Staff Profile

Sam Steinhardt

Sam Steinhardt,
Director of Business Services

When did you start working at Stanford and at IT Services?

I've worked at Stanford since October 1999 and in IT Services since January 2006. Prior to working in IT Services, I helped start and run the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning in Wallenberg Hall.

How would you describe your current job responsibilities?

I would describe my current job as "very challenging." With the new Business Services organization, we're creating an approach to IT Service Management that has never existed here. This has kept me remarkably busy over the past several months, but I'm convinced it's going to be worth it! I'm also responsible for the Finance and Admin Teams, two groups of remarkably talented, dedicated employees.

Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

We have a great team of smart, creative, energetic people here in IT Services and I spend most of my days meeting with various groups of them. I greatly enjoy engaging with these folks in developing solutions to challenging problems. For those who know me, they know that I like a good challenge and hate being bored.

What did you do before you came to Stanford?

My time at Stanford is, in a way, my third career. For the first 10 years after business school, I was a management consultant, first for a large consulting firm, and then on my own. My second career involved being a CFO for three different organizations, the last of which was Golden Gate University. Stanford is my third, and hopefully, last career!

What do you like to do when you're not at work?

Work. No, seriously, I do do some stuff other than work. Like hang out with our cute pug, Scout. Take walks and hikes. Go to concerts. Subscribe to ACT plays. Love great restaurants and red wine. Go to the movies. Explore the City. Watch baseball, football and college basketball. Hang with my five children. Etc etc etc.

What is your favorite movie, book, song?

I'd have to say that I don't really have a favorite movie, though I love to go to the movies as long as I have a huge bag of popcorn! My favorite book is probably Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. If you haven't read it, give it a try; you won't regret it. As for songs, pretty much anything from a Grateful Dead concert. Yes, I guess I'm still a deadhead.

Anything else that you'd like to share with us?

This has been less painful than I imagined it might be. Can I do it again next issue?

Tips From Your Admin

If your group or project needs to rent any facilities from Tech Training, please be aware that there is a five-day cancellation policy.  Your PTA will be charged if you do not notify Tech Training within that period.

Cholada Chenhansa

Staff Happenings
cookie monster

My partner, Susie-Q, and I got married Tuesday, June 17th. We arrived at the San Jose County Clerk's office at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. We were the third couple in line and waited 90 minutes for the office to open. At 8:00 a.m. the doors opened. The staff was so organized that it took 20 minutes to complete the paperwork for a marriage license. The First Unitarian Church in downtown San Jose offered free wedding ceremonies between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. We made an appointment for 7:15 p.m. Besides having an enthusiastic minister, the church provided a photographer, music, and a reception afterwards including cupcakes, champagne, coffee, tea. After being together 16 years, we are now legally married!

- MaryAnn Woodall
Computer Resource Consulting

Comings and Goings

I am delighted to announce that Cheryl Miller will be joining Stanford as a Human Resources Manager (clients include central Human Resources, Internal Audit, and Institutional Compliance, as well as IT Services).

Cheryl is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University and holds Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. She joins us from Cisco Systems, where she served as a Human Resources Generalist. Before Cisco, she worked several years at Bechtel Corporation, holding positions of increasing responsibility in human resources.

Please join me in welcoming Cheryl to the Stanford community. Stop by and see her in her office, G23 Redwood Hall, or you can contact her online.

- Nilda Bonet
Human Resources

I am pleased to announce that Amber Kraver has joined the Application Support team. Amber is a Stanford transplant from the Registrar's Office where she spent the last two years as a Systems Analyst supporting PeopleSoft Course and Scheduling application as well as the Series25 suite of products. Amber and her husband Kevin enjoy exploring the local area—hiking, water sports, festivals…you get the idea! When you stop by her office at 260 Polya Hall to introduce yourself, don't forget to let her in on some fun weekend ideas around the Peninsula…she'd love the suggestions!

- Anne Pinkowski
Application Support

I'm very happy to announce that I've hired two Business Partners into the Service Management organization. The new Business Partners will be no strangers to you—John Freshwaters and Liz Goesseringer accepted the challenge and begin their new roles on Friday, August 1.  John has most recently been immersed in the Integrated Email & Calendaring project, and has developed strong client relationships during that project in addition to his already-existing relationships with schools and departments.  Liz has been the Account Manager for AS, H&S and the GSB during her three years in IT Services, and thus has a good breadth of experience in addition to her understanding of the current client relationships and expectations.

The transition process will take some time, but we're ready to get started and will keep you informed as we go.  We're looking forward to working with our clients, Client Support and the technical teams (and, of course, Business Services) to understand client requirements and help to develop technology plans which will support the University's business.

- Nan McKenna
Service Management

I wanted to let you know that John Willis has left IT Services/Stanford for other employment.  He is no longer with the team and any communication can be directed to me.  Let me know if you need any other info.

- Sean Riordan
Windows Systems

The following people have left Information Technology Services. Please contact their manager if you need to follow up on any open items.

Frances Locke (Suzanne Schiessler)

Timmie Marie Kase (Carolyn Kane)

Nicole Marshall (Carolyn Kane)

Tom Wiggins (Christopher Kittle)

its in bits welcomes more detailed employee news submissions from all staff. Please submit to

Tech Briefings

Tech Briefings

2:00–3:30 p.m.
Turing Auditorium

Friday, August 8

FileMaker Pro v. 9. Alexei Folger of FileMaker will be on hand to demo the latest version of FileMaker, which has a host of new features to make developing, managing and deploying your databases easier than ever. FileMaker also provides new functionality to vastly enhance the opportunities and ease of connecting to SQL data sources like Oracle, MySQL and SQL Server. Also, FileMaker Server has new features to make it easier to install and deploy. There is also a brand new administration tool with features to help you more effectively manage your FileMaker Server environment.

Friday, August 15

Google: Search Engine Optimization. Stephan Spenser, Founder and President of Netconcepts, will give a presentation spanning SEO (Search Engine Optimization) fundamentals as well as tricks and tactics that only the elite SEO experts know. Learn how to check your "Google Pulse", estimate missed opportunity costs, ensure Google crawls 100% of your site, design your pages to dominate rankings, avoid getting banned by Google, wield invaluable SEO tools you've not yet heard of, build high-quality links from trusted sites, and boost your PageRank along with your rankings, prepare for changes to come… and so much more!

Tech Express

Once a month
12:00–1:00 p.m.
Turing Auditorium

Thursday, August 21

Stanford Integrated Email and Calendar—Ammy Hill. IT Services, will give a quick demo geared toward day-to-day use of the new Stanford Email and Calendar. There will be a quick tour of the system with plenty of time for questions and answers.

Check the Tech Briefings home page for future sessions and to subscribe to the mailing list. Also see the Tech Express home page for information on upcoming presentations.

Technology Training Courses

Tech Training Courses

IT Professional Development:

Flash Levels 1 and 2 (Two-Day Class), Wed, Aug 20 & Thurs, Aug 21, 9:00–4:00 (each day), $525

Financial Professional Development:

Excel 2007 for Finance Level 1, Fri, Aug 15, 9:00–4:00, $325

Excel 2007 for Finance Level 2, Fri, Aug 22, 9:00–4:00, $325

The full listing of Current Courses is available on the Tech Training web site.

Upcoming Tech Training classes of interest to IT Services staff:

Excel 2007 Level 1, Mon, Aug 11, 9:00–4:00, $325

Outlook 2007 Mail, Mon, Aug 11, 1:30–4:30, Free

OrderIT Site Training, Tues, Aug 12, 8:30–12:00, Free

Excel 2007 Charting from A to Z, Tues, Aug 12, 9:00–4:00, $325

Web Design Level 3: Cascading Style Sheets, Tues, Aug 12, 1:30–4:30, $195

Access 2007 Level 1, Thurs, Aug 14, 9:00–4:00, $325

ReportMart1 Introduction, Thurs, Aug 14, 1:30–4:30, Free

Excel 2007 Tips and Tricks, Mon, Aug 18, 9:00–4:00, $325

Dreamweaver Lite, Tues, Aug 19, 1:30–4:30, $195

Apple Mail, Wed, Aug 20, 1:30–4:30, Free

PowerPoint 2007 Level 1, Thurs, Aug 21, 9:00–4:00, $325

Sign up at

Classes with low enrollment may be cancelled one week in advance. More information on courses, registration, and training is available at the Technology Training Services site.

- Nancy Baumann
Technology Training Services

IT Employment Opportunities

There is one new job posting for IT Services this week.

Req. #31518: IT Services Strategic Liaison, 100% FTE, Range XXX, 4P5, Bill Clebsch, hiring manager.

The IT Services Strategic Liaison is a senior level position that reports to the Executive Director of IT Services. The Strategic Liaison is the primary client interface for the Medical Center including the School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, and is responsible for working directly with key clients to build relationships which will enable IT Services to help clients determine their IT strategies and understand where central IT services are a match for their needs.

To view the complete listings or to apply for a position, visit the StanfordJobs web site at:

There are other open Information Technology positions at Stanford. To see what other opportunities exist on campus, link to the full list of all open IT positions at Stanford.

Quote of the Week

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny ...'”

- Isaac Asimov


A Note From Bill...

I have lots to talk about and I want to begin with some great news! I'm very pleased to let you know that we have a new Executive Director of Computing Services. Matthew Ricks will join our team on August 18. He comes to us from Sun Microsystems with extensive experience in many aspects of computing, including systems administration, applications support, lifecycle management, process improvement, quality assurance, desktop and server support, and all aspects of data center operations. Add to that Matthew's commitment to the same vision of service excellence that we all share in IT Services and I think the future is bright for this area of our organization. Once he arrives, please take the time to welcome Matthew to our team.

Imagine, if you will, that a semi-truck collides with Forsythe Hall. Fortunately, no one is injured, but the building has sustained significant damage.  We quickly deploy our Satellite Operations Emergency Response Team to access damages and to get critical systems back on line. Initial assessments confirm the Oracle and PeopleSoft applications are off line. The business offices request that we recover essential data from tape in order to restore systems for payroll processing, student registration, and year-end financial reporting needs. This is, more or less, the scenario we have been running with our colleagues in Administrative Systems to demonstrate that we can recover Oracle financials and other applications completely from tape.

This recovery exercise is our first attempt to recover an application completely from tape since I have been working at Stanford—so I guess that means back to the early Pleistocene. As our business continuity plans evolve and we bring up the new Auxiliary Data Center in Livermore, there may come a day when tape is no longer a key element of recovery, but for now, this important work is a critical first step. The initial results identified processes we can improve, which is exactly why it is important that we conduct such tests. More importantly, this exercise has increased the confidence of our business partners regarding our response capabilities.

In August, IT Services staff will transition from Oracle to Zimbra calendar. This will undoubtedly be a big change for us. Those of you who remember the migration from Meeting Maker to Oracle can no doubt recall that even minor changes to colors or fonts can cause some initial confusion. That said, it is important that we jump in and use Zimbra to its fullest extent. We are, in essence, the beta test for the rest of our clients who will go live on the Zimbra Calendar in October. Every bug, feature, or quirk that we can discover and correct or document before October can make the transition for our clients much smoother. Much as you have done with Zimbra email, I urge you to report what you find to our Integrated Email and Calendar Team.

Finally, I know that many of you, including me, are taking vacations, stay-cations, or play-cations in August. I will be taking the last two weeks off, and so will my its in bits column. Whenever you take your summer time-off, I hope it is a restful, relaxing, and regenerative time for you. I plan to spend a lot of time walking along the beach, and who knows, maybe I'll leave the iPhone back at the house with the laptop…locked of course!

- Bill Clebsch
IT Services

HERD Conference a Roaring Success

The first ever 2008 HERD (Higher Education Remedy Developers) conference concluded Thursday, July 31, at Stanford. HERD was the brainchild of Anne Pinkowski, our Manager of Application Support, and came about from her desire to have the higher education community assume a more prominent voice in BMC software development activities, as well as to provide a forum for sharing knowledge among higher education users of the BMC Remedy Action Request System or any of the Service Management suite applications.

The conference included 65 participants: 12 from Stanford and 46 staff members from 28 other universities in the U.S., plus two representatives from King's College, London, England. BMC hosted (and underwrote) a "meet and greet" session on Wednesday night to allow the participants to introduce themselves to each other, as well as inviting co-founder of Remedy and current CTO of Service Management Doug Mueller for a 90-minute futures presentation and several other key BMC technical staff.  The conference web site  shows the other sessions offered and lists the various attendees.

Our Stanford Remedy implementation of its Service Desk and supporting applications has become something of a showpiece, and Anne and her team have handled innumerable calls from other public institutions about how we handled our implementation. Anne and her Application Support team, along with the Unix Systems team, also documented such integration pieces as Single-Sign-On and remctl (Remote Authenticated Command Service), which conference attendees really appreciated.  New York University has tentatively agreed to host the second annual HERD Conference next year.

Congratulations to Anne for her original idea, as well as all her hard work on marketing the opportunity and working directly with each school, along with her supportive team of Tracy Neil, Jose Rocha, and Greg Janicki for their assistance.  The conference ran extremely smoothly due to the administrative coordination of Lucrecia Kim-Boswell, assisted by Sonia Siu.  Everyone's a little bushed now, but extremely pleased with the results.

- Chris Lundin
Client Support

"PCG" Will Cost You Two Bits

As part of our clarifying and expanding the role of what we've known as the "Production Control Group" (PCG), the group felt a name change was in order. After entertaining various suggestions, the group decided (and the Directors concurred) that "IT Operations Center" would be a more descriptive name. So, herein and forevermore (or until we change it again), we'll use that name. Clients were notified last week, and we are now answering the phone with that new name.

As a reminder to adopt the new name, I have a small container labeled "IT Operations Center Expansion Fund", into which I (and others) deposit $0.25 if we use the old name. The fund is at $1.50 but promises to grow. :)  When you hear someone use the name  "PCG", remind them gently that they owe $0.25 and the container is in my office.

Jan Cicero, Dani Aivasian and I are developing (in consultation with the staff) a work plan to quickly get the group moving forward, and we plan to share that finalized 18-month roadmap with the staff by August 15. I have begun scheduling meetings with the Directors to gather any feedback and input on how the IT Operations Center can work more closely with their groups.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

- Chris Lundin
Client Support

ACD Project Update

Today, ITS offers a Basic ACD service providing call center applications with simple queuing that distributes calls based on first available agent. Our clients' needs have changed. They now require more sophisticated features and functionalities that allow them to prioritize, route, and answer calls based on a set of business rules specific to their department. This capability is also commonly known as Skill Based Routing (SBR).

Communication Services is pleased to announce that we have installed an Enhanced ACD service with SBR and other advanced capabilities. This service runs on the Avaya system and is designed with high survivability and redundancy to ensure minimal impact to clients in the event of any hardware, software, or connectivity failure.

The core project team includes Jimmy Hale, Chai Ho, Jim Hsu, Dominga Zepeda, Gayle Delia, Christine Moe, and Susan Arsenault.

The project was initiated in March 2008 and was successfully completed in less than 3 months! We did not even have an Avaya account manager when the project started. The team contacted Avaya, architected the solution, and ordered the equipment all in a matter of weeks. Once the equipment arrived, the team built the system, trained our staff, prepared for the pilot, trained IT Service Desk agents, and rolled out the pilot in 21 working days! There were many extended team members from various teams who helped make this possible. This ranges from the Voice team; Networking team; Technical Facilities; UNIX team; Windows team; Database team; IT Service Desk Services; Finance; Procurement; Administrative Support; Documentation, Design, and Delivery; Installation and Maintenance; the leadership of Mark Miyasaki; and many others.

We are currently piloting the service with IT Service Desk, which has 20 agents. The system has been stable and we plan to move the service to production in mid-August. We are also scheduled to add the first Stanford Hospital clinic to the service on August 21, 2008.

Our goal is to initially provide limited service offering to Stanford Hospital clinics, and gradually expand the offering as the service matures.

If you have any questions, please contact Chai Ho, the project manager, at (650) 736-9696.

- Chai Ho
Project Management Office

Stanford Email & Calendar Update

Since we last updated you about the Integrated Email and Calendar project, the team has been very busy. The IT Services Calendar migration was postponed for two bugs that we encountered in the week leading up to the migration. These bugs related to recurring meetings.

Both issues were escalated to Zimbra, and one was fixed within a week. Zimbra has promised to have the second bug resolved and a new release to us prior to Stanford's migration off Sundial in October.

The IT Services calendar migration has been rescheduled for August 18th. This means that the recurring meeting bug will still be an issue during our pilot. This will be an inconvenience for IT Services staff, but the team feels that the need to have a production pilot to shake out any additional issues outweighs the problems associated with this bug. Sundial to Stanford Calendar training has been rescheduled for these dates:

  • Thursday, August 7th, 2–3:30
  • Tuesday, August 12th, 3:30–5:00
  • Friday, August 15th, 10–11:30
  • Tuesday, August 19th, 9–10:30

All sessions are in Turing Auditorium. Treats will be provided.

These issues haven't stopped progress on the project. We upgraded our production servers to the latest version of the software on July 30th. Students began migrating from the old email servers to the new Stanford Email and Calendar on June 23rd. So far, they haven't uncovered any new issues that we didn't find in the initial IT Services conversion. Our early adoption experience has paved the way for a smoother transition for others at Stanford.

- Ammy Hill
Campus Readiness

Cell Phone Support Staff Stretches To Accommodate New iPhone Orders

As you may know, the next generation iPhone with 3G technology was released on July 11th. There was a lot of campus (and worldwide) interest, and by release day we had already received 50 orders. It is interesting to note that while it took 74 days to deplete initial stock of the device when it was first released last year, this time it only took three days! By Monday, July 14th, there was not a single iPhone available in stores for purchase.

But accommodating brand new products can be a stretch. I want to congratulate and thank our Cell Phone Support team (Nancy Gutgsell (lead), Larry Ibarra, Mellani Miller and Victoria Sarem) for stepping up and providing great customer  service during his new rollout.

Shortly after the big, splashy release, we learned that the advertised price of $199 (8 GB model) and $299 (16 GB model) only applied in certain conditions which were not very well explained or documented.  To prevent customer confusion and missed expectations,  we worked hard to call all those with iPhone orders to explain the situation and determine on a case-by-case basis how to proceed. We are explaining to our clients that the price for a new iPhone can be as low as $199 or as high as $499 depending on their specific situation.  We also advised them that  we are dependent on AT&T for their shipments and so communicating shipment dates is not easy. But we continue to work closely with AT&T in our fulfillment of iPhone orders.

We expect the situation to settle down in a few more weeks, which will allow us to resume our regular and predictable cell phone fulfillment activities. Please see our iPhone website for additional information at

- Suzanne Schiessler
Order Management

Telecom Fee Project Update

This is an update on the Communications Fee pilot. Beginning in August, 2008, IT Services will pilot a new service profile for voice and data services with Business Affairs (and remember, we're part of Business Affairs!).  Rather than billing per service item, the new Communications Fee will cover many phone and data charges under a single monthly fee, and will be billed directly through a journal entry to Oracle Financials. Most basic voice service, feature, moves, add and change charges will be covered by the Communications Fee, resulting in a decrease in the number of billing entries in our system.

We have modified the OrderIT site so that effective Thursday, July 24th, Business Affairs Department Contacts will no longer use the Service type of 'Voice' to order their telephone and telephone related services. Instead, they'll see different Communications Fee templates.

This also means that as of the August 24, 2008 billing run voice and data service charges will no longer appear on the IT Services bill for Business Affairs; only those services which are not covered by the Communications Fee will appear on the bills.

Items that ARE covered by the Communications Fee and will therefore not appear on bills for the Business Affairs organization include the following:

  • Dial tone
  • Voicemail
  • All Voice features
  • Net to Switch
  • Network support to the switch
  • Local and domestic long distance
  • Installations (adds), moves and change charges
  • VoIP phone sets warranty coverage for ninety days

Items that are NOT covered include the following:

  • ACD and ACD Feature charges
  • Voice Mail ECPs
  • International and 411 calls
  • Cellular and pocket phones
  • Elevator phones
  • Rush and weekend rate fees
  • Cable TV

A number of IT Services staff have worked hard to make these changes possible; the Communications Fee team included: Alvin Chew, Anh Tran, Christina Zuffinetti, Christine Moe, Christine Soldahl, Greg Janicki, Katherine Pappas-Kassaras, Rocco Petrunti, Susan Arsenault and Vicki Hallett.

- Nan McKenna
Client Relations

IT Open House Focuses on Sustainability

Though October seems a long way away, the IT Open House core planning team is hard at work preparing for the annual event. The theme for this year will be "Getting to Green:  IT Paths to Sustainability at Stanford". Stanford's Sustainable IT Group will join IT Services and Campus Wide Agreements as a co-sponsor of the event, which will be held in Arrillaga Alumni Center on Thursday, October 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Invitations to participate have been sent to IT providers across the Stanford community and to IT Services' service owners. Since the event will emphasize the green theme by highlighting services and practices that support sustainability, we're encouraging exhibitors to think about how their organizations or services contribute to sustainable IT at Stanford. Key paths to IT sustainability that will be featured are: Consolidated administrative data centers, Green Research Data Center at SLAC, Work Anywhere tools,  Big Fix Power Management, and Hardware Lifecycle Planning.

The planning group has set mid-August as the target for ITS service owners to respond about having a table at the Open House. We recommend that participating services prepare service summaries or update their current service summaries to have available for attendees. Service managers are encouraged to contact DDD for help with either task.

We had record attendance last year and anticipate the same or more this year. The IT Open House is a special opportunity to join with colleagues and clients in a unique, campus-wide event. For more information, send email to the IT Open House planning group.

- Jane Marcus
IT Open House Core Planning Team

Summer Picnic

Our annual IT Services Summer Picnic will take place on August 19. Once again, your families and children are invited. It will be a faire-like atmosphere that I know you all will enjoy. Once again we'll be entertained by Danzband, which includes the musical talents of our very own Chris Lundin. Naturally there will be plenty of food and beverages as well. We're not going to tell you about all of the fun and games that we have planned, so you'll have to come and find out for yourself!

It's scheduled from 3:00–6:00 p.m. on (and around) the Turing Lawn.  Let us know if you will be there by accepting the invite on your Sundial calendar.

- Bill Clebsch
IT Services

About its in bits

A regular summary of IT business, news about personnel, and pointers to other information of interest to IT Services staff. Coordinated, compiled, and published by the Communication Strategy and Standards Team. its in bits is published on the first and third Wednesday of the month.

Submissions are due by Noon on the Friday before the scheduled issue, to for consideration. its in bits is distributed via email to and the subscription list People outside of IT Services can self-subscribe via mailman.

The next its in bits will be published on Wednesday, August 20, 2008.