SUNStudent
Welcome to Stellenbosch University


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Terminol​​og​​ies​​​​

General​​​

​General​​

The goal of the workshops is to discuss current business processes and simultaneously compare them to the best internationally accepted practices Academia (the new SIS) offers.
The Blueprint workshop discussions will culminate in a Blueprint document, that includes SU process flows and requirements for each one of the​ capabilities.
A bucket consists of various capabilities.
Business capability is an expression of a business function or business area, i.e. “Recruitment", “Admissions", “Curriculum Management", etc. It answers the question: What does the institution need to be successful in that area?
Modern information systems provide mechanisms to align their functionality to your business processes and ways of working - this is called Configuration. These mechanisms ensure a supported regime of flexibility available to all users of the system. Configuration is often seen in relation to Customisation where the latter refers to the system being changed in a specialised way for a specific client. In general, Configuration changes can be carried our by authorised users of the system, while Customisations can only be carried out by the software developers who develop the system.
The action of data migration refers to the extraction, transformation and loading of data (like Programmes, Modules, etc) from our current SIS to SUNStudent. There are multiple phases of data migration and involves a repeatable process to verify the correctness, integrity and quality.
Integration is the IT capability of ensuring that SUNStudent interoperates with other information systems within SU's ecosystem to enable end-to-end business processes that are not completely contained within SUNStudent.
The Accountable person is the senior owner of a business capability within SU. They sign-off on the capability's final blueprint document, based on input from the Responsible person.
Consulted individuals will be identified by the Responsible person to help in finalising each capability's blueprint document for final approval by the Accountable person. They will study the blueprint documents, make suggestions, join meetings scheduled by the Responsible person, and agree on the final requirements as a group.
Informed individuals attended the relevant blueprint workshops, but not have a Responsible or Consultative role. They are informed of the final approved document (in a way still to be confirmed by the project team) and are invited to the relevant training sessions before the go-live date for that capability.
A RACI diagram clearly identify roles associated with the SUNStudent project and improve productivity by describing the participation of various roles in completing tasks and/or deliverables for the project. RACI is an acronym derived from the four key responsibilities most typically used: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed.
The Responsible person coordinates or drives the process to make sure a capability's blueprint document includes all our business/process requirements before it is presented to the Accountable person for final sign-off. They identify people who understand the relevant capability processes at SU to be Consulted in finalising the capability blueprint document.

New Technology​​

When an information system or application is referred to as "cloud based", it means that the data and functionality of the system in question is hosted in off-campus data centres operated by companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Oracle, amongst others. Data centres are physical spaces where all the servers, network switches and other equipment are centrally located. Traditionally, the University had to build, furnish and maintain its own data centres, but as information and technology services evolve we will progressively shrink their utilization. These off-campus data centres are referred to as being located in the "cloud", meaning somewhere remote but on the Internet. SUNStudent is delivered as a service, and is hosted "in the cloud" for us.
Interface broadly refers to the means by which a human interacts with an information system, or one information system interacts with another information system.
When an information system or application is offered as a service, it refers to a different model of how the system is sold, and/or provided to the customer. Traditionally, vendors would sell the product through licenses, and our IT division or a third-party would be responsible to reliably operate the system (e.g. backups, continuity, hardware, servers, storage, upgrades, etc.). With a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, the vendor takes complete responsibility for the entire service and is bound by a contract to provide the system with a high availability and ensure it is kept up to date. SUNStudent is provided as a SaaS offering and Serosoft is responsible for its reliable operation, backups, continuity of operations, and responsiveness. A SaaS is also a "cloud service".
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and is used to specify addresses on the World Wide Web in a form readable by humans. A URL is the fundamental network identification for any resource connected to the web (e.g., hypertext pages, images, and sound files). An example of a URL is https://www.sun.ac.za which is the web address of the University's home page. SUNStudent's URL will be https://sunstudent.sun.ac.za.
A web browser, or browser, is the software application on your computer, tablet or smartphone that you use to access and interact with information and applications on the World Wide Web. Examples are Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari and Firefox.

Project Management​​

This is the official date on which SUNStudent will be available for access to the general user base for a set of capabilities. This is the last step of a project phase. In the case of SUNStudent there will be more than one go-live date, as different sets of capabilities are released.​
This is the date when the Conference Room Pilot and Training activities for each phase’s capability have been completed and signed off by all the relevant stakeholders. Between this date and the go-live date all activities are geared towards getting the production system ready. ​
SUNStudent is a project that aims to optimise/automate multiple capabilities for the university. Capabilities have been grouped into three project implementation phases for go live based on the annual student lifecycle. Each project implementation phase will have a series of implementation steps that will lead to a go-live date for a specific set of capabilities. Some of the steps that forms part of a project phase include:
  • Blueprint workshops
  • Blueprint documentation
  • Blueprint sign-offs
  • Customisation/configuration of the base software
  • Integration development
  • Data migration
  • Conference Room Pilot (CRP)
  • Initial Training
  • End user training
  • Go-live
The SUNStudent Steering Committee consists of the Executive, the Senior SU Technology and Information (T&I) and Functional Stakeholders (who specify the business requirements) and a Vendor Executive(s) (who provide the products or services to meet the business requirement). It again, reports to the institutional technology and information governance body, namely the Technology and Information Committee (TIC).
The SUNStudent Steering Committee has the following duties:
  • To be accountable for the success or failure of the project;
  • To provide unified direction to the project and primary Project Manager;
  • To balance and resolve individual functions’ interests so that they are harmonised and aligned with the university’s goals, objectives and imperatives for the project;
  • To communicate information about the project to organisations and stakeholder groups;
  • To secure the resources and recommend the funds for the project;
  • To provide visible and sustained support for the primary Project Manager;
  • To monitor the organisational change management process, and ensure effective communication within the project team and with external stakeholders;
  • To report on the progress of the project to the TIC.
Please refer to the Teams Tab on the SUNStudent Website
This is the sole Technology and Information (“T&I”) Governance committee in support of the Rectorate. The committee ensures institutional oversight and strategic co-ordination of T&I functions and T&I management and support, considering the imperatives of increasing digitalisation affecting education, research and operations. It also provides advice to management, line functions and faculties on related matters, issues, regulatory requirements, and risks.

SUNStudent Training

A CRP or Conference Room Pilot is a demonstration of the configured and customised Academia software which complies with the signed-off blueprint documents.
Final Training before go-live for all users that will use SUNStudent as from the agreed go-live date.
The Orientation training session prepare users for the new world of technology. New concepts and terminology relevant to SUNStudent are shared and explained in this training session.
Refresher training will be available before go-live for all users that attended the User Acceptance Training
During the Covid-19 pandemic, training wll be conducted remotely by Serosoft from India using Microsoft Teams.
The users are required to practice on their own after the UAT by using a checklist consisting of more scenarios/use cases. This provides an opportunity for the users to confirm that the system has been configured according to the Blueprint document requirements.
Stellenbosch University has aquired Toonimo software that will guide users, using process walkthroughs real time while they are working on the system. It enables a SUNStudent user to learn by doing.
A Serosoft facilitator guides participants through a screen by screen basis and train users extensively on functions and features available ​in the SUNStudent system. Users are trained on the setup, transactions and reporting features for a specific capability​. The users also get an opportunity to practice by means of relevant scenarios/use cases.
Walkthroughs are simulations of the transactions accompanied by a voice over using the Toonimo software Training Tool. These walkthroughs serve as a digital manual and can be accessed on the system via the Help Center Icon on the screen at the bottom right.