University of Maryland Baltimore

Problem

In early 2018, the University of Maryland Baltimore was faced with a decision. Their on-premise research management tool was requiring them to update their servers. But that alone wasn’t the only consideration. Getting any updates could take months, and even then, once an update was delivered, it had to be evaluated. What effects would it have on their current functionality? Testing and tweaking—which could take weeks or months—would occur before moving forward with implementation for each update.

Solution

After a lot of discussions and outreach with the Kuali Community members already utilizing SaaS, UMB made the decision to move to Kuali Sponsored Programs as a SaaS product. This resolved the issue of updating or adding additional servers on campus. In addition, updates are now available instantaneously, without having to worry about matching up with unique customization or long periods of testing before implementation.

Results

With the implementation of the software, the previous 10 years of records and attachments were moved from their on-prem system to the cloud, and all old and new data is accessible and extractable. “We wanted the ability to get our data out of the system to use on our own,” said Janet Simons, a Director in the Sponsored Programs Administration Office at UMB, acknowledging that their technical concerns going into this project were all adequately addressed. “Everything happened just fine!”

The first big change Janet Simons noticed was that the training of end users was cut in half, from four hours to 2-2.5 hours on the exact same modules, proposal development and budgeting. “The interface was so much more intuitive,” she said.

In addition, when new updates are released, they are often simply implemented and end users don’t even know about it. No more testing or tweaking to accommodate for on-site customization. “And no one even cares about past customizations. Kuali Research has gotten to a point where they match to what we are doing.”

“Sometimes it fixes something you didn’t even know was broken,” she said. And the system’s response time is faster than the on-prem version, which was a great surprise for the team.

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