Soon, several thousand alumni, more than 7,000 students, and more than 350 faculty and staff of the college will have access to a state-of-the-art email and collaboration system, thanks to a major technology grant from the Hewlett-Packard Company (HP).
“Education is the single, most effective lever for increasing economic prosperity and for growing a diverse, highly-skilled workforce,” said Rui da Costa, managing director for the Latin American and Caribbean regions and vice president, Technology Solutions Group, HP. “Our contribution to the College of Business Administration represents a commitment to establishing a long-term relationship to provide graduates, faculty, and staff with the technology tools necessary to bring their education to a higher level.”
A member of the college’s Dean’s Council, da Costa spoke during a special ceremony and luncheon at the University House on August 2, 2006, where representatives from HP made the technology grant official. University President Modesto A. Maidique, college administrators, department chairs, and several student leaders attended the event.
In his address, da Costa said that Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam’s “endless efforts dedicated to improving every aspect of the college have made this one of the finest institutions of its kind in the country. I am honored to serve as a member of her council.”
Another event highlight: a flash presentation designed by staff from the Technology Center and the Communication, Publications, and Public Relations Office showcased the nature and impact of the HP grant.
New technology enhances college’s IT infrastructure and communication capabilities.
According to Manoel Oliveira, director of the college’s Technology Center, the HP gift “has permitted us to establish an infrastructure that includes a sophisticated messaging and collaboration system, the ability to consolidate our data hardware and manage it from a secure, remote site—through Network Access Point (NAP) of the Americas—and to save physical storage space for our servers.”
With this generous technology gift from HP, the college can not only strengthen its IT infrastructure but also host a collaborative suite of applications that speed and simplify activities such as e-mailing, scheduling, and calendar management. Students, faculty, and staff in the college also can retain permanently their connection to Florida International University via lifelong email addresses.
“Florida International University is developing the future leaders of South Florida and Latin America,” Oliveira said. “Now we are contributing to the creation of a stronger alumni network for the college while improving communication and teaching through the use of these technology tools.”
The new technology offers the capacity to expand the college’s fiber-optic storage space and possibly introduce further enhancements to facilitate mobile and wireless learning in real-time global environments—along with the use of Pocket PC platforms and the creation of a “pocket professor” for executives wanting educational services anytime, anywhere.
Growing partnership between the college and HP offers benefits to all.
According to Elam, the gift allows the college to take a vital step in building a global community.
“We are grateful to HP for showing us how and giving us the means to make this part of our vision a reality,” she said.
Annabelle Rojas (MBA ’98, BBS ’87), director of external relations and resource development agrees.
“The HP team took personal interest in a successful implementation and continues to be a true partner,” she said. “I am proud to have worked with Rui da Costa. He has worked personally on the project to bring together HP employees from Latin America and Miami.”
For his part, da Costa views successful partnerships such as the one between HP and the college as proof positive that collaboration and innovation are the keys to delivering a skilled, flexible workforce to the corporate world.
“Ultimately,” he said, “the key to economic development and prosperity depends on all of us—government, business, and academia alike—working together.”