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Austin Information Technology Center

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Browse through our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on our services. If you have additional questions that are not listed, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

What is meant by the term "franchise fund" and do Austin Information Technology Center (AITC) customers benefit from receiving IT-related services from AITC, a franchise fund?

Franchise Funds were established in Government to promote competition and to reduce the cost of providing common administrative support services. Authorized under the Government Management Reform Act of 1994, the AITC is one of six VA Enterprise Centers offering common administrative services on a fee-for-service basis. No appropriated funding is provided franchise fund organizations, so the success of the AITC depends on our ability to fully recover costs from customer revenue, satisfy customer requirements, and to expand our customer base. The AITC has been very successful in the VA Franchise Fund. Our unit costs have been reduced each year due to increased workloads, new technology, expert contract negotiations, and improved processes. We have also expanded our business with VA and other Federal agencies. All AITC customers have benefited from this success.

How can AITC customers be certain they receive "best-value" IT solutions from AITC?

AITC management believes that its customers should expect no less from AITC than the highest quality products and services at the most economical costs. Because of this commitment, AITC contracts with an industry professional performance measurement firm (usually every other year) to compare the cost efficiency and performance of AITC with similar data centers, public and private. Results of the FY 1998 performance measurement assessment placed AITC’s competitive posture within the top third of commercial data centers with similar profiles. Comments from previous benchmarking studies are offered below…

  • Quality is exemplary in terms of service levels provided to end users.
  • Performance was notably better at the AITC.
  • AITC is more cost efficient than the commercial peer group averages and significantly more cost efficient than other government data centers.

Does the AITC offer multiple processing platforms?

We provide multiple platform options – from stand alone workstations to large-capacity, redundant, clustered servers.

I’m interested in finding out more about AITC products and services. How can I get additional information?

For more information about the AITC, please contact us at 512.326.6005 or via email at dvac@va.gov.

With the current emphasis on government data security, how can I be sure that my data will be securely housed at the AITC?

The AITC offers its customers "Total Information Assurance." All our data and applications are stored on secure servers in a secure environment using the market’s number one intrusion-detection software. Certified security staff run our operations and security is regularly reviewed by a variety of recognized commercial and Federal information security specialists.

How long has the AITC been in operation?

The AITC has been the VA’s corporate data center for over 35 years. Since entering the franchise fund pilot program in FY 1996, the AITC has expanded its business within the VA and other Federal agencies, including General Accounting Office and the National Archives and Records Administration.

I work for a state/local government organization. Can we take advantage of the AITC’s services?

Unfortunately, the AITC only services other Federal clients.

I am a current customer of the AITC. I have forgotten/misplaced my Austin user id and/or password. Where can I get help?

Please call the AITC customer support center (help desk) for assistance. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 512.326.6780.

I am a current customer of the AITC. Where can I find specific information regarding an application run at the Center?

The AITC maintains a large number of application intranet Web sites at vaww.aac.va.gov. Click on "site map" then "application sites" to find the application you are looking for. The AITC also offers comprehensive technical support at 512.326.6780.

What kind of training does the AITC offer for new users?

Through the AITC’s intranet, AITC customers can access online training for S/390 tools, including signing on to timesharing, job control language, and performing file transfers (FTP). This training is available at vaww.aac.va.gov/operations/austin_info.asp. The AITC occasionally offers SAS training. Please visit vaww.aac.va.gov/sastraining/ for more information. The AITC customer support center (help desk) is also a great source of information. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 512.326.6780.

How can I find out about employment opportunities at the AITC?

For employment and benefit information, please visit the Human Resources section of this site. In addition to traditional job openings, the site explains the AITC’s student career program, where college and graduate students can work part time at the AITC while completing their degrees.