When PeopleSoft is giving you trouble, who you gonna call? Why, the Student Records Training and Support Team, of course.
A fount of knowledge, Gary Andersen, Nancy Killian, and Heather Micek make up the Training Team. They provide comprehensive training, production support, and documentation for PeopleSoft Student Records and related web applications for all University of Minnesota campuses.
The Training Team provides support for One Stop, ASR Business Analysts (BA), and OCM staff on a regular basis. But their work doesn't stop there.
"We provide training and support for all departments on system campuses," Gary said. "We're basically the public-facing service team to colleges and departments, just like One Stop is for students."
The Training Team also supports many different applications and processes, including PeopleSoft Student Records, PeopleSoft UM ECS, Grading, ECAS, PCAS, and Management/UM Reports.
University staff and faculty can receive help from the team by phone, email, or in-person. The team also offers training through workshops or staff meetings (by request).
"I think people would be surprised by the volume and variety of calls we get," Heather said. "We average over 400 phone calls and 200 ServiceNow tickets per month. We handle 95 percent of our tickets and phone calls on our own."
The team considers themselves the helpline for instructors so they are very busy at the start and end of semesters and during registration time. Because they are the helpline for the U, they say that it is often hard to hold their tongue when people call and are frustrated.
"People aren't calling to say PeopleSoft is working great," Heather said. "They are calling to report a system issue so they are frustrated and that makes it difficult to talk to them sometimes."
The team also strives to put a positive spin on the University systems. They say they are the PR arm for the system. Nancy has learned that the best way to deal with people who are frustrated is to get them laughing. "When someone calls and is frustrated with how the system is working (or not working), I'll say, 'Well the gremlins are having a good day in the system," Nancy said.
Despite this, everyone on the team loves providing customer support. "I like talking to someone and helping people learn things," Nancy said. "We'll hear from people a lot at first and then they call back just to say hi after they have figured everything out. We've worked really hard to make personal connections with our customers."
The team says one of their strengths is the connections they have to people in all departments and campuses. "We train people and talk to people on the phone. We help people by documenting training and production support," Heather said. "We're kind of popular."
In fact, the team has even been recognized outside of the University setting. "I've been on vacation and had people come up to me and say, 'Hey, you're the PeopleSoft guy.'" Gary said.
Other than phone and email support, a big part of their job is providing training to the system campuses. There are PeopleSoft and PCAS training sessions available to all campuses. Student Data Inquiry is the most popular class.
There are also various workshops that people can attend every month. The topics vary, but by far the most successful workshop was the Big Picture workshop, which helps people understand how all the systems work together. When it was held two years ago, the workshop had more than 100 attendees.
The team has recently finished up quite a few projects. They went live with the transition of maintaining training records in PeopleSoft enterprise learning management system to a new system called ULearn.
They also completed a project set to provide PCAS for graduate programs. Originally only available for undergraduate departments, the team provided training to different Graduate School units to ensure a smooth transition. They have also been training the same units on adding a Leave of Absence to a student record.
The one major project underway is the Enterprise System Upgrade Program (ESUP). Heather is the representative from the Training Team for ESUP. The team will potentially be providing training on the new PeopleSoft, depending on how different it is from the older version.
"We are not sure if everyone will have to be retrained, but there will be some sort of training system in place with the new system," Heather said.
The Student Records Training and Support Team
Heather Micek, trainer/analyst
Gary Andersen, trainer/analyst
Nancy Killian, trainer/analyst