University of Oregon

2013 Ellucian Live Conference Notes


Notes from meeting to discuss Ellucian Live Conference
April 23, 2013
10:00 a.m.  EMU Coquille Room

Attending:  Jeff Van Horn, Sonia Potter, Stephany Freeman, Travis Shea, Brock Lampman, Judy Duff, Peter Campbell, Gunawan Darmadi, Jim Brooks, Jim Gilmour, Tyfanie Winewriter, Joey Mitchell, Victoria Devore, James Joule, Tim Ketchum, Brian Lowery, Scott Morrell, Teresa Owen, Sue Eveland, Mark McCulloch, Susan Hilton.

Takeaways from the Conference

  1. Everything you see in Banner forms is being written and the new release is being called Banner XE.
  2. All new functionality will be put into Banner XE, not Banner 8.
  3. Phase 1 of Banner XE development will be focused on the Student module.
  4. “Project Horizon” hasn’t been cancelled but it was only mentioned in passing at the conference (for those who don’t remember: this was unification of Banner and Self-Service – the “blurring of lines” between the two).  It is replaced by Banner XE Admin and Banner XE Self-Service.
  5. Ellucian is using Banner 8 to configure Banner 9/XE (Banner 8 has some Banner XE items).  This is probably to address people who are Banner 8 and Banner 9.  Although no one saw it demonstrated at the conference, Ellucian contends that you can access Banner 8/Banner XE seamlessly.
  6. The time frame for Banner XE is 2014-15.
  7. Some smaller schools are running some XE components (some pieces of student functionality are available now) but they have to run it in two separate windows. 
  8. UO will need to decide if they want to use scrolling or tabs --- general consensus, at least in this group, was tabs.
  9. Cobol is not going away.
  10. The security model in Banner 9 is the same as in Banner 8.
  11. SSO will be required (unless you want to log in to each form separately).
  12. Proxy access (access by 3rd party) to DuckWeb can be anyone (parent, landlord, coach, HR etc.)  Student is in control of who has access to their information for a limited period of time.  Note that any self-service form with an “action” (add/drop, bill pay, address update, etc.) allows the proxy to perform the action.  Pick lists should be created with this in mind.  This functionality will be available to students and employees.  
  13. Document imaging – BCG (formerly BDMS).  There are 2500 community members.  It includes INB forms and self-service.  Workflow is integrated with it.  It was formerly known as Extender (based on the DocuM) system.  Ellucian purchased the product and renamed it BDM.  You need the Extender solution to do bulk load and automatic indexing with the BDM system.
  14. This conference included Ellucian Banner and Datatel Colleague clients -- 8800 attendees in all.  Everyone agreed it was too big.  The schedule wasn’t clear as to the content of various sessions so there were Ellucian clients showing up at Datatel presentations, and vice versa.
  15. Mobile apps address primarily student functionlity.  The only thing they have that UO doesn’t is the ability to look up grades.  Do we want to develop our own app or buy a product and pay maintenance?
  16. ODW/EDW:  ODS v 8.1 will be desupported eoy 2013.  UO is upgrading to v 8.4.1 in June.  This will be a big data upload since 415 fields have been added. 
  17. Work flow – Sonia and Mark attended the Work Flow presentation and really liked it.  Even though UO owns it, there are quite a few costs to get it up and running, including hardware, professional services, training and on-going development/support of the workflows.
  18. You can find the Ellucian Roadmap link at
  19. You can find information about CoHEseion (formerly SETA), the Ellucian user group, at


From Mark McCulloch, Business Affairs

Some take aways from the Ellucian Live conference:

  • 8500 attendees, PowerCampus, Colleague, Datatel, and Banner clients combined.  Too big!!
  • CEO John Speer offered to waive license fee for Ellucian mobile product to clients if they sign up before June 15.  Still have to pay $16 or $20K per year in maintenance.
  • Product roadmaps now online,
  • Keynote: Bert Jacobs cofounder and CEO of Life is Good.  Lived in a van with his brother for 6 years selling t-shirts and their company topped $200M in sales in 2012.  They are selling more than t-shirts with cool colors and graphics, a positive attitude through mascot Jake. 10% of net profit goes to kids in need.  Attribute success to listening effectively to their customers.  PTTOW video
  • BDM (Banner Document Management) has 2500 community members, 20 sessions at the conference.   INB, BSS, and Workflow integration. Document retention module on product roadmap for Q3.  Reduced pricing and simpler licensing.  24/7 support.  The Reports Manager product is awesome (can drop a pdf file in a folder that is monitored to send a letter in seconds).  Auto index import wizard can be used to import 10,000 documents at time.
  • Three days before the conference Elluncian announced new integration with Touchnet (now a strategic partnership) product name is now Ellucian payment center by Touchnet.  This was a complete surprise and disappointment to competitors Nelnet and Cashnet.
  • More clients are implementing Ellucian XE (Banner 9, Colleague and PowerCampus also affected)  XE stands for Extensible Ecosystem.  It brings a new UI and entails an entirely new Java stack development environment, (Groovy, Grails and jQuery and ZK).  You can and must run Banner 9 forms alongside Banner 8 simultaneously.  Recommend starting early.
  • FIS 8.9 includes enhancement for indirect cost encumbering so PIs won’t overestimate available balance.
  • Travel and Expense Mgt includes per diem management and imaging integration with BDM, Hyland and Nolij (not Singularity)
  • Amy Lamy at Wake Forest is doing Cognos reporting using AR, Fin Aid, Health and Parking information.  Create a detail code view in Cognos.
  • Delta State U implemented student related workflows;
    • Withdrawal request
    • Course add drop
    • Course substitution, degree modification
    • Grade change

They recommend mapping existing process flow and forms first then in a separate meeting weeks later, evaluate each step for necessary notifications or approvals.

Key benefits of workflow:

  • Speed (instant delivery and parallel processing)
  • Less mistakes
  • More consistent
  • Time stamped paper trail.  Always know status
  • No lost paper
  • Able to open Banner or custom forms
  • Able to update tables.
  • Able to present related Banner data and use it in business logic
  • Makes staff more accountable
  • Imrpove security
  • Staff freed up to do more impactful work
  • Lindy Lewis is the principal ellucian workflow consultant and has worked with schools to implement workflows such as,
  • Change schedule
  • Change catalog
  • Change residency
  • Admissions approval
  • Course load threshold
  • Faculty load threshold
  • Notify wait listed students for new sections
  • Create new fund/detail code
  • Budget exceeded
  • Name change
  • Address change
  • Death
  • Duplicate PIDM
  • New hire
  • Termination
  • Benefits and Deductions
  • New gift

Ellucian can install, train, perform BDM and 3rd party integration, and do process analysis,


  • Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and a California school recently implemented AvantGard’s PayNetExchange service for all university vendor payments.  The Banner check file is uploaded to Ellucian and Ellucian prints checks, initiates ACH or issues virtual cards to vendors.  Wake Forest is making $12K to $14K/mo in rebates which re paid on day one dollar one.  UO could make $20K/mo. Vendor merchant discount fees pay for the rebate.   PayNetEchange works to enroll vendors in the virtual card program.
  • Missouri State Provost identified 15 KPIs related to the istitutions long range plan, then built a dashboard for stakeholders including their board to monitor performance. They needed a public facing site so they used Groovy and Grails and High Charts instead of their reporting system Argos.  Perhaps state auditors would like to see OUS institutions follow suit?
  • Sam Houston State U created space utilization reports using ODS and Cognos.  They then had a conversation with Deans to discover opportunities to improve space and utilization.  Identified a need for available room report to find right sized rooms for a class.  Cognos clients in this session confided having a struggle trying to decentralize report writing across their campuses.
  • New Hampshire System implemented Web Time Entry.  4 institutions, 4500 users.  Also using Kronos and FAMIS.  Reduced manual effort and standardized time entry practice across organization.  Employees love it.  Did a modification for email notifications when timesheets are due.  Security setup is labor intensive consider upload to GSASECR and PTRUSER.  Required classroom training.  Online was insufficient.  Trained department payroll administrators to answer supervisor questions.
  • Self Service SSB Labor redistribution presented by Steven Sullivan at ellucian. Requires Adobe Flex install.  Can be used independently of SSB effort certification which shares the same routing forms.  Fast to roll out, little set up.
  • Closing speaker Anne Mahlum inspirational story of starting her ‘Back on My Feet’ non profit in Philly with a running club for homeless men.  Now running in 10 cities Ted Talk


From Stephany Freeman, IS:

  1. Banner XE is the new name for Banner 9.
    1. Contrary to rumor, Banner XE is not being decoupled from Oracle databases.  It replaces Oracle Forms with Groovy/Grails
    2. Ellucian is focusing primarily on the Student module
    3. Development of Student, Financial Aid, Alumni and A/R Banner XE applications is occurring
    4. Each Banner XE “application” is analogous to a Banner “form” or set of closely related forms.
    5. All data entered on an XE app (form) must be saved to the database with a single commit.
    6. Banner APIs are not going away.  They will be invoked as part of database-level services
    7. HR and Finance are still in the planning phase
    8. Ellucian expects that Banner XE sites will run Banner 8 and Banner XE in parallel.  Could be a big problem for us from a technical perspective.
    9. All UO-developed forms will have to be re-engineered for Banner XE.  There is no way to migrate from Oracle Forms to Groovy/Grails.
    10. Single sign-on will be required for Banner XE.  CAS currently supported, but Ellucian is planning to support Shibboleth at some point
    11. Prior to starting the Banner XE installation, the database extension utility has to be run.  It currently does not work with ODS.
    12. A few schools are live with some XE components.  No LSC schools claim to be live.
    13. Batch jobs will not change with Banner XE.  Cobol will not go away.
  2. General 8.6
    1. New security auditing features that we plan to use immediately
    2. New “Terms of Usage” page at startup.  Can customize so that users must acknowledge terms on first login.
    3. New password reset functionality.  (May replace UO modifications)
  3. Webtailor 8.6 – Cascade UI has been reskinned. Better for ADA compliance.
  4. ODS 8.4/8.4.1
    1. 450+ new data fields
    2. Full data reload necessary
    3. Sites not using Streams need to do full restage followed by a full data reload.
    4. New reconciliation tool available, which we’re testing
  5. “Project Horizon” has gone the way of RLS.  Ellucian seems to have given up on fully unifying Banner administration application with Self-Service.  The two will use similar (but not identical) Groovy/Grails infrastructure, and will remain separate for the foreseeable future.
  6. All Ellucian products built on Adobe Flex technology are being rewritten with Groovy/Grails
  7. BEIS (integration component between Banner, Workflow, Luminis and other Ellucian products) is being re-engineered.  First release will be available sometime later this year.
  8. Luminis 5/5.1 is yet another re-engineering of Luminis.  (Not an upgrade from Luminis 4.
  9. Bookshelf is to be replaced with a “Compile your own documentation library” product.
  10. Java 7 support (particularly on Macs) is a headache for everyone, although those using Oracle Reports are hardest hit.
  11. OSD – Optimized Software Delivery
    1. New means of delivering releases and patches via Git repository.  Fundamentally different from current zipfile downloads
    2. Initially intended for new Banner XE installations, but eventually will be used to distribute all Ellucian code
    3. Can be used to install and upgrade Banner XE
    4. Currently does not allow for local modifications or installations that do not have a “plain vanilla” configuration.
    5. Because the UO’s Banner installation is heavily modified and extended, I’ve volunteered to work with Ellucian during their development of OSD
  12. New “Free” Ellucian Mobile application available if signed up by May 10.  However, maintenance is not free.