Zzusis improves functionality

Zack Briggs, ASWSU reporter

In the third week of classes, WSU’s student information system Zzusis has yet to experience massive technical failures.

Matt Skinner, a leading figure of Enterprise Systems Group, said this year the team behind ensuring the performance of Zzusis is working toward transparency in communication with the WSU community.

Skinner, associate vice president and chief Enterprise Systems Officer, was appointed by WSU President Elson S. Floyd in March.

“We are prioritizing our work to develop a roadmap – a charted course to improve system functionality,” he said.

Zzusis, which operates under the service provider called Oracle on Demand, is able to handle at least 4,300 users who log in at the same time, Skinner said.

He said the first day of classes on Aug. 19 posed a minor problem for those trying to access Zzusis. From 8:30 to about 11:00 a.m., users faced log in difficulties as well as struggles trying to access various student facilities.

Skinner called the short-term poor performance of Zzusis “unacceptable,” saying his team collaborated with service provider Oracle on Demand to improve performance.

“We continue to perform testing and evaluation with our service provider to better understand how to prevent such issues in the future,” he said.

To avert crises like last year’s financial aid dilemma, Skinner said he believes a fresh organizational structure and enhanced coordination efforts will make Zzusis an even more user-friendly service.

Skinner hopes to have an active plan displayed on the Zzusis website one day, so students and other users can see what’s going on behind the scenes to improve the system. He said the goal is to have students, faculty and staff feel included in the process of building Zzusis into an accessible university tool.

With a newly established team of more than 20 university administrative officials, Skinner said he’s confident that Enterprise Systems Group will be able to innovate on the foundation of Zzusis.

This process starts with talking to people, Skinner said.

“Better communication and feedback from end users will allow us to understand the issues and opportunities associated with the system,” he said.

Allyssa Knutson, a sophomore business communication major, said she has no complaints when it comes to using Zzusis.

“Most of my difficulties have to deal with my Wi-Fi,” Knutson said. “As far as the Zzusis program, it’s been working great this year I’ve noticed compared to last year.”

Shane Reed transferred to WSU this semester as a junior. He said his Zzusis experience has been flawless.

“I go on basically every day, so I didn’t have any problems on the first day of school,” Reed said. “My schedule was printed out beforehand, so I don’t know if I’m just on top of things.”

Skinner said he’s been satisfied with Zzusis so far. Enterprise Systems Group offers training at the Math Learning Annex for people who need help using the system.

There is an annual cost of $1.3 million to license the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions software, which includes numerous bundle releases throughout the year, Skinner said. He also said $1.6 million goes toward hardware infrastructure costs. The $1.6 million is used to fund servers and test ideas before producing for the public.

“As we interact with many end users across campus, we’ve actually heard from many that the system is more responsive than it has ever been,” said Skinner. “This is a positive step in meeting end user’s needs.”