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Facilitating Concordia’s Digital Future

We live in a digital world and as we increasingly transition to a more digital landscape the importance of support in this ever evolving field becomes increasingly important.

At Concordia, Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS) provides essential technology services to both the academic and administrative spheres for all student, faculty and staff members.  These services range from simple classroom support to IT security and infrastructure development.  

“Almost everything in today’s world is done electronically, from teaching to communication,” says Marc Denoncourt, chief information officer. “At IITS, we provide IT services that are essential to a functioning university, ensuring the institution operates smoothly, services are delivered to students and information is protected through security measures.”

E-commerce: One-stop shop

As a central unit in the daily operations of the university, IITS’ numerous projects are both visible and invisible to the Concordia community. This year saw the completion of one very visible project – the development of an e-commerce platform for Concordia stores.

The e-commerce platform idea was created by to provide students with a one-stop shop online where they could purchase books, memorabilia and a wide variety of university services such as printing credits and gym memberships.

An initiative of Budget Planning and Business Development, IITS was brought on board to bring this project to life - developing an interface with Concordia branding, an online catalogue and integrating the financial point of sale and inventory systems.

“The entire project took about a year,” says Denoncourt. “It’s up and running, it’s particle and it’s a success – people can now shop online which is a great service to offer the Concordia community.”

OPUS Card: Time saving tips

Launched in August 2015, a pilot project linking the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) with Concordia allowed students to skip the line and order their reduced-fare OPUS cards online, which were then delivered to their homes.

Anthony Boulos, an industrial engineering student was at the source of this idea and pitched the project to both the STM and Concordia. The result was IITS partnering with the student to develop an ordering interface and a method to synchronize required information such as student enrollment, pictures and addresses with the STM.

“We rolled out the project in time for back to school and it was a great success,” says Denoncourt. “Over 10000 students took advantage of this project in the first year – it’s a great time saver and a service only offered to Concordia students.” 

IT Security

“As part of an ongoing program, Concordia has been investing in IT security measures continuously over the past five years,” says Denoncourt.

While not visible, Denoncourt says, “IT security measures are a major facet of the industry and of great importance to protect confidential information and the technological infrastructure that already exists at Concordia.”

With ever evolving security threats, IITS has developed an incident reporting structure to monitor all systems that exist within the University. Any events that look suspicious on the network are highlighted by the monitoring system so that personnel in IITS can investigate further and deal with events in a timely matter.

“It would take an army of people to monitor all the systems that exist at this university so we integrated a monitoring system which handles everything very efficiently,” says Denoncourt. 

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