SBS Champions: Tech Team Labors Behind the Scenes As UArizona Goes Virtual

July 16, 2020

With our SBS Champion series, we celebrate faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends in the college who are helping our community and each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In early March, the entire University of Arizona campus switched to remote teaching and working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expertise of the SBSTech Team was needed more than ever!

During those hectic early days of transition, SBSTech lent their support to more than 500 instructional faculty in the College of SBS who converted over 960 courses to remote delivery.

SBSTech also provided support to staff and faculty across SBS who were now tasked with working from home. This included making sure they had the necessary equipment, such as computers and webcams, to do their jobs remotely. SBSTech has provided more than 60 IT devices since March.

In addition to desktop support, SBSTech offers research and instructional computing support, data management and server administration, web and multi-media production, application development, studio services, hosting services, and IT purchasing support.

SBSTech had to make several adjustments to respond to its clients’ changing needs:

  • Began providing IT support on personally owned equipment
  • Started providing support at 7AM to accommodate the increase in tickets submitted outside regular work hours
  • For services that could not be done remotely, SBSTech members took turns to meet and help clients on campus.

“I am proud of SBSTech members who worked hard, sometimes out of regular work hours, to ensure that our clients in SBS could get the IT services to transition to working and teaching remotely,” said Young-Gie Min, associate director of information technologies with SBSTech. “I am also grateful for our clients in SBS that showed support of SBSTech and had the patience to wait when some problems could not be resolved as fast as before, due to factors like shortage of supplies and delays in delivery during the critical period.”

Preparing for Fall

SBSTech is collaborating with other SBS and UArizona teams to prepare for the fall semester – which may include both in-person and remote instruction options – and provide a quality experience for students, faculty, and staff.

Current projects include:

  • Preparing the studio to support faculty who want to record content for their courses or research projects
  • Preparing labs to allow remote connections and creating a plan for safety precaution like equipment cleanup and proper distancing
  • Upgrading the college’s hosting servers to add capacity and performance
  • Helping evaluate the technologies in SBS-managed classrooms and conference rooms to enable technologies like Zoom

SBS Tech will continue to support those who work remotely by assisting with personally owned equipment and also making sure that work computers are configured and updated if they need to be taken home. SBSTech also plans to have more loaner equipment available to minimize downtime when something breaks.

Happy Clients

“Champions is the perfect title for the SBSTech team,” said Ana Tello, senior director of SBS marketing and communications. “They have been invaluable colleagues during these trying times and even before. In the last six months, our team has been without two essential Marcomm members, and SBSTech has been the perfect partner, supporting our goals and projects across SBS. We so appreciate their knowledge, speedy response, and desire to always be team players!”

SBSTech sends customer surveys to faculty and staff who have submitted service requests through TicketDog. The following are just a selection of comments since the work-from-home period began.

  • "Deborah was so helpful! I love working with SBSTech, everyone is always so helpful and kind. Thank you team!”
  • "David was super helpful with guidance to help me solve my tech issue. He was very prompt with directions and followed up after I tried it out on my own. It was great to be able to know I could reach out to SBSTech Support even in a remote situation that so many UArizona employees are facing now.”
  • "Give Dom sainthood. He saved me! Thank you! Thank you! After my laptop fell to the floor and died, Dom got me set up on loaner with everything I need quickly, efficiently.”
  • “As always, Wade was great! He received my "ticket" and very promptly contacted me and fixed the computer issue I was having (he did so remotely).”
  • “The service provided was again top tier, as I have come to expect from SBSTech. Advice was prompt and exactly what I need to resolve my issue. Thanks Zaragoza!”
  • “As always, I was helped immediately and with great skill! I really appreciate your team!”

“Even after our team shrank and we lost very valuable members, our SBSTech team continued providing their high-quality service and demonstrating how profoundly they care about the college,” said Lizeth Mora, assistant director of technical services with SBSTech. “We had members who had just inherited new responsibilities and had to put themselves up to speed in a matter of days (sometimes hours), yet, they delivered as if they had years of experience. I’m proud and honored to work with this group of remarkable professionals and amazing people!”