A New Year and New Challenges (February 3, 2011)
OneCarolina is just one month into 2011, and Project teams are working full throttle on implementation. A number of milestones have already been achieved (see article "OneCarolina-A Year in Review"), and team members are now looking ahead to major activities, and the Admissions go-live in August.
Over the past few months, team members have set a lot of groundwork during the Project Planning phase. In January,Implementation began, and teams have been at work on multiple fronts. The Student Services team began training core user groups in how to navigate SunGard's Banner software. Functional groups within the team have been busy building course catalogs, working on conversion of student data to the new system, and planning report processes.
The Student Accounts Receivable team began work on detail codes for the Banner system, and will begin training for Fee Assessment and Exemption processes. They have also been collaborating with the Financial Aid team to develop accounting codes in the new system.
The Technical team has achieved several milestones. The identity management system for Banner is now up and running - a major infrastructure piece that will control login security and identities within the new system. Team members have been training on configuring and maintaining the Operational Data Store/Enterprise Data Warehouse (ODS/EDW). They are currently engaged in expanding the base hardware infrastructure to production levels, developing reporting configurations for administrative offices, designing interfaces to the new Admissions systems, and finalizing standards for system architecture and data conventions.
As mentioned above, the Financial Aid team has been working with the Student AR team on account codes. But they have also been working on a number of their own processes. They finished customizing a Virtual Private Database (VPD) that identifies and secures database tables by campus. They are now in process of building rules and configurations for applicant requirements and funds management. Also in development are a work-study payroll system and system links to the Federal Department of Education.
The Admissions team is now well into implementing their section of the Student Services module. Power users are being trained in Banner, and will be running the first of three mock tests of the full system. In these tests, end-users will enter data, process admissions requests, and test various administrative workflows. Results and comments will be recorded, and refinements will be made prior to the subsequent test runs.
Once the system is stabilized, full training of Admissions field staff will begin. Admissions is slated to go live in August of this year. At that time, campus Admissions offices will begin processing admission requests for the Fall 2012 term. "Our mock test in February will be the first big hurdle on our Admissions implementation," says Bob Swab, OneCarolina Project Director. "We're all pretty excited about seeing the system actually working for the first time."