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BITS: Annual Report FY04

  1. Department Mission

    The Business Information Technology Services (BITS) provides planning, implementation, enhancements, maintenance, and technical support to the Business & Finance Division for all its Information Systems needs such that the Departments can best serve our customers: Students, Faculty, Staff and Community.

  2. Department Goal

    Aid the division in communicating their information, via the web.

    Timely response to all communiqués indicating hardware and software questions or problems.

    Keep abreast of future enhancements to Information Technology Systems and create a Strategic Plan for the division.

    Ensure the viability of technology equipment and ensure that advances do not tax this equipment, we inventory and track the usage of the computers in the division and maintain a 3-year rollover of inventory.

    To strive towards the above goals, the Staff must be aware of Information Technology Possibilities and Constraints. In that regard we see it as our duty to help train the staff in further understanding of the tools they have available or will need. This training is needed for both BITS staff members and all our customers.

    ·   Utilize the web to help our customers find the information they need
    ·   Prompt service to our customers
    ·   Plan for the future

  3. Department Statement of Outcomes

    Emails, phone messages, and discussions with the campus community provide a constant feedback loop to create and attain reports that the campus can successfully utilize to maintain their Departmental Budgets.

    By monitoring the general information questions we receive on the division web site (via www@bf.westga.edu), we are able to track what new information is needed on the web site (which is added if possible). Most of the requests we have received are specific to other departments outside this division. These requests were promptly forwarded to the appropriate department so they could respond.

    Emails (help@bf.westga.edu), phone messages (4675), and discussions with our customers (the employess of the division) provide a constant feedback loop to help us maintain the divisional computers and prepare for future trends.

  4. Example to Change/Improve a Process

    We have been in discussion with the Colleges on campus over the past few years about finding a Lab Printing solution. Some of the difficulty we had was finding a solution that could handle the student charges effectively. With our implementation of Blackboard, we finally had a core product that offered a ‘bolt on’ software package (a package from another vendor, Pharos, that had a proven, accepted link between the two products) that could offer us a seamless solution. Last fall we were able to alleviate the lab printing problem experienced by the public labs on campus by implementing the charge system to the student existing account.

  5. General Statement of Department Condition:

    The new Accounting and Purchasing software package (PeopleSoft) continues to play a major role for our Department. We continue to examine different processes and we continue to test and deploy solutions. The number of technicians who are involved in supporting our functional users grows as we gear up cross training all the BITS technicians in troubleshooting problems, and creating solutions. We are also in the process of learning the new PeopleSoft HRMS.

    The growing list of functions that our One Card system offers presents challenges and opportunities to rethink how we offer services to our Students, Faculty and Staff.

    Re-examining our processes and attempting to change manual processes to automated processes, examine where a new interfaces may help alleviate a process continue to be a challenge. The start of the next cycle of our Business Process Redesign review will help re-energize the whole division to accomplish these tasks.

  6. Departmental Achievements

    In FY2004, BITS continued to work with the PeopleSoft Financial ERP product for our Accounting and Purchasing departments.

    We continue to enhance the financial web applications to aid different parts of campus with their financial information.

    Mail Services has a new postage machine. With this machine we were able to electronically take the departmental charges and set them up for the PeopleSoft interface. Thereby removing the manual collection, submission and re-entry of these charges.

    Our Parking system was successfully upgraded this past year. This was a major upgrade as we changed what operating system and database the system used. We have already implemented an interface to automate the transfer of student information from our Student Information System to the Parking system (removing the bulk manually entry they performed in the old system).

    The recently upgraded Student Financial Services Student Campus Loan Manager software package lacked an automated Student Loan Application process. In conjuction with our ITS department we were able to create an interface from Banner to Campus Loan Manager.

    We continue to add funtionality to our One Card system. The University Bookstore’s Point of Sale System now communicates student charges directly to their account on the Blackboard system.

    The upgrade of our banking software necessitated the creation of new support programs and updates of existing interfaces.

    In addition to these major projects, the Business and Finance Division utilizes a myriad of specialized software packages to help all of our customers: the students, faculty, visitors, and staff of the campus. These packages, just like the better-known software packages, require on going support, service, and upgrades.