Mngr, Dist App Platform Svcs

Northwestern University   •  

Evanston, IL

Industry: Education.


5 - 7 years

Posted 422 days ago

This job is no longer available.


Job Summary

The Manager of Distributed Application Platform Services leads a team responsible for system administration of Northwestern University’s multi-tier enterprise applications and ERP solutions hosted on premise and at third-party and cloud hosting providers. The incumbent must possess excellent customer service skills and leadership-level communication and presentation skills. Develops productive relationships with IT and business leaders across the university. Defines service level expectations (SLE) with application owners and measures success by meeting those expectations. Uses advanced people management skills to develop employee skills and continuously improve staff performance. Directs team through growth opportunities and organizational and technological transitions. Maintains positive relationships with hosting providers and other third-party suppliers. Responsible for strategic planning and future direction of application infrastructure architecture. Sets performance expectations and creates an environment of accountability to effectively deliver and support application infrastructure and system administration through the complete lifecycle of all applications.

Specific Responsibilities


  • People manager for team of at least 8 individuals, responsible for mentorship, career development, workload assignments, technical oversight, building opportunities for individual growth of employees, and conducting performance reviews
  • Personnel “resource planning” to effectively guide teams’ workload
  • Foster and maintain positive relationships and interaction with customer base across IT and the University community
  • Financial management: Forecasting, operational and capital budget planning, cost-benefit analysis, vendor negotiations, salary reviews

Planning and Collaboration

  • Guides team to operate in our ITIL based process model, creates metrics and measures, and directs performance of team with a focus on continuous improvement
  • Act as project sponsor and project executive
  • Effectively manages risk
  • Work closely with and guide project managers
  • May directly run small to medium projects

Design & Implementation

  • Maintain awareness of evolving information technologies
  • Direct team in the evaluation, planning, and implementation of new application platforms.
  • Guide evaluation, planning, and implementation of on premise and vendor hosted and cloud based solutions
  • Foster relationships with our vendors. Coordinate vendor product demonstrations, setup evaluation criteria, and guide recommendations for purchase of new hardware and software


  • Represents team on leadership calls regarding project planning and remediation of hardware and software issues
  • Ensures team is performing proper maintenance across all infrastructure (Software, Compute, network, storage, backup)
  • Guide team in responding to technical audits


  • Guide the design and implementation of short and long term strategic platform changes and expansions
  • Ensure team maintains and communicates appropriate policies and procedures for infrastructure administration


  • Craft and reward positive and collaborative communication and team work within and across the organization
  • Supervise team on consulting engagements with Application Systems Owners, Development teams, Infrastructure teams, and Service Operations, to diagnose and resolve problems in a timely fashion while stressing user service and focusing on root cause analysis and resolution.
  • Guide team to utilize available tools to monitor system performance and establish and track operational metrics
  • Participate in 24×7 on-call rotation schedule

Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree or appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • 5 or more years of relevant experience.
  • Experience in managing/leading technology teams supporting multi-tier application and infrastructure platforms
  • Ability to use good judgment in interpreting and adapting policies, precedents and work directions for appropriateness to specific tasks or problems.
  • Ability to maintain composure and work effectively in a high pressure setting
  • Vendor management experience
  • Cloud environment knowledge and experience (AWS, Azure, or other 3rd party hosted environments)
  • Knowledge of application programming development functions
  • Financial acumen (Previous experience negotiating and facilitating technology purchases, contractor arrangements, and managing budgets)
  • Collaboration - Facilitates open and effective communication, cooperation and teamwork within and outside of one's own team.
  • Communication - Communicates strategically to achieve specific objectives using varied vehicles and opportunities.
  • Conceptual ability - Deals effectively, not just with concrete tangible issues, but also with abstract conceptual matters.
  • Conflict management - Exhibits understanding of natural sources of conflict and acts to prevent or soften them.
  • Critical and analytical thinking - Uses logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Customer & personal service - Assesses customer needs; meets quality standards for services; evalutes customer satisfaction. 
  • Dependability - Completes duties and responsibilities appropripeltly and on time.
  • Ethics and integrity - Incorporates honesty, respect and fairness in daily actions
  • Flexibility - Adapts quickly/effortlessly to changing environments.
  • Initiative - Exhibits energy and desire to achieve; sets ambitious goals and acts decisively; takes action that no one has requested to improve or enhance job results and avoid problems.
  • Judgment; decision making; discretion - Considers the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Leadership - Inspires people to follow the lead, obtains input from others, facilitates change, inspires confidence and optimism through a clear vision and by personal example.
  • Listening - Actively listens to others' opinions and ideas; respects and seeks to understand differences in opinions.
  • Meets deadlines - Displays consistency and success in adhering to deadlines.
  • Java