Unisys cloud-based technology now available across CSUs

Tenny Minassian

The CSU system has entered into a $37,570,708 contract with Unisys Corporation to receive cloud-based Information Technology services this spring for all 23 campuses, allowing faster access to services such as registering for classes.

Unisys, which has contracted with CSUN for over 10 years, will be supporting the CSU from their service center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The contract will end April 2016 with a one-year renewal option.

“Many campuses are using cloud-based services on a small scale now for things such as data storage and hosting of non-critical applications,” said Melody Kojima from CSU’s contract services and procurement. “Determining the value of cloud-based services on a multi-campus or system-wide basis is the focus of work currently being done by a small group of campus Chief Information Officers.”

A set of related recommendations is scheduled to be ready later this spring, Kojima said.

John Briar, a senior director of Information Systems from  Information Technology at CSUN, spoke about the significance of the Unisys contract .

“They have a capability to provide bigger hardware and more support, can share resources across campuses much better and improve performance and be cost effective,” Briar said.

The cloud, which is a remote server location, provides the ability to share resources and software with other computers, Briar said.
There is some criticism over security issues with cloud based IT services.

“The majority of the security breaches occur internally within the organization. The possibility of somebody from outside hacking into a cloud is there, but it’s remote,” said Dr. Shan Barkataki, professor of computer science at CSUN.

CSUN used to have a data center in the Jacaranda Hall but is now renting those services from Unisys, Barkataki said.

“Unisys found a niche: secure private cloud services. The different campuses have their own individual data that are private and that can be managed more easily with Unisys, which is one of their biggest selling points,” Barkataki said.