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Kuhn: UIT's finance group works hard to create savings

Negotiations span the University, not just UIT's services

Lisa KuhnBy Lisa Kuhn

As work ramps up on the One Network effort and word gets around about the campus-wide Adobe agreement, people in UIT and elsewhere are learning a little more about UIT’s Finance group and what we do. Let me fill you in.

There are two distinct areas I oversee, Finance and Strategic Vendor Partnerships. Each area works to ensure the U gets the most it can from the money it spends. The accounting team under Peter Panos has completed its preliminary budget work for FY 2015, spending a lot of time compiling information about our infrastructure and services at the detailed level. Tracking information at this level this will allow us to more accurately measure the cost of services.

UIT is under increasing pressure to calculate and report on what it actually costs to deliver certain services, such as the network. Understanding your costs is key to determine how efficiently the service is being delivered, and see the point at which a change may make more fiscal sense.

One of our current projects is developing a cost model for the University’s One Network proposal.  As part of this effort, we hope to better understand IT costs, manage and optimize our IT budgets, deliver financial transparency, and obtain adequate funding for the services we provide.

The second part of my operation deals with campus software agreements. The offices of Software Licensing and Strategic Vendor Partnerships under Jasmin Davis aim to create relationships, negotiate contracts and save the University money. By entering into consortium agreements as a campus or with the Utah System of Higher Education, we are able to leverage our scale to obtain larger discounts on software contracts than individual colleges or departments can on their own. The consolidated purchasing and renegotiation of contracts has resulted in large savings on Oracle/PeopleSoft, Adobe, Box, Blackboard Transact, Kaltura, Microsoft, and Oracle RACS/Database/Security products.

UIT’s Finance team is committed to ensuring that The University of Utah gets the most out of every dollar spent on information technology. If you have questions about campus agreements, software licensing, or collaborating on a large-scale contract, reach out to us and let us know.

Lisa Kuhn is the Chief Financial Officer for University Information Technology and Utah Education Network.

Last Updated: 4/13/21