August 2010 Archives

It is with great pleasure that I announce the hiring of Dan Bedard as Project Manager for Document Imaging.  Danís hiring concludes a four-month search process conducted by a committee of staff from Information Technology, Administration and Finance, and the Registrarís Office.

Dan is a certified project management professional (PMP) and has extensive experience working on software implementations.   Furthermore, he has a background working with systems that utilize document imaging and workflow which will add immediate value to the ongoing UMass Document Imaging project.   Danís outgoing personality and can-do attitude will be a terrific addition to the Information Technology department and our Administrative Systems Integration team.

Danís office will be located in Olsen Hall, Room 100 and he can be reached at Daniel_Bedard@uml.edu .  

Welcome aboard Dan!

Regards,

 

Richard Conley, Director
Administrative Systems Integration (ASI)

On Monday, August 9th the campus began testing the new UMass Document Imaging system.  This testing will occur for the next few weeks and will help to validate system functionality.   The primary testers are from the Graduate School of Admisssions and staff from Information Technology.   Toward the end of the month, we will also engage some Graduate Program Coordinators to have them use the new system and provide the project team with functionality and usabilty feedback.

The plan is to have the new system operational for the start of September so the Graduate Admissions office.   They will then scan in all application materials for prospective students applying for Spring 2011 term or later.     By October 1st, we expect to rollout access to all Gradatue Program Coordinators as this will be the new method by which they receive and review all applications and related materials for graduate admission processing.

Document Imaging has been on the wish list for many departments for a number of years.  Perhaps no one has been more eager than Linda Southworth from Graduate Admissions, so it is very fitting that her office will be the first to go-live.

While this has been desired for a long time, it was just last September when there was a real commitment to have this occur. (i.e. dollars were budgeted; in fact this is a stimulus funded project for UMass Lowell).  In the short time since then, we have worked with our colleagues across UMass and partnered with Boston, Dartmouth, and the President's Office to select, acquire, and implement a new document imaging system.

During the investigation stage of the project, we talked with a number of colleges including UMass Amherst, UMaine, and the University of Missouri to understand their imaging solutions.  The software we selected is from Perceptive Software and is called ImageNow. They offer simple integration with PeopleSoft and are heavily used throughout higher education.   By collaborating with other campuses we were able to use our collective buying power to purchase the software at a lower cost than if we purchased it alone.   

To further control short and long term costs, we are utilizing a shared services structure to have the software hosted and supported by the President's Office.   They manage all servers; multiple instances of the application for development, testing, and production; disaster recovery; data backup; security; and provide system administration for all campuses. 

On campus, we will have an Information Technology Project Manager assigned to work exclusively on the Document Imaging application for the next few years.   In this role, they will perform many functions including providing local campus administration and work with counterparts from UITS and other UMass campuses; they will support end users;  they will manage the project of adding offices and business functions into DI; and they will coordinate the scanning of historical records (e.g. student academic records); and work with the Lowell campus community to build awareness of the benefits DI can offer.

The first business process that will be utilizing DI will be the graduate admissions application review.  This is a process that was previously using basic scanning and email functionality to manage the distribution of admissions materials, hence they were an ideal candidate to be first out of the gate for the campus.   Change is never easy, but we are eager to roll this out and learn more from all users to understand the benefits, challenges, and issues.

If there are any questions about the project please contact Richard Conley at x4794. 

 

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