2017 Women’s Leadership Symposium: “Creating a Resonant Yes Through the Power of No”

yesSarah Young from Zing Collaborative had a powerful message for attendees of the 2017 Women’s Leadership Symposium: “How we spend our moments is how how we spend our lives”. Her interactive, high-energy and thought-provoking talk started with some alarming statistics:

Google searches per second: 40,000
Number of texts sent every minute of every day: 15,220,700 
Frequency in which one is distracted at work: every 11 minutes
Minutes it takes to to get back on task: 23
Percentage of behavior NOT consciously self-directed : as much as 95%

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The Bridge to Better Service: The Embedded Help Desk Agent

Imagine being an ambassador to two worlds that rely on each other. One would need to know the language and currency in the two distinct realms for interactions to run smoothly. The DoIT Help Desk Agent embedded within a DoIT Service, does this day to day!

Relay to the DoIT Service:
– end user
– end user struggles and areas in the Service that need improvement

♦ Continuously improve DoIT Help Desk:
– documentation
– internal processes

In an effort provide consistent, face-to-face coordination of the technical and functional, the Help Desk has embedded agents within various services throughout DoIT. The concept began with our own Chris Mayeshiba working closely with Learn @ UW acting as a liaison conveying the needs of the Help Desk.

With the gap identified, when it came to the Help Desk and the campus migration to Office 365,  a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was drawn citing the specific duties and expectations of a Help Desk Embedded Agent. Rhianna Campbell was assigned to 50% of her time to work side by side with the Office 365 Service Team. Rhianna recently spoke of her experiences as an Embedded Agent, specifically the management of constant changes to documentation, at the 2017 KB User’s Group Meeting and was received with much acclaim.

The following are the current DoIT Services who have a Help Desk agent working alongside them:

50%   ECMS Imaging
25%   Learn@UW
25%   MyUW
25%   Mass email / Wisclist
25%   General Desktop Support (GDS)

The embedded Help Desk agent quickly becomes the “face of the customer” to the DoOT Service and also becomes the “go-to person” for Help Desk staff.   The time and energy invested by the embedded agent ultimately adds much value to both areas.

The image below depicts many aspects the embedded Help Desk agent does to ensure a positive and consistent end user experience for the DoIT Service to which they are assigned. On the left side of the image depicts specific facets the embedded agent engages and participates in the DoIT Service. The right side of the image depicts what the embedded agent brings back to DoIT Help Desk to inform the staff and their internal processes.

Embedded Agent


If you have any questions about the DoIT Help Desk embedded agent role, OR, if you are interested in embedding a Help Desk agent into your DoIT Service, please contact Abrianna Barca.

The 3rd Annual KnowledgeBase (KB) User Group Meeting

The UW KB Team is gearing up for what promises to be another action-packed day of great information exchange and networking! This year’s meeting will be held in the one of Madison’s most engaging settings, the UW Memorial Union. Join KB admins and authors on Friday, June 23 from 8am to 4:45 PM.

At 8am, we will ease into the morning with coffee and light refreshments. Later, after opening the meeting with a warm welcome, US Assistant Director Sean Bossinger will walk through his own common uses of the KB. Sean uses built-in metrics in the new, API-driven doc views by groupKB Stats Tab for monthly reporting. Ideally, walking through the steps of this process, problem-solving through varied scenarios and listening to attendee responses will set the tone for a lively discussion and exchange of ideas.

This year, the KB Team has been working closely with the DoIT Communications User Experience Team to make major improvements to the KB. This collaboration is called the “KB Re-design Discovery Phase”.  At the Meeting, we will discuss the methods used to collect data (e.g. user driven suggestions for feature addition/modification) and share our results thus far. We will also discuss the “Next Phase” of the KB Redesign.

Attendees will then enjoy a brief tour of the “new and improved” Memorial Union and proceed to lunch there, or, enjoy some cart food from Library Mall.  After chatting with fellow Admins and appreciating the Lake, we will have a number of Flash Talks. terraceWe will have a good mix of UW Madison and outside Institution KB Admins presentations. So far, we have Madison KB Admins, like Collaborative for Engineering Education and Teaching Effectiveness (CEETE) and Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS). Other presentations include KB use at institutions such as University of Illinois, UW-Green Bay and Northwestern University.

We will wrap up the day with a whole group talk about things that can be embedded into a KB document, like tables, PDFs, and video files. The large group will then split up into “birds of a feather” break out groups. Finally, we will come back together to discuss take-aways, further directions to explore and say a fond adieu to our Madison and Institution partners until next year.


Featured Image Photocredit: UW Memorial Union Photo Carousel

Brigadier General Kerry Denson: Applied Leadership You Can Use

Denson_Kerry_BGOn the bright and cold morning of  April 17th, many enjoyed breakfast and networking at the 4th Annual Information & Technology Leadership Conference (ITLC) held at Union South. There were 375 registrants who participated in the ITLC, which focused this year on Leading at All Levels in Higher Education and Technology. The Opening Keynote speaker, General Kerry Denson of the Wisconsin National Guard, delivered a practical and easily applicable view of leadership anchored in his 40+ years of leadership experience.

tyOur own Ty Letto, Assistant Director of Middleware, introduced General Denson during which he offered his own unique perspective. Ty had served under General Denson for 9 years. In that time, Ty found him to be a “fair and good leader”. They served during a particularly difficult time when the Wisconsin National Guard had its largest mobilization since World War II. It was General Denson’s job to have 7,500 soldiers ready to deploy overseas. This required negotiating a number of complex moving parts: communicating with various branches of the military, various levels within State agencies along with state and federal staff. The General demonstrated considerable leadership skill maneuvering within and across these various arenas. He remained personable and accessible throughout the endeavor.

General Denson’s talk was light, dynamic and directive. The highly decorated combat pilot has led every size organization, has set goals/objectives for units training for combat and has selected numerous leaders during his long career.  General Denson inspired everyone in the room with his down-to-earth leadership. He began by asking the audience, “No matter where you are in the organization, what brings you into work each day?” The table below shows the fruits of that discussion:


From here, interlaced with engaging stories from his personal experiences, General Denson shared some of the Leadership Tools he has gathered over the years for his Leadership Toolbox. Here are some highlights:

Early in the talk, General Denson posed a question: “What do we, as leaders, want from the organization?”

  • To expect dedication, honesty and to trust the Leadership above us
  • To have the Leadership trust us
  • To have access to opportunities to attain “tools for toolbox” (e.g. training)
  • To be part of a consistently executed and fair awards programs

General Denson shared his “Regularly Applied Practices”:

  • Acceptance: He did not agree with everything from the Leadership, but it didn’t matter because they are above his pay grade.
  • Actualize: He did his job and worked within his budget to do awesome things.
  • Strategize: When he was unable to buy repair parts for aircraft due to budget, he brainstormed with employees and applied their suggestions. Morale went up as did an increase in productivity.
  • Support: Leaders do not complain and whine nor should they be part of the problem.

Finally, General Denson prescribed that we bring it all together: “Create a Vision”

  • Determine the piece of the organization for which you responsible
  • Sketch out the answer to the question: “What if my organization was perfect?”
  • Make incremental changes: follow every decision made toward that vision, (monthly, quarterly annually_ you will see that you will make progress
  • Know that you will make a lot of improvements, but it will never perfect…and that is okay.

New Phone Hardware at the Help Desk

new_account_wizardonce_upon_a_time2, in the mid 1990s, the earliest version of the DoIT Help Desk was born. Calls were taken by 3-4 agents who supported WiscWorld, the modem pool and Eudora email. Later, support was expanded to include the mainframe. Back then, should a customer choose not to be on  hold, they were given the option to leave a voicemail and were called back in a timely fashion. In an effort to scale and also address higher call volumes, a stable and affordable Call System was sought. wiscworldThe Automatic Call Distributor System (ACD) by Iwatsu was acquired and used to rout all calls as efficiently as possible. The ACD hardware included telephones, headsets and connectors for amplifiers.  This service allowed phone prompting (also known as Pick 1, Pick 2 and Pick 3) subsequently making the voicemail option obsolete. The acquisition helped to modernize the Help Desk.

Fast forward to early 2016. UW–Madison moved to replace its longstanding voice (telephone) services technologies known as Centrex. AT&T was retiring this system and more updated technologies became available. As a result,  Skype for Business was selected. As early adopters, the Help Desk received new hardware, headsets and updated internal processes and training soon followed. While no longer actively used, the old Iwatsu ACD hardware was kept as a back up system, “just in case”. After carefully considering vendor proposals, senior UW–Madison leaders selected the Cisco VoIP product. As a result, the Help Desk received an even newer set of hardware which offers so many more features.

On April 18, all Iwatsu ACD hardware was carefully collected and officially retired from the Help Desk. FullSizeRenderWhile most of the hardware was already boxed up, there were still a few loose pieces of hardware here and there that needed to be rounded up and sent to SWAP. Our own Jeff Wiltzius (left) and Steve Schroeder (right) put the finishing touches on the end of an era. There is no doubt that the Iwatsu ACD acquisition was was chosen wisely as it proved to be as reliable and stable as advertised.  Its expected that a complete migration from Centrex to Cisco will take 12–18 months, making the end of June 2018 the target completion date. For email updates on the migration’s progress, sign up here.

Showcase Keynote Speaker: Laurent Heller

Showcase 2017!

Union South was all abuzz beginning at 8am Wednesday, April 5. The 18th Annual UW Process Improvement Showcase  presented 65 posters in Varsity Hall. Eight of those posters were contributed by UW DoIT Staff! A big thanks to our own, Laura Grady,  for coordinating the DoIT presentations.

krogmanWhile Varsity Hall 2 and 3 served as home base to the 930+ registered attendees and poster presenters, Varsity Hall 1 also played an important role: housing the breakfast refreshments, registrant name badges, coat racks and additional space in which to network. Our own John Krogman gave the 11am Closing Remarks this year. After praising the collaboration and forward-thinking innovations he saw this year, he challenged the University Community to make so many more poster submissions in 2018, that Varsity Hall 1 will need to be used for innovative posters as well. Click here for a complete program of the day’s events.

Keynote Speaker Laurent Heller, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

marquee_theaterAt 11:15am, Laurent Heller engaged a packed Marquee Theater which has a 330 person capacity. His keynote presentation, “Reinvesting in UW–Madison — Leveraging Data for Strategic Decision Making” covered a lot of ground and demonstrated the methods in which decisions will be made in the future.

Continue reading “Showcase Keynote Speaker: Laurent Heller”