Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to common questions about SASI, the plans, and what it means for you. Don't see what you're looking for? Get in touch and tell us what else you need to know.
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What is SASI?
The purpose of the Student Academic Systems Initiative (SASI) is to refresh UBC's current Student Information System (SIS) technology. The team is focused on building a student academic management system that facilitates student, faculty and staff success throughout the student's academic journey. We are united by our vision to transform the way we interact and work, creating a cohesive, integrated experience for all users.
What is SIS and why are we undertaking this initiative?
The Student Information System (SIS) is the foundational set of applications which support our students' academic journey as well as many faculty and staff processes. Admissions, Progression Tracking (e.g. Degree Audit), Academic Evaluation and Promotion (e.g. Sessional Evaluation), and Graduation Requirements are examples of processes supported by the SIS. Our current and anticipated growth at UBC is outpacing the capacity of our current systems, resulting in a decision to invest in new technology, which will provide the foundation for future functionality and process improvements.
I don't currently use the SIS for parts of my job. What will SASI mean for me?
The vision of SASI is to transform the way we interact and work by creating a cohesive, integrated experience for all users. SASI is not limited to the replacement of the current SIS, but spans across multiple technologies and processes. There may be new ways of working and interacting with systems that don't exist today. The impact of these changes will vary between departments and individual roles and will be assessed on an on-going basis to make sure the SASI team can support you fully.
What was the purpose of the requirements gathering workshops?
Requirements gathering workshops for the Design and Validation phase took place from July 2015 to March 2016. The purpose of the requirements gathering workshops was to facilitate conversations with faculty, students, and administrative stakeholders to understand the details and complexities of their business requirements. Workshops were held to cover the full breadth of Student Information Systems (SIS) processes as well as select student processes that occur outside the SIS. Workshop outputs were a comprehensive list of "future state" functional and non-functional requirements. Functional requirements describe what the system must be able to do (i.e. produce a transcript) and non-functional requirements describe how the system should behave (i.e. be accessible to a wide variety of devices). The requirements documentation will be used to define the scope of the SASI program. They are a foundational input to the Request for Proposal (RFP) and will inform prospective vendors of our functional and technical expectations of the system(s) we will purchase.
What is SASI working on now?
The current phase of SASI is called Streamline, Procure and Plan (SP&P). During this phase, we will build upon the work completed in the Design & Validation phase in terms of understanding UBC's requirements along with a progressive, competitive procurement phase that will enable selection of a suitable platform(s) for UBC.
What does a competitive RFP process entail? Who will be involved?
A competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) invites qualified vendors to respond to a formal request to present products and services that may meet UBC's specifications and requirements. The functional and non-functional requirements gathered in partnership with the community through the Design and Validation and the Streamline, Procure & Plan phases will provide the foundation for assessing and ultimately choosing a solution best suited to UBC's immediate and future needs. The RFP will be a two stage approach, beginning with a broader set of requirements designed to solicit a wide variety of vendors. These responses will be evaluated and then we will move into a more detailed RFP with select vendors. This approach ensures we evaluate a broad set of ideas so that the best path forward for UBC can be selected. there will be opportunities for community consultation and engagement throughout the process.
How will decisions about future functionality be made?
Decision making regarding future functionality will vary based on the breadth, complexity, and impact of the change being made. Every decision originates with consultation with the SASI advisory bodies and UBC stakeholders before it is ultimately taken to SASI Sponsors and Leadership team for approval. In cases where decisions stand to drive UBC-wide process, policy or people changes, our Leadership team helps to engage senior decision-makers including SASI Executive Leadership, UBC Provosts, UBC Executive Leadership, UBC Senates and the UBC Board of Governors as needed.
When will we start to use the new system(s)?
An exact date for the launch of new systems has not been established. The planned release date will be determined once we have selected a product.
What is the plan for applications that currently interface with the SIS?
There are a number of applications and systems that are used throughout the student lifecycle and are integrated with SIS. One of our key focus areas has been gathering requirements for the new student information system and incorporating current and future needs of the university community. The initial focus was on the current SIS along with some of its current integrations with other UBC systems. As the SASI team continues with the discovery process, we want to ensure all the interactions and integrations with other systems and applications are fully understood so that functionality can be incorporated within the new system where possible. Where this is not possible, we need to ensure new functionality continues to integrate with existing applications and systems.
What is Process Streamlining?
Process streamlining is about finding opportunities to streamline and align common processes across campuses, faculties and administrative units to support SASI procurement and implementation planning activity. The work will involve further analysis of existing business capabilities and processes as required, comparison of these processes across various units as applicable, identifying similarities and differences, and recommending common streamlined processes where possible. Students