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May 2018

DTS Employee Chris Kawa recognized on Doug Wright Show

DTS employee Chris Kawa was recently recognized on the Doug Wright Show for the Public Employee Salute segment. Great job, Chris!

Here is what Doug had to say:

Chris Kawa is a Tech II for the Division of Technology Services. Chris’s specific position is IT support. When customers call in and they have a computer or phone issue they can’t fix independently, he will find the solution. Chris has worked for DTS for over two years now, and has made a huge impact. Chris, unlike many IT techs who work within one specific campus, has worked on every campus. He takes calls from state employees, contractors, medical personnel, and some general public. During his time at DTS, Chris has created several tutorials for his coworkers, on how to assist customers faster. These tutorials have been extremely helpful to his coworkers and customers. Chris is known by his coworkers to be extremely intelligent when it comes to computers, and very helpful. He has taken many opportunities to teach fellow coworkers about computers, and has helped one coworker specifically from barely understanding basic “computer talk” to being able to troubleshoot the majority of the calls that come in.

New Enterprise Database Data Access Form

The new Enterprise DB Data Access form is now available in ServiceNow. The form provides authorization and security checks needed before giving a requestor access to Enterprise DB Data housed in the Shared Oracle or Shared SQL server environments (the environments run by Dean Zumbrunnen’s group). The approval path for this form goes as follows: once submitted, the approval goes to the Business Owner, then to the Agency Security person, then to the IT Director, and finally to Campus Security.

Once approval has been given, it is sent to the DTS – Database group for fulfillment.

Be aware that if you are requesting this for someone other than yourself and that person is a State of Utah employee, you will need to enter that person’s information in the checkout (second) page.

The default user for the checkout page will be the one creating the request.

Except Utah, state governments are way behind in AI use

Mike Hussey, CIO, recently spoke about Utah’s efforts in AI at the NASCIO Midyear Conference. DTS is making data available on digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, which citizens can use to do things like practice for the driver’s license test or the notary exam, get real-time transit information, or find out about fishing hot spots. 

We want to continue to be forward-thinking to better serve the agencies and residents of Utah.

View the full articles here:

New research shows that state government is one of the slowest adopters of what Gartner calls “the most disruptive class of technologies” going today.

New State Employee Access Link

We have added a ‘New State Employee Access’ link on the DTS home page under Get Help. The link will direct agency employees to the Agency Employee Access Request form in Service Now. The form grants new employees access to UtahID, network, and email.


2018 Awards for Excellence

Every year, each agency selects one outstanding group or individual as the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence. It’s our chance to recognize the excellent efforts of DTS employees. Anyone can nominate an individual or team who has demonstrated excellence. DTS is fortunate to have unrivaled employees, and the nominations and awards help to recognize the hard work, extraordinary accomplishments, and innovative ideas that go into making the department awesome. All winners were recognized at an awards ceremony. See the photos from the ceremony here. 

This year, the Operation Rio Grande team has been selected as the DTS winner. Congratulations!

In July 2017, Operation Rio Grande became a top priority for the State of Utah. DTS assisted DWS in developing the “Safe Zone” and the Operation Rio Grande website

The DTS team developed the initial application to support on-site assessments at the Salt Lake County Jail within two weeks. DTS staff provided 24/7 on-site support to DWS employees and community partner agencies at the Salt Lake County Jail and at Rio Grande, including training and technology equipment set up. The finished product resulted in a photo identification card issuance application that can be searched by name or fingerprint.  The card has a unique barcode that is scanned to allow entry into the safe zone, and returns information on the client in a web application, which allows the entry points to be mobile.

DTS was also tasked with designing and implementing a website The assignment was given to the DTS team on a Wednesday, with a deliverable date of the following Monday. This allowed 6 days for design, development, testing, and deploy.  The Operation Rio Grande website is a communication tool reflecting the collaborative effort with multiple state, county, and local government agencies and community partners to return safety to the homeless population as well as improve quality of life.  In order to accomplish this request, the team worked 14 days straight, without a weekend or time off, working long days.

Team Members: Mark Schultz, Diane Pfeifer, Brent Fife,  Wes Miles, Ryan Burton, Amber Johnston, David Fike, Ty Burton, Gary Ray, Heather Kunz, Sudha Rajamani, Jodie Okumura, Brent Neal, Ashley Alonso, Michael Beynon, Adam Staks, Frank Luthi, Keith Scholl, Ken Wheeler

DTS Awards for Excellence

We also select some winners for the DTS Awards for Excellence. This year, we have 3 winners: the Controlled Substance Database Team, Justin Hudspeth, and Aaron Lael. Congratulations!

Controlled Substance Database Team

In 2017, DTS and the business sponsor engaged in a project to enhance CSD by designing and developing a “patient dashboard”. The patient dashboard provides a way for CSD users to quickly and easily ascertain the data they need to make a well-informed decision when prescribing or dispensing controlled substances. The data displayed calculates the total active MME (Morphine Milligram Equivalent), the number of prescribers and pharmacies visited in the last six months, along with identifying whether there is currently an active opioid and benzodiazepine mix for any given patient which increases the risk of overdose.Feedback from CSD users has been positive and show the immediate impact this tool has made.  

Team Members: John Angus, Byron Bills, Casey Wardle, Kellie Lewis, Gaetan Grimaud, Judd Houser, Sam Albornoz, Joseph Sharp

Justin Hudspeth

Justin has been dedicated to migrating state facilities off of PRI trunks for their telecom service to SIP service.  This allows agencies to be more flexible in regards to their inbound call capacity, in that SIP trunks can have the amount of sessions they support be allocated dynamically.  The true benefit of this is the cost savings to the state entities involved, though. With the ability to disconnect the PRIs and stop paying the fees agencies will see real cost savings through this migration.

Justin has assumed a leadership role in strategically planning which sites to migrate to continue progress on the initiative and has also taken on additional work outside of his traditional role to expedite these migrations and see them to completion.  He also dedicates time outside of his core work hours to facilitate these migrations as most agencies do not want the temporary service interruption during their business hours. His flexibility ensures that agency delivered services are not interrupted in the process.

This transition also moves us off of legacy PRIs to the more industry current SIP, which has less hardware directly involved, reducing the number of points of potential failure for telco service delivery.  By having less hardware in play at agency building sites, we are less susceptible to building specific failures like power outages or circuit outages.

Aaron Lael

This year Aaron Lael designed and created a web application that greatly decreased the time to resolution for one of our team’s most commonly submitted tickets. Aaron created a tool that allowed the helpdesk access to reset voicemail boxes but still allowed Voice Operations to keep the server architecture secure and access to it limited.

Aaron did the API research, code writing, and implementation of a web service that the front line help desk uses today to reset voicemail pins for users on the Cisco Unity Connection voicemail platform. This web application allows the end users to get back into their voicemail quicker, allows the Voice Operations team to focus on more technical issues, and most importantly  allows the help desk to offer 1st contact resolution on this ticket type: which is a DTS focus regarding customer service.

Aaron has a constant focus on improving efficiencies and implementing industry best practices on all of his projects. He is a great asset to DTS.

Updated Enterprise Mobile Device Policy

The following language has been added to the Enterprise Mobile Device Policy.

Access to State resources which house federally regulated data such as FTI, HIPAA, CJIS, etc, is not allowed over wireless networks, except through a state-provided VPN.

The purpose of this addition is to notify users that direct access through wireless networks will no longer be allowed. This is in response to IRS Audit findings where FTI was made available through the wireless controller.



Mike Hussey named Top 25 Doer, Dreamer, & Driver of 2018

Government Technology magazine recently announced its 2018 Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers. Now in its 17th year, this year’s Top 25 honorees are 23 individuals and two teams who are modernizing, consolidating, innovating and otherwise transforming government using technology. Joining the state and local chief information officers on this year’s list are chief innovation officers and other leaders using their talents to advance the cause of digital government.

“The Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of 2018 show a steadfast commitment to public service,” said Noelle Knell, editor of Government Technology. “Their vision and technology expertise is helping craft personal, equitable services for citizens and efficient 21st-century government.”

After more than a decade with Utah’s Division of Technology Services (DTS) and two at its helm, CIO Mike Hussey takes a personal view of his work, in a state where leading-edge IT has become the norm. While he knows well the value of initiatives like Utah’s tech consolidation, or the $200 million in savings they saw in centralizing state data centers from 35 down to just two, for Hussey, the highlights are in the details.

Hussey is proud of his agency, yet humble about his own accomplishments. “I’ve been riding the coattails of some very successful CIOs,” he said, yet that does little to account for the nuance he brings to his role. After seeing that IT consolidation through to fruition, he said, what’s left is the culture change, getting everyone involved to see themselves as a unified enterprise system. From there, Hussey can get DTS to do more with less. The department has already met Gov. Gary Herbert’s statewide challenge to become 25 percent more efficient, but, said Hussey, “we’re continually looking at ways that we might find those efficiencies in state government, utilizing technology to help us get there.”

And he sees opportunity for those efficiencies not only for state agencies, but also for citizens — for himself and his neighbors. It all comes back to how to make government more accessible for Utahans. As an example, he described going to the Division of Motor Vehicles to transfer a title when his son purchased a new car, and then asking, “Why are we having to set foot in a building when we can do everything else online?” He then began looking into solutions such as electronic titles built on blockchain technology.

His ability to look at tech from the perspective of both CIO and resident is clear in his focus on simplifying government processes, bringing state services to people where they are. Customer service, as Hussey said, is “just in my DNA.”

New Website

The new website is now up and running. The launch of the new website helps Workforce Services meet its priority of improving online communication. You will notice that the new site has an enhanced user experience making it easier to find programs, resources and events. It’s also the most mobile-friendly version launched to date. The website is a resourceful tool to better serve DWS customers, clients and partners.

New Website

The new website is now up and running. The launch of the new website helps Workforce Services meet its priority of improving online communication. You will notice that the new site has an enhanced user experience making it easier to find programs, resources and events. It's also the most mobile-friendly version launched to date. The website is a resourceful tool to better serve DWS customers, clients and partners.

It’s time to submit the 2019 IT Plan

In accordance with UCA 63F-1-204, each executive branch agency must submit an agency information technology plan to the chief information officer on an annual basis. The IT Plan helps DTS plan resources for the upcoming year, based on agency needs. DTS analyzes the IT Plan to determine the impact to costs, operations, and services provided. DTS also uses the IT Plan to ensure compliance with the State’s overall IT strategy and potential areas for coordination among agencies.

It is imperative the agencies provide an accurate and detailed IT Plan to DTS in order to maintain services provided. Please work with your IT Director to submit your agency’s plan.