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Just the Beginning

What does it mean to implement a Student Information System (SIS) “solution?”  It means that selecting the best product is just the beginning of what we need to do to provide a true 21st century student experience!

The Enterprise Systems Renewal (ESR) program knows that a system replacement requires not only a core platform, but also additional systems that extend and enhance functionality. So while the ultimate SIS solution will consist of one vendor’s SIS product, it will also need to serve as the center of an array of vended and purpose-built solutions. This array will include things like course approval workflows, comprehensive learner records, financial aid systems and learner credentials.

This is not really surprising given the complexity of our enterprise. ISIS, our current student information system, was purpose-built for UC San Diego’s needs and grew with years and years of customizations, additions and integrations. These customizations have made ISIS exceedingly difficult to manage and develop.

No modern SIS possesses all the current functionality of ISIS “out of the box” because they have been built with a broad market in mind. With a new Student Information System, our goal is to select the best technological platform from among the modern cloud-based SIS vendors, and implement it with minimal customization. This will make the SIS easier to maintain with minimal disruption to student service or university operations.

This is where the strategy of including Conference Room Pilot (CRP) sessions in our procurement process comes in. The Request For Proposal issued earlier this year included Conference Room Pilot scripts, which are scenarios that call upon vendors to demonstrate how their systems handle the student information and student experience demands of the university.

We are in the middle of virtual CRP sessions now! By the end of December 2020, the SIS project team, subject matter experts, procurement personnel and ESR leadership will have completed 10 days each with two vendors, with a third vendor session scheduled for January 2021.

When we are ready to select a vendor, we will know a great deal more about what each product can do. We can use what we learn to develop a detailed and informed implementation and continuity plan on the path to creating a comprehensive SIS solution.

One vendor will be chosen in February 2021. Learn more about the SIS Procurement.

Category: Student & Faculty, News