Widener University

IT Cloud Migration and Ongoing Service Desk

Widener University

Located in southeast Pennsylvania, Widener University is an academic institution dedicated to providing its graduate and undergraduate students with a dynamic and engaging educational experience. The university also places specific focus on preparing the next generation of professionals with the skills necessary to succeed in their future careers.

To that end, the school wanted to make sure that its IT infrastructure could keep pace with today’s increasingly technological environments. Due to its relatively small IT team, the school has historically outsourced IT support services, like its IT service desk. But the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic made Widener quickly realize it needed additional IT support that could help the school transition to a fully remote environment. Contegix stepped in to fill the gaps.


IT Cloud Migration and Ongoing Service Desk

Back in 2008, Widener University decided to replace its former IT help desk provider with Contegix’s solution. According to John Kitchen, the school’s Director of Client Success, this was a natural switch. “[Our former IT service desk solution] wasn’t locally based. And since we’re just a small private college where everyone is used to everything being done in-house, we wanted to provide our students with a more personal experience that made students feel like they were being helped by in-house IT staff members,” he explained.

Widener’s relationship with Contegix’s service desk deepened in the wake of the pandemic. Like so many other universities, Widener didn’t have a remote work policy prior to March 2020. Infrastructure—like the school’s internal help desk phone systems—wasn’t optimized for remote work. So when students and teachers were forced off-campus, the school’s IT staff worried that they couldn’t respond to IT support calls remotely. But with Contegix’s 24/7 service desk solution, the school was able to route all incoming calls or service requests to a remote, reliable call center and, from there, address them quickly.

“Because we lacked an overarching remote work policy, our students and staff naturally had questions,” said Kitchen. “As a result, the number of incoming service requests or IT-related calls increased significantly—we had about 1,300 calls in March 2020—and Contegix was instrumental in helping us get through that period.”

Cloud Infrastructure Support

Since 2017, Widener has been using Contegix’s cloud infrastructure solution—an adoption that, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, became even more critical for the university. At first, the school teamed up with Contegix’s cloud solutions to support its internal IT staff members who were struggling to manage the school’s storage footprints and APIs. With the help of Contegix’s cloud solution offering, Widener was able to migrate the footprints from an on-premise storage system to a cloud-based one.

When COVID-19 pushed Widener’s staff and students off-campus, this ease of use and accessibility became especially crucial. “We didn’t have to open up new firewalls or other security procedures to protect our cloud footprints or give off site agents access to them,” said Kitchen. “Contegix’s cloud services made sure that these precautions and additional steps were already taken.”

To this day, Widener University still relies on Contegix to help manage its cloud environment and, when necessary, support IT staff with the school’s help desk. Looking into the future, the school hopes to adopt Contegix’s disaster recovery offering and protect its existing infrastructure from any worst case scenario.