Department of Information Technology
The Information Technology (IT) Department assesses the technology and informational needs of the Archdiocese as a whole and recommends and implements solutions to meet those needs.
Theo Nicolakis, Chief Information Officer
Vijay Jayaraman, Consultant, Network and Systems Engineer
Abhishek Joshi, Network and Systems Administrator
Jacob Gorny, Database Administrator
Mike Slavescu, IT Consultant
Vinoth Panneer, IT Consultant
Harish Prasanna, IT Consultant
Sonia Skounaki, Office Manager
MISSION AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The IT Department’s mission and charge exists to aid in proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Information Technology (IT) Department is responsible for overseeing all Archdiocesan technologies. The IT Department provides strategic visioning, development, and operational support to the Archdiocese. Thus, the mission of the IT Department is multifaceted and includes:
- Developing and implementing the Archdiocese’s overall technology strategy and strategic plan
- Overseeing and approving all technological development, applications and services for the Archdiocese and all her Departments
- Evaluating emerging technologies
- Generating technology policies and procedures
- Setting and enforcing digital graphics standards
- Establishing Archdiocesan technology standards and compliance guidelines
- Creating secure, reliable and effective information systems within the Archdiocese and between the Archdiocese, its Metropolises, institutions, organizations, and parishes.
- Maintaining the infrastructure that supports those systems
- Providing technical support to the people who use those systems
The fulfillment of this mission involves assessing the technology and informational needs of the Archdiocese as a whole, recommending, and implementing solutions to meet those needs. The IT Department is responsible for all computer operations and systems at the Archdiocese. Coordinating technology efforts in the various Archdiocesan departments, organizations and institutions is also a focal point for the Department in order to provide standardization of technology and improve the speed, efficiency and accuracy of information shared and disseminated. The IT Department also works closely with the Department of Internet Ministries, which is the department directly responsible for digital ministry to the parishes and parishioners of the Archdiocese.
NATIONWIDE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM
A national initiative to connect every Metropolis and parish to the Internet has begun. Under this plan, each Metropolis will maintain a local Internet ministry team coordinated by the Archdiocese, which will maintain and update the Metropolitan web sites, as well as coordinate Internet connectivity of every parish in each Metropolis. This program exists in conjunction with the Information Technology Department’s Free Computer Program to connect every parish in the Archdiocese to the Internet.
FREE COMPUTER PROGRAM
Inaugurated by the IT Department in 2001—and developed with the Archdiocese Presbyters Council (APC), the Department of Stewardship Ministries and the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries—eight retired computer systems were given to Saint Basil Academy and 34 others were donated to the Archdiocese’s neediest parishes with a full-time priest and financial data on file with the Stewardship Department. Under this program, the youth of the parish are required to help setup the system and create a web presence for the parish. As more systems become available, they are allocated according to need. The IT Department aims to expand this program to provide a free computer system to every parish in the Archdiocese and connect them to the Internet.
NEW TELEPHONE SYSTEM AND PHONE AUDIT
Installation of the new telephone system at the Archdiocese was finished in March 2002 and yields an annual savings of $40,000 by taking advantage of new technologies. This, combined with the ongoing phone audit that began in 1999, has recovered nearly $500,000 in refunds and credits due largely to the pro bono assistance of Mr. Ted Apostoleris, President of Great Lakes Telecom and member of the IT Technology Committee.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Niarchos Foundation, the IT Department has been working in cooperation with the Archdiocese Archives Department to digitize photos, documents and artwork to create an exhaustive searchable database made available online to clergy, the faithful, and historians. Starting with the archives of His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, this represents the start of a historical infrastructure in which a Master Archive will be built to reflect the Archdiocese and all its members.
NEW INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES
The IT Department completed systematic upgrades of both Archdiocesan systems and facilities at Saint Basil Academy. After renovation of the new technology center at the Archdiocese a new wide area data network and telephone system was installed in May 2002, which provides high-speed Internet service and network access. Interconnectivity is now possible between Saint Basil and the Archdiocese. Plans to provide the same interconnectivity between all Metropolises and their institutions, as well as remote Archdiocesan departments through a Virtual Private Network (VPN), will take advantage of cost savings and further enhance productivity.
The Technology Committee acts as an advisory body that has been created to assist the Archdiocese in its technology endeavors. The Technology Committee is a formal committee on the Archdiocesan Council. The committee members are actively involved with the IT Department and Internet Ministries Department in various projects. The clergy and lay committee members are made up of both technology and non-technology professional from across the Archdiocese.
The IT and Internet Ministries Departments along with the Technology Committee have developed a strategic technology plan for the Archdiocese called the “Alexander Project.” The initiative is named after Alexander the Great whose conquests:
- Unified the disparate Greek city states
- Established Greek as the common language throughout the world
- Laid the foundation for Christians to utilize Greek to spread the saving message of the Gospel throughout the nations
Following in this legacy of our faith and heritage, the Alexander Project aims to:
- Unify the geographically diverse metropolises, parishes, and the Archdiocese with desperately needed centralized system for parishioner management
- Establish a set of technology standards and a unified technology architecture that will allow for seamless interoperability across systems and services
- Leverage this dynamic tool for Orthodox Christian ministry
Among its many benefits, this strategic technology plan will digitize the Archdiocese’s antiquated sacramental registry, provide a mechanism for instantaneous parishioner updates throughout the Archdiocese, and create a personalized and tailored ministry and educational experience for parishioners based upon their role within the Church.