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ITEC Executive Board
March 14, 2007
Spring 2007 Wizard
Syracuse, NY

  

I.          Attendance:   Judi Basinski, Jeff Bartkovich, Ron Brown, Mary Ann Corsetti, Dave DeMarco, Carey Hatch, Karen Klose, Pat Murphy, John Petkash, Mike Pisa, Dave Powalyk, Gary Sproul, and Charlie Young

Meeting is being recorded for note taking purposes.


II.        Budget:  Ron Brown

A subcommittee of the Board met via conference call on March 1, 2007 to review the budget.  The committee included Ron Brown, Sue Chichester, Dave DeMarco, Todd Foreman, Leif Hartmark, Karen Klose, John Petkash, Mike Notarius, Gary Sproul, and Charlie Young.   Ron discussed what was in and what was not in the budget and used that as a basis to discuss the spreadsheets.  

The budget is a point in time budget.  Please keep in mind that when it is compared, itís at the point in time about the same time in the budget development process as the previous year.  It does not indicate how the budget year ended but where we were in the development process 18 months ago.  The budget is a revenue-based budget; not an expense budget.

Some of the historical charges have been based on the ability to pay, not necessarily the size of the campus. Ron is unsure if itís any more or less costly to support a large or small campus.   The recharges are heavily weighted toward FTE.  Even though software is weighted towards FTE, the amount of software is based on the size of the organization.  Example, Oracle at UB is used a great deal but Canton may not have many users.  They are performing the same functionality but there arenít as many users.  Much of Oracleís pricing is based on named users, amount of usage, etc. 

The more campuses participate in ITEC, the better the pricing.   As noted in the historical recharges, Oracle costs have dropped significantly due to increased participation.  New products also were purchased in May 2006.  The ITEC membership fee has not gone up.  ITEC has seen major growth in the community college arena due to the Banner initiative.  This spreads the cost around to more sites although there is an IFR overhead charge on ITECís IFR account on non-state checks (community college).

The base membership fee follows the recommendations of the recharge review committee lead by Mary Ann Corsetti, along with members of SUBOA/CCBOA, SICAS, and ITEC.  This committee recommended dropping the membership fee to $10,000 with an appropriate FTE fee.  This recommendation was approved by the Executive Board on 12/21/05.

The budget proposed has been reduced by $225,000 from the original proposal (the base membership fee was reduced) and contains a contingency line of $80,000.  In addition, the new positions are only funded for half a year.  In FY 2008-2009 the positions will be funded fully.   There is nothing in the budget for Research and Development.  The capital expenditure remains in the budget with the resolution to be moved forward.  Issue:  there are some non-members of ITEC that receive ASI software from ITEC.  For example, Cornell receives ESRI through ITEC but is not an ITEC member.  The same situation may or may not occur with Angel.

With regards to the Academic Software Initiative (ASI), the ASI fee funds the licenses; support has been built into the ITEC base membership.  As noted earlier, there are campuses participating in the ASI program that are not members of ITEC.  Originally, ASI was appropriated $250,000 from ETI funds.  The Training Center received $90,000 of that for training programs.

A portion of the reduction in the proposed budget comes from staffing.  Additional staffing lines are built into the budget but with an effective date of January.  The budget includes a request for one Oracle DBA to be based upon an increase in membership and one for remote services (if more campuses request remote services there may be a need to increase lines).  Similarly, the budget includes a request for one new line for OS administration based upon an increase in membership and one new line based upon ITECís additional workload in remote services.  In addition, there may be a need for another academic person.  The other requested position is for a resource analyst to help manage the budget.  Altogether, Ron is requesting between 5-6 lines.  If a person is found in October, Ron would like to start that staff member as soon as possible.

If ITEC is to hire six additional staff, it will increase ITECís staffing to a total of 38.  Four of positions will come out of the base membership fee.  Positions that have NOT been budgeted for are:  R&D, new initiatives (ID management), and DR.   The typical budgeted salary is in the low $70Kís for DBAís and high $60Kís for UNIX.  ITEC does not pay fringe benefits.  Ron budgets about 25% of the salary for telephone, pcís, etc.  ITEC tracks this because of the records kept for SLN and TC and it does hover around 25%.  Some part of capital cost that is being requested is a result of new staff.  Space needs to be rehabbed and furniture purchased.  The rehab is estimated at $150,000.      The bulk of the capital expense is for the data center, however. 

Ron would like to be able to automatically hire staff as more campuses join or request additional services.  He has done an analysis with staff to define tasks (services document) and has worked with SICAS in determining areas of responsibility.  @Task will provide additional assistance in documentation.   In talking with staff Ron believes that ITEC should have one person support four campuses for Core banner that includes student, alumni, and financial aid models.   It does not included Luminis, ODS/EDW, AppWorx, ISE, etc.

When ITEC first started, campuses were funded equally.  With Burroughs everyone received the same maintenance and equally spread. Even with C-cup funding all equally received $690,000 except for the University Centers who received more.   As BAP started, focus was placed on the FTE.  After that all increases were based on FTE.  Since then the only change has been going from $20,000 down to $10,000 with an increase in FTE.  Campuses saw increase because of the optional services that they elected to receive.       

ASI: ITEC provides distribution, responds to technical questions not answered by listserves, assists campuses with installation when needed. Another staff line may be needed.     

Oracle:  Last year a misprint listed the licensing at $10,050 instead of $10,500; therefore, $450,000 did not quite get collected.  Also, two years ago Oracle support was $3.60, last year $2.62.  Due to additional products being purchased itís $2.94 in the proposed budget.  Because of increased membership, costs have held steady or gone done.


ITEC BUDGET FY 07-08 20060901 V3-0.xls FEE FORMULAS: 
This spreadsheet is a comparison of fees for FY 05-06, FY 06-07, and FY 07-08.  The grey areas indicate that the fee was not applicable for that year.   

Base Membership:  The base membership fee for FY 07-08 was reduced to $10,000 with $4.00 per FTE with all campuses at full membership.   Capital funding is included in the FY 07-08 fee structure.   Collection of the ITEC training program fee was shifted to the Training Center.  The Training Center is collecting $5,000 from all members with $2,500 available as training points.     

Remote Services:  In FY 04-05 the remote service fee was $10,000.  Ron proposes that the fee in FY 08-09 may increase to $23,000-$24,000.  Increases in this fee have been due to campuses expecting ITEC to provide more services and the fact that the complexity of the technology has significantly increased over the last few years.  

Jeff indicated that it is difficult for campuses to absorb the increase in their budgets and believes ITEC needs to better articulate the reason for the increase so campuses can better understand the increase.  Ron will write a high level explanation.   John noted that his sub-committee would like to see a model that prevents this from happening in the future.

LMS/CMS:  Ron has provided hosting costs for basic, core services to Carey for core Angel hosting services.  Campuses may choose to add on to these services and will be charged accordingly.  For example, ePortfolio cannot be included in the existing charge.   All the financials have been reviewed by System Administration and the PAC group.  Also, the Executive Board has agreed that ITEC needs to have a minimum of 20 campuses to participate.  This should not be a problem for Angel but we may not have the interest for WebCT and BlackBoard. 

DR:  The initial one time fee is going up due to the complexity.  The fees marked ďvariedĒ depend on campus requirements for disk storage, the amount of databases, and bandwidth needed for registration.  As mentioned in previous meetings, ITEC will ďlight it upĒ for a cost of $5,000.  In FY 2007-2008 it is proposed to be $6,000.

Angel is more confined.  We are able to scale down with Angel as compared to Lotus Notes.  Lotus Notes had 8 copies of the database in Buffalo (itís just the way Lotus Notes worked).  Less disk storage is required for Lotus.  However, by the time we are finished with Lotus, we will need to ensure that the cost structure for hosting allows for the purchase of new equipment.   SLN provided initial money for the servers.  As the Lotus Notes come off, we will shift to Angel.  Carey and Ron discussed that approximately $350,000 and $250,000 (total $600,000) coming from SLN will cover the program.  The call to campuses will go out in the next 30 days for campus participation; campuses will have 30 days to respond.  Carey noted that as we are seeing with the libraries and Banner, it is thought that campuses are pushing off to the University-wide programs to do more in an efficient manner but there is a cost involved.  Campuses are not giving up resources on campus but having the staff do other tasks.  Dave DeMarco noted that one of the dilemmas is that business officers see only the cost and not their shifting service to ITEC.

Oracle:  The licensing fee in the FY 06-07 budget was a misprint but was honored.      License and maintenance fees have decreased due to increased participation.  Additional products were purchased in May 2006.     

ASI:  This money just gets passed through to the vendors.  Lotus Notes is a problem as the money collected does not cover the cost.  Mary Ann will address this issue with participating campuses.  

Solidworks: This package cannot be bundled with the ASI because it is based upon concurrent users and not based on a University-wide contract. 

 

ITEC Budget FY 07-08 20060901 V3-0.xls:  Historical Recharges

This spreadsheet compares FY 2006-2007 and FY 2007-2008.  It indicates the total amount of change between the two fiscal years and the reason for the change.  Changes that affect all campuses include any change in FTE and the addition of the capital improvement fee.  Other than that, the changes are noted for each campus.  Some campuses saw an increase due to the shift from partial to full membership.  Some also saw an increase due to the change in the base fee formula or if the campus chose to opt for additional services.

Beginning on page 13, the worksheet shows the percentage of increase/decrease since 2000-2001 for the Base membership fee/Oracle license and support fee; the optional services fee; and the total ITEC cost.  The base membership and Oracle fees are combined because they represent the core that is needed to run Banner.  Itís important to look at base because everything else is optional.  There has not been a typical change in campuses other than the way the base membership fee was figured.  Union raises also had to be covered during this time and were most likely at 3-4%.

Ron asked the Board if they would like him to provide more information on the increase in optional services vs. the base membership fee.  He asked if there was any other analysis that they would like to see.  Jeff responded that he would like to see this yearís charges vs. last yearís or over the last three years since things were relatively stable in 2000-2001.  In 2000-2001 there was not much going on; recent years have brought on SLN and Banner.  Ron indicated that this was his point, back in 2000, ITEC was relatively stable.  The base membership for providing the basic foundation of support has not changed even though thereís a lot more complexity and software involved.  The core part has not changed.  Everything else is voluntary. The large increase in workload has been in recent years with the addition of all these new services that are optional to campuses.

 

ITEC Budget FY 07-08 200060901 V3-0.xls:  Budget FY 2007-2008

The first page of the budget is a summary of income and expense.  The second page includes a more detailed breakdown of the income; the third page includes the details of the expenses; and the remainder pages are further breakdowns of income and expense.

Income: Income from membership will be approximately $5.8 million in FY 07-08.  This includes base membership fee, capital funds fee, remote and hosting services fee, and U-wide software fees.  The increase is due to increased membership and the increase resulting from campuses moving from partial to full membership. 

The increase in University-wide income is due to the increased bandwidth for support of University-wide programs.   Ron to review last yearís hardware maintenance costs for Carey. 

Staff salary expense:  When ITEC originally because a department, there was an offer to pay 100% of the Directorís salary out of the educational initiative money.  The Executive Board declined this offer in order to have control over the position.   Staff raises are contractual and in the last two years System Administration has covered the raises.   ITEC shares the expense of an operatorís position with Buffalo State.

Expenses:  This section breaks down expenses for training/conferences for staff, hardware/software/telecommunications purchases and maintenance / WAN Internet/SUNYNet, supplies, capital.  ITEC is working with Buffalo State, UB, SUNYNet and Department of Transportation on a dark fiber initiative.  This initiative will provide 96 strands to Buffalo State to be split between Buffalo State and ITEC.    ITEC now has two internet providers, AT&T and Fibertech.  This is a one-time expense included in the capital expense.

Software expenses to vendors are also broken down in this section. Oracle increased due to the new products purchased last year.  HPís expenses dropped due to campuses dropping HP servers.  The software expenses are a pass through.

Hyperion License (repayment of reserve):  This is money being recouped from the licenses that ITEC had paid for at the start of the program.  At that time, ITEC had a reserve from 1989 year-end funds and this money was used to purchase the Hyperion products.

A Contingency line is in the budget due to reductions of $225,000 that were included in the initial FY 07-08 budget that Ron provided to the Board.  Most of the cuts were in salaries for new hires, a shift in hardware costs (took some hardware off 24 x 7 support), the elimination of research and development and special projects.

 

ITEC Budget FY 07-08 20060901 V3-0.xls

This is a detailed worksheet listing the specific details of the recharges for each campus.

Formulas for hosting: bandwidth, disk space, amount of resources for back ups, type of backups the campus requests, the number of databases requested by the campus are all taken into consideration when determining the fee.   

CMS: At this time, the specific costs involved in hosting are unclear as campus participation has not been finalized.    Angelís storage algorithm for disk and bandwidth were used.  SUNY elected to develop a cost based on FTE and not on named users.

 

Tasks Not Budgeted

Research and development are not included in this budget, and the budget does not provide any resources for ITEC to investigate upcoming technology.  ITECís staff focus will be on Tier 1 and Tier 2 support.  ITEC believes R&D is important.  A case in point, ITEC invested resources investigating VMWare virtualization.  Staff are presenting this technology at Wizard.  This presentation will allow campuses to get a jump start and help them with direction and answer questions, but it takes time and resources for ITEC to gain and share the knowledge. Microsoft and Redhat are now coming out with virtualization products but ITEC will not have the resources available to investigate.

In addition, Ron reduced the number of requested new staff by two.  One position was to be similar to a technical writer to take notes for meetings between ITEC, SICAS, and the campuses.  Currently ITEC staff are taking notes while trying to stay focused on the meeting.  This position would also work on ITECís technical documentation.

 

Discussion

Jeff questioned if it was appropriate to do an audit to determine what is an appropriate justification or explanation of what base level services are and move forward from there.  Ron indicated that ITECís service description documents are posted on ITECís website. However, there are some terms, such as ďassist with Oracle upgradesĒ that are not accurate as ITEC is doing more than ďassisting.Ē  Ron suggested the Board reviews this document again and take a closer look at it.  Perhaps the document needs to have a higher level of descriptions for business officers and more technical descriptions for the campus technical staff.  Jeff indicated that we need to translate the mission into the budget. 

Gary indicated the need to draw a correlation between the number of campuses, the number of services, and the budget.  Ron provided an example that 10 years ago, terminals were connected to a single box to handle everything to run Banner.  Today, however, there are database servers, app servers, IB servers (at least two for each campus), additional networking, etc. 

Dave Demarco indicated that we need to provide a level of comfort that ITEC is cost effective.   Gary indicated that long term decisions are based on estimated costs and costs need to be forecasted with reasonable increases.  Karen indicated Fredonia receives remote services and she views it as staff she does not have to hire and also that she is paying for an expertise that she may not be able to find.

Carey indicated that OLIS (SUNYConnect) and SLN have a State appropriation.  Currently, SUNYConnect receives 50% of their budget from State appropriation and charge back 50% to campuses.  SLN has a 75% State appropriation and charges back 25% to campuses.   For the new SLN model, licensing and Angel hosting are no longer covered by State appropriation as they had been done in the past.  Campuses must now cover 100% of those costs.  Since ITEC now provides University-wide hosting for Angel, there is no State appropriation to offset costs to campuses.  Ron noted that ITEC and SICAS are the only two programs that do not receive State appropriations.

Ron indicated that an audit of ALIS was done in 2000 by KPMG.  Their recommendations indicated that ITEC was doing a great job and having a centralized department was cost effective.  Mike Notarius also indicated the SLN priced other ITEC-related sources.  Those sources that were priced for less than ITECís pricing were for barebones services but once the services needed by SLN that ITEC provided was added in, the ITEC pricing was significantly less.

Motion:  Approve the budget as proposed with the understanding that no resources are available for research and the Executive Board agrees to forward the capital resolution to SUBOA and CCBOA.  Karen Klose motioned, Carey Hatch seconded.  All in favor, no oppositions, no abstentions.  Motion approved.

Motion:  Approve the capital resolution and pass along the resolution to ITECís business officer representatives Gary Sproul and Leif Hartmark.   Karen Klose motioned, Carey Hatch seconded.  All in favor, no oppositions, no abstentions.  Motion passed.  The ďIssues to be InvestigatedĒ that are attached to the resolution relate to investigating receiving a state appropriation.

Jeff questioned if there was further interest from Board members in investigating the possibility of contracting for an external group to take a look at the cost effectiveness of ITEC.  Ron suggested the Board do a self-study as the cost of bringing in consultants is very high.  A few months ago Ron obtained a quote from IT Convergence for the remote Oracle DBA service.  They indicated it would be $6,900 a month or $84,000 a year.  Their list of services was comparable to ITECís for Oracle remote services.  Jeff Bartkovich will work with Mike Notarius on this issue.

Tape ended.

 

Submitted by Barbara Boquard

 

 

 

 


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