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BIT Staff Assist at SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is an industry sponsored organization to promote technical skills for high school and postsecondary/college students that will help them be successful in their chosen careers.  There are a multitude of competitions across diverse disciplines of study.  For a complete list of the competitions please visit: http://skillsusa.org/competitions/skillsusa-championships/contest-descriptions/.  This year’s SkillsUSA state competition was held in Watertown, SD at Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI).  BIT staff assisted as two of three judges for the Internetworking competition.

There were a total of six students competing in the Internetworking competition, two first year students and four second year students, all from LATI.  The competition challenged students in four distinct disciplines necessary for success in an Internetworking career: network cabling, configuring network devices for end-to-end connectivity, taking a call as a remote technical support agent (referred to as the TAC call), and an online multiple choice exam.

Wayne Wayt of the BIT Network Technologies team judged the network cabling portion.  Students were tasked with constructing three common types of network cabling used in industry in 30 minutes, and all cables needed to pass both visual and technical inspections.  Two of the six students managed to complete all three cables, but only one did so successfully.

Andy Ogan, also of Network Technologies, returned to judge his fifth SkillsUSA competition, participating in the TAC call as the frustrated end-user seeking assistance.  In ten minutes, students needed to listen to the user describe the issue within the network, look at the network documentation provided, and guide the user through a series of diagnostic tests and troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue.  Students were judged on not only their ability to solve the technical components of the challenge, but their customer service skills, speaking and listening skills, poise, and handling of the call.  Most students scored well in the customer service portion of the task, but only one student successfully solved the issue in the allotted time.

At the end of the competition, medalists were announced.  The final scores gave the Gold to Dylan Hanten, Silver to Eric Wise, and Bronze to Devin Bagaus.  Dylan will be traveling to Louisville, Kentucky to compete at the national level of SkillsUSA, and we wish him the best of luck.

BIT’s Strategic Plan Overview

The Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) strives to partner and collaborate with clients in support of their missions through innovative information technology consulting, systems and solutions.  BIT is made up of the following divisions: Administration, Data Center, Development, Telecommunications and South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB). Each division is committed to providing quality customer services to ensure the state’s I/T organization is responsive, reliable and well-aligned to support the business needs of the State of South Dakota.

BIT is working toward three common goals focused on intended outcomes/results. BIT’s Strategic Plan shapes and guides what BIT is, who we serve, what we do and why we do it, with a focus on the future.  Visit http://bit.sd.gov/about/BIT-Strategic-Plan for a complete look at BIT’s strategic plan including the goals, strategies, tactics and projects that make it up.

The following are BIT’s Strategic Plan goals:

  1. Provide a Reliable, Secure and Modern Infrastructure.Provide a well-designed and architected, secure computing and communications environment to ensure optimal service delivery to our business partners. Architecture and process will be optimized to support agile and reliable computing and communication services.

    Technology assets must be high-performing and dependable to ensure services are available whenever needed. Centralization, standardization, and collaboration are vital to efficiently leverage investments. To maintain public trust, we must secure data and technology assets through leading security tools, policies, and practices.

  2. Deliver Valuable Services at Economical Costs.Develop innovative and cost-effective solutions through collaboration, cooperation, and in partnership with our clients. The solution sets include developing customized business solutions, efficient project management services and productive relationships with clients.

    “People should be online, not waiting in line.”

  3. Build and Retain a Highly Skilled Workforce. Improve the effectiveness, productivity and satisfaction of employees in order to attract (and retain) a highly qualified workforce to foster individual innovation and professional growth. Appropriate training and tools will be provided to enhance and improve career skills in the workforce.