Updates

Banner 9 Project Update June 2018

Status of migrations

In May we reported some issues that had caused us to postpone migrating any additional business processes to Banner 9. Through a focused collaborative effort between Information Services and the Financial Aid office, we have made significant progress in resolving those issues and now plan to continue Banner 9 migrations in other functional areas. Here is the status of work in those areas:

  • Business Affairs
    • Business Affairs has completed user acceptance testing for the majority of its internal business processes — that is, those used only by that office — and is ready to go live with those business processes.
    • Information Services and Business Affairs are working to identify a launch date in July for those processes.
    • The remaining internal Business Affairs processes will be ready to launch after user acceptance testing is complete.
  • Payroll
    • Payroll has completed user acceptance testing for all of its internal business processes and is ready to go live with those business processes.
    • Information Services and Payroll are working to identify a launch date in July for those processes.
  • Office of the Registrar
    • Development on the first set of Student business processes is on track for completion by mid-July.
    • The launch of those business processes is planned for the second week of August.

Ellucian begins work on form conversions

  • Initial Ellucian engagement: The limited-scope engagement with Ellucian to convert a selection of forms from Banner 8 to Banner 9 has progressed into the development phase of this work. We are anticipating six to eight weeks of development and user acceptance testing before completing this engagement.
  • Planned future Ellucian engagement: Additional funding has been approved to work with Ellucian to convert a much larger collection of forms to help ensure we complete the Banner 9 project on time. The business processes selected for this conversion work are in the following areas:
    • Finance
    • Accounts Receivable
    • Payroll
    • Admissions
    • Student

Banner 9 Project Update May 2018

Status of migrations

The “core” offices — those that use Banner most heavily — have been hard at work on the transition to Banner 9.

In early February, the Financial Aid office transitioned its internal business processes — that is, those used only by that office — to Banner 9. That included over 100 forms. Information Services has been working to resolve issues that arose in that process before transitioning any financial aid-related business processes that would affect staff outside the Financial Aid office, and before proceeding with any Banner 9 migrations in other functional areas.

Business Affairs is currently preparing to migrate several business processes used only by BAO staff. That includes the Check Printing, Check Cancellation, and Chart of Accounts Maintenance processes that we had originally expected to transition to Banner 9 earlier this year. Other processes in the works include Bank Check and Deposit Reconciliation, Buyer Code, and Person/Entity Maintenance. We expect to soon identify the transition date for all of those business processes.

The Payroll office has completed user acceptance testing for the Biographic/Demographic and Benefit Administration business processes used by their staff. Once user acceptance testing is complete for the remaining Banner 9 forms for internal Payroll office processes, we will determine a date for transitioning all of Payroll’s internal business processes.

The Office of the Registrar has selected which business processes to roll out in August and October. Development work and preparation for user acceptance testing is underway for the August portion of those.

Assistance from Ellucian

Student Services and Enrollment Management recently sponsored an assessment by Ellucian of a few key areas in the Banner Student module for the Office of the Registrar. The results reduced the number of form customizations by one-third, bringing the overall modification reduction level in line with that of the other Banner modules.

In addition, Information Services has contracted with Ellucian to convert a selection of forms from Banner 8 to Banner 9. Work is currently underway on prerequisites needed to begin that conversion effort. This limited-scope engagement will be used to determine whether to contract with Ellucian for further conversions.

Banner 9 Project Update – January 2018

First migrations scheduled for January 2018

As we mentioned in July 2017, we are organizing the migration from Banner 8 to Banner 9 by business processes. For example, all of the Banner 8 forms related to check printing will be migrated to Banner 9 at one time.

We are starting the migration to Banner 9 with some business processes that are relatively simple and whose migration to Banner will impact fewer people and departments on campus.

Working closely with the stakeholder leads for Banner’s Financial Aid, Payroll, and Finance modules, Information Services has scheduled the first group of business processes to migrate to Banner 9 in late January — namely, finance-related business processes used internally by Business Affairs:

  • Check Printing
  • Check Cancellation
  • Chart of Accounts Maintenance

Testing and training: A key part of the migration process

Before we move a given business process to Banner 9, Information Services (IS) or the stakeholder leads in that area will communicate with staff who are using that process. We will also do testing and allow time for training.

Because Banner 9 uses a different programming language than Banner 8, developers in IS must re-engineer Banner 8 forms for Banner 9 if those forms were originally designed or customized for UO. Although our campus partners have helped dramatically reduce the number of modifications that need to be made, there are still a considerable number that will require re-engineering.

For the first few business processes to be migrated, the forms have been redeveloped and are now being tested by staff in Financial Aid, Payroll, and Finance to ensure the forms still function as they should. If those testers identify problems, the developers will work to resolve them, continuing the feedback loop until the forms seem ready to go.

Once the Banner 9 versions of the forms pass that first round of testing, a larger group of users — in this case, Finance, Payroll and Financial Aid staff — will be invited to perform something called “user acceptance testing” (UAT). The UAT process asks Banner users to confirm that forms are indeed complete and ready to go, and that no further adjustments are needed.

User training on the Banner 9 forms will then be offered, and the business process will be migrated to Banner 9.

Here is a visual representation of the process:

Business processes to be migrated in early 2018

In addition to the finance-related business processes mentioned above, the following business processes will be some of the first ones migrated to Banner 9, in January and February 2018:

Financial Aid

  • Federal Pell Grant Calculation
  • FAFSA Loading
  • Reporting Stipends & Outside Scholarships
  • Award Letter Printing

Payroll

  • Benefit Administration
  • Biographic Demographic
  • Group Hire

Banner 9 Project Update September 2017

A lot of work continues behind the scenes for the Banner 9 migration project.  The developers and other technical teams continue preparing the Banner environment for the migration. The review of modifications to customized Banner forms also continues (see our July project update for more information).

In addition, our recent work has included the following:

Upgrading Banner 8

Ellucian published several upgrades to Banner 8 that had to be installed prior to Banner 9.  Information Services installed those upgrades on September 15-16.

Identifying business processes

The stakeholder leads from each area have been busy identifying the business processes that are currently using Banner 8 and the forms and objects associated with those processes.

Planning the first migrations: Payroll

Stakeholder leads for Payroll and HR determined that it would be best to migrate payroll-related business processes from Banner 8 to Banner 9 in two groups.  The first group will include payroll-related business processes that are used only by those two units.  The second group will include payroll-related business processes that are used by staff elsewhere on campus. Once those two migrations have been scheduled, we will share scheduling information in this blog.

Developing dashboard view

In future updates, we will share a “dashboard” view that will list all of the business processes currently using Banner 8 and indicate the progress toward migrating each of them to Banner 9.

Banner 9 Project Update – July 2017

In June 2017, work on the Banner 9 migration project focused on the following areas:

Reviewing modifications

Some universities use Banner right “out of the box,” without customizing it. The UO is at the other end of the spectrum. In the 27 years we’ve been using Banner, we’ve made about 650 modifications to customize Banner forms so they better match UO business processes.

Because Banner 9 uses a different programming language than Banner 8, each of those modifications will have to be re-engineered. Therefore, Information Services (IS) asked representatives from units across campus to review all of the modifications in their functional areas (e.g., finance or admissions) and, wherever possible, identify modifications that could be cut.

Our partners have made substantial progress in that work. In some areas, over 50% of modifications were deemed no longer necessary.

Developing new service-request process

With the help of campus partners, IS developed and launched a new process for requesting changes to Banner. The new process will help IS prioritize work and ensure timely completion of the Banner 9 migration.

Implementing new tools for developers

Banner 9 uses a new programming environment, which IS staff have installed and configured. IS staff have also made progress on implementing a new code management system.

Learning Banner 9

Given the extent of the changes in Banner 9, it has been a big undertaking to learn how to use the new system. Our campus partners have provided helpful feedback about the Banner 9 interface.

Next steps

Here’s what we’re focusing on now:

Bundling changes by business processes

The plan is to upgrade various administrative processes from Banner 8 to Banner 9 in a phased approach. We expect to start on this in August 2017 and complete it sometime in 2018. For example, all of the Banner 8 forms related to check processing will be migrated to Banner 9 at one time.

IS has asked our campus partners in each of the main functional areas to identify (by July 14) one or two business processes to focus on initially for their areas. Before any business process is moved to Banner 9, we will communicate with staff who are using that process, do testing, and allow time for training.

Installing routine Banner updates

Ellucian, the company behind Banner, recently released updates for both Banner 8 and Banner 9 that must be installed before we proceed with the migration to Banner 9. IS plans to install those on the designated Banner maintenance weekend of September 16-17, 2017.