April 2016

0 Commentsby   |  05.05.16  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for April 2016 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 68 development issues and 126 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.95%.
  • Did you know? Since May 2012, Ellucian Customer Success has provided remote administration of our Oracle databases as well as the installation, configuration and administration of Banner and related services. This partnership gives us access to Oracle and Banner expertise that we do not have in-house and has helped us more effectively manage a core part of the university’s software portfolio.
  • Banner Workflow – As mentioned last month, we are in the midst of a revitalization effort with the goal of reducing manual processes that are better served with automation. The first phase is focused on training and improvements to the existing workflow processes.  In phase two, we will work with staff from the Registrar’s Office to create new workflow processes to automate manual, paper-based processes.
  • Summer upgrades and improvements – We have a full slate of upgrades and improvements scheduled over the next few months, which include major updates to the Banner infrastructure, a Talisma CRM upgrade, a myACU upgrade and an update to the CBORD CS Gold campus ID card system.  We anticipate having most of this work completed by the end of July.
  • Project planning – We met with senior leaders in April to confirm prioritization of key projects and share our project delivery plans through mid-2017.  Senior leaders identified some key weighting criteria that laid the groundwork for an improved prioritization process.

See April 2016 – Resolved Issues for a more in-depth summary.

 

March 2016

0 Commentsby   |  04.08.16  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for March 2016 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 81 development issues and 118 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.82%.
  • Did you know? Part of ACU’s Banner software portfolio includes Banner Workflow, which automates, simplifies, and directs the flow of information based on events that occur in Banner.  We are in the midst of a revitalization effort with the goal of reducing manual processes that are better served with automation. We look forward to implementing new workflow processes in the coming months.
  • Banner Employee Profile – We deployed our first Ellucian XE application, Employee Profile, in early March.  The Banner Employee Profile gives employees a consolidated view into their personal, employment, and job-related information.  Employees can access the application through the Banner link in myACU and then go to the Employee tab.
  • Project planning and prioritization – We are working with senior leaders and campus partners to prioritize and plan projects that have been requested for completion over the next six months.  The next six months will require our effort to develop and integrate multiple software solutions to support the growing technology needs of the ACU communities.

See March 2016 – Resolved Issues for a more in-depth summary.

 

February 2016

0 Commentsby   |  03.04.16  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for February 2016 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 86 development issues and 133 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.44%.
  • Fast fact – Computing Services maintains a complex set of integrations that allow applications to work seamlessly through a single login and automated sharing of data between applications.  We maintain close to 40 data integrations that support applications such as Canvas LMS, School Dude (facilities management and support), and TouchNet e-commerce.  We were pioneers in providing users with access to many web-based applications through a single login, including Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe eSign Services, and Medicat (Medical Clinic patient portal).  We are regularly creating new integrations as the campus adopts new applications.
  • Adobe eSign Services – We are working with Kristy Strickland, Director of Communications and Technology Training, and campus offices to create custom web forms that initiate processes to gather digital signatures.  This will significantly improve many processes, including some that have been paper-based.
  • Banner Employee Profile – We are very close to release of Employee Profile in production, which will be our first Ellucian XE application deployment. The Banner Employee Profile gives employees a consolidated view into their personal, employment, and job-related information.
  • New Student Orientation registration – We have been reprogramming the New Student Orientation registration application that was originally created a decade ago.  We intend to have the new application ready for use when registration opens in April.

See  February 2016 – Resolved Issues for a more in-depth summary.

 

January 2016

0 Commentsby   |  02.17.16  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for January 2016 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 71 development issues and 172 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.95%.
  • Fast fact – In 2015, 67.4 million email messages were sent and received through our primary acu.edu domain in Gmail, 2.2 million files were stored in Google Drive and 7,014 video Hangouts occurred.
  • Did you know? Google introduced a feature in Hangouts that allows guests without a Google account to access video calls.  This new feature is available for guests joining with a web browser, making it easy for ACU folks using Hangouts to meet with anyone – inside or outside of the organization, with or without a Google account.
  • Banner planning meetings – We are meeting with key contacts for each of the Banner modules we use (Advancement, Finance, Student, etc.), which is a renewed effort to proactively manage and use Banner.  The first meetings include review of Ellucian’s online resources, on-boarding of new employees who use Banner, on-going training, testing plans and available updates.  We intend to meet regularly to develop and maintain a long-term release plan for near-term updates as well as the Ellucian XE changes that are coming.
  • Financial Aid awarding – We are working with our campus partners to produce 2016-2017 financial aid awards for incoming and returning students.  This work includes Banner updates, setup of data in the Banner test environment and creation of a new email notification solution for student aid requirements.
  • Data and application security – We consider the security of users, applications and data to be a core part of our work.  We regularly install updates to address known issues, research potential problems that may affect systems and users, and quickly react to situations that are discovered.  We work closely with our colleagues in Enterprise Infrastructure and Technology Support to address these issues and identify best practices to help us be proactive in the future.

See  January 2016 – Resolved Issues for a more in-depth summary.

 

December 2015

0 Commentsby   |  01.08.16  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for December 2015 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 96 development issues and 107 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.85%.
  • Fast fact – Our campus ID card system, CS Gold, provides access to 312 locations across campus.  Locations include campus dining registers, card readers in Moody Coliseum for chapel, numerous readers for door access, and readers at CitySquare in Dallas.  There were a total of 2,196,865 transactions recorded in the CS Gold ledger for 2015, which includes all meal plan activity, card swipes for door access, card purchases in The Campus Store and student changes to meal plans.
  • Did you know? The Operations division announced a new mission statement in late-2015: “We have the desire, knowledge, and expertise to help the communities of ACU achieve their goals.”  Operations is led by Kevin Roberts, VP of Operations, and includes personnel in Construction and Risk Management, Facilities and Campus Management and Information Technology.
  • Motorhelp updates – We applied a number of updates to Motorhelp, IT’s custom-written application for customer service and support.  Many of the changes are intended to improve our change management process and associated communication.
  • Banner updates – We appreciate the help of folks in multiple campus offices to prepare and complete approximately 35 updates to Banner the weekend before Christmas and earlier this week.  The updates addressed needs for year-end reporting, 2016 tax changes and pre-requisites for Ellucian XE applications.  We will install additional updates later this month before installing our first Ellucian XE applications.
  • Start-of-term preparation – We have been busy preparing for the start of the Spring 2016 term next week.  We have been working on updates to other applications such as Blogs, door access changes, meal plan setup, and general support of faculty preparing for their classes.

See  December 2015 – Resolved Issues for a more in-depth summary.

 

November 2015

0 Commentsby   |  12.18.15  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for November 2015 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 75 development issues and 92 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.95%.
  • Fast fact – Since August 1st, 372 unique users have logged into Internet Native Banner (aka Big Banner).  INB users have accounted for 1,285,082 form accesses with the most-used forms including Financial Aid Record Maintenance (ROARMAN), Student General Information Form (SZIGENI), Advancement Identification (APAIDEN), Process Submission Controls (GJAPCTL), and General Comment Form (GZACOMM).
  • Banner updates – We will apply multiple Banner updates this weekend in preparation for year-end reporting and Ellucian XE applications we will install in January.
  • End-of-term maintenance – There are some regularly-scheduled maintenance activities that take place near or after the end of the Fall 2015 term.  This work includes support of final grade entry by faculty, end-of-year Banner updates, door access changes with our ID card system (CS Gold), meal plan rollover for the spring, and support of the student billing process for the Spring 2016 term.

See November 2015 – Resolved Issues for a more in-depth summary.

 

October 2015

0 Commentsby   |  11.16.15  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for October 2015 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 82 development issues and 131 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.97%.
  • Fast fact – Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox account for 91% of traffic in myACU thus far in the Fall 2015 term.  Chrome is the most popular browser with 44% of user sessions followed by Safari with 36% and Firefox with 11%.
  • Did you know? ACU has an agreement with Microsoft to provide Office 365 to our students and employees for free.  You can find more details about this on the Team55 website.
  • New Systems Analyst – We are excited to have a new Systems Analyst, Brennan Turner, on board as of October 26th.  Brennan is currently training to support the services we manage and is already involved in work to support Banner and the Ellucian XE project.
  • Ellucian XE – We are working with multiple functional areas on campus to test prerequisite Banner updates in preparation for the next major release of Banner.  The Ellucian Extensible Ecosystem (or simply, “XE”) will provide a web-friendly interface that Ellucian intends to be mobile, simple and flexible.  Those who use Internet Native Banner (aka INB, Big Banner and Banner Forms) will be pleased to know that this part of Banner will be completely web-based with no dependency on Java.  We have targeted a rollout of our first XE applications by the end of the year.  The complete XE project will take the next 18 to 24 months to complete.

See October 2015 -Resolved Issues for a more in-depth summary.

 

September 2015

0 Commentsby   |  10.16.15  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for September 2015 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 62 development issues and 148 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.88%.
  • Fast fact – October is National Cyber Security Awareness month.  As technology changes, we need to become more conscious of the potential cyber threats that exist.  Information Technology is offering weekly sessions to show how you can keep your data safe.  Please visit the Technology Support blog for more information.
  • Did you know? Gmail includes a Labs featured called Canned Responses that is useful when you find yourself sending a routine message.  Canned responses allow you to compose a response and reuse it as many times as you would like. You can create and save as many canned responses as you like and give each one a descriptive title to make finding it later quick and easy.
  • Personnel change – One of our longtime Systems Analysts accepted a job opportunity and left us in mid-August.  The last two months have been tough, but we are excited to have a new team member join us on October 26th.
  • Innovation project – Development has started on the winning innovation idea presented by a cross-functional IT team this past spring.  We are working with a free-lance developer to create an application that will allow users to associate themselves with a particular location at a particular time.  The application will support multiple use cases, including small group chapels and class attendance.
  • Ellucian XE – We are working with Ellucian to plan and implement the next major release of Banner.  The Ellucian Extensible Ecosystem (or simply, “XE”) will provide a web-friendly interface that Ellucian intends to be mobile, simple and flexible.  We anticipate rollout out the first of many XE applications by the end of the year.

See September 2015 – Resolved Issues for a more in-depth summary.

 

August 2015

0 Commentsby   |  09.12.15  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for August 2015 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 78 development issues and 200 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.86%.
  • Fast fact – During the first week of school there were 95,223 user sessions in myACU, which was a 14% increase compared to the first week of school last year. 40% of all sessions were from mobile and tablet devices.
  • Did you know? Google Calendar includes a “Find a Time” feature, which can help schedule a meeting at a time that works for everyone.  This is a good alternative to third-party tools such as Doodle where you have to poll people for availability.
  • Salesforce at ACU Dallas – ACU Dallas will go live with Salesforce as their CRM this week.  This completes a project that we have been preparing for since last fall.  The project includes functionality to integrate Salesforce with Banner, similar to the existing integration between Talisma CRM and Banner.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud – The student pilot of Adobe Creative Cloud is underway with approximately 500 students for the fall before a full release in Spring 2016.  Adobe shared that we are one of their first enterprise customers to integrate single sign-on.
  • Degree Works upgrade – We completed an upgrade of Degree Works last week, which supports academic advising and degree planning.  This update includes a number of new features, including enhancements to the Student Educational Planner (SEP), which can help students and advisors plan an efficient academic journey.  This update will allow us to upgrade our Operational Data Store (ODS) later this fall, which will provide new reporting options for Degree Works.
  • Start of school – Our group has been busy helping faculty, staff and students gear up for the Fall 2015 term.  Our work included typical start-of-school tasks, such as preparing the meal plan system for use, door access for residence halls and classrooms, and support of course tools such as myACU and Canvas.

See August 2015 – Resolved Issues for a more in-depth summary.

 

July 2015

0 Commentsby   |  08.14.15  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for July 2015 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 59 development issues and 153 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.87%.
  • Fast fact – We completed work earlier this month to fully integrate Canvas LMS with Banner and myACU.   446 Canvas courses have been created for the Fall 2015 term, which includes 3,857 students.  This will be our first term to use Canvas as our single LMS.
  • ACU Dallas CRM – We are in the midst of work with Apex IT, our implementation partner, to develop functionality in Salesforce to support recruiting and admissions.  The first phase of this work is targeted for completion at the beginning of September, which includes functionality to integration Salesforce with Banner.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud – We finished implementing single sign-on with Adobe Creative Cloud earlier this month.  ACU will be piloting student access with approximately 500 to 600 students this fall in preparation for a full release in Spring 2016.
  • Student-submitted ID photos – We are working with the Depot to introduce functionality that will allow incoming students to submit their ID photos online.  This will improve the New Student Orientation experience, which includes standing in a long line to have photos taken and IDs printed for pickup later.  We will offer this service to a pilot group of students attending orientation next week.
  • Summer maintenance – We have wrapped up multiple projects to update applications and prepare services for the fall.  This included cooperation with Enterprise Infrastructure to move multiple applications and databases to new servers.

See July 2015 – Resolved Issues for a more in-depth summary.