SAN FRANCISCO — Tomorrow UC San Francisco information technology employees will challenge UC Board of Regents’ plan to replace them with lower-paid workers from India. It is the first time a public university has ever offshored American IT work, undermining its own mission to prepare students for high-tech jobs.
WHAT: Workers speak out against offshoring at UC Board of Regents meeting
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 26 at 9:30 a.m. PST
WHERE: UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center, Robertson Auditorium, 1675 Owens Street, San Francisco. Watch the Livestream here.
WHO: UCSF information technology employees, University Professional Technical Employees-CWA Local 9119, and community leaders
Seventy-nine workers in UCSF’s IT department will lose their middle-class, family-supporting jobs in February.
Last summer, the UC system partnered with HCL, a multinational contractor based in India, to manage IT infrastructure and networking-related services. The contract covers all 10 UC campuses, potentially endangering thousands more IT jobs, but UCSF is the first to test this scheme to slash salary costs.
Since then, HCL and UC have imported Indian workers to UCSF on H-1B visas, which are temporary work permits for “specialty occupations” requiring “highly specialized knowledge.” Congress originally created the visa program to help employers to fill talent gaps — not displace US workers. Yet UC is unscrupulously exploiting a loophole in the law, and adding insult to injury, requiring soon-to-be-laid-off UC employees to train their foreign replacements as a condition of their severance. Eventually, the H-1B visa replacements will depart too, returning to India to train large teams of workers who will do the work for even cheaper.
Members of University Professional Technical Employees-CWA Local 9119 have been mobilizing against the offshoring plan for several months, building public support for the IT workers and spotlighting the responsibilities of public institutions that receive taxpayer funding. Offshoring jeopardizes the privacy of medical center patients, students, faculty, and staff. Troublingly, both UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla and UC Berkeley Dean of Engineering S. Shankar Sastry sit on the board of HCL.
The Communications Workers of America represents 700,000 workers in private and public sector employment in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. CWA members work in telecommunications and information technology, the airline industry, news media, broadcast and cable television, education, health care and public service, law enforcement, manufacturing and other fields.
Spiceworks launched a new report today –Future of IT: Hype vs. Reality – that examines organizations’ adoptions plans of emerging technology like IoT, AI, VR, and 3D printers and the expected impact in the workplace.
The survey results show that among these emerging technologies, IT pros expect IoT devices and AI technology to have the biggest impact in the workplace. They don’t expect mass adoption to take off for VR and 3D printers, but some industries have significantly higher adoption rates than the industry average.
- Artificial intelligence
o Apple Siri is most commonly used in the workplace, but Cortana expected to overtake Siri in next 12 months
o Over next 5 years, 60% of companies plan to adopt machine learning; 72% plan to deploy business analytics with AI; 32% plan to deploy self-learning robots
- Internet of things
o As with AI, security is the top concern with IoT in the workplace
o Healthcare industry has highest adoption rate for IoT at 28% with an additional 50 percent planning to adopt it
- Virtual reality
o Only 7% of companies use VR and 13% plan to adopt it; Construction/engineering industry has highest planned adoption rate at 27%
o Cost is biggest barrier to adoption; security/privacy is the least concern
o IT pros surveyed named Oculus the most innovative leader in VR
- 3D printers
o Only 11% of companies use 3D printers and 22% plan to adopt them; Education industry has highest current adoption rate at 45%
o As with VR, cost is biggest barrier to adoption and security is least concern
This report, like all reports from Spiceworks, is excellent and accurate. There’s a lot of hype around virtual reality (VR) tech and it will have some adoption in universities and in specialty businesses, but for most of us, don’t invest too heavily in anything VR-related. Most businesses don’t need VR and those that do, already have it in some form.
One point I disagree on, and it’s not uncommon for me to do so, is artificial intelligence (AI). For the past many* years, I have thought that AI would be the one technology that really surpassed all the others in terms of adoption, especially for voice-controlled applications, like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana. I’ve waited for 20 years for a decent voice-recognition program so that I don’t have to type, but can just dictate. Yes, I know about Dragon, and it’s pretty good. But I want something that’s truly ready for prime time.
For me, voice recognition is the first step in AI. Once you have voice recognition, then you can create programs to respond to commands and to perform complex functions. I need for it to be better than my R2D2 robot and the current state of Siri, Alexa, and Cortana. There are a lot of applications for voice recognition, but we just haven’t tapped into them yet.
Overall, this is a very thorough report. I like the visual statistics and the comparisons. I think that you’ll find it enlightening. Use the Comments section to tell me how closely these statistics come to your reality.
*many – A bunch. More than I’m going to tell you about.
AUSTIN, Texas — April 28, 2016 — Spiceworks, the professional network for IT, today announced IT professionals can deploy and manage its cloud-based help desk solution on smartphones and tablets via the Spiceworks Help Desk mobile app. Today’s announcement also includes new features to the cloud-based help desk, including service level agreement (SLA) ticket alerting, an IT Knowledge Base, and Spiceworks App Center integration. Collectively, Spiceworks provides a feature-rich help desk solution that can be deployed and managed in a way that works best for the IT professional.
“The IT professionals in my department are often running around the office supporting employees so it’s historically been difficult to address urgent user requests when we’re not at our desks,” said Brad Everts, IT supervisor at TW Garner Food Company. “The mobile app for Spiceworks’ cloud-based help desk gives us the flexibility to open, respond to, and close tickets from wherever we may be.”
Mobile support for Spiceworks’ cloud-based help desk builds on existing capabilities for the on-premises version and provides the same capabilities IT professionals need to support their growing businesses, including unlimited admin and end-user seats, no hosting or storage costs, ongoing updates, and free support. With the mobile app, IT professionals can also receive push notifications on their mobile devices to stay on top of help desk tickets while on the go.
In addition to the push notifications, new features for the cloud-based help desk solution include:
- SLA ticket alerting allows IT professionals to create rules that will notify them when tickets are not responded to in a timely manner or closed in a pre-determined amount of time.
- User portal updates include Active Directory integration to automatically add end users, authenticate users in the portal, and tag them to tickets.
- IT Knowledge Base integration with the Spiceworks Community will be available soon for the cloud-based help desk, enabling IT professionals to easily access and share critical how-tos and tech tips with their colleagues.
- Spiceworks App Center integration enables IT professionals to customize and extend their help desk with more than 150 third-party apps to add new features and functionality.
“We’re focused on helping IT professionals become more efficient by enabling them to run their help desk entirely from their phones or tablets,” said Sanjay Castelino, VP of Marketing at Spiceworks. “With a tool that’s easy to deploy and use on the go, IT professionals can now support their growing business in a way that works best for them.”
The Spiceworks Help Desk mobile app is available for download today on iOS- and Android-based smartphones and tablets.
Spiceworks is the professional network millions of IT professionals use to connect with one another and thousands of technology brands. The company simplifies how IT professionals discover, buy, and manage an estimated $600 billion in technology products and services each year. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Spiceworks is backed by Adams Street Partners, Austin Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Goldman Sachs, Shasta Ventures and Tenaya Capital. For more information, visit http://www.spiceworks.com.
Spiceworks is a registered trademark of Spiceworks, Inc. All other names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.