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Information Technology Services

GALILEO exemplifies the spirit of innovation and collaboration

Print friendly Modified May 20, 2011
GALILEO exemplifies the spirit of innovation and collaboration

Long before Google, the USG library community and ITS took advantage of the brand new World Wide Web to deliver a core set of journals, magazines, and reference works beyond library buildings to users throughout the University System regardless of geographic location, size, or category of institution, 24x7. This innovative effort, GALILEO (GeorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online), quickly extended beyond the University System to provide valuable services to the entire state. For many of these users, GALILEO was their first introduction to the Internet, much less graphical interfaces, as well as the benefits this technology had for learning and research. The community of more than 2,000 GALILEO institutions includes the USG, K-12 schools, public libraries, the adult technical institutes and colleges, and a group of private academic colleges and universities. Through collaboration and resource sharing, GALILEO seeks to provide equal access to information for all Georgia citizens. While individual libraries benefit from the cooperative sharing of resources — lower costs and increased access to a wider range of materials — the goal is to improve library services for all Georgia citizens.

Merryll Penson, Executive Director of Library Services, says “I believe GALILIEO was the first system-wide technology initiative after PeachNet. GALILEO’s delivery over PeachNet helped people understand the benefits of robust networks for transmitting data, providing the impetus and legislative support for bringing both internet access and GALILEO to public libraries and schools.” Even in this era of ubiquitous information that has followed its early innovation, GALILEO still provides the core resource for the libraries and media centers of Georgia, fulfilling its mission to be “One Statewide Library” by bringing quality, authoritative, and secure digital materials of all kinds to the citizens of Georgia, including encyclopedias, books, thousands of periodicals, and unique materials of historical and cultural significance. In addition, GALILEO now has multiple interfaces that serve different audiences and communities of interest, special tools for federated searching and linking to ejournals across all resources, a toolbar for easy use in common browsers, online training for library staff, and video tutorials for users. More than one billion user experiences attest to the success of GALILEO.

GALILEO turns 15 this year; the birthday is a great opportunity to share and express the value that GALILEO provides to the state of Georgia. The future promises to continue apace, as new discovery tools and tools to assist the integration of library resources into online learning environments enhance the GALILEO environment.

Core Value: Innovation

Georgia Summit and the University System Annual Computing conference at Rock Eagle

Print friendly Modified May 20, 2011
Georgia Summit and the University System Annual Computing conference at Rock Eagle Marie Steed, Chair, Georgia Summit Conference; Denise Samples, Chair, University System Annual Computing Conference

There is a saying that many hands make light work. That is definitely true about the effort needed to produce the Georgia Summit and Rock Eagle conferences. We all know that the conferences provide opportunities for technology professionals and technology users throughout the System to exchange information with their peers and gain an accurate picture of the current and future state of technology in higher education. But for all of that to happen, the common denominator is that both of these events require a massive amount of planning by ITS folks; in other words, some good old-fashioned teamwork.

Anyone who participates in one or both of these conferences knows that each one is no small undertaking. And the short timeframe for this year’s conferences required coordinated teamwork to pull them off. Employees from across ITS stepped up and worked together to ensure that these conferences met the needs and exceeded the expectations of our stakeholders.

Both conferences were a huge success. Many thanks to the folks from the following ITS areas for providing the teams needed to deliver high-quality conferences for our stakeholders:

  • Data Warehouse, Distance Ed, GeorgiaBEST, GeorgiaFIRST, and GeorgiaVIEW: program development/planning/ content for the conferences
  • Information and Web Services: setting up and maintaining websites for both conferences
  • Enterprise Infrastructure Services: setting up and overseeing the technical infrastructure for both conferences; providing technical support to presenters and attendees (projectors, laptops, audio/visual, wireless connectivity, etc.)
  • Resource Management: registration logistics and staffing; vendor solicitation/sponsorships coordination
  • Customer Support: communications planning and support; producing program guides (PDF and print) and schedule grids
  • Library Services: producing creative after-hour event at Rock Eagle
Core Value: Teamwork

When the Going Gets Tough….

Print friendly Modified May 20, 2011
When the Going Gets Tough…. Jordan Thomas, Christy Todd, and Layne Hammock

Integration team — formerly PeopleSoft Human Resources Management Systems (PS HRMS) — exemplifies tenacity in how they handled the transition from PeopleSoft HRMS to ADP. The task of the team members — Layne Hammock, Christy Todd, and Jordan Thomas — was to transition core payroll and human resources support functionality to another USG support team at the USG Shared Services Center. While human nature might lead one to consider such a transition as unfavorable, this team showed incredible character by putting aside their personal views and working diligently to help make the transition as seamless as possible.

As with any transition of this magnitude, the complexity and volume of work is overwhelming. The team never gave up. They spent, and continue to spend, countless hours working with campuses and the Shared Services Center to convert and validate data and to provide expertise about processes and procedures for the transition. The team has spent untold hours travelling to various locations to participate in transition meetings and activities. Frequently, the work demanded of this team goes unnoticed as they willingly work quietly behind the scenes to support the transition.

Several customers were so impressed with the team’s accomplishments that they provided the following kudos:

Lee Fruitticher (VP Business Affairs, Gordon College) — ADP/SSC Project GL subteam co-lead: “Your team’s contributions to this project were invaluable. You were able to help us translate what the folks at ADP were saying and writing. Your knowledge of how the System operates was key to implementing this project. Jordan and Christy were very responsive even during tight deadlines. They have a very positive can-do attitude that is much appreciated. Who knows where this might have ended up without your involvement?”

Kim Thompson (Controller, Georgia Southern) — ADP/SSC Project GL subteam co-lead: “I do not think we would have made it in the project without you, Jordan, and Christy. Most of the time, you were the only voices of sanity. You have the interest of the USG and the institutions at heart and you are all very professional.”

Anita Sales (Director Human Resource Operations, KSU) – ADP/SSC Project – HR subteam lead: “In a nutshell…this project would have collapsed without your involvement.”

Cliff Williams – ADP/SSC USG Program Director: _“You, Christy, and Jordan have been nothing less than STELLAR and have added a tremendous value add to the team in Sandersville…The leadership assistance and guidance you have provided to both Bryan and me throughout the project in navigating us through USG waters cannot be underestimated. Things may have been bad during and post implementation…but it would have been much worse without you

Core Value: Tenacity
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