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Sue B. Workman
IU Associate Vice President, Communication and Support

Last modified: Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Indiana University and University of Hawaii partner for Kuali IT Support

March 3, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Kuali Foundation has announced that Indiana University and the University of Hawaii are inviting partners to join them to develop Kuali IT Support, a new incubation project envisioned to offer a set of components that will provide more effective solutions for IT support in higher education while significantly lowering costs.

The first phase of this project will focus on building a knowledge management system (KMS) which leverages IU's award-winning Knowledge Base and extends it into a next-generation collaborative system that shares not only code, but also content among institutions. The KMS will enable management of content in a modular, unified way to maximize opportunities for sharing and reuse, while increasing efficiency by reducing the duplication of effort. It will leverage the deep understanding that the project's partners have about their own institutions' services and deliver that expert information in the exact form and format that their communities need.

Kuali IT Support will join other successful Kuali community projects, including Kuali Financial System, Kuali Coeus for research administration, Kuali Student, Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE), Kuali Ready for Business Continuity, and Kuali Rice middleware infrastructure, and will lay the foundation for higher education institutions to implement best practices in delivering excellent IT support.

IU Associate Vice President for Communication and Support Sue Workman said, "Creating a community source knowledge management system that can be shared is a perfect fit as a Kuali Foundation project. This above-campus service initiative will make it possible for institutions to work collaboratively and create and maintain documents in a single repository and use them in multiple places. Many of us support the same applications and services -- why not leverage the content among us? At IU, including all overhead, our activity-based cost for IT support is $14.19 for a face-to-face consultation and $10 for a phone call. Providing an answer using our KB costs only $.07."

David Lassner, vice president for information technology and CEO at the University of Hawaii said, "We had just reached a point when we realized we would need to make an investment in improving the applications that support our Help Desk, our local knowledge base, and related information services. Given the opportunity to work with IU and other like-minded institutions, we decided that our efforts could be better applied to a project that would achieve more together than any of us would be able to accomplish on our own." Lassner added, "We are especially excited about a shared, customizable knowledge base that can help students, faculty, and staff anywhere find solutions to common technical problems on their own."

Indiana University has extensive experience in knowledge management, having created, maintained, and delivered IT support content for more than 20 years. The IU Knowledge Base (KB), a unique knowledge management and content workflow system developed by IU, currently includes more than 15,500 documents supporting more than 100 distinct IT-related services. Answer documents are retrieved on the web more than 17,719,000 times a year -- that is, once every 1.8 seconds. The KB has been recognized with awards from EDUCAUSE, ACUTA, and The Society for Technical Communication, and commendations from Scientific American, PC World, USA Today, Windows Magazine, and Netscape for its pioneering functionality and effectiveness in information management and delivery. Partners in the Kuali IT Support project will benefit from these experiences and access to this content and expertise.

Future phases of this open community development project will focus on additional modules for online support and may address services such as online software distribution, IT systems status notifications, IT facility management, service desk ticketing and integration, and network access management. Additionally, the partners believe delivering support to the higher education community through this endeavor could eventually lead to use beyond information management and into disciplines other than IT support.

For further information about the Kuali community and how it works, see