ITS Today

by Shane Hepler

Published April 8, 2019

I wanted to share with everyone what large projects we are working in our department on top of supporting what currently exists.

I hope this helps you see what we are doing to hopefully help your world run better and accomplish your success. There many other items being done…these are the highlights.

TouchNet – A new way to take payments and a new way to service our students

Project Duration: Now – April 2019

This is a huge project for the Amarillo College as it is going to change how we take payments and the options in which to pay. Students will be able to have multiple payment plans to choose from along with setting up recurring payments. It will enhance our online checkouts like on our CE and Foundation Donation sites. TouchNet is also directly integrated into Colleague which is huge from a Security and Business Office standpoint when dealing with money.  

SoftDocs – Transition to SoftDocs for imaging

Project Duration: Now – April 2019 - Most areas are converted at this point

We are moving to a nicer imaging software that is also directly integrated into Colleague and will improve our current processes and allow us to move forward towards a paperless world. We will have unlimited licenses which allows us to move more departments to imaging and allow more access than we currently have. It is also does not force us to use a certain version of browsers or operating systems. So we can finally upgrade some overdue PCS in the field once this rolls out too.

Upgrade our Exchange Environment (email)

Project Duration: Now – April 2019

This is a normal upgrade that has to happen every 6 – 8 years if not sooner. Our current environment is getting pretty old and to stay with support and updated features this is a must. As a user you will not know the difference as Outlook will still be Outlook. Being aware that it is happening is the key here. As we get close to the rollout date there will be communication sent out because there will possibly be email outages during that time.  

Colleague Migration to SQL Server

Project Duration: Now – July 2020

This is a major backend upgrade that has to happen to stay current and supported with Colleague. This will put us on a modern database and in a place where we can keep moving forward with all of Ellucian’s new pieces to help run our world.  


Other projects in the works:

  1. TracSystems Upgrade - May 2019 – Move to a process where the print credits are tied to their IDs and get rid of the old school coin and bill methods along with having a separate card.
  2. Virus Protection Replacement – Move to one that is better supported here in the U.S. - Almost Complete
  3. Digital Sign hardware replacement so our new marketing and commercials can be displayed alongside the content that is needed at each location. - Almost Complete
  4. New Remote Learning Classrooms for the new Nursing Partnership with Frank Phillips.
  5. Add voicemail to your email for those that do not have it yet. ---Cool Feature  --- This is Complete!

  6. Upgrade of Business Objects – Move to the newest supported version.
  7. We are constantly replacing equipment in the field – Trying to make it as current as the budget allows.