University contracts for new data system

High-tech administrative system will integrate records, simplify processes | January 10, 2003

The University is getting rewired. Xavier announced on Wednesday it is implementing a new high-tech administrative data system across campus. Known as SCT Banner, the new multimillion dollar system will integrate all of the University records—alumni, student, financial and human resources—currently scattered around the University on different systems, thereby allowing information to be more easily shared and accessible. The new system will also allow for the development of a web portal for students, faculty and staff. The portal will make it easy for people to find University information targeted specifically at them. Once a person identifies himself on the system, the portal then gathers the information the University has about the person and displays relevant or interesting information on his computer. This information could be publicly accessible information, or it could be confidential information specific to the individual, such as course grades. “It’s going to change the way we do things,” says Dorinda Giles, associate vice president for information systems and services. “This is going to simplify things and make things more efficient on campus. It’s a web-enabled product, so a lot more of the work we do will be done on the web, eliminating a lot of forms and paperwork. We hope that will improve report production and work processes. “The system will also allow us to do some positive business process re-engineering. Instead of a form traveling around campus to get various signatures, now it will be accessible by web for people to sign and save time. The work flow process can take place over the web. It’s a terrific opportunity.” The University contracted with SCT Corp., a global information technology solutions company, to install the new system over the next three years. It replaces the existing administrative system, AI Plus, which has limited capabilities and resides on outdated equipment. The University spent a year studying the needs of the campus offices and the capabilities of several information technology companies. SCT Corp. currently serves more than 1,300 education clients worldwide, including Yale University, College of William and Mary, Villanova University and Swarthmore College. It also recently acquired Campus Pipeline Inc., a leader in higher education portal technology. The SCT and Campus Pipeline merger delivers a strategic approach to education technology through a comprehensive e-education infrastructure—a framework for leveraging technology, systems and services—for greater operational effectiveness in teaching, learning, research and administration. "This system is used by a number of other Jesuit universities and colleges as well," says Giles, "such as St. Louis and John Carroll. It's going to be an exciting project and a great opportunity for the University."