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Summer 2004

With You in Mind

With the major system implementations behind us, ISDS has been able to look forward and do some strategic planning, with the focus on streamlining operations to provide better service. A number of initiatives have emerged, and many of those are already underway. Here are some of them, along with how you will benefit.

Improve reports runtimes. The benefits of this are obvious!

Investigate implementing a “data warehouse.” A new reporting structure would have benefits over the Operational Data Store (ODS) for organizing and storing data that will enhance reporting at the institutional level and improve report runtimes at the departmental level.

Explore an archiving strategy. As data accumulates, it slows down processing time. ISDS is exploring the best approach to archiving data.

Explore alternate ODS refresh strategies. Alternative refresh strategies will facilitate more consistent and reliable timeliness and availability of data in the ODS.

Develop and implement usability initiatives. IS Usability Task Forces, as well as ISDS staff, remain focused on identifying initiatives that will make the system more user-friendly.

Establish Change Management Council. The Change Management Council, comprised of representatives from across the University, will help ISDS set priorities for major enhancements and functional upgrades, ensuring that users are determining ISDS work priorities.

Enhance testing and patching strategies. Patches are a fact of ERP life. And every patch must be tested to be certain it does not negatively impact any of the applications. Enhancing the testing and patching strategies will minimize downtime for applying patches and reduce any inconveniences to users following the application of patches.

Cross-train ISDS staff. Having more people skilled to investigate urgent issues as they arise will reduce the time it takes to resolve those issues.

Share information with other universities that have implemented Oracle systems. U.Va. has identified and contacted 11 “peer” institutions with Oracle ERP systems, all of whom will be sharing information on system availability, data accessibility, data integrity, application reliability, and issue resolution. This will help U.Va. benefit from the experiences of others.

“We have aggressive goals to make this system as user-friendly as possible,” says Virginia Evans, Assistant Vice President for ISDS. “All of us are committed to achieving these goals as quickly and as effectively as we can.”