Desktop Project Logs Off

Desktop Project Logs Off

More than 3,000 new computers installed in University offices

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

The end of March saw the conclusion of the Desktop 2003 project, an Office of Information Technology initiative that overhauled more than 3,000 computer systems across campus.

Since Desktop 2003 began last November, 2,399 Dell and 825 Apple computers, all brand new, have been installed in administrative and academic offices.

Desktop 2003 project co-leaders Mary Corcoran and James Kreinbring.
One still uncompleted phase of the project is the conversion from the Simeon e-mail client to other applications, such as Microsoft Outlook. Administrators said they expect the transition will be complete by April 30.

Project leaders said Desktop 2003 was necessary because of the impending expiration of three-year leases on systems installed in 2000. They also cited the need to replace computers that were older, slower and less able to run more sophisticated software.

"For a place like Boston College, which is so dependent on technology, it is vital that we periodically make improvements to keep up with the rapid changes in both hardware and software," said Information Technology Executive Director Mary Corcoran, who spearheaded Desktop 2003 with Office of Program Management Director James Kreinbring.

Corcoran praised the efforts of the IT personnel who contributed to the success of Desktop 2003, especially in the preparation stages. "Most people don't realize how complex a process this was," she said.

Early on in the project, Corcoran explained, IT had to assess the various tasks BC employees use computers to perform, from tracking departmental budgets to producing publications. Part of that process was accomplished through the Desktop 2003 Web site, which also served as a useful means of keeping the University informed about the project, she said.

Another important step was the transfer of data and applications from old systems to new, which had to be coordinated with the arrival of new computers from the vendor.

"Except for one day that the University was officially closed because of bad weather, we did not miss a beat," said Corcoran.

She said future projects aimed at replacing campus technology would not likely be done on such a wide scale.

"Some users have the need to be constantly updated," she said. "Others can be updated less frequently and some can go a little longer before an upgrade."

Executive Vice President Patrick Keating said, "All of the individuals involved with the Desktop 2003 project did an outstanding job. I have received many unsolicited comments of praise for the excellent work and service attitudes demonstrated by the members of the team.

"This has been a successful project and has set a standard for service for the future."


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