Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Featured Projects

DIT is responsible for the management, development and planned execution of CSU’s Technology Initiatives (TI) which is a portfolio of ICT projects transforming systems and processes.

The Division also manages the Information and Communication Technology: Significant Works Register (ICT:SWR). The ICT:SWR supports the delivery of the TI and enables current IT services to operate efficiently and effectively, as well as provide enhancements to existing services through request/assignment and problem management.

Some current CSU projects are detailed below. A full listing can be viewed via the TI dashboard.

Staff Hub Refresh

Background

Phase 1 of Staff Hub went live June 2017. This release laid the foundations for the Staff Hub website with a vision that this site would become a one-stop shop for staff to complete tasks and access relevant news and information.

Under Phase 1, the Web Office conducted significant user research and engagement with staff to create a themed, task-based information architecture. This work identified 5 key user stories that were to guide the features to be delivered in the Staff Hub. However due to time and technical constraints, the Phase 1 release only supported these user stories in limited ways.

Since the release of Phase 1 we have received 692 pieces of staff feedback. Much of this initial feedback related to issues that were fixed as part of the defect period. Additional feedback and feature requests have been grouped and themed, and used to inform the scope of work for Phase 2.

The Staff Hub feedback mechanism also includes a feature that lets staff give Staff Hub an overall score. Phase 1 of Staff Hub received an average score of 2.1 out of 5, indicating that there was an opportunity to improve Staff Hub. The Web Office developed the scope for Phase 2 based on: 1. outstanding items from Phase 1 2. consolidated feedback from staff 3. general areas for user experience design (UX) improvement identified.

What are the impacts?

All CSU staff benefit from Phase 2 release of Staff Hub. Key improvements include:

  • Greater prominence to key functions like ‘Find a staff member’.
  • 'Predictive’ search results for top 50 search terms.
  • Reintroduction of password countdown timer.
  • Rebuilt personal Bookmarks feature.
  • Consolidated News widget on homepage - What’s New, CSU News, Yammer and Events.
  • Refreshed list of ‘Quicklinks’ available every page.
  • Blog and social media feeds.
  • Improved visual design.

What have we achieved?

Phase 2 of Staff Hub was released on 16th August. For the full list of new or improved features check out the Staff Hub article on the Web Office Blog.

Online Shop - Student Payments

The Online Shop platform went live with Student Payments on 8th August.

CSU released a refreshed Student Payments portal, giving everyone a simpler, more intuitive way of making purchases and payments, with the same checkout experience when shopping via CSU Clubs.

Student Payments portal is now more accessible on all devices (Smart Phones, Tablets and PCs), providing the flexibility and convenience of making purchases and payments anywhere and anytime.

Students and staff can access the site through their existing links or directly via payments.shop.csu.edu.au. After a wonderful effort by the project team, we now have a much needed update to the existing payments portal.

New Subject Outline Tool

The new Subject Outline Tool has been released for sessions 201845, 201860 and 201875 with all subject outlines now being published in the new system.

The tool replaces the current Mandatory Subject Information (MSI) system in authoring student subject outlines and aims to reduce the considerable amount of time spent entering and formatting content in the MSI system.

What’s changed?

  • A new authoring interface for academics - including the ability for academics to collaborate on outlines.
  • Additional compliance and reporting features - including Head of School Dashboards.
  • Additional data analytics to track student interaction with subject outlines.
  • An enhanced student delivery system and modern view in Interact2 (i2).
  • A new outline search function for staff and students.

What are the benefits?

  • A new html editor enables academics to easily copy and paste, or build a marking rubric within the tool – saving staff a significant amount of time.
  • Improved collaboration features and better integration with other data sources to save time when creating and checking outlines.
  • Enhanced data and analytics extract abilities - potentially resulting in earlier identification of Priority Contact students.
  • An enhanced interface within Blackboard removing the requirement for academics to create high quality landing pages within i2. The new system facilitates the automatic creation of a high quality landing page and ensures the subject outline is the centerpiece of an i2 site when students first login to a new subject.
  • Retiring the Sakai system - the removal of the MSI system allows this to happen.

The project introducing the new Subject Outline Tool wrapped up in mid-August. The project has been run using the Agile Methodology with extensive business involvement.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) is all about student engagement. It will sit at the core of the CSU IT landscape to enable staff to provide consistent, proactive, optimal and relevant student experiences and engage students effectively. The CRM will provide sustainability and agility by enabling sustained student acquisition and retention, and helping to ensure students excel.

What have we achieved?

The CRM project reached a major milestone in early July with the selection of a preferred vendor and implementation partner. Evaluation of the two market leading shortlisted vendors and implementation partners - Salesforce/ Bluewolf and Microsoft Dynamics/KPMG - focused on key evaluation criteria:

  • Functional requirements
  • Non-functional requirements
  • Implementation approach
  • Licensing and costs
  • University and other commercial reference checks

The evaluation highlighted that both vendor offerings were viable technology solutions, without functional or nonfunctional issues that would significantly differentiate either offering. The reference checks provided useful learnings and advice, but similarly did not significantly differentiate between the two. However, both licensing costs and implementation evaluations significantly favoured the Microsoft Dynamics/ KPMG proposal – promoting it to the preferred tender submission. The steering committee endorsed the recommendation that Microsoft Dynamics/KPMG be selected as the preferred CRM solution and implementation partner.

Any teams or individuals who would like a briefing on the evaluation please contact Phil Roy - Director, Strategic Technology Program (proy@csu.edu.au).

Where to next?

Next steps are to negotiate a best and final offer, execute contracts and licensing agreements and initiate the CRM implementation project – starting with an initial Discovery phase of 8 weeks, followed by a planned 13 week implementation of alumni in the new CRM. After this will be current student and prospective student implementations. Alongside these activities is the development of a change management approach and capability, with significant resources from within CSU and with external change management expertise as part of the solution proposal.