Latest Updates

The common language of Advancement

What is a gift to the university? Some might say a gift is cash-in-hand, another might count a pledge, someone else might consider the donation of an object as a gift and yet another may count volunteer time. How we define terms is very important to improving our efficiency and making sure all our campus partners speak a common language. To assist with this, look for a Reporting Methods workshop to be announced soon. In it, we will share the different types of reporting available in Advance.

Setting business processes and best practices

We’ve begun to develop new business processes around the system and are engaging heavily with other universities through Advance user groups to learn best practices. This is one of the fundamental reasons we went with a best of breed software — to engage other universities that already use Advance and learn from their experiences.

Now upgraded to Advance 9.4

We just upgraded the Advance software to the latest version – 9.4. This is a major milestone in that we now can see the software as you the user will experience it when we go live. Gail Turner in training can now begin to write navigational training and we can begin user testing in a week or two.

100 issues caught in first data conversion test

The testing of the first conversion of data from Viking to Advance is complete with 100 issues logged. None of the issues were critical and all are being addressed in the second conversion pass. It is good that issues are being caught in the early conversion phases of the implementation.

Biographic data gets its first of many scrubbings

Before moving biographic data from Viking to Advance, several test runs will be performed to ensure data integrity. Before these trials can take place, however, all the biographic data stored in Viking had to undergo a major cleanup, which has thankfully been completed. Some cleanup will continue through the go-live date.

Biographic mapping complete

A major milestone was reached as the implementation team finished the mapping of biographic data. This entailed connecting the biographic data in Viking to the corresponding new fields/screens in Advance. It was a significant effort. Biographic data includes all addresses, activities (student and alumni), education information (major, year, school), and relationship (family) data for our constituents.

Advance representatives visit JMU campus

Representatives from Sungard visited the Shenandoah Valley for three days of intense training for JMU's implementation team. With one day spent on each module of the implementation project — biographical, gift and prospect data — the team is now in position for rapid project start-up.

Operation: Implementation kicks off

Today was the official launch of the the 18-month project to implement the new data system, Advance by Sungard. The Office of Advancement Information Systems bid a formal farewell to the three members of its staff whose duties would now be focused on the implementation — punctuated by a shift in physical offices from AIS' headquarters at 220 University Blvd. into Massanutten Hall. Bon voyage!