Partner Success

The driving force behind each goal is the success of our campus partners. We use our technology expertise to help make their vision a reality, bring efficiency and innovation to those efforts.

Looking Forward

Working groups offer expertise and collaboration across campus

To help launch Texas A&M University into the next era of success, a university-wide effort began and working groups were established. Tasked with evaluating key areas and outlining ways to implement positive change, teams across campus offered expertise and experience in collaboration with one another. To supplement the effort of the larger working groups, Technology Services formed additional sub-groups to help accomplish specific goals. In appreciation for the time and talent invested, a huge “thank you” goes to the following working groups: organizational design, academic, research, and the student/staff/faculty outcomes groups. Each member worked collaboratively to tackle centralization processes and efficiencies, integrate campus ticketing systems, identify cybersecurity technology improvements and support the creation of a project management office. Through dedication, hard work and a clear vision, Technology Services met the initial deadlines set and will continue to implement new processes and strategies to increase collaboration across campus in 2023.

Looking Forward

Technology Services ensures centralized academic programs succeed

Technology Services led the unification of technology resources and professionals as part of a university-wide effort to set a firm foundation for the future that began in 2021. To successfully implement this organizational change, strategic planning was needed to account for the anticipated needs of each division, unit, college and school across campus.

An early success was the integration of three independent IT units into one for the newly formed College of Arts and Sciences. Bringing together these teams required the building of new solutions, one of which was a single ticketing system, to support 18 departments, including related interdisciplinary programs and centers. In order to prepare for the move of Biomedical Sciences from the Veterinary Medicine program (VetMed) into the College of Arts and Sciences, Technology Services transitioned the department from a local network file sharing system to OneDrive and SharePoint. VetMed maintained management of Biomedical devices until the College of Arts and Sciences was ready to transfer all technology assets.

Looking Forward

Facilities and Energy Services partner on a centralized IT strategy

In support of the university effort to centralize and strengthen collaboration across campus, the newly formed Facilities and Energy Services division partnered with Technology Services in coordinating the technology needs of relocated and realigned faculty and staff across campus. These moves were complex, with employees and sometimes entire departments being geographically moved among buildings both on- and off-campus. Each move required a centralized technology strategy so that daily operations were not impacted and faculty and staff had the immediate tools available to be successful in the restructuring.

Anticipating needs and proactively identifying solutions helped Technology Services address the challenges in such a significant change for the campus community. The change in physical location impacted networking, telephone communications and equipment including technology shared among different units like workroom printers. Within this project, some of the key obstacles to overcome involved evaluating and finding solutions for software licensing, addressing shared storage and shared file access, and planning for equipment permission needs. In total, Technology Services moved 22 departments and more than 720 people across 30 buildings in the span of 8 months.


Career paths for students

Student graduating then coding as a professional.

As technology careers grow more competitive each year, Technology Services designed the student IT experience program to offer undergraduates interested in information technology a head start in their career. The program provides opportunities to gain hands-on learning tied to long-term career goals, including training opportunities and earning industry certifications. There is a concerted effort to recruit and retain student workers through job fairs, social media campaigns and targeted email, creating a pipeline of graduates prepared to fill entry-level positions.

In collaboration with the Division of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness, the job descriptions of entry level roles have been evaluated, ensuring minimum requirements align with the skills needed. In addition to student worker career paths, this internal partnership has led to modernization of employment titles in an effort to create more transparent, defined career ladders for current employees, both in managerial and technical positions.


ITAC works with HROE to restructure career ladders

In early 2022, the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) began a detailed and thorough examination of current Texas A&M IT titles, job duties and compensation in comparison to the broader IT industry. Ed Pierson, CIO and Vice President for Technology Services, tasked ITAC to establish entry-level positions, expanding jobs to recent graduates, those without a degree and and applicants without IT experience. In addition, the committee was charged with creating titles that reflect the evolving IT landscape, and are comparable with those found in industry, and define career paths for all employees within Technology Services. ITAC established six sub-committees made up of IT professionals from across campus to focus on the following areas:

  • Application/Web Development
  • System Administration/Cloud
  • Project Management/BRM/Management/Leadership
  • Help Desk/Desktop Support/Classroom/AV Support
  • Security/Compliance/Policy
  • Networking/Telecommunications

These committees researched how IT professionals grow within their careers, including an in-depth study of current IT career ladders, working titles, career advancement and compensation. The proposed career ladders will address each of these areas, and provide separate technical and managerial paths.

ITAC and Technology Services leadership continue to work closely with the Division of Human Resources and Organization Effectiveness (HROE) to ensure all titles, career paths and position descriptions align with the strategy for career progression. Creating a clear path for all Texas A&M employees is a key focus for campus leadership.

Technology Services will unveil the new HROE titles, associated working titles and IT career paths in a phased approach to successfully implement these opportunities within the organization. Additionally wIth the unification of IT, total personnel increased to more than 720 staff members. Technology Services is partnering with HROE to hire an internal recruiter to help ensure IT is supported in identifying and recruiting qualified applicants while also ensuring each position relates to an IT career path for professional growth.

Additionally, a mid-year review process was implemented to identity and track employee career goals and aspirations. These mid-year reviews will lay the foundation for career growth and professional development for each Technology Services employee.


Internet of Things expands beyond dorms to classrooms

Floating devices connected to the internet in a dorm room.

Over the past few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become one of the most pervasive technologies of the 21st century, giving us the ability to connect everyday objects such as TVs, speakers, wearables and even appliances to the internet.

In January 2021, Technology Services launched a pilot program for IoT in three residence halls and a handful of buildings on campus. The TAMU_IoT wireless network lets campus members connect smart devices that wouldn’t connect to TAMU_WiFi in the past, allowing the university to link each device to the user’s account to ensure the network remains secure.

More than 5,000 IoT devices have registered on the network since the fall 2021 semester and the demand continues to increase. Currently, students can connect up to five smart devices at a time to the internet.

In 2022, Technology Services expanded the IoT pilot network to a handful of buildings on campus, including Thompson and Fermer Halls. Research assistant and former Texas A&M engineering student Jorge Roa is a strong advocate for increasing the use of IoT in the classroom. “Further focus on IoT is essential to students’ futures in this field. It’s equipping them with more tools in their toolbox.”

The IoT network makes a dramatic difference in student capstone projects. By harnessing the functionality of IoT, students can expand their knowledge and usage of technologies they encounter in daily life. An example is the use of autonomous guided vehicles. Without IoT, they can drive around only with a routine path, but with IoT, they are able to interact in real-time with users’ voice-commands, just like a Google Home or an Echo Dot on wheels.

“IoT is one of the fastest-growing technologies, and it’s in high demand by everyone. It is our job to make sure the campus IoT network is both safe and effective,” said Networking Engineer Jacob Scoggins, who played an integral role in launching IoT on campus.

Bringing the IoT network to Texas A&M is more than an effort to stay relevant. Global access to IoT will change the game in education and research. For example, researchers and students working with “smart agriculture” can utilize robotic units and reporting devices to remotely analyze and log data from the field, storing information in the cloud or to a centralized service for researchers.

With IoT, the future of education and research technology, Technology Services is working to build a campus network where smart devices work seamlessly and securely.

Research Support

STAR platform

Technology Services serves an integral role in empowering the Texas A&M University research community by identifying and providing innovative research technology solutions and removing the worry of managing information technology resources. The cloud-based platform Secure Technologies for Aggie Researchers (STAR) uses Amazon AWS with the intention to develop a secure research environment using Microsoft Azure. This platform enables researchers to have rapid access to tools that are financially feasible, secure and accessible. Technology Services wants to specifically address the process of navigating the pre-proposal, proposal and award phases where information technology resources are planned and procured. By streamlining this process, researchers are enabled to be more competitive and successful.

Research Support

Flu Online Scheduling System

Computer with vaccine scheduling software on the screen.

The Flu Online Scheduling System (FLOSS) application was developed as part of a Texas A&M Health collaboration to support the influenza and COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Lead developer Zach Tanton partnered with the clinical team lead, Dr. Christine Kaunas, to develop this application. Existing electronic medical record systems did not facilitate the registration and customization needed to offer online appointment registrations and validate required information needed by Texas A&M University officials. 

While electronic medical record systems (EMR) offer patient record keeping, the processes were inefficient and costly for vaccination clinics. When we took this problem to Zach and his team, they built a scheduler, resulting in greater efficiency and ultimately, a better experience for our employees.

The application debuted in October 2022 and facilitated more than 2,070 appointments. The custom application allows clinic personnel to determine the number of appointment slots to open based on clinician availability and vaccination supplies. Optimizing clinical flow by matching scheduling with available resources allowed for quick in and out times for vaccinations, improving patient satisfaction and providing an efficient process.

Research Support

TCMG 476 – Technology management capstone

The Technology Management program at Texas A&M University offers a capstone course to help students develop the knowledge and skills needed for the application of technical management as they pursue careers in information technology.

Technology Services partnered with Dr. David Sweeney, the course instructor, to review two important projects needed to improve research technology across Texas A&M. The first student group focused on identifying the IT skills and competencies needed to improve support for researchers within individual colleges, schools and divisions. During their final course presentation in November 2022, the team recommended a new methodology for training and communicating to research technology support professionals. Team members included students Vanessa Arriaga, Matthew Liversidge, Mahmoud Ghazi and Dylan Nguyen.

The second team focused their evaluation on deploying research computing software to increase access to research applications. The team benchmarked peer institutions, such as the University of Michigan, citing their research software deployment methods and outlining an approach for automating the deployment and installation of research software. The team conducted a process analysis, outlined future state success metrics and created a cost-benefit analysis for the project. Team members included students Matthew Ponder, Zayda Hernandez, Nathan Bernardez, Noah Bruce and Anthony Nguyen.

This partnership provides Aggies who are about to enter the workforce with the opportunity to analyze a real-world challenge, create solutions and make recommendations to IT leadership at Texas A&M, says Dr. Joshua Kissee, Assistant Vice President of Research IT.

These projects demonstrate the unique opportunities graduating students have at Texas A&M through Technology Services to gain experiences that translate to real-life application and genuinely support their career aspirations.

Research Support

Cloudbolt – self-service research application

In collaboration with researchers at Texas A&M, Technology Services created the first iteration of a cloud-based self-service research application: Secure Technologies for Aggie Researchers (STAR). Using Cloudbolt, a software application, STAR provides instant access to cloud resources including virtual servers, cloud storage, artificial intelligence tools and relational databases. The goal of the Cloudbolt application is to significantly reduce the amount of time needed for researchers to access cloud-based resources. The application underwent multiple rounds of testing and review by researchers participating in the STAR program to improve its usability and adapt to meet their needs.