Shared Services FAQ

What is a shared services model and what does it mean at UT Austin?

Shared services is a way of reorganizing transactional administrative functions, such as finance, procurement, human resources (HR), and Information Technology (IT). By rethinking how  the University performs its transactional business, there is an opportunity to:

1) To maintain and/or improve services and increase campus-wide efficiency

2) To improve the quality of jobs for staff through clearly defined career paths, professional development, consistent business practices, and modern technical systems to help them accomplish more

3) To reduce costs. As a state university, UT Austin is expected to manage tax dollars responsibly

Why is UT Austin looking to implement a shared services model?

UT Austin has engaged and will continue to engage in activities that reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve services.

What are some examples of shared services that already operate on the UT Austin campus?

The shared services model is already being used in certain areas of campus:

  • McCombs School of Business:  McCombs recently implemented a shared services approach to administrative activities across departments with an emphasis on customer service
  • College of Liberal Arts (CoLA): CoLA has implemented shared services for IT end user support and is in the process of implementing shared services for HR, Finance, and Procurement activities
  • ITS Data Center Services: ITS Data Center Services currently support 39 UT Austin departments  

How will the success of shared services be measured?

The Executive Steering Committee defined four high-level success criteria for shared services:

  • Maintain and/or Improve Service Quality
  • Increase Career Opportunities for Staff
  • Increase Security and Compliance
  • Reduce Costs

Will UT Austin employees lose their jobs as a result of administrative and IT pilots?

It is our hope and belief that much of the reduction in positions can be achieved through natural attrition (voluntary leaves and retirement). Historical retirement and turnover levels support this expectation.

The goal of improving the quality of jobs for staff remains key to the success of the pilots. During Campus Dialogue, a common complaint was that staff felt that they are currently unable to further their skills to pursue advancement opportunities inside and outside the university. The goal is to provide staff with clearly defined career paths, professional development, and consistent business practices, some of which is currently lacking. 

Does shared services include outsourcing?

No. UT Austin is planning for the implementation of a “shared” service approach that will be staffed by university employees, not a “managed” service approach that is outsourced.

The university is not looking to outsource the performance of administrative services to external third parties.

What is the Central Business Office (CBO)?

The CBO is a customer-focused, performance driven, centralized processing and reporting unit under the Office of the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer that organizes and manages financial and administrative operations. In partnering with the CBO you can expect:

  • Quality Services – The CBO assists units across campus with administrative functions such as purchasing, accounting, inventory, human resources, and revenue collection
  • Collaborative Relationship – The CBO manages service delivery to customers through Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that clearly document responsibilities of the CBO and the requesting unit, as well as the groups interact
  • Experienced & Knowledgeable Staff – The CBO has been providing administrative services to their clients since 2009

What units does the CBO currently serve?

  • College of Education (Dean’s Office)
  • Dell Medical School
  • Executive Vice President and Provost (Portfolio)
  • Office of the President
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Undergraduate Studies
  • University Development Office
  • University Marketing and Creative Services
  • Vice President for Legal Affairs
  • Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

What services does the CBO provide? 

Finance/Procurement

  • Accounting and reporting
  • Accounts payable processing
  • Travel and expense processing
  • Requisition-to-order processing
  • Inventory management
  • Financial management
  • Business contracts

Human Resources

  • Assignments
  • New hire/onboarding
  • Compensation
  • Separations
  • Payroll
  • Performance management
  • Employee relations
  • Records management
  • Timekeeping

Additional Services

  • Electronic office management
  • Training

What is Academic Technology Support (ATS)?

Academic Technology Support (ATS), which began as an IT shared services effort by Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services more than five years ago, is driven by two goals: customer satisfaction and efficiency of operations.

This has created a culture of individual empowerment, personal accountability, and collaborative problem-solving where the first answer is always “Yes, we can help you.” This means that whenever you reach out to us, the person responding will be capable, motivated, and empowered to draw on whatever resources they need to resolve your issues promptly and effectively.  ATS is proud to say that over 90% of our current clients are “very satisfied” with their support.

As an organization, we are dedicated to continually improving our technical knowledge, efficiency of operation, and quality of service to ensure that the University’s faculty and staff are free to focus their energy on the University’s educational and research missions.

What services does ATS provide?

Faculty and Staff IT Support:

  • Computer, phone, network, and printer support
  • Moves, ads, changes
  • IT purchase consultation and assistance

Administrative IT Services:

  • IT asset management
  • Computer lifecycle program
  • Annual IT budget collaboration and recommendations
  • Telecom work order management

IT Support Engineering Services:

  • Computer imaging and deployment
  • Backup and file storage solutions
  • Filemaker Pro database hosting
  • License server management

Security and Compliance Services:

  • Systems patch management
  • ISORA preparation and management
  • Assistance with interpreting and implementing campus IT policies

Network and Voice Services:

  • Infrastructure management
  • DNS and DHCP management
  • VOIP support
  • Network and voice equipment procurement and installation