Appendix D: Resource Options

Provides additional details and background information for considering strategies to resource plan initiatives.

The options provided are meant to be illustrative and not exhaustive.

Leverage and Consolidation

  • Software license consolidation and leveraging
    • Recent examples of license consolidation at UNLV
      • lynda.com campus site license for online training resources for faculty and staff - consolidated licenses in three different units into a single campus-wide site license
      • Qualtrics campus site license for a secure survey tool for students, faculty and staff - replaced faculty-only licenses in five different units and incorporated students into a single campus-wide site license
    • Recent examples of license leveraging across NSHE
      • Adobe licensing negotiations
      • Oracle licensing for both PeopleSoft and non-PeopleSoft products
  • Comprehensive contracts for equipment purchases
    • CCS Presentations campus-wide contract for audio-visual related items – allowed entities from across campus to take advantage of competitively bid pricing established for an existing large project in central IT
  • Earlier consideration of competitive bids for technology purchases that are likely to reach campus purchasing limits within two years of first deployment
    • Campus-wide request for proposal for digital signage solution - campus-wide approach allows digital signs (e.g., the new displays in the FDH lobby) to be used for campus-wide messaging (e.g., emergency notifications), makes support easier and ensures competitive pricing for equipment and services

New Approaches for Providing Current Services

  • Hardware support from alternative sources
    • Support for Sun equipment from a vendor other than Oracle - significant cost savings in hardware support costs
  • Virtualization
    • Servers – maximizes use of costly data center space and improves availability to applications housed on the servers
    • Storage – maximizes use of costly data center space and makes it possible to consolidate storage needs across multiple applications at a significant cost savings
  • Data Center services community partnering
    • UNLV IT Master Plan includes an action item to move select server and storage hardware to an off campus data center (e.g., Switch) – provides data center service expansion at a lower cost than constructing additional facilities on campus
  • Evaluating the use of third party services that may be able to provide services in a more cost effective manner.
    • Online training services from lynda.com – using commercial services for training on a variety of commonly used software applications costs less than producing the training in house, helps keep the training current, provides just-in-time options for employee training and frees up University training staff to develop training for software applications unique to UNLV

Strategic Use of Cloud Services

  • Migration of services to the cloud and/or new cloud services where appropriate
    • Lotus Notes to Google Apps migration – reduces costs for email services, adds functionality and increases access options (Completed in 2015)
    • Office 365 for students – expands access to Microsoft productivity tools to all students (Completed in 2015)
  • Extend existing campus-based services through the use of cloud-based solutions
    • Augment individual and shared storage needs currently met by systems on campus with appropriate storage options available through the cloud (e.g., DropBox, TeamBox, Box, Google Cloud Storage) – reduces costs, provides flexible alternatives to growing storage needs and, if brokered centrally on behalf of the entire campus, can ensure compatibility across units

Decommissioning Existing Services

  • Elimination of home grown and third party systems with the introduction of new enterprise systems
    • Implementation of iNtegrate 2 – Depending on the solution selected, several current third party systems on campus will no longer be needed (e.g., MUNIS, iLeave) reducing costs associated with application support and maintenance of current integrations
  • Phasing out support for services with small numbers of users
    • Decommissioning BlackBerry Server Services – After a peak of over 300, the number of individuals using the campus BlackBerry server dwindled to seven. The server was taken out of service in Spring 2014 for a cost savings of $35,000 annually.

More Strategic Use of Existing Funding Sources

  • Conduct an annual internal review of central IT’s budget to determine if savings can be created through process and technology changes within the organization.
    • Determine what cost savings, if any, have accrued as a result of changes in internal processes and be deliberate about how cost savings are reallocated – ensures that costs savings are considered as a funding source for organizational and institutional priorities
  • Maintain a campus-wide prioritization of technology needs for submission to calls for use of one-time funds
    • Keep the technology needs prioritization list current - makes it possible to respond to any type of funding request at any time with very short notice
    • Develop a list of technology equipment replacement needs based on established campus standards and prioritized across campus units - makes it easier to prioritize the technology needs with the rest of the campus needs and allows for a systematic approach to meeting the equipment replacement needs
  • Include technology components in Major Capital Project renovation requests
    • The recent request for renovation of the Carlson Education Building included provisions for network upgrades and wireless – helps keep technology current, reduces the need for more costly stand-alone construction projects to meet technology infrastructure needs
  • Partner with other campus entities on Annual Capital Improvement Fee Funds request submissions
    • Consolidated requests for classroom improvement projects to include furniture, carpeting, paint and technology upgrades for audio visual equipment and wireless enhancements jointly proposed by the Executive Vice President & Provost and the Senior Vice Provost for Finance & Business for the 2014 funding cycle – maximizes the use of limited funds, reduces the procurement effort, reduces the time facilities are taken off line for improvements
    • Mapping and assessment of the campus cabling plant to be proposed jointly by Planning & Construction, Telecommunications and OIT for the 2015 funding cycle - reduces duplication of effort, ensures that multiple needs for similar infrastructure are met and raises the likelihood of securing funding
  • Consider using a bonding option for large, multi-year technology projects, option requires an identified revenue source for repayment (e.g., new fee)
    • Additional new technology equipment and replacement of aging equipment in Greenspun building initially purchased with building funds – allows for multi-year projects too small for Major Capital Projects and out of scope for Annual Capital Improvement Fee Funds

Reallocation of Existing Revenues

  • Allocate a small percentage of indirect cost returns for technology improvements specifically geared to supporting the research infrastructure
  • Repurpose funds gained from costs savings due to changes in processes, decommissioning, moving to third party service providers, etc.

Additional Cost Recovery Rates for IT Services

  • Strategically determine the addition of cost recovery rates for a select number of technology services
    • Cost recovery rates for data center usage and server hosting services – ensures that the units using the services are paying for those services, allows for recharge to federal grants
    • Clearly articulated cost recovery charges for use of services that exceed the norm (e.g., charges for requests for data storage beyond allocated quotas) – ensures that those who need more than their allotted share of campus services can obtain those services in a seamless fashion, distributes costs in a fair fashion, incentivizes review of resource needs and rewards clean up efforts

Strategic Spending

  • Use systematic equipment refresh programs to reduce costly support of end-of-life operating systems and repair of equipment out of warranty and/or no longer supported by the manufacturer
  • Provide regular reports about anticipated new technologies planned for the campus with time tables and purchasing recommendations for preparing for the new technologies
    • Migration to the cloud for several campus services – reduces the need for high-powered desktops, increases the need for lean laptops, tablets and mobile devices, and requires more wireless connectivity in office environments
  • More strategic use of student employment opportunities in centralized and distributed IT units
    • Graduate assistantships assigned to IT units for students interested in IT careers
    • Graduate assistantship assigned to academic units to support students in IT related degree programs
    • Public Service Intern positions to support internship requirements in academic units
    • Student employment positions to support undergraduate and graduate students

New Revenues

  • Consider increasing the Student Technology Fee ($4.00 per student credit hour fee was instituted in January 2000 and has not been raised). Considerations should include a cost analysis of current Student Technology Fee expenditures and a spending plan that demonstrates that new revenues would meet the requirements established when the fee was initially approved.
    • Cover raising staff and operating expenses
    • Support increased use of technology resources for learning in and out of the classroom
  • Pursue grant funding for new strategic initiatives that have a large technology component
    • Support blended learning projects
    • Provide resources for analytic tools and staff services for data-based decision-making regarding retention, progression and completion

Maximizing Technology and Community Partners

  • Data Center services community partnership
    • UNLV IT Master Plan includes an action item to move select server and storage hardware to an off campus data center (e.g., Switch) – provides data center service expansion at a lower cost than constructing additional facilities on campus
  • Pursue opportunities with technology partners for grant funding, donated equipment, and/or services
  • Taking advantage of discount pricing negotiated by national IT non-profit organizations (e.g., Internet2, EDUCAUSE)