IT News

IT “front door” about to open to WCU

By Newton Smith, Associate CIO

One of the major IT projects of the 2009-10 academic year is the development of an online entry point, a “front door,” to IT services.

The new front door will launch this summer at DoIT.wcu.edu, a destination with a name that plays on the Division of Information Technology acronym (DoIT) and invites the WCU community to “do it”—make a service request or contact IT for further assistance.

At DoIT.wcu.edu, visitors will select the type of service request they’d like to make: report an incident or problem, request a new service (also share an idea), or request a consultation. Once a selection is made, their request will be directed to the appropriate location in IT’s service desk application (Cherwell) where they will then be able to further refine their request. Their requests will then be routed to the appropriate IT staff for resolution.

A test pilot for DoIT.wcu.edu is planned for May and will involve internal and external community participants. A rollout is planned during the summer.

While DoIT.wcu.edu is a front door for access to all IT services, the Division of IT also is planning a front door for WCU. The WCU front door will be an entry point for employees to conduct their business—access services and non-public information—in one place, without having to move from one entry point to another.

The WCU front door will include the following features:

  • Single point of entry or single sign-on: log in once and you will have access to the files and systems you need.
  • Integration: the fully developed front door will integrate behind the scenes with various systems such as Banner, Exchange, WebCat, and My Cat.
  • Federation: content from other websites or services will be brought into the second phase front door.
  • Permissioning or Role-Based Access Control: users will automatically be given access to the systems and data they have been approved for and not see those for which they are not approved.
  • Personalization: users will be able eventually to add links to outside sources to their front door.

The WCU front door project will rely heavily on the development of the identity management (IdM) project and will involve users from across campus in the architecture, the requirements, and the feature design for the pilot phase. One of the outcomes will be that users will be given expanded tools for collaboration and document management within their security groups.

For more information on the front door project, contact Newt Smith at smithn@email.wcu.edu or 828-227-2411.