ITS Today

by Shane Hepler
Published June 28, 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 are many other items being done…these are the highlights.

The Underground – New Computer Lab/Classoom Space/Student Gathering Area

Project Duration: Now – September 2019

The basement of the Ware Building is getting completely remodeled and will have many different areas of technology, leisure and study spaces for students, faculty and staff to use. This project is on track for being complete by the end of August/Beginning of September. I can't wait for you all to see this wonderful new space. 

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.

Still converting the Business Office. About to add purchasing to SoftDocs. Just finished adding AEL to it.

Upgrade our Exchange Environment (email)

Project Duration: Now –Aug 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.  We are a little over halfway done moving over the accounts from the old system. 

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.


Project Duration: Now – July 2019

This is a project that is taking over what a 3rd party program was doing and enhancing it to fit our needs while not having to pay the huge expense of the 3rd party. Gotrac is a system that is going to help view the life cycle of our services through tracking student visits and help with staffing of these areas as well. Almost if not all of our services will eventually have a version of Gotrac. Advising uses it for their meetings with students, Financial uses it for their student visits along with all of the tutoring centers and The Underground. The data from this alone will help us understand how well our services are being utilized, the traffic going through the services, it will help us make decisions going forward based on new needs and finally it is going to help drive some of the communications for the Radius (CRM) project listed below. 

Radius - CRM Implementation

Project Duration: Now – July 2020

This is a major project to help improve our processes and communication across the college. Specifically we are implementing Phase 1 which entails communications to prospects/students called Inquiry to Enrollment. So from the time a potential student shows interest through filling out the application up to enrollment we will be walking them through the process with automated communications. After Phase 1 is done we move directly into Phase 2. Phase 2 will focus on the retention aspects of communication that revolves around staying enrolled, attendance, grades and services to help students stay engaged and giving them help and guidance they need to stay here at AC. 


Other projects in the works:

  1. TracSystems Upgrade - Complete – 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. Bond Projects - Still in the early phases of define and prioritizing what these projects will entail.
  8. PAR Test/PAR Score Upgrade - Complete

  9. Adobe Upgrade - Complete

  10. We are constantly replacing equipment in the field – Trying to make it as current as the budget allows.