OIT Services in the Spotlight: Web Services and Web Development & Operations

One of the most important communication tools the university has available to colleges, schools, departments and programs – at all hours, night and day – is our website. Maintaining the content management systems (CMS) that support the digital content for both the Denver and Anschutz campus’ websites is an enormous job undertaken by the Office of Information Technology’s (OIT) Web Services and Web Development & Operations teams. 

Both teams are part of the OIT Enterprise Services group headed by director Laura Morris, who is also tasked with leading the Constituent Services (see the Constituent Services article in this series) and Computing Infrastructure teams (to be featured in an upcoming issue). Morris has been with the university for two years and has more than two decades of experience in product engineering, development and delivery, interactive digital solutions, and web application services. Her mantra is “iteration nation,” as she firmly believes in creating a community of collaborative partners who are always listening, revising, evaluating and continually improving. 

Offering broad-based services for partners across both campuses requires a cross- functional, collaborative team of experts within OIT. Members of these teams manage the infrastructure and transition of all sites to the new Sitefinity CMS, while still maintaining and supporting our existing SharePoint 2010 sites. They work to build a strong and scalable foundation and web architecture that includes:

• Creating a user experience and interface design to encourage visitors to engage with our faculty, staff and students 
• Incorporating web accessibility and usability practices as top priorities
• Developing universitywide content types and widgets for Sitefinity 
• Building easy-to-use templates so that university website managers can optimize their sites to improve the look of university webpages across all devices
• Training and support for Sitefinity, and continued SharePoint services and support (until all sites have been transitioned to the new CMS – occurring now through summer, 2020)

Developing a comprehensive web strategy that supports the university’s overall digital content plan takes a village, including both campus communications teams. “It is essential to work together to create a coordinated look and feel to all of our new website templates for an engaging web presence for our audiences,” said Karen Klimczak, assistant vice chancellor, marketing and brand strategy, CU Denver. Communicating effectively, creating positive user experiences and interactions with our sites, and enhancing functionality all help showcase our strengths as a university.  

The web team facilitates two governance committees to partner with OIT on web strategy. Senior university leadership on the Web Governance Committee provide decision-making and prioritization for web strategy, resources and goals as well as overseeing the movement of sites from SharePoint 2010 to the new CMS Sitefinity. The Web Advisory Committee (WAC), a dual-campus committee, provides input into strategies and solutions for making the most effective use of our website by focusing on innovation, implementation and user experience. “Committee members advocate for the web needs of the campus community and ensure that the university's mission, chancellors’ goals, as well as campus CMS goals, are served in short- and long-term web planning,” explained Morris when she revised the committee last year.

Still learning about the transition from SharePoint to Sitefinity and want to know more? Check out “All Things Web” at the @Web CMS resource site and the 10 ways to prepare for the transition from SharePoint to Sitefinity newsletter article from earlier this year. To learn more about our resources, visit the online catalog of OIT website management and development services.

Services in the Spotlight is a series of articles highlighting teams within the Office of Information Technology. For an overview of more services offered by OIT, watch the CU Productions video on our YouTube channel or visit our website: oit.ucdenver.edu.
Categories: Design and Development Marketing and Communications SharePoint 2010 Training Sitefinity Training | Tags: communication marketing strategy SharePoint 2010 Sitefinity web development and design Website

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