UBI's Journey to Wise


JUDY DIVITA:
In thinking ahead, we were mostly focused in on making sure we made some great connections with UVaWise. We hadn’t had a lot of exposure to the area – only just limited phone calls with a couple folks. We really focused on outreach. I also wanted to see the campus and see how it was organized, and try to understand a little more about how the College of Wise works.

MATT DOUGLAS:
My personal experience with Wise was very positive. I graduated from a smaller university, just about the size of Wise, so it felt very familiar to me. The campus is very cool, built in a tight footprint on a hill with the buildings built into the hill. There is a great deal of terracing which is beautiful. Students had left already, so it was just staff on the campus.

JUDY DIVITA:
We got there and it was in between sessions, and [campus] was kind of quiet, which was fine. We had a really great kickoff meeting with Kristy [Kiser] and Beth [Allison], and talked a little bit about, “Here’s what we think we can anticipate in the training sessions (which were the next day).” I was just hoping we’d walk away with successfully training most people, getting them excited about UBI, making sure that they knew we were here to support them, even though they’re located quite a distance away.

MATT DOUGLAS:
Kristy Kiser (College Comptroller) and Beth Allison (Accounting & Financial Reporting) were our contacts while at Wise. They were extremely accommodating and made the training process as easy as possible. They gave us more insight into Wise and its reporting needs.

MATT DOUGLAS:
Most Wise reporting users are only using it for monthly reconciliation, so that was a definite focus for training. Judy (DiVita) and I also talked to them about additional ways that they could use the reporting system to a greater extent, and there may be more communication about that in the future. One interesting thing about Wise is that they don’t use SIS, so they were not concerned with that release date at all.

JUDY DIVITA:
I think it may always be difficult for people to learn anything new on the first time through the process. The basic training for UBI is targeted at getting users into the simple navigation of the tool. The reality is that beyond that part of the learning curve, training is more of an individually-focused process. Different people learn differently, so our goals for the session were to make we could see that people were successfully learning the basic navigation within UBI.

MATT DOUGLAS:
The actual training classes were large. We had one in the morning and one in the afternoon with 23 and 17 people attending, respectively. Wise provided multiple of their early adopters to help during exercises and they also provided two IT staff members to help with any technical issues. So overall, the classroom time went smoothly.

JUDY DIVITA:
What was really good about watching the training - and what one hopes to see – was seeing people trying it out, while sitting together, talking about UBI. Each person may need to look at their own data to feel more comfortable, or maybe they need someone to give them a quick pointer, as well. We saw a lot of that activity going on. As a trainer in front of a room, you can only do so much. What you hope to see is activity amongst the users.

MATT DOUGLAS:

I think there was a lot more relief about the transition to UBI after the class and there was very little pushback from the users. They also expressed that they were grateful for training coming from Grounds at UVA, because in the past that has not always been the case. There was genuine appreciation for reaching out with help and preparation which in turn made them feel valued and like equals.

JUDY DIVITA:
A couple people said, “This is really great. You can get all of this information in one place.” That was a positive about training. I heard others say, “Well, this is a lot to absorb all in one place!” I think that’s been very consistent with the message we’ve had. Some people can see the big pile of data and are comfortable, while others may need to see their own area in a more concise, simplified way to feel more comfortable. One message that came across from a lot of people were, “Wow, [UBI] is really fast. I heard this had a fast response time.” Until you get into the system, you can’t really appreciate how fast it is. That was another positive I believe people took away from the sessions.

MATT DOUGLAS:
We are slowly getting ESHARP requests from Wise and users have not contacted us with any major issues or frustrations. I think we took a huge step with the Wise training and the result will be a smooth transition to UBI at the end of August for those users.



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