Author Archive for ucUserz

Now available — the CSS Update for April 2017.

April 21, 2017

The next issue of the “CSS Update,” our communication effort to keep you, our campus partners, informed is now available.

Our goal is that this update provides you the information you need to provide timely feedback and prepare for changes. For more in-depth information, please continue to turn to your CSS Service Director and the supplemental information that is linked to within the document.

Please take our 30-second survey to help us continually improve upon this communication and make it meaningful for you.

Didn’t catch the previous issue in December? You can see it here.

Going the distance

April 5, 2017

Whether on a bike or at work, CSS IT’s Eric Avila always goes the distance. So it was no surprise that when Avila found a problem, he followed it all the way to the finish line. 

Eric Avila

Eric Avila

CSS IT maintains an inventory of standard computers and equipment. To save customers time and effort, orders are handled from start to finish including the BearBuy portion. Avila noticed a pattern of inaccurate ticket information from clients and CSS IT zone technicians that caused a lot of lost time in relaying information.

Puzzled by this persistent problem, Avila turned to the data and concluded that the CSS website was the clear choice to get better details to customers and CSS IT’s own technicians. (The IT pages had few visitors because the information wasn’t clearly outlined.)

Avila researched solutions, and began experimenting with ideas for a product catalog. He had four metrics in mind:

  1. Look and feel
  2. Ease of set up
  3. Sustainability and maintenance
  4. Room to grow

For Avila, testing the various options and learning how to use them was “a fun way to gain new skills.” He also had multiple meetings with his team and other key stakeholders to gather feedback that would improve the end result.

In collaboration with the CSS communications team, the IT Equipment Catalog was launched in January, and soon became one of the top ten places customers look for information on the CSS website. According to Kyle Pope, Deputy Director, CSS IT, “Eric did a great job of taking information that was unclear to our customers and translating it into English.”

Although he still has more ideas for expanding the catalog, Avila says, “Just launching it was a success, and helping our  campus customers and teams be better informed by providing the resources and education was crossing the finish line.”

For a behind the scenes look at delivery in action, watch this video!

Taking Care of Business

March 30, 2017

Adam Grimaldi

Adam Grimaldi

What would happen if technology at UC Berkeley’s number one rated business school came screeching to a halt? This was at the forefront of CSS Business Technical Analyst, Adam Grimaldi’s mind when he noticed that Haas School of Business would soon run out of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, the very thing allowing traffic to flow over their internet.

Grimaldi discovered that there were approximately 2500 IP addresses, all of which needed to be checked manually, and these would soon run out, leaving thousands of faculty, staff, and students without internet connection from the school. He proactively reached out to the Haas Technology Solutions team to solve the problem by switching the static addresses to dynamic ones. His solution also brought  Haas’ IP addressing into alignment with the campus standard.  

Working with the Haas Technology Solutions team and IST Telecom, who provided resources and connections to other campus partners, Grimaldi led the project to completion in six weeks without anyone losing internet connection. This beneficial and transformative work reduced time spent on delays caused by this issue from days to hours. According to Grimaldi, “The project resulted in a dramatic improvement in client relationships. It’s less stressful and much faster.” His supervisor, Lois Wareham, agrees, “The planning, collaboration, preparation, and careful execution resulted in a resounding success. This is such a big win for all teams involved.”

To achieve this, Grimaldi collaborated closely with partners from Haas Technology Solutions, Tony Cricelli, Charles Lam, Robert Lozano, Ramon Soto, and Usha Manandhar in addition to the campus hostmistress, Kellsie Adams, from IST Telecom.

Director IT Enterprise & Research Computing and Deputy CIO, Haas School of Business, Barinder Flanagan says, “Haas Technology Solutions has a very strong partnership with the CSS IT zone teams, and the Service Desk team. As a result, we have accomplished technology improvements that are helping us provide excellent customer service to our clients and making work more efficient for staff on all teams.”  

Kellsie Adams, Adam Grimaldi, Tony Cricelli, Ramon Soto

Kellsie Adams, Adam Grimaldi, Tony Cricelli, Ramon Soto

Photo credit – Celia P. Chu

CSS is Helping to Guide Campus Through 2017 Spring/Summer Activities

Updated April 21, 2017

Looking to capitalize on the successes last year, Campus Shared Services (CSS) is again partnering with several central campus units for many activities and programs that support the Berkeley campus. As we begin to approach late spring and summer, we understand that the campus will need to know more information about them. Here is a snapshot of this work. Check back for any updated news on the CSS website and/or news directly from your colleagues in CSS Human Resources/Academic Personnel Support (HR/APS) or your CSS Service Director. Please note: Some activities may not apply to your unit — if you have questions, contact your CSS HR Partner accordingly.

Over the course of April and May, you’ll be hearing about:

Summer Session Hiring

Partnering with Summer Sessions and Study Abroad (SS)

This year’s processes will closely mirror what was in place last year. Campus units received an email from Summer Sessions on 4/3/2017, outlining what’s staying the same and what’s changing for 2017. CSS HR/APS Managers/Partners are also following up with the applicable campus units they support for any additional questions.

Summer Salary

Partnering with the Academic Personnel Office (APO)

SmartSheets will again be the mechanism used to process Summer Salary for 2017. CSS HR/APS and Research Administration (RA) teams are partnering with APO to make processes and communications even more succinct and will work closely with departments to ensure they have the support they need. CSS RAs are currently communicating with their Principal Investigators (PIs) who have Summer Salary funds with the details they need for 2017 and CSS HR Managers are working with non-CSS RA-supported departments.

GSR/ASE Hiring

Partnering with the Graduate Division and the Student Information System (SIS) team  

Work is already underway for the 2017-2018 academic year. Many roles and processes may stay the same. For now, departments should continue to use existing SmartSheets for their new appointment requests until more details are available.

Fiscal Close

Partnering with the Controller’s Office

We had great success last year with making the Fiscal Close information more succinct and streamlined with campus-wide communication outlining the due dates for various actions for May-August 2017. The Controller’s Office website will house all these details and CSS will again be incorporating CSS deadlines directly in the campus checklist; that is to say campus will not need to receive a separate set of CSS dates. This will help to alleviate any confusion.  Submitting requests to CSS by the deadlines will ensure that they are processed in accordance with campus year-end timelines and guidelines. Once we learn the Office of the President dates, most likely in late-April, UC Berkeley can finalize ours.

STAR Awards Processing

CSS continues to routinely process awards for campus units based on the deadlines featured on the CSS Calendar-Timesheet Deadlines which can be found on the HR/APS section of the CSS website. (Please note, we will be updating June deadline dates once we learn final Fiscal Close deadlines from the Office of the President.) Processes will remain the same; just submit a “Compensation” ServiceNow ticket and if you’re submitting a group of more than 6 awards, you can use this STAR Award Batch Request spreadsheet. CSS can also assist with award letters/certificates as well as eligibility reviews; contact your respective HR Partner for questions.

Quick Preview of ServiceNow Bundle 3 for HR/APS

Updated March 23, 2017

It’s that time again! CSS is moving forward with the next release of ServiceNow – Bundle 3 (B3) for HR/APS. This new release will include the HR functions of Staff Recruitment & Appointments and Classifications/Reclassifications, and will become operational for Campus in late August 2017.

Though the basic processes will remain the same, CSS has partnered with Central HR to create online forms, standardize processes and automate workflow for greater consistency, trackable progress and documented approvals. These improvements will help campus clients experience better service, less redundancy, more accountability and more importantly, to prepare for UCPath.

For a concise summary of Bundle 3 (B3) – with important dates for campus viewing and feedback – refer to this PDF: Campus Quick Preview: ServiceNow – Bundle 3 for HR/APS, located on the ServiceNow Resource page of the CSS Website.

You can make a difference! We encourage campus units to participate in the upcoming viewing and feedback sessions planned for April. Please save the date(s) for a B3 overview (demo) on April 6, Hearst Mining Building, Room 290; and the more in-depth B3 feedback sessions that will be held on April 11 at the Haas Computer Lab and April 13 at University Hall. (Details and sign-up info. coming soon…)

We value your interest and input as we develop and implement these HR functions within ServiceNow. Working together, we are creating more efficient and responsive processes within UC Berkeley to move us forward into the future.

Latest Upgrades to ServiceNow for HR/APS

February 24, 2017

Program upgrades are always helpful, and campus clients are sure to feel that way about the new enhancements in place for Funding Changes.

Based directly on client feedback, these “tweaks” include broader notifications on case progress, expanded access to information and better navigation.

Here’s more detail on this latest round of enhancements:

  • Extended notifications – Now, when a Funding Change request has been approved, or a comment or edit made on the case, the submitter, watchers and approvers all receive notifications to stay updated on case progress. (Before only submitters and watchers were notified.)
  • Increased access to case information – Now, there’s a link for submitters and watchers to access case notes previously only available to approvers. (See job aid: Navigating to Approver View Notes)
  • Easier comparison of current and future state chartstrings on EDCs – Now, when considering an Expense Distribution Change (EDC), approvers can easily compare “future state” to current state chartstrings. For easy reference, current state information is displayed in the “Notes” section of the case.
  • Improved navigation – Now, Approvers can review case detail, add comments or attachments in the main case view, then seamlessly navigate back to the “Approver view” to take action. (See job aid: Review-Edit EDC Funding Change Requests)

If you need assistance or have more questions, your CSS Service Director or HR Partner can help you.

Keep in mind there is also a library of ServiceNow job aids and videos available on the CSS HR/APS ServiceNow Resources webpage. We look forward to a better ServiceNow experience together!

Unwanted Printouts Hitting Campus Printers

January 20, 2017

If you notice unwanted printouts happening in your department, please contact the CSS IT Service Desk (submit online ticket or email itcsshelp@berkeley.edu) as soon as possible to assist in securing your printers and report the security issue to the Information Security and Policy team.

A working group has identified additional measures to combat this problem more systematically and will be working with campus stakeholders to develop an implementation plan in the months ahead.

New IT Equipment Catalog

January 17, 2017

Do you need to order computer equipment or upgrade your existing equipment? CSS IT has just made it easier to view our standard selections. You can check out all of our options in the new IT Equipment catalog!

Once you’ve decided, follow this process to start your order.

Defying Gravity: Supporting a Franklin Institute Award Recipient

How does it feel to know you supported the research for a 2017 award-winning Physicist?

November 17, 2016

Munira Tarmohamed

Munira Tarmohamed

“So rewarding” says CSS Research Administrator, Munira Tarmohamed. “I was at home, browsing the internet when I learned about the news, it was very exciting!” The news was one of her Principal Investigators, (PIs) Professor Marvin Cohen, is one of eight recipients of the prestigious 2017 Franklin Institute Award. These awards are given in various fields for achievements in science and technology and was originally founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1824.

Professor Cohen, a Physicist here at UC Berkeley, was honored for making atomic-scale calculations of the properties of materials so detailed that new materials and their mechanical, thermal, electrical and optical properties can be predicted in agreement with experiments.

Says Munira, “Hearing this exciting news makes you appreciate what our researchers do on a daily basis; they do so much. Awards like this one really make them stand out from others. To know I supported his work was very rewarding.”

Munira manages one of Professor Cohen’s core grants funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Professor Cohen’s work is mostly theoretical which means that the transactions are not as bulky as those on the experimental side of research. With continuous monitoring, his fund continues to be well managed as required by agency and institutional policies.

Examples of how their partnership works

Professor Cohen reaches out to Munira for different matters related to his grant and they have a strong working relationship. He calls on her for advice and support in understanding the various financial transactions involved. In turn, Munira tries to enlighten him with the campus systems such as PI Portfolio and BearBuy. Munira provides ongoing support to Professor Cohen with increased support when preparing the documentation for their NSF proposal and later, managing all the purchasing and payroll expenses that are needed to support the research work. Recently, she helped Professor Cohen understand and clear concerns about some  charges that were incorrectly posted and they took steps to correct them. Professor Cohen  routinely consults with Munira about other grants and often calls on her expertise, knowing she is a trusted advisor.

CSS RAs provide outstanding service to researchers all across campus. This is just one “award-winning story” of CSS supporting the Berkeley mission of teaching, research, and public service.

You can read more about the 2017 Franklin Institute Award here and specifically, Professor Cohen’s award here. Most notable past recipients include Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Stephen Hawking, Jacques Cousteau, and Bill Gates. Professor Cohen is continuing his work in nanoscience and nanotechnology and Munira continues to support those research efforts.

Please take our 30-second survey to help us continually improve upon this communication and make it meaningful for you.

Guiding Campus through Spring/Summer Activities Successes

 November 15, 2016

Campus Shared Services (CSS) had great successes this year, partnering with several central campus units and clients for many activities and programs that support the Berkeley campus. “Feedback from campus is that this was the quietest summer with very few problems or issues and that demonstrates how each and every one of our staff members were engaged in delivering excellent service” says Janet Speer, CSS Human Resources/Academic Personnel Support (HR/APS) Director.

Navigating the various processes, timelines, and compliance guidelines for these activities and programs still presented many complexities, but better collaboration, lessons learned from previous years, feedback from clients about what makes sense (or doesn’t make sense), and the dedicated staff who contributed, made for a much smoother experience this year. Here is a snapshot of these activities and programs and what improvements made the difference:

Summer Session Hiring

In partnership with Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning (SSALL)

More succinct and streamlined communications helped the campus get the information they needed, on-time, and from only one source. Over 400 lecturers, visiting professors, and as needed, Grad Student Instructors (GSI’s) enjoyed a much easier onboarding experience this year.

Summer Salary

In partnership with the Academic Personnel Office (APO)

SmartSheet enhancements, tailored communications for various groups of faculty and PIs, and just-in-time training for our research administrators helped make this year’s process flow more smoothly. Data shows that for this summer salary period, CSS processed almost 2700 requests from over 800 faculty members with an average on-time processing ratio of over 96% for requests received by the due date.

Fiscal Close

In partnership with the Controller’s Office

A much more streamlined communication effort reduced confusion for campus departments about due dates for work that needed to be processed in accordance with campus year-end timing and guidelines. That is to say, only one list of submission dates was published by the Controller’s Office that incorporated CSS dates for those related transactions — thus combining multiple lists presented in prior years.

GSR/ASE Hiring

In partnership with the Graduate Division  

Due to unexpected delays in the launch of the new GSR/ASE eForm within Campus Solutions, CSS continued using the existing SmartSheet process for 2016-17. CSS is already working to deliver enhancements for next year, partnering with the Graduate Division and the Student Information System (SIS) Team on the new eForm process. There will be more information on that project forthcoming.