web content management system administrative report

cameramanfrictionInternet and Web Development

Dec 8, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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WEB

CONTENT

MANAGEMENT

SYSTEM

ADMINISTRATIVE

REPORT


Executive Summary


In April 2010, the

sponsors of the

Web Content Management System (Web CMS)



Vice
Chancellor Sandeen, Asst.
Vice
Chancellor Benson, and Vice Provost Siegel



met
with Chancellor Katehi and Provost Lavernia to review and
consider the Web Content Management Steering Committee Recommendation Report. The report recommended
adoption of Hannon Hill Cascade Server as the ce
ntrally supported campus Web content management system

(
with
associated

subsidized Web hosting and development help for users)

with permanent funding to make the Web CMS
available to all campus units at no direct cost.


At the April meeting, t
he chancellor and provost indicated interest in centrally supporting the Web CMS as a way of
achieving efficiency, quality control and cost saving goals, in line with the "shared services" model for
administrative services now being implemented across camp
us.


Indeed, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Karen Hull recently pointed out that the current Web
communications model on the UC Davis campus has led to numerous problems of cost and inefficiency. During a
presentation to campus communicato
rs on the ScottMadden ―shared services‖ consulting project, Hull said that UC
Davis’ current approach to Web communications has resulted in ―fragmentation of key messages and inconsistent
design in the presentation of the campus message and image‖ to our m
ost important internal and external audiences.
The many people on campus who engage in Web page design and production, Hull said, has led to ―duplicating
skills that aren’t frequently used,‖ meaning there is ―more of a learning curve‖ among users with ―no
benefit of
[being part of] a larger group.‖



Chancellor Katehi and Provost Lavernia asked the project sponsors to provide information on the feasibility of
managing the Web content of campus administrative websites using Cascade Server.

Following the cha
ncellor’s
and provost’s request, the Web CMS
sponsors asked the Web CMS steering committee to provide more information
on current Web processes used in administrative departments, with estimates of associated costs, and to provide a
budget proposal to cove
r the centralized costs for all administrative units to adopt the Web CMS for their
appropriate sites. To address this request, the steering committee initially planned to:




Identify the current number and types of administrative websites throughout campu
s, and estimate
approximate costs associated with the management of these sites



Analyze the cost benefits of managing administrative unit Web con
tent using a centralized model
versus a
decentralized model



Propose a plan and budget to create a campus Web se
rvice center to meet administrative unit Web needs


As a result of these efforts, the
steering committee

reports:


At this time,
146

administrative websites are good candidates for hosting in the Web CMS.


The cost to migrate these sites into the Web CMS and
to provide enterprise
-
level support for the Web CMS is

approximately

$273,500

annually, or
$820,600

over thr
ee years.




Total s
taff co
sts:
$192,500

per year or
$577,500

for three years



Total h
ardware and software costs:
$81,000

per year

(average)

or
$243,100

over

three years


This document provides
details of the
steering committee’s efforts

and recommendations
.


Review of Administrative W
ebs
ites


The
steering committee determined that creating a truly comprehensive Web resource inventory of all campus
administrative units was not feasible in the time

frame allotted to prepare the report and recommendations. This

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effort would require the acquisition and

analysis of detailed information for each administrative unit, including
identifying all administrative websites, how they are maintained, their purpose, their cost of operation, the FTE
involved in maintaining both their content and the systems that host

the content, what Web applications are being
hosted, what content management systems are being used to maintain content, what content is being
programmatically generated
,

the languages used to code that content, and more.


Furthermore, there are too many

variables in current campus Web development processes to establish meaningful
baseline costs for maintaining current websites.
For example, a large, complex administrative site might be
comparatively well designed and maintained at a relatively high finan
cial cost, while another site might be poorly
designed and only intermittently maintained

and therefore much less effective


though at a very low cost.


Instead of such a comprehensive survey, the committee opted to
poll
administrative units to develop a
more general
understan
d
ing of the administrative Web landscape and needs.
The numbers reported are a snapshot of the best
information available at the time the survey was conducted. Websites are in a constant state of flux, with new sites
being created and

old ones being deleted or merged into other sites over short spans of time.
A more detailed
inventory
can

be completed during the first year of operation of the
Web CMS

to provide a more precise picture of
current administrative Web resources

and thus

a m
ore detailed cost comparison.



Web CMS Benefits to Administrative Units


The true benefits of using the Web CMS to manage administrative websites do not lie in
direct
costs savings.
Instead, the committee suggests the following benefits will be realized
if the majority of campus administrative Web
content is maintained using the Web CMS:




Commonality of user experience for the owners of site content and for the users of the sites
: Key campus
administrative websites with common functions designed for targe
t user groups to minimize confusion,
errors

and
wasted time.



Commonality of technical expertise: Web CMS skills transferrable across campus
.



Access to campuswide
,

and even UC systemwide, best practices for techs and communicators
.



Centralized
Web CMS

hardw
are/software support

would be
much more efficient and less costly than

in

the
current highly decentralized model
.



Adherence to UC Davis branding and Web standards
would provide

more effective Web communication
and compliance with federal accessibility law
.



Survey Results
: Administrative

Sites Eligible for Web CMS


Based on input from the administrative units, the total number of current websites that are eligible for
conversion to the Web CMS
is estimated to be 146.


It is important to note that not all campus administrative websites are appropriate candidates for conversion to
Cascade Server. This
Web CMS

was selected as the best choice

for the majority of campus web
sites, and provides
the most significant advantages
for sites with relatively little dynamic content, sites that are not hosted using a third
-
party application

(like the UC Davis Bookstore or
Cal Aggie Alumni Association

sites)
, and especially sites for units
with insufficient Web support that are therefore

poorly maintained and/or out of compliance with campus
accessibility or identity standards. The Web CMS Steering Committee recommends that sites deemed unsuitable for
conversion to Cascade Server at this time be converted only when a fundamental redesign
becomes necessary or
advantageous.

For the survey, eligible sites were loosely defined as those public
-
facing sites with minimal dynamic
content and not hosting a third
-
party Web application.


Survey Details




Administrative and Resource Management

o

46 websi
tes total


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o

2 websites already in the Web CMS

o

21 sites are candidates for conversion (including 2 of 7 in Plone CMS)

o

5 sites in Plone CMS are candidates for later conversion



Graduate Studies

o

4 websites total

o

2 are candidates for

immediate

conversion

o

2 are candidates for
later conversion



Informa
tion and Educational Technology

o

60 total websites

o

4 websites already in the Web CMS

o

50 sites are candidates for conversion



Offices of the Chancellor and Provost

o

70 sites total

o

7 sites
already in the Web CMS

o

43
sites
are
candidates for conversion



University Relations

o

45 total websites

o

3 websites already in the Web CMS

o

12 websites are candidates for conversion



Office of Research

o

5
total
sites

o

All
in a ColdFusion CMS system

o

None readily convertible



Student Affairs

o

93

total websites

o

9 sites using third
-
party Web applications

o

37 websites candidates for conversion



Total Eligible Admin Unit Sites: 146


Not included in the survey are the administrative offices of academic units, such as colleges, professional schools,
a
cademic departments, labs, or research groups.

Student Affairs estimates are preliminary (total number of sites
could be over 100) and do not (and should not) include
student sites, such as ASUCD

and

student organization
sites.
Office of
Research
identified ~25 research sites, but they are maintained by the research units (ORU, ORP,
Facilities
,

and Special Research)

and are
not consider
ed administrative.



Web CMS Shared Service Center


T
he steering committee proposes the creation of a Web CMS shar
ed service center for
campus

administrative units,
in line with the Organizational Excellence initiative, which seeks to enhance operational efficiency by eliminating
duplicated efforts, grouping support staff into shared service centers and enhancing prod
uctivity through the use of
technology. The administrative Web CMS
shared
service center

would

be composed of users

technical and
communications specialists

from each of the administrative units
, and would be chaired by r
epresentatives from
IET:
Ac
ademic Technology
Services

(ATS)

and University Communications (UComm). This group
would

meet
period
ically to identify system needs,
discuss implementation priorities and schedules

and oversee the development
of new
Web CMS

templates and features
.
Particip
ation in

the group
would

be mandatory for administrative units,
with at least one representative from each major
administrative

unit
participating
.



The Web CMS
shared
service center
would

schedule site deployment in the
Web CMS
, taking

into account
Web
C
MS

template/feature development required for
new
sites,

as well as

traini
ng requirements, staffing needs

and other
priorities. Needs for new template enhancements or features
would

be prioritized and developed primarily by service
center technical staff wi
th the guidance and support of UComm and ATS to ensure compliance with campus
standards and to encourage the development of featur
es that are broadly applicable across campus
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The Web CMS
shared
service center
would

also assist with training users by helping to refine training material
maintained by the Web CMS project

staff

and by offering localized training support for administrative users.



Revised Financial and Resource Needs


Based on the additional resources
needed to deploy administrative websites into the Web CMS, revisions in
infrastructure cost estimates and enhancements to the project to function as an enterprise
-
l
evel service to the
campus,
the revised project annual cost

is approximately

$273,500
,

or
$820,600

over thr
ee years
.

Of this total,
staffing is
$192,500

per year
,

or
$577,500

for three years. Total hardware a
nd software cost is
$81,000

per
year
,

or
$243,100

over three years.


Enhanced Staff Support


By adopting the
shared
service center model fo
r administrative units, the Web CMS project will be able to migrate a
large number of sites over a relatively short time
,
while minimizing the need for new staff. The
shared

service center
model creates a collaborative environment for support and continued

development of Cascade Server by providing
training and support resources for technical users in administrative

units
.


However, the migration of a large number of sites into the Web CMS in a short time would pose administrative,
training and support issu
es that were not addressed in the original Web
CMS

recommendation, which assumed the

growth of Web CMS adoption over time. The assumption was that, as growth warranted, additional resources would
be requested

on an annual or semi
-
annual basis to meet the n
eed.

We have determined that providing enterprise
-
level support for the Web CMS to relatively quickly serve the needs of the majority of campus administrative sites,
along with assorted academic and research sites already using the system or on the waiting

list, will require
additional staffing.


To address the anticipated staffing expertise required
for

enterprise
-
level
support, especially

for a large number of

administrative

sites, the steering commit
tee recommends an additional 2.5

FTE to support the Web CMS project.
One FTE would be allocated to IET to support the efforts of the ATS unit. Currently, Web CMS support in that unit
is dependent on recharge funds. Permanently funding one position would ensure continued, dedicated Web
CM
S

technical support and reduce service costs to depar
tments. The other 1.5 FTE, to
be assigned to UComm,

would
provide administrative, training and technical support to supplement the function of the Web CMS administrator,
currently the only FTE assigned t
o the Web CMS project. It also would provide continuous support in the absence of
the Web CMS administrator.

Based on a Programmer II or A
nalyst II mid
-
range
salary
, with benefits,

of
approximately
$
75,000
/yr
,

the total requested
annual
staff funding

for 2
.5 FTE

would be
$187,500
, or
$562,500

for three years.



The steering committee does not recommend that new positions be hired t
o fulfill this staffing need.

An
exi
s
ting

ATS staff FTE
w
ould be moved from
the current

recharge funding model to a fully funded model to provide
dedicated Web CMS support.
E
xisting UC Davis staff

member
s

with appropriate expertise, who would otherwise be
laid off due to budget

constraints, could be funded for UComm.
Or portions of multiple
ex
isting, qualified staff
member
s’

salary and time could be split between
their

current

function

and the Web CMS project
. Hiring new
support staff should be done only if

no existing staff can be leveraged to provide the needed support.


Web CMS Staff Professional Development


A modest training and professional development budget would provide

funds for attendance at the annual Hannon
Hill users conference for
two

Web CMS
staff (
one from UComm and one

from ATS
), allowing

them

to meet with
Cascade users

from universities across the country

to share
best practices
, make contacts and learn more about

(and
influence)

the vendor’s future product d
evelopment plans. And working wi
th staff from the other University of
California campuses now using Cascade Server would provide other valuable training and development activities
and information exchanges.
A modest annual training and development budget for Web CMS staff would be
$5,000
, or
$15,000

over three years.


Training/
D
evelopment
S
erver


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As the project has progressed, it has becom
e apparent that there is a need for a third Web CMS server.

The preferred
solution would be to

create


another server in the Data Center on a virtual host. This server would be used for code
development and testing and as a Web CMS training environment. O
ne existing server would continue to function
as the production server and the

other would be used to deploy vendor updates so users could validate their exi
s
ting
Web CMS solutions in the upgraded environment before applying the upgrade to the production
server.


Hannon Hill has confirmed that we can run three instances of the Cascade

Server

Web CMS under our exiting
license at no additional charge.


The
average annual
cost of deploying a third server on a virtual host is estimated
to be
$17,900
, or
$53,800

over three years.

These figures include one
-
time setup costs, virtual server hosting charges and
system and
database administration costs.

These costs are included in the ―Revised Projected Three Year Cascade
Software/Server Costs‖ table below.


Revised Server Costs


Instead of replacing the three existing servers with new discrete server hardware at the end of their project life, the
committee recommends redeploying these servers on virtual hosts.
The cost of moving these systems into a virtual
environment at the end
of their life (4 years of operation), based on current IET rates will be approximately
$19,200
.

This cost will occur in year three of the current projec
t projections. These costs are reflected in the
following ―
Revised Projected Three
-
Year Cascade Software/Server Costs
‖ table.



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Revised Virtual
Web
Host
ing

Cost


Since the original Web CMS recommendation report, costs for virtual Web hosting at the
Data

Center have been
revised.

The committee wanted to be able to offer administrative units, as well as clients with limited hosting
resources, the ability to use centrally supported virtual Web hosting services. Rather than attempting to fund a set
number of

virtually hosted sites per year, the committee proposes that the Web CMS project fund the cost of the
virtual Web hosting server, instead. While this does mean that clients would need to fund the virtual Web hosted
sites from their own budget, it reduces
the per site cost to make this an inexpensive option for the entire campus
community. It would also make inexpensive virtual Web hosting available to all campus Web clients, whether they
use the Web CMS or not. The advantages to this approach are many




The

cost to the Web CMS project is the same as the model of funding a limited number of sites per year
(originally specified as 30 the first year, 60 the second and 100 the third).



The Web CMS project will be able to offer a complete Web management and hostin
g solution for the
majority of eligible administrative sites (as well as to the general campus community) for $78.65 per year
per site.



This low per
-
site hosting cost, which is competitive with third party services, encourages the campus
community to migra
te away from discrete hardware Web hosts in favor of virtualized hosts, whether they
use the Web CMS or not.


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This promotes IET’s goal of reducing campus infrastructure costs while enhancing server integrity,
physical security and cybersecurity
for
campus w
ebsites
.



The Web CMS on
-
boarding process becomes much more streamlined for clients (no need to set criteria to
determine who is eligible for a fixed number of funded host slots).



Under this revised Web hosting proposal,

the

annual operating costs
for
providing virtual Web hosting

are
projected to be
$13,600
,

or
$40,800

for three years
.




Summary of Projected Costs





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Appendix A
: Letter to Administrative Units
Requesting Survey Input


To:

Admin Unit Tech Leads

From:

Babs Sandeen, Vice Chancellor, University Relations


Pete Siegel, Vice Provost, Information and Educational Technology


Mitchel Benson, Assistant Vice Chancellor, University Communications



Folks:


As you may be aware, in early 2006, UC Davis formally launched an initiative to identify and
implement a centrally managed Web Content Management System (Web CMS). The UC Davis
Web CMS was envisioned as a
university
-
wide

service administered jointly by Un
iversity
Communications and Information and Educational Technology that would support the creation,
management, delivery and sharing of Web content across the university, while promoting
compliance with organizational standards for branding, accessibility
and communications.
Following a comprehensive product selection phase, Cascade Server, a Web CMS produced by
Hannon Hill, was identified as the candidate

solution

for UC Davis. The final phase of the
project was to implement a pilot of Cascade Server and e
valuate its performance and suitability
as the centrally supported campus Web CMS solution. At the end of this 18
-
month evaluation
phase, we recommended to the chancellor and provost that:




UC Davis adopt Cascade Server as the centrally managed Web CMS sol
ution.




The Web CMS infrastructure include Web hosting as well as Web design and
implementation services, which would help clients who lack funding and technical
expertise make use of the Web CMS, and would also offer cost
-
effective Web CMS
solutions to de
partments with sufficient technical support but higher
-
priority needs for
their technical staff.




The university provide ongoing, centralized funding for the Web CMS infrastructure for
a minimum of three years.


The chancellor and provost are interested in

centrally supporting the Web CMS for the long term
as a way of achieving efficiency, quality control and cost
-
saving goals, in line with the "shared
services" model for administrative services now being implemented across campus. They have
asked us to det
ermine:




How Cascade Server might provide a benefit to administrative units




Which administrative sites might be best suited for deployment in the Cascade system




What resources would be needed to implement a smooth conversion of appropriate sites


This
research is in progress now and our goal is to present a report to the project sponsors in
mid
-
June. To assist with this effort, we are asking you to identify a technical contact(s) that the

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Web CMS project staff can meet with for approximately one hour to

answer these basic
questions about your unit’s Web presence:




Approximately how many total websites does your unit host?




About how many sites do not use dynamic content?




How many sites are hosted using a third party application?




How many sites are
maintained using a CMS?


Please send the contact name(s) to Rick Hill, Web CMS Administrator, by close of business on
Wednesday, June 9
, so he can schedule meetings as appropriate.

Contact Rick at
rrhill@ucdavis.edu

<
mailto:rrhill@ucdavis.edu
> , 752
-
9612.


Thanks very much. Regards,

Mitchel




Mitchel Benson


Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Communications

University of California, Davis


Office: (530) 752
-
9844


Cell:

(53
0) 220
-
0863


Fax:

(530) 752
-
4068


Email:
mdbenson@ucdavis.edu

<
mailto:mdbenson@ucdavis.edu
>

www.news.ucdavis.edu

<
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/
>

-------------------------------------------------------


UC Davis University Communications

334 Mrak Hall


One Shields Avenue


Davis, CA 95616
-
8687





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Appen
dix B
: Administrative Unit Survey Contacts


Adminis
trative and Res
ource Management



Eric Rothgarn

Chief System Architect

752
-
2117

erothgarn@ucdavis.edu


Duke McAdow

Programmer III

752
-
6236

dkmcadow@ucdavis.edu


Graduate Studies


Fredericka

Parker

Comm
unications and

M
arketing

Manager

752
-
9300

faparker@ucdavis.edu


Information and Educa
tional Technology



Steve Pigg

IT Manager, Data Center and Client Services

754
-
6700

pigg@ucdavis.edu


Charlie Turner

Manager, Web Development Group
, Academic Technology Services

754
-
7459

cjturner@ucdavis.edu


Offices of the Chancellor and Provost


Brian M
cCarthy

Director of Technology

752
-
9928

bjmccarthy@ucdavis.edu


Brian Biehle

Programmer

754
-
7952

bbiehle@ucdavis.edu


University Relations


Karen Latora

Dir
ector

of Advance
ment

Serv
ices

754
-
1153

kjlatora@ucdavis.edu



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Jeremy Postletwaite

Web Programmer
, University Communications

754
-
0303

postlethwaite@ucdavis.edu


Dale Hurt

Network Ops Mgr

754
-
1125

ndhurt@ucdavis.edu


Office of Research


Sharie Sprague

Director, Tech
nology

S
er
v
i
c
e
s

754
-
7996

sasprague@ucdavis.edu


Student Affairs


Lora Jo Bossio

Associate Vice Chancellor

752
-
6449

ljbossio@ucdavis.edu


Paul Drobny

Technology Manager

752
-
6884

psdrobny@ucdavis.edu