OneCarolina Update (May 9, 2011)
A lot of hard work and sweat-equity has gone into the OneCarolina Project so far, and we are finally seeing some tangible results. Over this past month, we've had a successful Mock 2A test of the Admissions system, which also tested major components of the operational infrastructure. Our teams have also made significant headway in report development, finalizing data warehouse standards, and - a major milestone - getting the Banner Document Management System (BDMS) on track for implementation. Although the OneCarolina teams are all "heads down" getting things done these days, it's good to look up every now and then and see some progress we can point to - and be just a little proud of.
The Student team has racked up success after success in the road to building a stable system. The new course catalog has been built in the Banner system, and schedule creation is set for next month. The team has also released its plan for Mock testing of the registration system (now set for November), and a training schedule for end users.
As mentioned above, the Admissions group successfully conducted its Mock 2A test of the system, which ran over 195 scheduled scripts (test processes), with a very low error rate. Some of the errors were due to missing system components that are not online yet. Other issues are now being worked on, and will be retested in Mock 2B, which is scheduled for the week of May 16th. The Training group is also in final preparation for training schedules for Admissions end users.
Admissions Go-Live is scheduled for August 1st, and a critical part of that module (and the rest of the Student system as well) is the Banner Document Management System (BDMS). This "scan and file" system allows Admissions to scan in paper documents and then digitally store them for search indexing and quick retrieval. The BDMS implementation group has completed their needs assessment throughout offices in the eight University campuses, and is in process of installing the scanners and software. During the recent Mock 2A test, two BDMS systems were run with the Admissions system to test workability. For Mock 2B these systems will again be set up, and currently Admissions users are conducting hands-on training.
The Financial Aid team has finished implementing Banner upgrades to its system - a tedious and time-consuming process that required testing codes for the virtual private database (VPD). They have also been working on migrating current financial aid data from the mainframe system into Banner. The team is currently working on one of the most critical processes in their system called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), which is used ito determine financial aid awards. They have developed programming rules for Banner to calculate student academic performance based on University-specific criteria. Team members have been meeting with the Student team to work out the FinAid business processes for awarding scholarships, a procedure that involves record and information sharing between Financial Aid, the Registrar's Office, and Admissions. Financial Aid Go-Live is planned for January of 2012.
The Student Accounts Receivable team has been working on an Applications of Payment process, and training core team members to use Banner for fee handling. The team is pleased to announce that OneCarolina has selected TouchNet, a leader in campus eCommerce management and cashiering systems. The TouchNet system will initially be used to collect Admissions application fees, but will eventually be ramped up to manage general cashiering operations. A test of the TouchNet system is scheduled for July.
The Technology team has finalized a number of Project deliverables and submitted them to the Leadership team for approval. Among these are plans for completing the installation of SunGard software for the OneCarolina Project, an Integration Architecture plan, and a Software Development Standards document. In the meantime, the ODS/EDW (Operational Data Store/Enterprise Data Warehouse) group has been building requirements for reports development and generation, working with campus Admissions Offices to build reports, and also training personnel in reports generation.
The overall status of the OneCarolina Project is green (see the Project Dashboard here). Although the Admissions system accounts for much of the work currently being done, the Dashboard also includes construction of the base infrastructure that will eventually support all of the OneCarolina administrative modules - Student Services, Financial Aid, Student A/R, and future modules. While Admissions is busy testing its own business processes in Banner, it is also testing the functionality of the entire OneCarolina technical system at the same time.
One year ago, the OneCarolina Project embarked on designing hardware, software, configurations, system integrations, and work processes for each of its modules and the technical infrastructure. Now we are seeing all of the parts come together. It is a major milestone for the OneCarolina team.