Center for Information Technology Services

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myUMB: What it is and Why You Will Love it!
On April 25th present users of the e UMB HRMS  will become the first users of the new myUMB Portal.

Much more than a Website or a homepage, myUMB will ultimately be a gateway to virtually all online campus activities and information resources.  (Compare to other well-known portals such as AOL.com, FirstGov.gov, or even Yahoo!)  Within the portal, users will have access to the campus’ electronic systems as well as campus news features.  Individuals will receive information specific to their specific schools or departments, and customized information based on affiliation as faculty, student and/or staff.

A key feature of the portal is that it removes the need for multiple logins to access applications.  Initially, users of e UMB HRMS, upon logging in to myUMB, will have immediate access to all the HR, departmental payroll, and commitment accounting functionality they now use.  When the new eUMB Financials and Grants Management system goes live the portal will provide immediate access to its features as well. Users will have direct access to all the eUMB screens and reports which they are authorized to see.   

The myUMB portal will be rolled out in stages.   It will continue to develop and other systems will be added to myUMB over time.  Since the eUMB HR application is the first application to have single sign-on access, HR users will be the first group to gain access to the myUMB portal.  Production system testing is currently underway as well as the development of training materials for HR users.  We currently plan to go-live for HR users on April 25, 2005.

For more information on the technology advances and current activities of the Center for Information Technology Services group, visit: http://www.umaryland.edu/cits/

eUMB Go-Live Date is Official
The Executive Committee has set December 1, 2005 as the official “Go-Live” date for the Financial/Grants modules of e UMB.  This determination was based on three prior strategic decisions:

1. All Essential Reporting Capabilities Will Be Delivered On Day 1. This includes all Central Office Reports needed to manage processes including RAVEN, a new reporting tool which, among other things, will provide:              

a. Separate Grants pages which will report
     i.  Project-Year-to-Date activity
    ii.  Project-Inception-to-Date activity      
   iii.  Project Fiscal Year Reporting     
b. Separate Deliverable-Based Contract Page which will compare revenue against expenditures.
                             

2.  Request For Payment Will Be Automated. This is in addition to providing automated purchase requisitions.  Both documents will utilize workflow to allow the routing and aproval processes to be totally electronic across users' workstations.

3.  A Four-Month Window For User Acceptance Testing Will Be Assured.                                      

a.  "Vanilla" System Testing has already begun   

b.   Integrated System Testing will begin over the summer                 

 c.    User Acceptance Testing will begin in August

In order to ensure that all of these decisions can be executed successfully, it has been determined that the optimum “Go-Live” date for the project will be December 1, 2005.

CIO's Corner
Peter Murray, Ph.D., VP and CIO
Dr. Murray

Campus-wide IT Planning
A measure of success for IT projects is the degree to which project outcomes meet academic and/or business needs.  IT resources must therefore be aligned with priorities and be deployed to meet pressing academic and business needs.  Planning and advisory groups are helpful to identifying priorities.  They are also helpful in identifying important goals, strategic initiatives, discussing transformative issues and emerging themes, as well as in establishing action items and recommended solutions.  Successful IT planning is an ongoing, dynamic, and integrative process that has a pragmatic focus and produces expected positive outcomes. 

There is an IT planning structure, with many components, at UMB.  This structure is important since there is a tremendous need to plan IT activities and coordinate the information technology changes constantly affecting the UMB campus. 

The primary advisory group, named the UMB IT Steering Committee, includes a select group of UMB faculty, staff and administrators who reflect the diverse academic and administrative interests of the UMB community.  The fundamental aim of the Committee is to further school and institution goals, and meet pressing needs, through the effective use of coordinated information technologies.  Through mutually beneficial collaboration and sharing of information, the Committee influences plans for advancing technology that will have a tremendous positive impact throughout the University of Maryland Baltimore, University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), and University Physicians, Inc. (UPI).

In addition to the IT Steering Committee, there are other important information technology planning and advisory groups.  The CIO Issues Committee discusses the major IT issues of the four organizations that comprise the University Medical campus, i.e., the UMB Campus, the School of Medicine, University Physicians, Inc., and the University of Maryland Medical System.  The four CIOs of these organizations meet monthly to discuss issues and common solutions.  An example of a positive outcome from this CIO collaboration was the formation of an enterprise-wide IT Security Standards Committee.  This committee includes representatives from each UMB school, major administrative area, the library, UMMS, UPI, and CITS.  The cross-organizational communication and work of this Committee has lead to the development of common policies and practices and the collective enforcement of those policies.  By sharing expertise, knowledge, and resources, mutual benefits and success with information technology security have been achieved within, and across, organizational boundaries.

The IT Leaders Committee has a broader representation than the CIO Issues Committee, since it includes the leader of IT in each school, library, hospital, UPI, and CITS.  This group meets once every three weeks and discusses tactical and operational issues that relate to the campus IT strategic plan as well as to school and department IT projects and activities.  Current activities and issues, pending implementations, and future plans for the deployment of technologies are the central themes discussed and shared in these meetings.   

The UMB eLearning Committee includes a broad cross-section of faculty and staff from the UMB schools, library, and CITS who discuss eLearning and eTeaching techniques, technologies and support issues.  It is an active group which meets once per month and it has made progress in connecting and engaging faculty throughout the university.  Through the work of this committee, faculty needs and issues are more widely communicated and understood, and they are influencing the priorities and action items in the campus IT plan.

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