The STePS Office has its beginning in 1979. It was initially named UST Computer Center (USTCC), primarily established to provide the University a facility that would handle computerized services. At that time, most of the tasks were mainly focused on the grading system—computerized listing of students, computerized grading sheets for faculty members, and computerized transcripts of records.
Over the years, however, as the demand for more computerization of day-to-day transactions of the University grew, the UST Computer Center has gradually evolved and branched out into three discrete divisions namely, the Computing Services (EDP), Communication Services (Networking), and Information System Development (ISD—Software Development). From there, the three divisions worked hand in hand to meet the needs of the University and came up with different systems that are hitherto being implemented. Among the salient systems being maintained are the admission system, student grading and billing system, online enrollment system, faculty and non-academic payroll system, and faculty system.
Barely a decade ago, the UST Computer Center has so expanded its operations that it necessitated a change in its name that aptly betokens the current sign of the time, whence the name STePs, an acronym for Santo Tomas e-Service Providers. Corollary to this, the three divisions were also renamed, thus, Computer Services and Helpdesk (Computing Services), Network and Hardware Operations (Communication Services), and Software and Applications System Development (ISD—Software Development). Alongside this makeover, the Software and Applications System Development Team, which is mostly composed of programmers and developers, is now housed at the UST Data Center Building (beside the TARC Building), while the Computer Services and Helpdesk and the Network and Hardware Operations Teams are still staying in the west wing mezzanine floor at the University’s Main Building.
Basically, the Helpdesk Team assists in some of the processing, printing, and encoding jobs of the University and acts as trainers for users of newly implemented software. The Software and Applications System Development Team functions as the think-tank of the University, who, besides maintaining all current application programs of the University, are in charge of developing applications, programs, and all other systems related to the computerized needs of the University. Lastly, the Network and Hardware Operations Team handles all matters related to wired connectivity and wireless connection, system infrastructure, maintenance of servers, and all other hardware requisites of the University. Also, it functions as the overseer of all the computerized operations of the University. Working collaboratively, the three divisions of STePS serve as the service arm of the University, ensuring its vital role in the pursuance of quality instruction, reports, research, and administration.
All in all, the STePS Office handles all services that pertain to computerized systems that befit high-quality academic institution—from home-grown applications to Wi-Fi connections.