What has your SF PAG been up to this summer?
This second quarter (July through September) is the time when Alliance 2011 Track submissions and the PAG nomination process begins. The Track Chair, Karen Bailey and Co-Chair Ken Pattillo are working on the next Alliance conference and have been advertising your session requests from last year’s evaluations so presenters have information about what the SF community is most interested in hearing at the next conference.
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 available for review by the SF community over the summer and we have received some feedback and questions. We welcome others to look it over and let us know if there are other refunding concerns that should be addressed.
The Third Party Billing working group is putting the finishing touches on their white paper and will submit this draft to the SF PAG for review in October 2010. You can expect to see this out on HEUG Online in the coming months.
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 Hosted Payment and Feature Pack 2 survey in late spring had 56 responses. Summarized results have been posted to HEUG Online since July so SF users who are working on payment projects can review what other institutions are doing and see which vendors are being engaged for payment processing and other related services. Thanks to all of the schools who took the time to answer us!
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 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. Oracle will be following up on the acceptance of the delivery model in a future quarter.
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 encourages users to enter issues and strategic product improvement ideas into the HEUG issue tracker and then to vote on priorities of all submitted issues. There have been six new issues added since the Alliance conference and we encourage others to review them and vote. Our list serve monitor has been in contact with users if a question appears to be unanswered in hopes of getting a user to the answers they need.
Our next working group related to the Post 911 Veterans issue will kick off next quarter -planning is underway.
Training Opportunities: SF users suggested that we offer some additional educational opportunities outside of the conference and our first webinar related to payment application has been scheduled for October 20, 2011. This will be followed by a Q and A session to open up a dialog with users who participated in the initial webinar. This is a frequent topic on the SF List as users request help with their issue du jour. Payment application is difficult to troubleshoot. Many user errors can contribute to difficulties with this process. The webinar will offer background on how payments are applied to charges and get questions answered.
The SF PAG is looking for suggestions of future webinar topics. Please send them to any PAG member.
Continue to work with cross-PAG teams to provide the best input to Oracle on cross-functional business processes.
The SF PAG is ready to partner 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 – no activity this quarter except for posting results from the hosted payment survey.
Third Party Contract/External Org Improvements – Third Party Working Group is finishing up their white paper that will be submitted to Oracle after PAG review next quarter.
Refunding -- PAG members participated in a survey for Oracle development related to refunding volume, delivery methods, and reasons for on-demand check production.
Archiving/Purging SF Tables – no activity this quarter.
Veterans Issues --- The SF PAG is still planning for the next working group to address common Veterans issues and identify best practices. Group will start in October to December 2010 timeframe.
Alliance Track: The PAG has drafted a list of suggested topics and some personal contacts have been made in order to encourage more submissions. Early results show that we received a comparable number of submissions to last year.
Newsletter: Newsletter was sent in August 2010 along with a number of Alliance conference presentation submission emails and one reminder from the PAG encouraging new PAG nominations for next year.