the Microsoft Office 365 suite, Mobile Device Management, OneDrive, Minecraft for Education, and potentially other Microsoft cloud services. The current state of Microsoft 365 at U-M is an environment that was set up to solely support the release of Office 365 to campus. The goal of this project is to work with units to develop and implement support, configuration, and release strategies for a more robust managed Microsoft 365 service that will help U-M meet its academic and research IT needs.

  • Cloud Infrastructure Transformation Program (CITP)

    Sponsor: Andy Palms
    Program Manager: Alok Vimawala

    The Cloud Infrastructure Transformation Program (CITP) unites ITS in learning, migrating to, and leveraging cloud technologies to deliver modern and resilient services, when it makes technological and financial sense. The Cloud program will align the goals and projects associated with the cloud strategy under a single umbrella:

    • Deploy core infrastructure services in the cloud; reduce the dependency of cloud services to on-premise systems and infrastructure
    • Operationalize the Virtual Data Center (vDC) and provide enhancements to dynamically scale services, and enhanced monitoring capabilities
    • Complete an ITS-wide application inventory and use that basis to create a decision framework and proposed migration order via the Cloud Decision Framework & Application Roadmap Project (CFAR)
    • Stand up an environment necessary to test the suitability of running U-M’s PeopleSoft environment in the cloud
    • Provide training to staff on cloud fundamentals, automation and orchestration
    • Provide context and a consistent narrative to staff about the various ongoing cloud related initiatives within ITS
  • Computer Showcase Point of Sale & ECommerce

    Sponsor: Robert Douglas Jones II
    Project Manager: Earnest King

    This project will replace RMS and associated systems with a new system based on the open source Magento platform and will replicate much of what was provided in RMS, an eCommerce web site, and streamlined integrations and automation. This project will have two parts:

    1. Implement a new point-of-sale (POS) solution. We have a legacy POS system that is no longer supported by the vendor and a new solution enables automation and a better general experience while eliminating the risk due to the lack of support, upgrades and patches.
    2. Implement a new eCommerce solution. This allows the Showcase to stand up a modern digital storefront to better support its customers.
  • Data Informed Decision Making Ecosystem

    Sponsor: Vijayaraja Thiruvengadam & Jim Behm
    Project Manager: Jennifer Swaney & Svetla Sytch

    We envision a university culture where the approach to ownership, governance, transparency, and use of data is coordinated and consistent. This shift in the culture regarding data will be supported by technology and common data principles throughout the U-M environment.

    • Institutional data will be accessible and responsive, reducing the need for unit-ownership or the creation of duplicative data.
    • Data will be available through intuitive, self-service interfaces.
    • IT professionals across the university will work collaboratively to support common, user-centric services and tools
    • IT Security, privacy, and appropriate and ethical use of data will be always be accounted for.
    • Data will be accurate, consistent, and complete through effective governance.
    • U-M will have an open and reliable data environment, with appropriate security and privacy based on role.
    • Data definitions will be consistent across the university, reducing risk and improving quality.

    The initial phases of this initiative are focused on exploring and proving out initial concepts and processes for our data to move towards achieving our vision.  Currently, that includes working with Rackham and Student Life to capture data flows with their systems, developing a beta voice assistance tool for researchers to access information about their research grant award financials and investigating business intelligence analytics search tools.

  • Identity Governance Early Adoption

    Sponsor: Sol Bermann
    Project Manager: Jennifer Swaney​​

    The Identity Governance Early Adoption Project is releasing the Identity Governance tool for U-M units to use to strategically and proactively manage access to university digital and physical resources—ensuring the right individual access the right resource at the right time, from the right environment, and for the right reason. 

    This project will work closely with contacts from the College of Engineering, Shared Services Center, and UM-Dearborn. These early adopters will use the tool to automate access for off hours building access, M-Pathways FIN PeopleSoft Procurement roles, and Banner access for Financial Aid Administration, respectively. The team will demonstrate the Identity Governance tool’s key features by automatically granting and revoking the right access at the right time for a targeted population of individuals in select systems.

  • Research Computing Initiative

    Sponsor: Brock Palen
    Project Manager: Jennifer Burch

    The Research Computing initiative is a group of changes to existing and new at scale shared services to provide for enabling the research mission of the institution. These include High Performance Computing, Data Science, Sensitive Data, and cloud-enabled research. The project aims to bring predictable cost models and accessible capabilities to all faculty including data center to end user services. The Research Computing Initiative consists of three sub-projects, one of which has a dependency on the Data Center Relocation Project. These sub-projects include:

    • Great Lakes HPC Cluster
    • Research Storage Expansion (Locker and DataDen)
    • Yottabyte Research Cloud (YBRC) - This initiative has been completed. 

  • Service Excellence Initiative

    Sponsor: Bob Jones & Diane Jones
    Project Manager: Jennifer Swaney

    Elevate the customer experience Improve the way we serve the U-M campus by providing proactive, laser-focused customer service To do this, we need: clear goals/metrics staff who know what to work on staff with time to do the work they need to do clear expectations on how to work with each other/hand things off intentional support and sponsorship from leaders feedback and direction from customers to let us know what they need services that work as expected and are reliable. The Service Excellence initiative consists of the following tracks:

    • Service Lifecycle
    • ITSM Tool Implementation including RFP to acquire a new tool and ITSM Process Re-engineering
    • Adoption of the new tool by ITS and other Campus customers
    • Migration away from ServiceNow of other non-ITSM functions
  • Web Platform and Container Services Project

    Sponsor: Andrew Palms
    Project Manager: Paul Marker

    The Web Platform and Container Services Project will set up two new services to support web hosting and custom applications. The container service will provide a secure environment with high availability for hosting containerized applications using cloud technology. The Web Platforms Service (WPS) will provide a hosted content management system (CMS) using the new container service. The new service will replace the current ITS web hosting and container service offerings, and will be offered to faculty, students and staff across campus.