New U-M Software Directory uses universitywide collaborative approach

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Decorative image stating U-M Software Directory
(Rachael Wojciechowski/ITS Communications)

Imagine you’re a U-M community member who needs to find a specific software title available to you based on your current affiliation. You would have to check in a myriad of locations and possibly get in contact with people across various U-M units to find what you need which could be very frustrating. This is because, while the university provides access to numerous software packages to students, faculty, and staff at reduced or no cost, most units also purchase their own software for their own communities. Now, imagine instead that there is one place to search for software titles provided by the university and individual units.

The U-M Software Directory aims to become that central library of software titles and packages available to faculty, staff, and students across all three academic campuses and Michigan Medicine. The Software Directory project is spearheaded by the Strategic Advisory Committee (STAC) and supported by Information and Technology Services (ITS) in partnership with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) and the Office of University Development (OUD).

“I’m excited and extremely proud that the Michigan IT community has come together in partnership to remove a long standing barrier to enabling our faculty, students and staff to easily identify what software resources are available to them.”

Cathy Curley, LSA’s chief information officer.

The ITS Software Services and ITS Digital UX teams took on the challenge. After several months of requirements gathering, a proof of concept, prototype development, user testing, and incorporating feedback, the Software Directory is finally approaching its final stages of development.

Regis Vogel, OUD’s senior director of digital infrastructure and STAC Chair, is “looking forward to seeing the positive impact of the Software Directory as it empowers and serves our faculty, students, and staff. Efficient access to the software resources of the university is critical to our mission, and I’m proud of the effort and teamwork of the Michigan IT community to create a powerful and efficient resource. I envision it becoming a critical hub for communities of users to connect.”

ITS, LSA, and OUD have partnered to start building the U-M Software Directory, starting with a select list of software available from three ITS areas: Software Services, Campus Computing Sites, and MiWorkspace. LSA and OUD will be adding their software titles to the directory over the coming months. Following that, the directory team will be ready to welcome additional unit partners aboard.

Current Partners

If you’re interested in partnering in the future to add your unit’s software titles to the directory, please contact its.software@umich.edu.

Visit the U-M Software Directory service page to learn more. In early 2022, the page will be enhanced with more information on what it means to be a partner, the onboarding process, a starter toolkit, and partner-specific support information. You can also self-join the U-M Software Directory MCommunity group to receive future project updates and onboarding opportunity announcements.

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