One of the most fundamental services to members of a research university is enabling collaboration. The institutional goals of promoting interdisciplinary research increase the need for online collaborative tools that support the more natural, ad hoc nature of academic, research, and business support interactions. The ability for members of the Stanford community to have rich personal profiles (e.g. areas of study, photo, contact information, interests, current activities) and flexible access controls will grow as the reliance on collaboration tools increases.
IT Services will focus on selecting and deploying collaboration tools that are principally web-accessible, to serve the broadest possible percentage of the Stanford community. In support of the many types of collaboration that go on at a world-class research university, IT Services offers many general-purpose tools. Deployed for the Stanford community at large, as such, these collaboration tools must scale and be adaptable to support many teaching, research, and administrative functions. Group membership, which leverages Stanford's workgroup infrastructure and provides restricted access (as desired), is managed by the collaborative group itself.
The vision is that these collaboration technologies work together where ever possible by supporting open standards for application and data exchange (interoperability). The rich linking of multiple collaboration tools will allow members of the community to use the right technology depending on the task. Some of the collaboration technologies and services may be provided by third-party vendors or partner institutions; in these cases, institution and user identities as well as access controls will continue to be administered per Stanford policy. In these cases, the basic principles of dependability and security will still be requirements.
Technology trends that IT Services is taking into consideration in developing its strategy: social networking software is being used in business and research contexts to facilitate collaboration in new ways; "mash-ups" join together web content with other sources of content; federated authentication allows one institution to give access to users from another institution, based on a pre-established relationship between the institutions; and secure email systems can encrypt and more rigorously control email delivery and provide an audit trail.
Technologies in this section
- Email Services
- Mailing Lists
- Secure Email
- Web Collaboration
- Web Publishing
- Instant Messaging
- Document Management
- Knowledge Management
- Mass Notification
- Page Messaging Service
- Conferencing Tools
- Offer collaboration software to facilitate interactions within the Stanford community as well as with external collaborators through federation, as needed.
- Pre-configured web collaboration/publishing environment that controls aspects of content presentation and group access, but which also maintain aspects of Stanford's presentation and accessibility standards.
- Integrated search and tagging capabilities across the multiple collaboration tools offered to the Stanford community.
- Archives of group chat functions; group access controlled by centralized groups.
- Increase and improve web content publishing options for campus.
- Pilot cloud-based email and calendaring services, which are integrated with campus authentication and group services.
- Pilot cloud-based document sharing services, which are integrated with campus authentication and group services.
- More broadly support federated authentication betweencollaboration tools.
Measures of success
- Services that are well-regarded by faculty, students and staff , measurable by surveys.
- High utilization of these services; degree to which collaboration objects are cross-referenced.
- Flexibility in interoperation/integration across the offered collaboration tools, at Stanford and with external tools that use interoperable technology.
- Manageablelevel of resources to deliver services at enterprise scale.
- Reduction in the use of email attachments as a document-sharing collaboration tool.