8/1/10 - A little history and background
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.