Distinguished Staff Award
Tyler Preder

Tyler Preder

Telecom Design Engineer, UW Information Technology

Nominated by Mark Strand, Telecommunications Design and Architecture Manager, UWIT/ITI/TDA

Awarded 2020

Having learned of the call for nominations for the Distinguished Staff Award, it is with great pleasure that we both nominate Tyler Preder. Tyler’s work at UW-IT over the past eight years are the embodiment of UW’s core values of integrity, collaboration, innovation and excellence. A few of his accomplishments are:

  • Designing and implementing the state-of-the-art phone system at UW.
  • Collaborating with UW-IT programmers to improve E911 service for campus customers.
  • Developing a spam call-blocking application.
  • Persistently chasing down HIPAA compliance for UW-IT’s Centralized Fax Service.

This has been an exceptional year for Tyler. His most notable achievement this year has been the development of the telecommunications spam call-blocking application. An application that has transformed voice communication at the university. Few commercial applications can perform a similar task. However, these applications come at a significant price tag (generally in excess $10,000/month based on similar sized implementations). In just a few short weeks, Tyler went from a proof-of-concept model to a working call-blocking application mocked up in a lab environment. After months of evaluation and improvement, the real test was to implement the application in the production system.

To devise a process of determining if a call is legitimate or questionable, Tyler used the call data provided by the Avaya telecommunications system to block calls that have a very high probability of being spam calls. These calls range in nature from calls attempting to defraud Chinese students of thousands of dollars with the threat of deportation, to the myriad of cruise lines offering “incredible deals”. Since the spam call-blocking application’s introduction, it has thwarted several large-scale fraud campaigns aimed at the UW community including blocking in excess of 26,000 fraudulent calls in a single 3-hour window on one especially busy day for the fraudsters. Over the past year, the application has blocked over 1.5 million suspected spam calls conservatively saving the UW over 5,000 hours in potential lost productivity.

His work isn’t just impacting a few people in UW-IT; Tyler’s impact is being felt across the entire university at any given hour of any given day. A university publication featured an article about the spam call-blocking application. Several university faculty and staff commented on twitter that they knew something had changed and were thankful that their lives were returning to normal because the constant interruptions caused by the robo-calls/spam calling were becoming increasingly annoying.

Tyler’s dedication to his work at the university doesn’t stop at the spam call-blocking application. He has worked tirelessly for three years to chip away at the endless formalities surrounding HIPAA and FERPA regulations, developing operational guidelines so that UW-IT could support UW Medicine and Research with centralized faxing services.

Tyler’s work in developing a system to ensure calls to 911 from UW telephones show the correct location of the caller has saved UW potentially millions of dollars. Cost estimates to implement a commercial product for processing 911 calls were in excess of $250,000 per year. Tyler was able to develop, in collaboration with programmers within UW-IT, a system using open-source software for less than $50,000 in one-time expenses.

His reputation as an innovator and collaborator is highly regarded throughout the telecommunications community. Tyler’s advice on telecommunications systems and networking is often sought by UW-IT and UW Medicine colleagues. He is also an active member of the Avaya International Users Group, selflessly sharing his expertise and lessons learned at local chapter meetings as well as the annual Avaya Engage conference, where his presentations are among those with the highest attendance.

These examples illustrate the exemplary conduct that Tyler exhibits every day and with everyone that Tyler works with. His leadership, his attention to detail, his thoughtfulness and his selflessness all work together to distinguish Tyler from his peers.

Thank you for your consideration.

Mark Strand
Telecom Design and Architecture Manager
University of Washington, IT Infrastructure

Steve Mack
Telecom Operations Manager
University of Washington, IT Infrastructure

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