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BAS Forum Minutes - April 14, 2005 NEW MEMBERS Two new members of the group were introduced at the BAS Forum. Michelle Hoversten is a Project Coordinator from Educational Foundation Special Services and Judy Yasenosky is a Senior Secretary from the Honors College. Diane Matasek, Assistant to an Executive Officer from the Office of VP – Regional Development, is also a new BAS Forum member, but she was unable to attend the April 14th BAS Forum. Welcome to the group! IT UPDATES presented by Judy Molnar – Director of Information Services Server Consolidation: Judy Molnar advised the BAS Forum members that the University IT group is planning on consolidating file and print sharing. During the week of May 9, 2005 a new Storage Area Network (SAN) server will be installed in the Data Center. The SAN will slowly replace the need for a number of the individual servers currently being used across campus. Greg Dykes, Team Leader from Administrative Computer Services is heading up this specific project, which will be followed by additional server consolidation projects. File and print sharing/Web sites: First phase of the consolidation project. Judy expects a large number of individual servers across campus will be consolidated by June 2006. Databases/Other applications: Second phase of the consolidation project. Judy stated that it is anticipated that by June 2007 most databases will be housed at the Data Center. Desktop Support Services: To help provide better service for desktop issues and to increase efficiency, Judy explained that service zones are being created throughout the university for desktop support. The first zone will be at the Michael Schwartz Center. The Michael Schwartz zone should be functional within the next few months, and the establishment of other desktop support zones will follow. These zones will be directed by Jamie Jackson, Manager of Client Services. Part of the desktop support service provided will include helping the departments assess their current computer needs. Lotus Notes: All departments will be upgraded to Lotus Notes Version 6 by the end of the calendar year. Lindy Lewis is currently working with pilot groups. Version 6 has added features such as Instant Messaging. The new web client is very similar to the new desktop version. IS Strategic Planning: Since Ed Mahon assumed the role of CIO and VP – Information Services in August of 2004, the IS Strategic Planning has focused on providing baseline services with emphasis on desktop computers, telecommunications and wireless capabilities. Foremost in this strategic planning process is ensuring that the proper support is being provided to the university. Another aspect will be to determine how to leverage technology for students and faculty. One of the administrative processes currently being examined is the possibility of the implementation of a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system that would replace our existing FRS/SIS reporting packages. For more information on the ERP project, please refer to: IS Strategic Planning Website: http://www.kent.edu/Administration/is/IS-Strategic-Planning.cfm Below are some questions raised during the presentation on IT and the answers provided: Q: Will the departments be charged for IT data consolidation services? A: Judy advised that the current concept for the billing of IT services is that every department will receive some space at no charge. Departments would be charged a fee for file storage exceeding the initial allotment. The objective of this billing arrangement is to fully recover the costs incurred by the IT area, but not to charge more than the cost of the services. Q: How soon will this affect the Regional Campuses? A: Judy responded that the Regional Campuses will be analyzed after the Kent Campus has been completed, which is scheduled to be June 2006. Q: Has it been considered that department charges will be based on the number of employees in the department vs. the amount of file space used? A: Per Judy Molnar, this is currently being discussed. Q: Will the speed of the university systems be improved? Some users have reported that Banner response time and Internet speed has decreased in the afternoons in the last few months. A: Some of the buildings have old topology. It will need to be determined if departments need to upgrade to new equipment. Judy was unaware of the decrease in speed in some of the departments. She agreed to look into this matter. Q: Some of the departments are having trouble opening the Lotus Notes application. There are also problems with the PRA’s and Expense Forms. Will these problems be rectified? A: The server has been upgraded and may have caused some issues, but Judy was unaware of specific problems. Also, some departments have been upgraded to McAfee 8.5 Antivirus scan, and this may be contributing to the problems. Judy agreed to look into the PRA and Expense Report problems. Q: Will the university require all University employees to use the Lotus Notes application? A: The baseline services group will be investigating streamlining into one e-mail system. IDC e-mail Notification presented by Maureen Kennedy – Director of BAS IDC Email Notification: When an IDC form is filled out in Lotus Notes, the user initiating the IDC transaction must specify whether they want an email notification to go to the contact person for the debit/charge account, the credited account or both accounts. E-mails are sent out nightly for all IDC’s after they have been approved. Each email contact receives one email regarding all IDC’s involving their FRS account(s) approved the previous day. The e-mail is sent to the person who is designated in the e-mail contact field in the Financial Approval Hierarchy table. Only one person can be designated to receive the e-mail for each department, and the responsible division budget officer maintains the list of departments and email contact names. A copy of the email notification table by department, and the listing of departmental budget officers are attached to this email below. Any changes in the email contact for a department must be requested through, and approved by, the current department budget officer. The “Transaction Description” field on the Lotus Notes IDC request screen is limited to 20 characters. The information entered in this field will appear on the FRS statements as the transaction description. It is important that the IDC initiator choose their transaction description carefully, so the information is meaningful to associates reviewing the FRS statements. For example, saying ‘see below’ in the transaction description field does not provide an FRS user with any information about the transaction. If the description is too long or detailed to fit into the 20 character “Transaction Description” field, additional information about the transaction can be provided in the “Add / Edit Comment” field of the Lotus Notes IDC request screen. Using the Lotus IDC Database presented by Maureen Kennedy –Director of BAS Any Lotus Notes user can search for IDC information directly in the Lotus Notes/IDC database. The steps to complete an expanded search are available in the power point presentation attached. The example given shows a search by account, which is then limited to transactions in a specific date range. A sign up sheet was circulated during the BAS Forum for those individuals requesting the procedures to access this information. It was also stated that not all employees may have access to this information or the expanded search. If you would need to search the IDC database for IDC transactions but currently do not have access to it, please call or e-mail Vicki Ladd (email@example.com, X 21956) and she will assist you in obtaining access. Below are some questions raised during the presentation on IDC’s and the answers provided: Q: E-mails are being received that an IDC has been charged to my account but there is no IDC listed in the database. Is there a delay between the e-mail and the approval process? A: The e-mails are supposed to be delivered after the IDC approval. Cindy Lotzgeselle indicated that there were systems issues in the past that caused the e-mail notification to be sent out before the IDC was approved and added to the IDC database. Cindy indicated these problems have been resolved and this should not be happening. Q: When the IDC email notification was originally discussed, it was explained that the department receiving the transaction would have the option of receiving email notification of transactions being posted to their FRS account. As the IDC notification process is working today, the originator of the IDC request decides whether to notify the other department(s) involved. Since the notification is not working as originally described, can this be changed so that the receiver is notified? A: After discussion about this during the Forum, it was agreed that the “notify” section of the IDC should be reviewed to assess what is involved in eliminating the notification section of the IDC transaction form and having email notifications sent to all departments involved. If you feel that this needs to be modified, you may contact Vicki Ladd 2-1956 in Business Administrator Services and we can determine the needs of the departments and submit a change request to the appropriate IT area for evaluation. Remember, any Lotus Notes user can obtain IDC information directly from the database at any time. Q: Would it be possible to have the IDC originator’s name appear on the e-mail notification? A: It appears that this could be accomplished. Judy Molnar agreed to investigate and advise. Q: When viewing the IDC’s for a specific account, is it possible to see the IDC’s for the account in date order with the most current dates at the top of the list? A: Currently there is no date sorting functionality, but a user can do a search by date or date range, which will return a list including only those IDC’s created within the date(s) you specify. Q: Can anyone access the IDC database? A: Any user with access to Lotus Notes is able to view the IDC database. If an employee needs to view the database but does not have access, they should contact the Help Desk for assistance. It was noted during the discussion that any user who has access to view the IDC database also has the ability to initiate an IDC transaction. Each department should consider who should have this access to support their specific business needs. CASHNet Deposit Changes presented by Vicki Ladd – Account Clerk I - BAS Recently, several changes were made to the CASHNet blue bag deposit procedures. The changes only affect those departments that use TRANZ credit card machines AND make blue bag deposits. The changes have been implemented to facilitate reconciling credit card receipts with the bank statement. Any questions or concerns regarding these new procedures must be directed to Pam Wilkes in the Bursar’s office at extension 2-0858. Pam will be happy to visit your department and assist you in the preparation of your next deposit, if necessary. Mail Services Cost Savings Tips presented by Anna Pascarella – Manager – Mail Services Anna provided information on departmental cost savings tips. She suggested the use of Bulk Processing if your department has a mailing of 200 or more pieces of the same item. Postage costs can be reduced by as much as 50 % by using the bulk mailing process. It is important to note that bulk mailings can take 5 to 10 business days for delivery, therefore proper planning is required. Other mail services available to Kent State departments include folding, tabbing, inserting and addressing. Mail Services can insert up to 8 sheets into one envelope. There are 6 different kinds of folds available. Mail Services offers 2 types of addressing: ink jet and labels. Both types of addressing require the department to submit an Excel spreadsheet or a disk containing the names and addresses to be used. Ink jetting of addresses creates a barcode that is read by postal machines and not only does it expedite delivery, it can also reduce postal expenses. If your mailing qualifies, ink jetting can cut your costs by up to .05 per piece and also provides the capability of verifying addresses to identify any invalid addresses, eliminating the expense of undeliverable mail. Details about all the services provided by the Mail Services department can be found on their website at http://www.kent.edu/mailservices/. Another cost savings tip Anna suggested is using post cards instead of letters when possible. The postcard rate of .23 is charged if the postcard size is between the minimum 3 ½” x 5” and the maximum of 4 ¼” x 6”. The United States Postal Service postal size requirements should be considered when planning communications. Undersized, oversized and odd sized mailings cost more than a standard letter due to the additional handling costs. For example, the postage to mail a small square envelope is more than the standard letter envelope rate - a square piece of mail weighing less than 1 ounce will cost .49 cents in postage, but a standard envelope weighing less than 1 ounce costs only .37 cents postage. Teaming up with another department to mail materials to the same address list is another way departments can reduce their postage expenses. In the past when this approach was used, each department supplied their own inserts that were all sent out in one envelope, and the postage charges were split among the departments. Two KSU departments recently changed from mailing a printed catalog with a mailing cost of $2.26 each to mailing a CD ROM containing the same information at a mailing cost of .49 cents each. Anna also reminded the group that postage expenses can be reduced by updating mailing lists to reduce the amount of undeliverable and returned mail. Anna advised that departments can continue to use their existing stock of envelopes, even if they are preprinted with an old (and now incorrect) account number. The department can simply cross out the old account number on the envelope and write in the new one, or attach a note to the mail services group indicating the correct account number to be used for the postage charges. Anna explained that mail services associates make every effort to sort and deliver mail as quickly as possible across the Kent State campuses. Delivery delays are often caused by the lack of a complete or accurate address. Departments should keep in mind that mail services associates do not sort mail by building or room number. The mail is sorted by department. To facilitate the mail services’ sorting process, use the correct department and employee name when addressing envelopes. Also, please remember that different departments have similar abbreviations that may cause confusion and delays. Some examples include: Ex: PS = Police Services, Political Science and Psychological Services CS = Computer Services, Career Services, Continuing Studies and Classical Studies MUS = Music and Museum BUS = Business Administration Building, Business Administrative Services and Business Dept. There are two upcoming mail services seminars. The first is on April 22, 2005 at the Stark State College and the second is on June 1, 2005 at Kent State University Kent Campus. If you are interested in attending please contact Anna directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 2-8703. Below are some questions raised during the presentation on mail services and the answers provided: Q: What are the criteria to send bulk mail in order to get the discount? A: Bulk mail requires that there be at least 200 pieces of identical mail. In order to get bulk rates, the items need to be in zip code order. For more information, please contact Mail Services at ext.2-2164. Q: What is the cost for returned mail that was sent out as part of a bulk mailing? A: Any mail that is not deliverable due to a bad address is discarded per USPS regulations unless you have an ancillary endorsement on your envelope. The cost for the returned mail will be determined by the ancillary endorsement. There are 4 types of endorsements. KSU mainly uses the “Returned Service Requested”. Q: Can I send mail insured, certified or restricted using your department or do I need to take it to the post office? A: Mail services can mail those items for you. All you need to do is complete the appropriate USPS forms and leave the items to be mailed (along with the completed forms) in your department’s outgoing mail. These items are hand delivered to the Kent Post Office and a receipt is provided to the department the next day. Mail Services can also send international mail. Upcoming Matchmaker Event Reminder presented by Maureen Kennedy – Director - BAS On behalf of John Flasco, the BAS Forum attendees were reminded about the upcoming Matchmaker Event to be held at Kent on Tuesday, May 24, 2005. As described in the last BAS Forum, the Supplier Diversity program fosters and encourages the establishment of business relationships with historically disadvantaged and/or economically and socially underutilized businesses located within the university's geographic region and beyond. Special attention is given to include Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (WOBE). At the upcoming Matchmaker event, suppliers who are MBE’s or WOBE’s will be matched with participants from KSU departments who need the goods or services the suppliers offer. A letter from the Procurement department soliciting KSU participants for the Matchmaker event was given to all in attendance at the BAS Forum, and they were encouraged to complete the ‘areas of interest’ section of the letter and turn it in at the end of the BAS Forum. Completed forms can also be sent directly to Procurement. A copy of the letter is attached to these minutes. Anyone who has not already responded should print out the form, share the information with others in their area and respond to Purchasing as instructed in the letter. Updating the BAS Forum Invitee List presented by Vicki Ladd – Account Clerk I – BAS The BAS group requests your assistance in updating the list of those invited to attend the BAS Forums. A review of the attendance sheets for the last 5 meetings showed that 23% of the BAS Forum invitees have attended 1 or none of the last 5 meetings. Please help us to update the invitee list to 1) remove the names of people that are no longer with the university and 2) update it with those who would benefit from attending the Forums in the future. A current list of BAS Forum invitees is attached to this email. Please e-mail Vicki Ladd at email@example.com with suggested updates to the invitee list from your areas. Reminder about Communication of BAS Forum Information Please remember to share the information you received in this Forum - and in every BAS Forum - with other associates in your departments. Provide the information from the Forum presentations to other members of your office or department who may need to be updated on current issues and procedures. Open Discussion Questions and Answers Q: When will the budget revisions be available on line? A: Judy Molnar advised that the on line budget revision is still on the list of pending IT projects. No definite time frame can be given at this time. Q: How is the priority for Lotus Upgrades being determined? A: Judy Molnar advised that IT is starting with some small groups of users, and is presently working with pilot groups. After the pilot groups are done, the upgrades will be done through the local LAN administrators and zones. The current timetable shows the upgrade is expected to be complete by the end of July. Q: Some users need to change their Lotus passwords periodically but others have never had to change their passwords. What are IT’s plans for password maintenance? A: Judy Molnar explained that, ultimately, the university would like to go to one (1) password for all systems. This would include our active directories, Flashline, Lotus Notes and Kronos. Q: Will Lotus work on a Macintosh computer? A: Judy Molnar advised that Lotus does work on a Macintosh computer. It may be necessary to download the software in order to have this work properly. Contact the Help Desk for assistance. Q: Is there a way that we can be notified when there are policy changes posted to the Web? This would eliminate having to search for information each time it is needed. A: HR notifies General Managers and Assistant Managers (via e-mail ) of policy changes. Changes may also be communicated in the E-Inside. As policy changes are made that affect business processes, the BAS group will make an announcement about these via the BAS list serve and on the BAS Website. Judy Molnar advised that a project was being formed to investigate establishing a portal for all faculty and staff to view policy changes. Next BAS Forum The next meeting was scheduled for June 9, 2005. It has been rescheduled to Thursday, June 16, 2005 in room 204 of the Kent Student Center. Look for the new schedule of meetings on the BAS Website.
"BAS Forum Minutes"