Yale Tracks Access to Scanned Images

In 2000, Yale University's administration underwent a major renovation with the goal of creating a comfortable student services center where students could come in and ask any question related to finances—from an outstanding library fine to a request for a Pell Grant.
The university used SCT Banner, enterprise software that gave the center's staff access to student data housed in the administrative system. However, staff members still need to make a trip to the second floor of the student services center to view and retrieve hard-copy documents of those records. But soon, hard copies will be accessible to the staff from their desktop computers on the first floor.
"There are two pieces to information access," says Ernst Huff, associate vice president of student financial and administrative services at Yale. "Banner gives us access to the electronic data housed within its database. The [SCT Banner] XtenderSolutions will provide us with the second piece—the ability to access hard-copy documents from a user's desktop. Together, the solutions will give our service providers the tools for quick and immediate access to the information they need to answer students' questions."
The solutions are the outcome of an alliance between SCT and OTG Software Inc., a provider of imaging, document management, and content management software. SCT Banner XtenderSolutions give SCT Banner users immediate access to scanned images, word processing documents, spreadsheets, reports, PDF files, voice, video, sound, and other file types.
Using the software, authorized Yale staff can pull up all imaged documents associated with a student's record. These can include financial aid worksheets and grant applications.
That access will be critical to providing students with quality service. The key to that is the software's tracking capabilities, Huff says. The interface between the OTG and Banner software allows the system to take advantage of Banner's tracking capabilities. When an imaged document is indexed to a student record, the software automatically and simultaneously updates a related document tracking record.
"The real value is from the interface," Huff says. "It gives us the capability to do document tracking along with indexing, all in one step. Finding and updating document tracking simultaneously will minimize the time we spend now on filing and tracking. It also will minimize the possibility of loss. Financial Aid deals with thousands of pieces of paper. During peak times, we rely on students and temporary help. Sometimes they don't all update the tracking file. Our hope is that the imaging solutions will minimize these issues. We'll have more timely processing and less handling of documents."
Huff adds, "The integration is key. Without it, this solution would not have been as attractive to us. The interface is not something we would want to do ourselves."

For more information, contact Ernst Huff at ernst.huff@yale.edu.

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