New CIS is still in the works
By Emily Rushton
You may be wondering what ever happened with the new Campus Information Services (CIS) application that was discussed in the November 2014 All-Hands Meeting. Good news: it’s still in process (but with a few changes).
The solution University Support Services (USS) had initially chosen was called OneCampus, a package offered through Internet2. OneCampus had a clean, simple interface, but lacked an integral roles-based feature. Not being able to assign roles to users would, for example, allow a student to see a “management reports” link but be unable to access it, which could cause confusion.
“That was a big limitation,” said Debbie Rakhsha, director for USS.
As they began to reassess options, it was discovered that they might be able to get some additional features with the product currently used for CIS: PeopleSoft Portal. This would in turn allow UIT to continue making the best use out of the applications it already has (and pays for). As a bonus, PeopleSoft Portal already offers roles-based functionality.
“The PeopleSoft solution offered that right out of the box,” said Barb Iannucci, content and usability manager for USS. “So that was a lot more in line with some of the concerns that managers seemed to have.”
“We know that [PeopleSoft Portal] will have some better functionality, and we’re hoping that it will be friendlier,” said Rakhsha. “We’d like a mobile-friendly portal that is fun to use for students – rather than having to look at lists and lists of links.”
In order to get the new features and functionality, the current version of PeopleSoft Portal will require an upgrade – part of a long list of upgrades that USS plans to tackle this fiscal year.
“Right now, everybody’s efforts are concentrated on getting all the infrastructure up to speed,” said Rakhsha. “So we don’t have an exact timeline yet.”
The basic goal is to offer a CIS application that is nice to look at, easy to use, and, most importantly, mobile-friendly.
“We’re really focusing on usability and accessibility,” said Rakhsha. “We want to make sure we’re including as many people as possible to get the information that they need.”
Iannucci agreed. “People are increasingly interacting with the University primarily online. And so the easier and cleaner our application interfaces are, the better perception people will have of the University.”