Sporting bright yellow shirts and cheered on by Bucky the Bronc, members of the Customer Resource Management (CRM) team of the Oracle Implementation Project at The University of Texas-Pan American flipped a ceremonial switch June 21 declaring their portion now "live" or operational.
The five-year, $10 million project to replace and enhance current administrative and new student and visitors services computer systems with Oracle based software and capabilities began December 2003 and full implementation in all areas will not be completed until 2007.
"With an anticipated enrollment of 26,000 by 2015 we couldn't survive under the paper loads of the existing systems. When the project is fully implemented we will eliminate the majority of paper flow that runs around," he said.
The next module scheduled to go into production Sept. 1 will be portal and collaboration suite Morris said. It includes e-mail, voice mail, calendaring and other collaboration suite file functions. Human resources, payroll, financials and purchasing are scheduled for a "live" kickoff near the end of 2004.
Declaring the project somewhat ahead of schedule, David Ramzy, Oracle project manager, said for student recruitment employees, the impact of the new Oracle software will be immediate.
"They will have much better automation, information and re-engineered business processes to support student recruiting which will make UTPA more effective in the number of recruits they talk to and they should be able to do it faster," he said.
Student recruitment employees have had some initial training but additional educational or training sessions will be held by the CRM project management team in the next few weeks as they actually work in the system for the first time in production. Online training using Oracle software applications called Tutor and iLearning will also be used.
Unveiled at the ceremony was the new UTPA Oracle project logo, designed by Jorge Sepulveda, a senior majoring in graphic design and a work study in New Student and Visitor Services. The logo, one of more than 20 submitted, was sported on the shirts worn by project team members.
"My main idea was to come up with something different. For this design, I focused on using the head of the Bronc and the initials UTPA in the logo text," Sepulveda said. The logo, printed in bright orange on the shirts team members were wearing, depicts the flowing mane of the Bronc's head with the phrase "Utilizing Technology to Produce Accomplishments" just below.
During the "going live" celebration, Belinda Jasso, New Student/Visitor Services systems analyst and CRM project team chair, handed out certificates of participation honoring the work of the following CRM team members: Joe Garcia, Gloria Ramirez, Shana Castillo, Beverly Jones, Deborah Gilchrist, Georgina Cervantes, Isabel Benavides, Isabel Infante, Jaime Garza, Joe Hinojosa, Melinda Gamez Espinoza, Nidia Aguire, Nilsa Guajardo, Norma C. Gonzalez, Paula Berkley, Ricardo Alcala, Roel Garza, Sam Diaz and Sandra Quintanilla. Kelly Shannon, programmer analyst IV in Admissions and Records, served as back up CRM team chair.
Jasso said she was relieved this day had finally come since she had started doing research on finding a new recruitment system two and half years ago.
"This new system will help us analyze a lot of the recruitment events and procedures we currently handle. It will give us a better measurement of how we succeed in student recruitment services," she said.
Leading the portal and collaboration team scheduled to go live next, are Anne Toal, director of Academic Computing in the Information Technology Department, and Paula Berkley, University records management analyst.
Toal said the Oracle software involved will include a new e-mail system that will have an effect on everyone in the University community. She said the Oracle web interface will also offer some new capabilities, such as web meetings.
Toal said a migration process of old e-mail and shared "Pathworks" files to Oracle systems will be implemented. The team is also in the process of reviewing desktop computers and establishing some desktop standards for people accessing and using Oracle products.
"We are basically trying to get everyone ready to work in an Oracle-based world," Toal said.
Ramzy said the support and teamwork from all levels has been exemplary. "I could not have asked for better executive level support - they are committed to our success," Ramzy said.
For more information on the Oracle implementation project, faculty and staff members can log on to www.panam.edu/oracleinfo