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On offering integrated bouquets of services to users May 20, 2008

Posted by CK in IT, Productivity.
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The enrollment to my new employer‘s facilities was hiding a small surprise for me. While in Dortmund this last week, I did all the paperwork with the University, and eventually signed my contract. Then, I asked about my new email address etc, to which I received the reply “it will be done automatically; you’ll be notified“. And I was.

This morning, my email address was made available to me, after a very short/quick process for the registration of my new account. But it wasn’t only the email address I was receiving (which, by the way, is valid FOR LIFE). I automatically also got authorization to access all the services that the University’s “IT and Media Centre” offers:

  • A host of mail services: Web mail, mailing lists, aliases
  • Access to the university-wide wireless network
  • VPN
  • Dialup access
  • Access to library data
  • Access to the university’s videoconferencing facilities
  • If requested with an additional application, backup/archiving of my servers and desktops
  • Personal firewall for MS Windows (I’m using a Mac but it would be there if I needed it)
  • Virus protection for MS Windows (see above)
  • Spam filtering
  • Access to the Centre’s computing facilities for HPC — its latest addition is the D-Grid Resource Center Ruhr (DGRZR) with 2048 cores and 108 TB of storage space
  • Access to ARBS
  • DFN roaming

…and too many others to mention (just look here if you can read German, or try this machine translation). This level of integration is something I have not witnessed before. The University where I studied is known to be a pioneer in Greece in offering such services to its community, but having everything or almost everything work automatically just after enrolling with a single application, is simply awesome.