What has your SF PAG been up to since the Alliance Conference?
Keeping our goals in sight and making progress on top issues for the SF Community!
SF PAG Goals – Progress Made:
Maintain a strong line of communication with Oracle on current issues specific to Student Financials, while considering future development and industry trends.
The Refunding White Paper has been approved by the SF PAG and the HEUG Board, is available for the SF Community to review on the HEUG website and has been received at Oracle. The draft of the white paper was an agenda topic for the PAG Summit in March with Oracle staff. In March, April and May, the PAG has been working with Oracle to provide feedback on new self-service pages for direct deposit (since schools that use the AP refunding method do not currently have delivered direct deposit functionality in the product.)
The Third Party Billing working group has held three conference calls to review requirements and process flow documentation and next quarter, the group will start drafting their white paper.
Facilitate conversations with Oracle to implement mandatory software updates required to comply with global regulations and deadlines impacting colleges and universities such as: PCI compliance, 1098-T, HELP loans, and other governmental regulations.
The SF PAG conducted a survey in late May-early June related to hosted payments and Feature Pack 2 and provided Oracle with survey results that can help them prioritize ePayment vendor requests for assistance since they can see which vendors are most commonly used by schools. There were 56 responses to this survey.
Provide feedback to Oracle on the new release strategy for Campus Solutions. Oracle’s new release strategy removes the previous concept of large ‘releases’ or ‘versions’ and instead replaces it with ongoing ‘feature pack’ releases (integrated with the standard maintenance releases). The PAG aims to engage with the SF community and collate information on the success of this new strategy over time.
The SF PAG survey also included questions related to implementing Feature Pack 2 in order to assess how schools are adapting to the new delivery model and how many have implemented (or have plans to use) this new SF functionality.
Continue partnership with Oracle and the Student Financials community.
- Engage the SF community to use the HEUG Issue Tracker to communicate their ideas for enhancements and new features needed in the product. Encourage users to vote and comment on submitted issues in order for the PAG to have timely information on which issues are most important.
- Contribute to the development of the SF product through participation in customer guide/focus groups and other Oracle initiated teams.
- Participate in developer/strategy questionnaires.
- Seek out SF community experts to assist with compiling best practices and to document business requirements for the areas of the product that continually rise to the top of the SF Issues list.
- Provide information to the SF community related to new features and product issues.
The SF PAG uses their newsletter to remind users to enter issues and strategic product improvements into the HEUG issue tracker and to vote on priorities. As noted above, the Third Party White Paper working group has expert users defining best practices and business requirements related to that business process. Planning for the next working group related to the Post 911 Veterans issue has started by identifying and recruiting participants. In response to requests from users and information on Alliance evaluations, the SF PAG has also decided to offer targeted SF webinars throughout the year and has requested suggestions for topics from the user community.
Continue to work with cross-PAG teams to provide the best input to Oracle on cross-functional business processes.
The SF PAG will be working with the GL PAG to define best practices related to reconciliation as a follow up to the survey that was posted by the GL PAG on both list serves last winter. Participants from the SF PAG have been identified as contacts for the GL PAG working group.
Top SF Issues 2010-2011 and Actions Taken:
- Self Service – Currently providing input on self service Direct Deposit pages needed for Accounts Payable Refunding method and to prepare for the CS/HR database split.
- Third Party Contract/External Org Improvements – Third Party Working Group has been participating in conference calls, identifying requirements and discussing best practices in preparation for writing a white paper that will be submitted to Oracle.
- Refunding – Refunding Working Group has finished their white paper and it has been posted on HEUG Online and the Board has turned it over to Oracle for review.
- Archiving/Purging SF Tables – no activity this quarter.
- Veterans Issues – The SF PAG is planning for the next working group to address common Veterans issues. Working group will commence after the Third Party group wraps up their work this summer.
Alliance Track: The PAG has reviewed the survey results for the 2010 Alliance track and next quarter will focus our attention to how we recruit and encourage submissions for the most requested subjects.
Newsletter: Newsletters have been sent in May and June 2010.