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Max’s Minute: OIT in the New Year

Max Davis-Johnson, CIO, Office of Information Technology at Boise State University, discusses where you can view our updated strategic plan, University-wide IT initiatives, and status of current IT projects. Max provides updates and details on some current OIT projects such as our move to Oracle’s Human Capital Management system, multi-factor authentication, some exciting new partners with our high-performance computing, a new budget system, and the customer relationship management project.

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Video Transcript: Max's Minute: OIT in the New Year

[Cheerful music plays]

Hi, happy holidays. This is Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State University Office of Information Technology. Today, I’m going to talk a little about our strategic plan and then some of the active, large enterprise projects we have going on, and then some future things we’ll be working on as we progress through the year.

Strategic Plan

Our strategic plan is now available on the OIT website. Basically, the strategic plan tells a little about who we are, what we believe, how we approach things, and then what we’re planning to do, and the focus is on in the next year. If you have the time, I’d appreciate you going out and taking a look at it and providing feedback at

It has projects that are identified by our governance process, ITPC, ITGC, which I’ve talked about before. The important thing though is that project plan list is evolving, it’s updated every time ITPC meets. And so it is current, it tries to reflect new projects, maybe projects we’re pushing out, but it is a current snapshot of what the University wants us to approach.

I would encourage you to also go out and look at that periodically, just get up to date on what our large initiatives are.

We also have the OIT Project website which is updated on a weekly basis. It lists our active projects, current status, lists some of the projects we’ve completed in the last 60 days, and also has projects that are in our queue.

So again, if you want to know what we’re doing in OIT, I would encourage you to go to those two websites and find out some of the things we are working on.

HCM Human Capital Management

We’re working on our Oracle HCM Cloud, i.e., HR-payroll system implementation. We’ve got a lot of people working on it, it’s not just an OIT project. HR obviously is very involved. Office of Continuous Improvement is very involved. In fact, the whole University is very involved in this project as we move forward.

Unified Data Hub and Reporting

One of the things that’s being driven by the HCM project is also the fact that we’re going to be reworking how we present reporting and data to the University. We’re developing a unified data hub. We have an opportunity to consolidate not only the data in a single warehouse using Oracle technology, but we’re going to be using a common tool set.

Multi-factor Authentication

Another active project that you’ll see here very shortly is we’re working on what’s called multi-factor authentication and our password reset capabilities. And again, it’s part of our evolving security program that we need to do. But it will give us an extra layer of security, and it will give you as an individual an extra layer of security when you’re dealing with your Boise State accounts.

High-Performance Computing Partners

Another thing that I’m excited about, you can tell I get excited about a lot of things, our High Performance Computing cluster partnership that we’re doing with Idaho Power, Idaho National Labs, and IRON.

And so we’re ordering equipment, we’ll be installing equipment here in December, and with more equipment we’ll start installation at the beginning of the calendar year. We’re really excited about this because it’s going to change the nature and capacity of how we do research at Boise State and give us a lot more capability, not only to do research, but to train computational scientists here in Idaho.

Future Projects

A couple of projects in the queue that I’m also excited about is our CRM initiative and our new budget system.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM is customer relationship management system. And basically, we have a CRM now we use to recruit students, and we have a CRM that after you leave the University, we use to solicit further involvement with the University. We don’t have anything that really tracks the current student, helps us communicate, helps us understand how our current students interact directly with Boise State.

And so we’re looking for a system that can handle from cradle to grave. We did an RFI, with formal vendors coming in doing some presentations, and we selected a system called Sales Force. It’s fairly common, not only in the commercial world, but in higher ed there’s a really good ecosystem that we can borrow from. We’re still in final contract negotiations with Sales Force, but we plan to start that initiative at the beginning of the calendar year.

Budget System

The other new initiative that we’re excited about is a new budget system. We currently have an RFP, or request for proposals, out there. We’re looking at vendor responses here in December, going through a selection and interview process at the beginning of the calendar year. Hopefully, then we’ll make a selection and start that project at the beginning of the fiscal year 20-21.

Again, this system will have an impact on all of us. It will interact with our financial system, our HR system, and it will give us a much better handle on our budget process and financial process moving forward.

In Closing

Again, thank you for listening. I hope everybody has a great holiday. I look forward to next year and all this fun stuff that we’re working on. Thank you.

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Max’s Minute is produced by the Office of Information Technology at Boise State University.

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