HAMPTON, Va. (March 3, 2020) – Hampton University is getting an essential network upgrade with several phases that will be implemented over the next year, and some that began in October 2019. Hampton’s business management processing software system is being upgraded, as well as the Windows platform for all the computers on campus. All these upgrades will better support the students, faculty, administration and staff on campus, and position Hampton for future innovation challenges.
“The Hampton University Center for Information Technology has taken on the task of improving campus technology with energy and passion. With Dr. Alissa Harrison’s leadership, we will continue to explore new technological innovations that will benefit the entire campus community. At Hampton, we Dream no Small Dreams,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
Network Infrastructure Upgrade
For the network upgrade, the Hampton University Center for Information Technology (CIT) planned to divide the project into phases. First, the entire core networking hardware had to be updated and replaced. Then, the campus internet phase divided the circuit and upgraded it into two (2) 10 Gbps circuits with dedicated networks for residents and a separate one for administration and academic buildings. Next, the CIT will test the circuits in all residence halls, administration and academic buildings. The entire network upgrade is expected to be in place by August 2020. This update will provide necessary digital capabilities that will allow the University to take advantage of partnering, research grants, proposals, and much more.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System Update
The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system (business management processing software system) that Hampton University utilizes is being updated from the Banner 8 version to Banner 9 Essentials. To accomplish this, the CIT’s Computer Center team provided information and user training sessions for all staff who use the system. They also recommended and offered training and were available for questions. Once the system is upgraded to Banner 9, the CIT will work with the user community to test every department’s Core modules (e.g., Financial, Human Resources, Financial Aid, etc.). Upon completion of the user testing phase, the live version will be available to all users. The purpose of this upgrade is to enable Hampton University to access self-service options and allow users access to features they need any time and from any device.
Hampton University’s mixed operating system environment includes using Windows® 7 for several years. The CIT mandated the needed campus-wide update to Windows® 10 to align with Microsoft’s January 14, 2020 end of service. While the update started during the latter part of 2019, the CIT anticipates completing the effort before the end of the current semester. “We began to upgrade the first computers, and the results are successful. During the next couple of months, we will contact several users every day to make sure we can back up their data and perform the upgrades on their systems. After this upgrade, our computer systems will have better performance as well as improved security,” said Mr. Larry Ingram, IT Analyst/Help Desk Coordinator for the CIT/ATM. The purpose of this upgrade is to provide a safer and more efficient operating system for users.
The Assistant Vice President for Information Technology, Dr. Alissa Harrison, is the driver behind these three essential updates. When she came to work at Hampton in 2019, she saw the need for transformation and took the lead to accomplish just that. “The Center for Information Technology (CIT) embarked on a journey to realign our organizational structure and align our services to better support our students, faculty, administrators, and staff,” Dr. Harrison said. “In support of President Harvey’s vision, we see a Hampton where technology integrates seamlessly with research, academics, and administrative environments and elevates productivity and innovation.”
Hampton University’s Center for Information Technology is not going to stop there. They want to make Hampton an Authorized PearsonVUE Testing Center and will be working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to use the new upgraded infrastructure and support the Hampton community. “I am really looking forward to 2020,” said Dr. Harrison.
The outcome of the infrastructure and network upgrade will surely elevate the Hampton students’ technological experience, both in the classroom and their residence halls. Students already see the changes. “Although there are still a lot of improvements that need to be made to the overall quality of Wi-Fi on campus, I am glad to see that we are taking steps in the right direction to improve Wi-Fi access for students. Personally, I have definitely noticed better Wi-Fi quality, and I look forward to seeing more improvements coming soon,” said Austin Sams, junior, political science major, and Executive Assistant in the Student Government Association.