SMC implements new software
By NICOLE HADDAD
Imagine your life in one purple box in the basement of Le Mans Hall.
That's where it will be once Saint Mary's implements Banner 2000, a computer managing system that contains all the administrative information at Saint Mary's College. This includes student information, alumnae development, financial aid and human resources.
"We used to write our own system, using different software in each department," said Joel Cooper, director of Information Technology. "The Banner system supports all of the business functions for the College."
According to Lorraine Kitchner of the registrar's office, "Banner 2000 has revolutionized administrative computing at Saint Mary's. The primary benefit is combining the separate databases in the different administrative areas into one integrated database."
Cooper said the new system represents a shift from old methods of organizing data.
"We are moving from older methods to a state-of-the-art way of operating the College, and that's pretty exciting." Cooper said. "It isn't just the it, it's many areas of the campus cooperating to get this done. A very significant change. A state-of-the-art information system built on top of a state-of-the-art network."
Cooper explained that the College has been researching a new information system for some time.
"When I came three years ago, it was a good time to look at the commercial information system. We spent two years looking at state-of-the art college and university systems," Cooper said. "After forming a committee with permission from the Administrative Council, we narrowed down our possibilities of what works and what doesn't."
Cooper said the College sought a system that would be more efficient to serve the students, faculty and administration. All arrows pointed toward an integrated representative computer system where data are only stored once.
"This gives us the opportunity to look at the way we do business," Cooper said. "Implementing this system is critical to Saint Mary's future success. Being able to administer the College in an efficient manner as well as improving business processes are all things that will help Saint Mary's better serve all her constituencies and will help Saint Mary's be a top-of-the-line institution."
The company that owns and sells Banner, called SCT, did more than simply sell the system to the College.
They formed a partnership, looking at the College as a potential recruiting site. Banner will also allow the College to provide Web access to the information through a secure Web browser.
"I believe this bold move [to purchase Banner 2000] on the part of the College and the trustees will serve to put Saint Mary's on the cutting edge in administrative computing, especially when the Web products are in place," said Kitchner.
All News Stories for Wednesday, November 17, 1999