The Project Helios Executive Sponsor Meeting is Tuesday.
Maestro Steering Committee Meeting is Wednesday.
TAMU’s ITAC Meeting is Thursday.
Periscope will be back on-site this week to continue working on the performance-related issues. They have added two new servers and have plans to add two more. Members tested a series of code changes that will further improve performance. Periscope identified several additional code changes that will be released in February to streamline how Members use the system. The Periscope team hopes to identify other opportunities for improvement this week as they work side-by-side with Member staff.
A&M SYSTEM’S DIGITAL CENTER OF EXCELLENCE LAUNCHES — As one of the largest systems of higher education in the country, presenting a unified digital experience among the Texas A&M University System’s 11 universities, seven state agencies and comprehensive health science center can be daunting.
In 2014, the Texas A&M University System’s Digital Center of Excellence Steering Committee formed in order to make sure that all System members had access to information and resources that would enable each of them to implement best practices in digital communication. This fall, the group officially launched the Digital Center of Excellence. Initially, the Center will have four areas of focus: website development, mobile app development, mobile web development, and email communication. The new website serves as a central clearinghouse for standard policies, processes, and master lists of approved vendors, useful tools and platforms, and contact information for relevant personnel. It will also be the portal through which new information and guidelines about both internal and external digital communication will be distributed.
“It is our hope that the Digital Center of Excellence will serve as a vital resource for System members, particularly the roughly 70 individuals we have identified as working in the digital media arena in our communications and marketing offices around the System,” said Terry McDevitt, the A&M System’s vice chancellor for marketing and communications. The initial focus areas were selected as a result of a System-wide survey conducted by the steering committee in fall 2014 in an effort to assess the existing digital resources and needs. There were more than 200 responses. Mark Stone, the A&M System’s chief information officer, said that, in addition to improving the quality and consistency of the A&M System’s digital presence, the use of the Center is likely to result in cost-savings. “By implementing the information housed in the Digital Center of Excellence throughout the System, we will achieve a more unified digital experience and more efficient publishing processes,” he said.
An announcement from the Center about a master contract with a digital apps vendor will be coming soon. Meanwhile, the Steering Committee has already entered the second phase of the project. In addition to keeping the existing content current, they will explore adding new focus areas, such as social media and web analytics. Ideas for additions or changes to the Digital Center of Excellence can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
System-Wide Contracting News
The committee scoring the Student Information Systems RFP has resumed its evaluation of the Best and Final Bids from three finalists.
The committee evaluating responses to the Dollar Data Center RFP will interview the two finalists on Tuesday.
Current System-wide Contracts
- Cisco SmartNet (discretionary)
- Diligent provides board portal functionality for all members. (discretionary)
- Hootsuite will enable members to manage social networks, schedule messages, and measure social media from a dashboard under a master contract. (discretionary)
- Modo Labs provides mobile application development support for all members. (discretionary)
- Proofpoint email filtering and data loss prevention tools are available for all members. (in annual assessment)
- Siteimprove checks web pages, every five days, for spelling, grammar, broken links and accessibility. The cost is 54 cents per web page per year. Any member interested in adding this service need to contact me directly. (discretionary)
- StealthWatch provides cyber security monitoring for all members. (in annual assessment)
- Syncplicity licensing is available for all members. (in annual assessment)
- WebEx is available to all members. Faculty/administrators can obtain licenses at the low cost of $1.44/month/license. (discretionary)
- WebQA is the TAMUS approved Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) solution for all members. (in annual assessment)
System-wide Contracts Under Development
- Banner COE will enable all members to obtain Banner-related services under a master contract. (discretionary)
- Contract Management COE will provide members with the ability to track, manage and optimize contracts under a master contract. (discretionary)
- Docusign will provide members with electronic signature and related workflow capabilities under a master contract. (discretionary)
Project Helios Updates
- The Project Helios IV&V (Independent Verification & Validation) evaluation team has identified a sole finalist and has started contract negotiations.
- Vision and Plan deliverables continue to be completed and are being tracked against the Stage 1 Deliverables Log. The team continues to consider Go Live options with the right combination of scope and timeline for the A&M System – options that move us to Workday at the right time, with the right pace, and with the right HR, Payroll and Benefits functions. Options will be shared with the Executive Advisory Committee in January. Our chosen Go Live timeline will be shared as soon as it is ready.
- Dallas (January 15th)