Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

July 2017

0 Commentsby   |  08.07.17  |  Banner, Business Intelligence, Security, Uncategorized

Did You Know?

We increased third-party application integrations by 34% over the last four years, which represents the largest growth in our service portfolio.  This increase follows a national trend where institutions are frequently adopting cloud-based solutions that integrate with core services like Banner and single sign-on.  Some of our most recent integrations include Barnes & Noble for ID card usage in the bookstore, TeamDynamix for IT support ticket management, and What’s Happening on the Hill for Student Life activities.  We have five new integrations scheduled for completion over the next six months.

Discoverer Transition

The Business Intelligence office is on track to transition Discoverer reports to Cognos by December 31, 2017. Discoverer users have been contacted about transition plans. Please visit the Analytics blog for more information about the transition.

Are You Considering A New Software Implementation?

Please include us, even if the IT impact seems minimal so that we can ask questions, provide feedback, and plan ahead before committing.  We compiled some questions on our New Software Inquiry page to help guide those who are exploring a new software or service. You can share this page with a potential vendor so that they can answer the questions directly.

Are You Practicing Safe Social Networking?

Millions of Internet users engage in social networking, and many of them assume they are in a safe, controlled environment. However, social networking presents unique security challenges and risks.  Here are some tips to use social media safely and own your online presence.

Banner 9 Project Update

We are making more progress towards completion of the Administrative Banner updates we have planned for the rest of the year:

  • We will install updates to many existing Banner 9 components over the next two weeks, which will resolve numerous issues and prepare us for the start of the Fall 2017 term.
  • We are providing user training sessions to better prepare folks for Banner 9, with seven sessions scheduled over the next two and a half weeks.
  • The first Accounts Receivable 9 update is tentatively scheduled to go live this month.
  • The first Financial Aid 9 update is ready for testing with a go-live to-be-determined.

July 2017 by the Numbers

  • 164 end-user support requests resolved (new record for month of July)
  • 65 development and administration issues resolved (new record for month of July)
  • 11 projects-in-progress
  • project completed
  • 5 projects requested
  • 99.99% average uptime

February 2017

0 Commentsby   |  03.07.17  |  Uncategorized

February 2017 by the numbers:

  • 161 end-user support requests resolved
  • 84 development and administration issues resolved
  • 99 development and administration issues created
  • projects in-progress
  • project completed
  • 3 projects requested
  • 99.97% average uptime
  • 146 people attended Banner 9 information sessions

Security Tips for Traveling at Home and Abroad

We all like to travel with our mobile devices (smartphones, laptops, or tablets) — whether it’s to the coffee shop around the corner or to a café in Paris. These devices make it easy for us to stay connected while on the go, but they can also store a lot of information — including contacts, photos, videos, location, and other personal and financial data — about ourselves and our friends and family. Here are some ways to protect yourself and others.

Banner XE is Banner 9

Ellucian announced in early February that Banner XE, the next major update, has been rebranded as Banner 9, which is the version number associated with the new release.  Our first set of updates for Banner have been delayed as a result of critical issues that we identified in late February.  We hope to announce a go-live date in the next few weeks.

What else is going on?

  • Banner projects – We are in the midst of multiple projects related to the Banner 9 updates, including finalization of the first phase of updates as well as planning the next phases (Finance, Human Resources and Student).  We are also working on multiple development projects to migrate some of our custom Banner forms into the new Banner 9 interface.
  • Data integration maintenance – We have been working on multiple data integration maintenance projects, which includes Activity Insight (Provost’s Office), Reeher (Advancement), and Follett (ACU Online).
  • Financial Aid – We are working with our colleagues in Student Financial Services to prepare for personnel transitions as well as tasks related to the 2017-2018 financial aid awarding cycle.

 

October 2016

0 Commentsby   |  11.07.16  |  Uncategorized

October 2016 by the numbers:

  • 151 end-user support requests resolved
  • 104 development and administration issues resolved
  • 97 new development and administration issues created
  • projects in-progress
  • projects completed
  • 99.99% average uptime

Did you know?

The threat of identity theft (ID theft) is real, and it can take months or years to recover once you become a victim. Recent statistics show that each year approximately 15 million U.S. residents have their identities used fraudulently. In addition, nearly 100 million Americans have their personal information placed at risk of theft each year when records in databases are lost, stolen, or accessed by unauthorized individuals.  Here are some tips to help prevent ID theft.

What else is going on?

  • Personnel changes –  We are moving one of our Systems Analysts, Brennan Turner, into the open programmer position, which means that we are searching for a Systems Analyst.  We are currently reviewing applicants and will start interviews soon.
  • ACU Dallas campus projects – We are working on multiple projects for the Dallas campus, including improvements to student billing and integration with a new textbook vendor.
  • Travel and expense management – We are in the final stages of data integration work for our new travel and expense management system, Concur.  Select employees will start piloting the new system soon.

See October 2016 – Resolved Issues for more details.

 

July 2016

0 Commentsby   |  08.08.16  |  Uncategorized

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

  • 49 development issues and 132 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.97%.
  • Did you know? Computing Services personnel have a combined 120 years of service in the information technology industry and a collective 71 years of service to ACU.  Our highly-skilled team creates, installs, maintains and supports a service portfolio that includes many technologies, hosting configurations, clients, programming languages and vendors.
  • Banner updates – We are working with campus colleagues to install and test a set of updates for Banner that are necessary for upcoming Ellucian Extensible Ecosystem (Ellucian XE) upgrades.  Our current project is focused on the XE Registration upgrade, which will modernize and improve the class registration process for students.
  • Travel and expense management – Work is well under way to implement data integration for a new travel and expense management application that will go live later this fall.  We are collaborating with folks from Finance and Operations as well as our vendor to implement the necessary integration with Banner.
  • Summer maintenance and start of Fall 2016 – We wrapped up updates to the Banner infrastructure, the CBORD CS Gold campus ID card system, and Xythos (myACU Files) last month.  We are working on final updates to myACU and blogs this week before entering a change moratorium from Monday, August 15th, until Tuesday, September 6th.  The next three weeks will be busy as we wrap up summer projects and support faculty, staff and students at the start of the term.

See July 2016 – Resolved Issues for more details.

 

June 2016

0 Commentsby   |  07.07.16  |  Uncategorized

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

  • 74 development issues and 143 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.96%.
  • Did you know? For many years, we have equipped faculty with a set of course tools that are easily activated and configured through myACU.  The current tool set includes Blog, Calendar, Canvas, and Files (Classfolders and Dropboxes).  Tools are enabled with a few clicks in myACU and automatically provide access to all faculty, students and teaching assistants associated with a course.  Faculty can create the Blog and Canvas tools as a copy of a previous course so that they can start with previously-used content.
  • Banner updates – Work is well under way to implement the next generation of the Banner platform with applications like Employee Profile and Student Advising Profile already in production.  The Ellucian Extensible Ecosystem, or simply Ellucian XE, will provide a modern web interface that is mobile, simple and flexible.  Those who use Internet Native Banner (aka INB, Big Banner and Banner Forms) will be pleased that INB will be completely web-based with no Java requirement.  The complete XE project is expected to take the next 18 to 24 months to complete.
  • Summer upgrades and improvements – We have multiple summer upgrades scheduled over the next month, including major updates to the Banner infrastructure, myACU and the CBORD CS Gold campus ID card system.  Most of this work should be completed by the end of this month.

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

 

May 2016

0 Commentsby   |  06.03.16  |  Uncategorized

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

  • 90 development issues and 162 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.86%.
  • Fast Fact – During fiscal year 2016 (June 2015 through May 2016), we implemented nine new services and removed six services.  We now maintain a service portfolio of 129 unique applications, backend services and data integrations.  We anticipate increasing this total as the result of multiple projects that are in progress now.
  • InTouch major update – In mid-May we deployed a major update to the InTouch mobile app that Advancement and campus leaders use.  This major update provides continued support for iOS and introduced the ability for the app to be installed on Android devices.
  • Parent Portal – Data integration for a new parent portal was completed this week.  This new offering will be announced to parents at New Student Orientation next week with parents being invited to begin signing up on Tuesday.
  • Travel and expense management – Earlier this week we kicked off a project with Finance and Operations to implement data integration for a new travel and expense management application.  We will be working with Finance and the selected vendor for the next five to six months.
  • Summer upgrades and improvements – In mid-May we successfully completed a major update of the Talisma CRM (undergraduate admissions).  More upgrades and improvements are scheduled over the next two months, including major updates to the Banner infrastructure, myACU and the CBORD CS Gold campus ID card system.  Most of this work should be completed by the end of July.

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

 

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.