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Short-staffed ITS works hard to keep up service

Students patiently wait for service at the ITS office.

With less than a full fleet, Concordia’s Information Technology Services is carrying more than their usual workload.

One and a half weeks after hiring a new full time worker, one of the original three full-timers has left the staff. The new technician hired will take some time to train into Concordia’s specific system.

Bruce Vieweg, Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the college, has sent out more than his usual amount of emails to address the many challenges ITS faces.

“It takes our newer folks a little longer to learn the process and technology,” Vieweg said.

Now there is still an opening for a full time technician. According to Concordia’s Human Resource website, ITS wants a full time technician who can diagnose, install, and fix Macintosh and Windows ware. In addition, ITS wants that individual to train students in with phone skills and customer service.

Mark Switajski, a student worker at ITS, began working last spring. He’s seen several changes during his time there.

“Even when a new full time technician is hired, it will still essentially be two new workers trying to learn the ropes of the college,” Switajski said.

Vieweg said a few good applications have already been submitted, so he is hopeful it won’t take long to fill the position.

ITS could also use a few more student workers. ITS started the year with 10 student workers, hired 5, and lost two. Usually ITS employs between 13 and 16 student workers.

“Losing the two student workers does have a small effect but the full time tech position is having the hardest hit,” Switajski said.

Luke Papenfuss, student manager, said ITS may hire more students in the Spring semester.

“Once spring semester hits, we will have a job posting on career link or they can stop in to get an application if interested in working at ITS,” Papenfuss said.

Being short-staffed has undoubtedly affected ITS’s capabilities. Since the new full time technician is still being trained in and two student workers have left, veteran employees must pick up the slack.

“Things just aren’t getting done quite as fast,” Papenfuss said. “We are still able to get things done, but having the other full time technician position filled would make things more efficient.”

“You can expect to see a slightly slower turnaround rate much like at the beginning of the year,” Switajski said. “There is a lot of training that goes into new workers.”

In order to compensate for being short staffed, Papenfuss said ITS has had to prioritize more. Vieweg said the biggest negative of being short staffed is the longer wait time.

“We do the best we can with the resources we have,” Vieweg said. “If it turns out we can’t fill the vacant full time technician position I will hire someone to come in temporarily. Our whole focus is quality of service.”

ITS is still working to get Uniprint to work for all students. They have not given any time frame as to when the issue will be fixed but they have been in contact with Uniprint several times. So far no attempts to fix the problem have been successful.

Vieweg also mentioned a problem with serious infestation of Cryptolocker. When a computer is infested with this, it invades the computer and encrypts all office files and demands payment to unlock the files. So far, 13 computers have fallen victim to this infestation. Vieweg said ITS will never pay the ransom, but rather try their best to retrieve files from backups.

Despite the recent problems, Vieweg remains positive. With new enemies come new defences.

“The new hardware (dell blade servers) we installed last summer is paying off,” Vieweg said. “We are seeing a really significant in improvement with processing speed.”

Vieweg realized the improved speed on registration days, a time notorious for system lags.

“In the first minute of registration on Wednesday, there were 171 successful registrations,” Vieweg said.

Vieweg is holding a session for students with concerns about Wi-Fi and other technology for students on campus at noon on November 20. Vieweg would like to speak with students to find out what is working well and what could be changed.

One Comment

  1. Emilie Bowman Emilie Bowman November 13, 2014

    It’s good to hear that the good folks at ITS are continuing to provide quality service while they are understaffed. Keep up the good work, guys!

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