Updates for BannerWeb coming this spring

Tamonda GriffithsNews Writer

The first set of changes to BannerWeb are set to roll out as early as the spring of 2019, said Director of Systems Integration Marvin Thomas.

Thomas said the major change that should be taking place is mobile compatibility view for the BannerWeb site.

“There you’ll be able to do scheduling,” said Thomas, “look at your schedules, registration, class search.”

Thomas said currently the mobile version of the site is “in their test environment,” where he and his team work out any possible kinks and issues with the vendor, Ellucian.

According to Ellucian’s website, Banner is one of the leading software in higher education and is utilized by almost 1,400 institutions in 40 countries.

Thomas said the upgrade from BannerWeb 8 to BannerWeb 9 is part of an effort from both, Ellucian and the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system to modernize the site.

“Going to Banner 9 is kind of a requirement,” said Thomas, “because the old Banner 8 was kind of outdated.”

Thomas said with the new Banner 9 the site will automatically shrink and adjust to screen-size of a mobile device, whether it be cell phone or tablet.

“It’s just like any software,” said Rusty May, director of technical administration, “you know, you get updates and things and technology evolves.”

May said the Banner system will continue to move forward from Banner 9 to eventual future versions of the software so as not to fall into the “trap” of not updating the site until it is too late.

However, Southern will always be one version of Banner behind other universities, said Thomas.

“We don’t want to be on the latest version because that’s where all the bugs happen,” said Thomas.

Thomas said the faculty version will get an update as well.

BannerIMB, which is utilized by chairpersons to manage budgets, advising and assignments, is set to have those changes made by the end of 2018, said Thomas.

According to CSCU IT Strategic Plan for 2015- 2020, the estimated cost for continuation of the Banner maintenance contract is between $20 to $40 million. Both Thomas and May

said they do not have a timeline.

Thomas said in March 2019 there will be “configuration meetings” in Hartford for parts of the changes of the system.

Recently, seniors experienced glitches while registering for the upcoming spring semester.

May said that incident did not make the IT department happy, however they do not forsee any issues occurring during the next registration period.

Junior and biology major Perpetual Taylor said she personally has not utilized the IT desk, but her registration experience has been the same every semester.

“I feel like it’s not really like you can’t really stop it because there’s so many people going on at once,” said Taylor, “so it’s like an overload, you know the servers like, kind of like filled up, I guess.”

May and Thomas said IT and the registrar office are up bright and early to monitor and funnel all computing resources into registration.

“From 6:00 to 6:05 a.m. is – we know whether we’ve won the game or loss the game at that point in time,” said May.

Photo Credit: Tamonda Griffiths

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