Tech team bridges the gap between two systems


The LionPATH technical team is responsible for building the new student information system according to the specifications of the functional teams and stakeholders. That means setting up servers, working with ITS to configure networks, security and other resources, and writing code to integrate and adapt the purchased product for the environment. The team meets with functional staff to define requirements, collaborate with and learn from the consulting partners on the best development plan, and then turn ideas into working systems.

The technical team lead is Matt Scott, who comes to the project from Penn State’s Information Technology Services (ITS). We asked him about his involvement with Project LionPATH.

How do you see LionPATH becoming a positive change within the University?

The project is providing an opportunity for us to review all of our business processes and really think about why we do things the way we do. It’s an opportunity to improve some processes and confirm that others are well designed and robust. It’s also encouraging collaboration and discussion between groups and departments that will create good relationships going forward.

How do you see LionPATH affecting your department specifically?

ITS is undergoing significant change — reorganization and mergers of departments, the IT Transformation project (ITX), hosted services, and the pressure that we all feel to be efficient and do more. LionPATH is allowing us to discuss new realities, opportunities to provide critical services with a client-oriented focus, and take advantage of the significant talent in ITS. There will be challenges though, so we will need to be focused and well-organized to take advantage of these opportunities.

What are you most excited about regarding the project?

I’m always excited to learn new things, new systems and solutions for existing problems and meeting new people. I hope many of the relationships developing on the project will last beyond implementation. I’m excited to see Penn State move into a new era of information management and data services.

What were your thoughts on learning about the project?

I heard about the project before the final product selection was made. I was initially a bit daunted by the prospect of replacing such a critical system and service. I gained a lot of confidence after meeting Michael and the other staff in the Enterprise PMO. Given the challenges facing higher education over the next decade, and especially technology in higher ed, I believe this project is a necessary foundation, but only a first step, for significant change to come.