State of IT 2019 – US:IT Service Highlights



In 2018 US:IT migrated all customer service issue activity from three separate systems into a single US:IT instance of Jira Service Desk.  In 2019, we improved issue workflow and reporting capability. The University Technology Support Center team is responsible for the administration and oversight of the US:IT Service Desk.  All US:IT Tier 1, 2 and 3 teams utilize the US:IT Service Desk to track customer incidents and service requests.

Looking forward to 2020, US:IT has started an evaluation of its current customer service practices, with a goal of building on our strengths to improve the level of support that we deliver to the campuses. Our end result should provide the UMS community with efficient responses, high-quality solutions, and strategic collaboration on key initiatives. The steering committee for this effort met in November 2019 and will be guiding the work going forward, tying it closely to the US:IT Strategic Plan and the overall mission of supporting One University.

  • January 2019: new workflow implemented to address gaps and improve reporting capability.
  • April 2019: Started providing service desk reports using PowerBI
  • May 2019: Michael Cyr assigned to lead UTSC, under John Brown, the new Director of Service Delivery and Support
  • Started tracking and reporting issue metrics
    • Time to Assignment: Avg
    • Time to Start Work: Avg
    • Time to Resolution: 55.075 hours
    • First Tier Resolution: 63%
  • 2019 Quick stats
    • 47,362 – incidents & service requests
    • Tickets by Service Category (top 4 categories)
      • Accounts, Access & Passwords – 17837
      • Computers, Hardware & Printing – 9588
      • Educational Tools, Online Learning & Classroom Technology – 5871
      • Networks, Telephones & Communications – 4058


Information regardless of format or system has intrinsic value and potential adverse impact if compromised. The Information Security Office communicates with the University community to make personnel aware of security risks associated with their activities, and to uphold the Office’s charge to detect, protect, respond to, and recover from information security incidents. The human element is the largest target for attackers, and attacks utilize sophisticated and expansive domains to exploit human behavior, such as human psychology and machine learning. The Information Security Office responds using behavioral economics, alignment with recognized methodology, and protective controls with studied effectiveness. Two of this fall’s activities include the October National Cybersecurity Awareness Month email campaign, and this year’s annual security awareness training. This year’s email campaign and training were developed exclusively by University personnel, and in collaboration with the DARTS team and colleague reviewers outside of information security professionals. We welcome your input and questions on cybersecurity, as we strengthen our protection and support of the University’s teaching, research, outreach, and administrative functions.


Since its inception in 2012, the Project Management Office (PMO) has evolved as a leader in establishing and implementing project management best practices in a way that promotes a positive project culture, enhances collaboration, increases efficiency, and provides consistently successful delivery of IT projects that support the University’s mission and strategic goals.

During the past year, the PMO partnered with other US:IT units and University departments to successfully complete projects in the following key categories:


2019 Completed Projects Pie Chart
2019 Completed Projects Pie Chart

UMaine Agilent iLab Implementation; USM Muskie PMT Tool Migration; USM PIMS Upgrade; Blackboard Connect Phase 1; USM T2 Parking Garage Management System


EAB Navigate for UMaine; Canusia Integration for Early College; USM RMS (Housing) Implementation; UMFK/UMPI Salesforce CRM implementation


MaineStreet HR Enhancements; HireTouch Integration


Kaltura Video Content Manager System; MSLN Circuit Upgrades; MaineStreet Portal Upgrade; MaineStreet Campus Solutions 9.2 Upgrade; MaineStreet Financials Migration to Linux Architecture; Zoom phase 1; University Active Directory (UAD); CollegeNet SaaS Migration; UMaine Apogee Residence Hall Wireless implementation


As part of a recent realignment of the US:IT organization, the PMO’s set of services was expanded to include CommunicationBusiness Analysis, and Training. The name of the expanded unit is IT Projects & Professional Services (IT PPS). Initial accomplishments for the expanded unit include:

  • The September 2019 launch of the UMS IT Connections newsletter. The newsletter will be published quarterly and is intended to keep the University community informed of what’s happening in Information Technology.
  • The initiation of the US:IT Professional Development Program that is responsible for the coordination of professional development opportunities for US:IT staff. The program provides an on-going assessment and tracking of professional development needs and opportunities for US:IT staff along with providing a framework that promotes US:IT employee mentorship opportunities that will foster skills for promotion or succession.
  • Enhanced transparency of the IT Project Portfolios and IT Business Analysis Portfolio.


IT Support Services teams are embedded across the state with a focus on providing the best experience possible at their campuses, centers, and operations. Support Services personnel make up over one-third of all staff in IT and employ/supervise/coach another 200 student workers in help desk and technician roles. This “front-of-the-house” team enjoys direct everyday interactions with students, faculty, and staff while providing essential technology support and management of local IT resources. Through collaboration between Support Services and other US:IT teams, IT strives to be a trusted partner by empowering our University communities with reliable and innovative solutions.

Each year State of IT will highlight a campus IT Support Services team. This year we are highlighting UMF.

This was an exemplary year for the UMF team. Fred Brittain, Associate CIO, resigned after 25 years of service to the University of Maine System and the University of Maine at Farmington. While this loss was felt in many ways, it (and other events) afforded opportunities to build on the strengths, talent and hard work of others in IT, including the local support team. As is typical with a diverse team structure, members stepped up into new roles within Support Services and onto engineering teams, which also provided room for adding new talent.

The transition was an opportune time to reconfigure our Help Desk and field operations services through staff relocations.  The Mantor Library Help Desk now provides real-time support through student workers, the Help Desk Coordinator, and “Tech of the Day”. This blend of tiered support and “scrum methodology” encourages greater response times with more requests and issues being resolved on first contact. “Tech of the Day” is a rotating shift that provides each technical team member with opportunities to provide responsive and direct support as well as time for project work, partnerships with other IT groups, and professional development.

Notable 2019 partnerships included UMF Support Services’ work with campus representatives under Networkmaine’s valued guidance. This project began as an immediate response to the campus’ phone system failure on February 4th, when the system that has served UMF since the early 1990s stopped processing calls for several hours. After resolving the immediate issue, US:IT implemented efforts to create and execute a business continuity risk mitigation plan should the phone system fail again. Since then, the teams have worked diligently at replacing as much of the failing system as possible and are on track for successfully completing the project by summer 2020.

Another highly relevant and valued alliance last summer was between the UMF Facilities, IT Classroom Technology, and IT Support Services at UMF teams. Through regular communication and collaboration, the teams implemented more classroom technology upgrades and relocations than expected over a very condensed summer break maintenance period. This was possible, in part, because the Classroom Technology team regularly provides professional development opportunities to Media technicians on the local Support Services teams to ensure they are sufficiently trained and empowered to assist with local installations.

Partnerships within and between our campuses, Support Services, and all “heart-of-the-house” teams in IT exist and continuously develop. The unification of IT is still evolving, but significant benefits have been realized and are regularly experienced. This provides demonstrable hope for the future of the University of Maine System in realizing the potential of cross-campus partnerships in all areas.


As of December 2019, the UMS Single Sign-On Service is providing authentication for 125 services used throughout the University of Maine System.

This is a sleeker version of the UMS single sign-on page with added links to accountability information.

In 2019, we updated the Single Sign-On Login page to a more modern, accessible, and mobile friendly version.

During the months of October and November, 2019, we handled more than 5.5 million authentication requests for  48,000 different UMS user accounts. The “Top 10” services by distinct users during this period can be seen in the table below.

Service Distinct Users Total Logins
Google 43,901 631,961*
MyCampus Portal 36,738 2,830,369
Blackboard 29,836 1,534,999
MaineStreet 24,065 262,645
Library Resources 13,399 190,449
UMS Academy 4,068 10,900
Box 3,304 29,892
Concur 2,687 19,822
Student Success Collaborative 2,622 8,625
Transact 2,205 15,181

*Google sessions can last up to a week