Banner student record system upgrade - November 2019
The upgraded Banner student records system successfully went live on Monday 4 November.
This was the culmination of months of hard work by a great many colleagues across divisions including Registry, Student Services, Admissions – and of course IT Services, who worked closely with Banner users and the supplier throughout development and testing. A big thank you to you all for your support.
The upgrade was essential to protect the system and its data, with the previous version no longer being supported by the supplier, Ellucian. It also lays the technical foundations for many of the future improvements to student administration that will be developed under the StARS programme.
The majority of regular Banner users are based in Registry, Admissions and the Student Hub, with smaller numbers in the Main Library, HEFi, Legal Services and Finance. All regular users have undertaken training and will continue to be supported by “expert users” from their own teams, along with colleagues from IT Services who will be based in Aston Webb throughout this week.
What’s changed and what to expect
While the “look and feel” of Banner 9 is very different, much of the functionality remains the same. Feedback from the training indicated that, once they had had a chance to see and try out the new-look system, most staff were pleasantly surprised by how quickly they started to get to grips with it.
Regular users will need to be prepared for initial screen loading to be slightly slower than Banner 8, due to Banner 9 being web browser-based rather than installed on PCs. System performance will be carefully monitored and the StARS team and IT Services will continue to work with Ellucian to improve things wherever possible.
What’s next for StARS?
Now the upgrade is in place, StARS will be able to continue its work to understand how Banner (and new features such as electronic document storage and automated workflows) can be used to support the programme’s aim of simplifying student administration.
Many staff from across the University have given us invaluable input over recent months to help us map out their current ways of working. We are now analysing the 300 process maps resulting from that exercise so we can prioritise which to return to first with the relevant staff to explore ways to improve and simplify them.
“Technical” developments such as this week’s Banner upgrade are important, but are certainly not the end in themselves. Rather, their importance lies in how they can be used as tools to help us improve the administration services and experiences we give our students.
Julie Scarratt, Director of Innovation & Development, StARS Programme Director
Chris Tatner, StARS Programme Manager