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One-on-One Help: Friday Open Labs

Monday, June 1, 2015

Not so very long ago, all administrative work at Stanford was performed via paper-based forms and processes, with handwritten signatures and interdepartmental mail playing critical roles in the workflow.

That era now seems like ancient history. Stanford in the 21st century operates a multitude of enterprise business systems that enable individual staff to perform dozens of different administrative tasks quickly and efficiently from their desktops.

As technology has sped up processes and increased productivity, the expectation for staff to learn and use a greater number of information systems has also increased. University IT provides several services to help staff keep up with this need, and a critical one is the weekly Open Lab held every Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The Open Lab is held at 3145 Porter Drive (Opal Room) on the first Friday of the month, and at 215 Panama Street (Birch Hall Lab B) on the remaining Fridays in the month. 

Drop in and get help

Hosted by the Administrative Systems Customer Support Group (ASCSG), the drop-in labs provide a place for users to get one-on-one assistance with any of Stanford’s administrative information systems.

Most weeks the lab is staffed by a single ASCSG team member, so assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. In the weeks following a major new product release or upgrade, however, lab staffing is generally increased, often supplemented by representatives from the business office that owns the new or updated system.

In addition to ASCSG support for the broad spectrum of administrative systems, expertise is on hand weekly for SALLIE (Cumulus), as well as for Payroll and Labor Management (PLM) reporting. A Payroll analyst is frequently available to address Payroll and Time and Labor Administration (TLA) topics.

On a busy day the lab will see more than a dozen users flow through, while a quiet one may see one or two. Users can bring their own (endpoint-compliant) computers, or they are welcome to use the existing computers in the Lab.  

Top help topics

The Graduate Financial System (GFS) takes top honors as the application for which end users most frequently attend the Open Lab. GFS-related reporting in Oracle Business Intelligence (OBIEE) is also regularly addressed. PLM reporting is nearly as popular, and Financial Reporting in ReportMart3 still prompts end-user questions.​

Help available for …

Drop by 3145 Porter Drive on the first Friday of the month or 215 Panama Street (Birch Hall) on any other Friday between 9 a.m. and noon for assistance with any of the following applications:

  • Axess
  • Authority Manager
  • Commitment Management System (CMS)
  • Expense Reports
  • iBudgets
  • iJournals
  • iProcurement
  • OBIEE (HR, Student, and other reporting)
  • Payroll: Time & Labor Administration; PLM Reporting
  • PCard
  • PeopleSoft Graduate Financial Support (GFS)
  • PeopleSoft Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS)
  • PeopleSoft Student Administration (Campus Solutions)
  • ReportMart 3 (Financial reporting)
  • SALLIE (Cumulus)
  • Stanford Training and Registration System (STARS)
  • SU Inquiry Tools
  • Administrative Systems staff tools: Confluence, JIRA, Unanet
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