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University Technology Services helps make processes more efficient for students

University Technology Services has been heavily involved in making processes across campus more efficient for students. Over the past several months, many projects were completed that modernize, streamline and enhance both administrative and academic services.

One such project went live last month. On July 15, University Vehicle Management and Parking Services implemented a new system that allows students, faculty and staff to easily access parking information. Students may now sign-in to my.sc.edu to apply for new parking permits, renew parking permits, and pay and appeal citations. Faculty and staff may also pay and appeal citations, and will be able to apply for and renew parking permits beginning with the Spring 2014 semester. The process is not only easier for students, faculty and staff, but it makes management of parking across the university easier and more efficient for personnel in the department.

Bill Baker, parking director, said, "We think this upgrade is very customer-focused, and we hope it serves everyone well as we move forward."

Students who went through orientation this summer also benefited from a new system. Vincent Buonocore, assistant director of orientation, said the Visual Zen Orientation system helped streamline the business practices of the Office of Orientation and Testing by simplifying the orientation registration process. Admitted students were able to register for orientation or change their reservation online.

Buonocore, said the office is now able to gather data about students and guests who attended orientation, which enables the Office of Orientation and Testing to provide a more personalized experience for the student. "Overall, the system has helped us move forward with efforts to improve internal and external communications. We can now share data about incoming students that we had previously never collected. College offices, advisers and student affairs staff have all benefited from this implementation," he said.

Registering for campus student mailboxes also became more efficient this summer. The new Mailbox Management System manages 8,748 mailboxes on campus. Students can now log-in to my.sc.edu to review their assigned mailbox and campus address or retrieve a forgotten combination. Off campus students may also request a mailbox through the system. Account receivable payment options have been enhanced to help create a one stop payment experience for students.

Barry Meyers, director of USC Postal Services, said, "With the implementation of the One Carolina initiative and the pending migration from IMS mainframe driven systems, it became imperative for the USC Postal Service to find a web-based solution that could manage the student mailbox assignment process. This process drives the functionality of our department and also has a direct impact on our main customer base -- our students."

Meyers said several options were considered, but the UTS development team, "accepted the challenge and developed a state-of-the-art web-based solution."

"This new real time system streamlines the many functions that were previously manual, labor-intensive and quite arduous to perform. In addition, options were added to further enhance the student experience. One such option is the opening of available mailbox rentals to currently enrolled students living off campus," Meyers said.

The UTS project manager for the new parking and orientation systems was Joan Amundson.

One final project that UTS employees recently assisted with was the creation of a new website for the School of Music. The website, www.sc.edu/music, provides easy access to news and information from the School of Music and has a more modern look.

Dexter Kennedy was the UTS project manager for both the Mailbox Management System and the School of Music website redevelopment.