The Journey to STABLE

The journey to STABLE has been years in the making.  In 2017, Facilities invited OIT to participate in a Request For Information (RFI) process as they looked for an Integrated Workplace Management Solution (IWMS).  Facilities knew that we needed to get beyond spreadsheets and individual floor plans to better understand the utilization of our campus buildings but needed to learn more about the software solutions available.  During that process, we learned the potential of an IWMS solution and how many other processes and departments might benefit from using the software.  In 2018, the official Request for Proposal (RFP) process was launched and various departments across campus participated in the selection process.

During the RFP meetings we captured many ideas from our department partners on ways the solution might help SMU.  Very early in the vendor presentations, we had the “lightbulb moment” that this was truly a transformative opportunity.  What if we could implement a solution that not only provided a wealth of data surrounding our physical assets, but could also provide a streamlined customer experience?  Rather than our campus community using multiple forms to request services from departments across campus, we could join forces on a single platform making the request process and the completion process seamless.  We could eliminate the confusion over where to report issues and who to contact, providing processes that encouraged a more consistent resolution process.  At the same time, we could achieve a more global understanding of requests and issues, using that data to make strategic, collaborative decisions to better serve our community.

With the approval and encouragement of the PEC, we selected Planon as the IWMS solution and began the design phase towards the end of 2019.  We collaborated with our software partners to create a 2-year plan, taking a very methodical and thorough approach.  Quickly Covid-19 emerged, our plans were in jeopardy as our focus largely shifted to supporting the transition of campus into a successful, socially-distanced learning environment.  Despite the newly divided focus, we managed to build and test the first module—Space Management—by June 2020. After the successful launch of campus this fall we were able to return our focus to building the additional modules in the system.

With the desire to keep our Go-Live as close to our initial goal as possible we are now facing a very tight timeline for implementation of STABLE.  With software licensing for existing solutions expiring in June 2021, several of the components must come online quickly to replace them.  However, we are still committed to ensuring we deliver a streamlined customer experience and improve the internal processes with STABLE.  We will continue to incorporate the feedback and requests from various areas in the initial implementation and track additional requests for the second round of changes post Go-Live.  We will ensure that there is ample communication, training, and information available throughout the semester with frequent updates additionally throughout this spring and summer.

There is a significant amount of information related to the campus and our operations to consume into STABLE over the next several months.  We will highlight a specific module or process each week in this blog to start sharing the features and opportunities each will bring to our campus.  Next week, we’ll focus on the Space Management module and the exciting work being done with this data as it is centralized into the system.