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Building a Better IT Support Model: Making Banner Work Presented by: Bill Balint, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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Presentation on theme: "Building a Better IT Support Model: Making Banner Work Presented by: Bill Balint, Indiana University of Pennsylvania."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building a Better IT Support Model: Making Banner Work Presented by: Bill Balint, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

2 Session Goal To acquaint attendees with strategies developed at IUP that provide success in the face of an increasingly complex computing environment – particular focus on the IT professional. Implementation strategies will be examined as will transitions that allow for successful continuing operations.

3 Topics of Discussion/Agenda Slide  Indiana University of Pennsylvania – Banner-related Profile  Primary implementation challenges  Steps to combat those challenges  Migration from implementation to continuing operations  Current strategies for success

4 About IUP  14,200 students, 1,800 employees  Largest Member, 14-school Pa. State System (PASSHE)  Doctoral I  3 campuses; graduate center; clock-hour programs  Located in Indiana, Pa.

5 Banner at IUP  Banner 7.x  Implemented  All five baseline modules  Four web self-service products  Banner Xtender Solutions, Workflow  Eight major satellite packages (facilities, Id Card, etc.)  Some 100 custom-written programs and web applications  Substantial custom-built data warehouse  Oracle 9i, 10g App. Server  Linux as of Nov., 2006

6 Implementation Challenges  Aggressive timeframe  New functionality desired immediately: “Where’s the fancy stuff we paid for that the sales people showed us?”  Tight Budgets  Extra costs maintaining legacy environment in addition to implementation costs  Inadequate Staffing  Keep all current systems running and implement at the same time with the same people

7 Remedies  Perfect World  Add more time  Get more people  Spend more money  Real World  Policy Decisions  Personnel Distribution  Technology Investments

8 Sample Key Policy Decisions  Define overall business needs immediately  Integrated system, web-based services, redeploy IT staff, etc.  Determine “gap fill” strategy immediately  Build, buy, modify or do without

9 Sample Key Policy Decisions  Go by the “textbook” and modify from there  Sungard has done this many times before  Trust them, but hold them accountable!  Make quality count from the start  Exclusive time commitment by staff, appropriate consulting levels, written list of specific deliverables

10 IUP Implementation Core Personnel  Project Leadership  Executive Steering Committee  Empowered and Available  Steering Committee Chair  Contract issues, problem resolution  Project Manager  Daily operations, problem escalation  “The person that worries about the project every day”

11 IUP Implementation Core Personnel  Implementation Teams (One per module)  Directors of impacted offices  Work Team chairs  Responsible for INB, web self-service, interfaces  Cross-team groups formed for Workflow, Luminus, ODS/EDW, Xtender if required  Work Teams  Temporary or ad-hoc  Build validation tables, evaluate reporting needs, create training  Functional/Technical mix

12 IUP Implementation Extended Personnel  Technical Support  Manages all technical resources  Installs, upgrades, work team assignments, etc.  Ensures that DBAs and developers are properly trained  Deploys viable technical infrastructure  Coordinates functional training on tool set  Banner navigation, reporting tools, etc.

13 IUP Implementation Extended Personnel  Quality Reviewer  Auditing and systems knowledge, independent assessments  Project “outsider”  Data Integration Team  Data standards, data integration issues  IR functions/data warehouse  ODS/EDW if applicable

14 IUP Banner Implementation Structure

15 Migrating to Continuing Operations - Functional  Executive Steering Committee  Individuals partner with CIO in oversight role  Prioritizes deployment of custom-built solutions, Banner enhancements, other packages, upgrades, etc.  Process Teams  Re-configured into operations groups (student, resource, institutional advancement, financial aid)  Ensures smooth on-going operations, tests upgrades, enhancements, new products, etc.

16 Migrating to Continuing Operations - Functional  Data Integration Team exists on an “as needed” basis  Warehousing, IR, address, duplicate Ids, etc.  Quality Reviewer, Project Manager, Work Team members  Return to pre-project roles

17 Migrating to Continuing Operations - Technical The emerging Banner-related computing environment…  is more complex…  Workflow, XTender Solutions, Luminus, ODS/EDW, etc.  requires expertise in more technologies…  Oracle 10G DB, XML, Messaging, OAS  requires a true 24 x 7 support strategy…  Most of the above in a web-based world …But resources to support it are not growing

18 Building Blocks For Success  Reduce User Support Needs  Fast, Effective Support Triage  Create Redundant Expertise  Long-range Planning  Enterprise Upgrades  Professional Development

19 Sample Support Reduction Techniques  Rely on “Sungard Higher Education” technology  For Banner: Pro*C, PL/SQL, web self-service products, limited MS-Access solutions  Other applications: interfaces, separate schemas, etc.  Actively Lobby For Increase in Functional Knowledge/Skill  New hires, new job descriptions, training program  Special help for ‘the willing and able’

20 Sample Support Reduction Techniques  Build reference web pages and specialized training material  Ad-hoc reporting, letter generation, “How To” documents  Emphasize Operational Support  Registration, fiscal year-end close, payroll cycles, etc.

21 Sample User Support Page

22 IUP IT Triage System  Create a Help Desk for all IT Services  All calls and resulting actions documented in tracking software  Creates knowledge base  Invest in tools that prevent/help correct problems  DBA support software, code management  Help Desk Support  Level I – student worker  Level II – generalist  Level III – expert  Level IV - vendor  Route large support requests to quarterly ranking

23 IUP Triage System

24 Build Redundant Expertise  Each module/sub-module assigned to primary and backup support person  Finance, HR, Advancement, Financial Aid, Admissions, Registrar, A/R, “Other” student functions  Primary support is responsible for all knowledge transfer to the backup  Documentation, 1-on-1 meetings  Support requests routed to backup at times to help that person gain expertise

25 Enterprise Upgrade Planning  Maintain Upgrade Calendar with executive approval  Create functional and technical timelines as far in advance as possible  Prepare Infrastructure Changes Well in Advance  Oracle 10G, desktop requirement compliance

26 IT Staff - Professional Development  Cast a wide, yet cost-effective net  Traditional – conferences, instructor-led training, Banner help and release guides, Listserves, periodicals, etc.  Non-traditional – home-grown knowledge base, web-based instruction, internal knowledge transfer sessions and web pages, industry web sites, etc.  Make professional development part of employee evaluation

27 Benefits To The Institution  Efficient, documented customer service  Call tracking -> Knowledge Base  Objective rationing of IT resources  Quarterly rankings, help desk call results  Planning and professional development help staff navigate change – which can directly lead to productivity enhancements

28 Summary  Large-scale software implementations are stressful, costly and difficult  The migration to continuing operations is also challenging  The Banner-related computing environment is also becoming more complex, further taxing IT staff  However, strategies do exist that can help achieve excellence in utilizing their enterprise information systems

29 Questions?

30 Contact Information Bill Balint Interim Chief Information Officer Indiana University of Pennsylvania Phone:


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