Monday, January 28, 2013


Apparently the UW hired a consultant again.

This time we're migrating everybody's email to Microsoft 365. I understand the HIPPA requirements are tough to satisfy, but the last time I checked the hospital ≠ the whole university.

This part is risible:

Additionally, the adoption of a single calendaring solution would drastically reduce the time spent on scheduling and confirming meetings, creating approximately 130,000 hours of freed-up employee capacity to campus units per year.

One's first impulse is to suggest that they pulled the numbers from a place the sun does not usually shine. But let's see: 130,000 divided by 5000 staff (roughly) divided by 52 weeks gives a half-hour a week wasted futzing to coordinate electronic calendars. That's probably not too crazy an estimate for the secretaries of the higher-ups. So I'd guess they took the worst case and multiplied it by the number of staff. That's not exactly honest, but it isn't random either.

I don't spend more than 5 minutes every other week with calendars of any description, now that I'm no longer on two experiments at once.

So they'll be wasting time and money on a service I'll not be using--nor will any of the rest of our team.

But this also is supposed to borg-up all the different campus email servers. That's a problem. We use email to schlep around larger files and send mail much more rapidly than the UW is licensed for. (For one thing, email is used to notify when farm jobs complete, so there can be tens of thousands of messages from the condor server every day.) And many faculty and staff and institutions have already established identities on the web; to preserve those means the central IT will have to maintain maybe a hundred email domains, plus multiple identities for some of these people, plus expand their support staff. I don't see how this is going to save anybody any money.

About 18 years ago the state decided it was going to centralize all computing purchasing and management under the Department of Administration. The outcry was big enough that they backed off. I wish I knew who had the clout then. (One of the side effects of such centralization is a loss of accountability. If Prof Jones decides things are screwed up he can walk downstairs and collar somebody, but if it is all handled by a phone bank in another town he's out of luck.)


Assistant Village Idiot said...

No cake for you.

GraniteDad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GraniteDad said...

1 P, 2 A's.