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Innovation Week Pitches

Latest Additions

Additional features for UCOP WIAB website.
- Dynamic site-map XML
- Shared block contents on multiple pages
- Ability for content manager to create forms & built-in form processing features

- Ken Lumnaokrut

DB2 BLU - POC team has a fully installed & loaded BLU database. We are currently conducting load testing, focusing on memory utilization and server sizing. Innovation Week can give us the opportunity to focus on this work in a team setting. Anyone interested in DB2 BLU is welcome to join us for this intensive session.

- Deborah Chase

PeopleSoft build project automation and integrate with STAT migration tool:

PeopleSoft migration involves many manual steps like compare, build and execute DMS. We have automated the compare, execute DMS and integrated them with STAT. Now we are looking for automating the build process and integrate with STAT.

- Sreeni Kagitam

Set up a regular process for each application uptime monitoring. E.g., For data warehouse applications -
Users have access only to the Web at this point. So if web is not available, that is considered downtime.
If load fails, users still have access to data, just not the most recent – if load failure not resolved in more than 24 hour, then considered downtime.

We can allocate the downtime like this. We’ll use the below % allocations to calculate outage duration.
Uptime % = 1 – (x / y) * 100

• x = # of minutes down during supported hours
• y = # of total available minutes for the month

The goal can be to have every application with 99.9% Uptime.

Excluded from definition/calculation:
• Planned outages are not part of uptime calculation
• If source system is not available to load the most current data, we do not consider this situation a DW downtime (including manual files) – load failure instead due to source
• If there is an outage outside of the agreed upon business supported hours

- Anyi Zheng

Redesign and move to a website management platform. Improve layout and content presentation, clean-up obsolete content. Use modern tools provided by new platform for easier site maintenance.

- Alex Tayag

All Ideas

Automate regression testing for PPS.
As PPS expertise dwindles both in the technical and user realms, and in light of the application continuing to provide critical function for several years, ongoing regulatory and other critical development will be required. In order to more fully assure reliable upgrades to the software create automated testing suites to fully exercise sub-applications at the push of a button.
Start with base code, and expand to incorporate the different campus-specific code bases. Use standard test data, perhaps updated per execution for calendar dates where needed and so on.

- Michael MacDonald

Adopt SQRL login capability to public-facing web apps for better security.

In the ever-ominous threat landscape of the Internet and the reality that most sites are indeed hackable, this technology would serve as a good armor to mitigate a wide class of attack vectors on UC's public websites namely UCPath, AYSO.

- JP Kirton

Team / Staff / Applications / Knowledge database and directory application that create, update and look up valuable information that helps navigate the organization, collaborate in projects. The application will retain, organize, and present information such as team structure, roles and responsibility, application related knowledge (stakeholders, upstream and downstream flow, past updates, ticket resolutions, etc).

- Kai Deng

Have skills tests that allow people to test out of retrainings on familiar topics and/or assess level of learning after a training

- Patrick Rogers

Improve QA execution by video recording:

It's a good idea to record and attach a video file in the test case within ALM during test case execution. It's time and effort but definitely help in the long run.

For eg: if a PeopleSoft functional tester is testing a major functionality then let them record all the navigation and data entry to make sure entire test case is covered.

In my earlier projects we used Webex to record a video and attach the file in ALM and it was very helpful and make life easy during our transition and cross applications training within the team. This will definitely avoid dependencies if a particular staff is not available during execution and particularly when test cases are not written in full details.

- Vivek Vennam

Develop a means of identifying PDFs on our major sites that are not accessible as well as attempting to develop a way of automating the process of making those PDFs accessible.
This is probably not possible but will hopefully open the door to discussion of various ways we could tackle the problem.

- Allan Perry

Design an internal portal (Intranet) as a centralized location for the UCOP wide information and activities:
- It can act as a common place where UCOP employees can easily find links to the frequently used applications like Sharepoint, AtYourService, UCPath, HR, Time Reporting and others.
- This can be used as a place to publish news related to UCOP, UC campuses, as well as the external Higher Education institutions - the information can be collected from the multiple media sources.
- The internal UCOP employee activities (Book Club, Health Initiatives, talent shows, potlucks and other) can also be posted there.

- Vyacheslav Pankov

I think if we could award points taken in our applications and allow the user to show how much they work that would be really inspiring. I imagine us keeping score for doing things like uploading documents, holding events, and sharing content.
- Jaymeson Beck

Job/Group Rotation Program :

1) Retain/reenergize HiPo employees and increase engagement; facilitate collaboration.
2) Facilitate generation of new ideas, new way of thinking; Shift to culture of calculated risk taking and improving on things (even if they work well currently).
3) Discover untapped talents/skills.

This is a shift from our usual thinking - this endeavor is a big risk taking for managers but can have big returns. If adopted, this is a win-win for teams and individuals as untapped skills are used/showcased and talents are discovered. It brings new/fresh thinking and perspective to the way things are done within a team.

This is not a recruitment nor a matrixed setup. Individuals will go back to home teams at the end of the cycle.

Need 2-3 people (includes me) to run program, gather metrics, tweak details, monitor progress and facilitate rotation.
- Emma Sebastian

Effort Reporting Solutions for California Universities (Pilot)

1) Recoup cost of development by offering ERS as a service to other CA universities receiving Federal grants.
2) Provide initial offering that could allow us to explore other opportunities in other universities (capitalize on the UC brand?)

Needs functional analyses, stakeholder outreach, and POC.
- Emma Sebastian

Microsoft Word contains a master file called that sets the templates used by all users. UCOP could modify this file so that all documents would follow a standard look and potentially even a naming convention.

I would like to create a UCOP template that contains VBA macros for common documents types used at the university. This could be used, for example, to create specific documents types: memos, quick reference guides, user guides, SLAs and OLAs, legal documents, etc.

Word users would trigger this by selecting "UCOP" from the Word menu (we would add this), and then they would be presented with a menu of document types they wish to create. The macros would then create the "shell" documents, prompting for specific values, and automatically create a suggested name for the document following a standard naming convention.

This would go a long way to solving the problem of non-standard document types and names, making it harder to search and also eliminate a lot of reformatting required when moving a document from one area to another.
- John Ruzicka

Online Mentorship/Partnership Program

GOAL: Promote mentorship/partnership across the IT departments within the UC system. Each participant will publish an area / knowledge / skill that they want to impart and another may reach out to him/her to be a mentee/student to learn or be guided. This will promote collaboration, learning, and transfer of institutional knowledge.
- Emma Sebastian

I suggest, building an application called “UC Backyard”
UC Backyard is a social online portal that offers UC employees the following services:
- A Map of our building that helps staff finds printers/ meeting rooms within our building.
- Ability to create a profile and add links to important wikis / documentations.
- A profile can earn badges for accomplishments over time …
- A home page that includes news feeds from other campuses, to keep staff updated.
- A chat feature, to allow staff to be more responsive.
- and more features (if you like my idea)
- Aymen Manai

I'd like to investigate validation process options for the DSS Enrollment, Course, and Degree data warehouse loads.
- Emily Weaver

DDODS Smoke Test Mode:
DDODS is a complex batch process that depends upon several technologies, which must all be configured correctly to operate successfully. When the underlying technologies undergo routine maintenance, it is difficult to test all aspects of the system without running it, which we cannot do outside of its routine use because it would cause the system to update data and send updates to the campuses (its fundamental purpose). But what if we could run it without updating or sending production data, or having any other undesirable side effects? This innovation would add a new “smoke test” execution mode that would run all components of the system, including external calls, without operating on production data or sending files to campuses. It would greatly simplify the process of post-maintenance validation and greatly reduce the risk that minor changes would escape our notice. For example, this enhancement would detect changes to Unix file permissions and the directory names for Oracle utility folders, both of which were changed by a previous maintenance activity, leading to an outage of the production system.
- William Hoke

Often the staff working at different departments or groups don't interact with each other much. When it comes to time when they need to work together on a project or any initiative, it could lead to a rather time-consuming process to understand how each other's job function can integrate together.
It would be great to have a 'job shadowing' program at our workplace to help employees build relationship, perform internal on-the-job training and further promote teamwork. E.g., our IT staff can sit with the business client to observe their work, which can help IT become a true partner and advisor to the business.
- Anyi Zheng

We can try sprint software development to release the enhancements/fixes to our client via Agile methodology.
- Anyi Zheng

Automate the UCOP Position Control request and approval process.

1. Provide a web based online data entry screen(s) with appropriate edits for requesting UCOP Position Control approval.

2. Automate the workflow for the approval process with email notifications to each approver and reminder emails to those who have not acted within a specified time period.
- Larry Delaney

Automate the necessary exchange of information when an employee moves from one campus/location to another. Today this is a manual, time consuming and very unwieldy process that can take many weeks, or even months, and can sometimes result in an employee and their family members losing medical coverage for a period of time.

To accomplish this we would build a "requesting" web service that would be used by the "receiving" campus which would pull the required employee data via a data extract web service at the "sending" campus. The employee data would then be presented on an online form(s) with a format and layout that would be agreed with the business and campus users.
- Larry Delaney

The PPS/ERS team provides Effort Reporting systems and services to seven UC campuses (not including UCR and UCI).
There is significant interest at many US universities to move away from "Effort Reporting" in favor of a simplified "Payroll Certification" process.
The federal "Office of Management and Budget" is responsible for payroll certification requirements, approval, and auditing.
This Innovation Week project would be a fact finding project to identify payroll certification requirements and a preliminary assessment of the effort required to implement payroll certification in the UC system.
No applications to OMB will be made. This is strictly a fact finding project.
- Larry Scott

Try Crowdtesting to see if it can improve quality and reduce cost of testing.

Crowdsourced testing is an emerging trend in software testing which exploits the benefits, effectiveness, and efficiency of crowdsourcing and the cloud platform. It differs from traditional testing methods in that the testing is carried out by a number of different testers from different places, and not by hired consultants and professionals. The software is put to test under diverse realistic platforms which makes it more reliable, cost-effective, fast, and bug-free
- Dan Russi

ACAWeb – This JAVA application was built internally to support Federal Affordable Care Act compliance process requirements. The Application receives input from any third party payroll systems and supplies the following functionality:

1)  Supports Shibboleth
2)  Supplies Notification functionality
3)  Supplies Workflow functionality
4)  Supplies Approval functionality
5)  1095B, C creation
  a.  Mail files generated for third party vendors,
  b.  1095 historical PDF retrieval supported
6)  Reporting supported
7)  IRS submission process supported (XML)

We are proposing that this browser based application can be marketed via SAAS to small or midsized organizations that need to comply with Federal Affordable Care Act compliance requirements.
- Stacey Johnson

I have ideas to build an effective stock or mutual fund portfolio by collecting past data and analyzing them using technical indicators.

This could help our investment team.

Also, legacy pieces of PPS code can be customized by putting good front ends and market to the world as Payroll Solutions from UC.
- Baskar Chitravel

AJS (Automated Job Scheduler) was developed by the UCOP to facilitate better handoff of operational production job scheduling information to PCSSC (Production Control Shared Service Center) and to eliminate the dependency on static email scheduling (the “swing-night schedule”) and on the specialized knowledge of a few key individuals. The application can act as a Control-M frontend allowing the business to schedule production jobs directly using the CTL-M API to update CTL-M dynamically.
Key benefits of AJS include the following:
– AJS uses Single Sign-on and allows various levels of authorization.
– AJS has the most up-to-date calendar for an application – calendars are never outdated.
– Consistent terminology is used when referencing a particular schedule item – translation is no longer needed.
– Multiple users can enter and update data on AJS.
– A user-friendly interface allows users to come up to speed quickly.
– Users can choose from monthly, weekly or daily calendar format.
– Users can record comments in connection with a particular scheduled event.
– Users receive notification when events are entered, re-scheduled, or deleted.
– Users can generate a variety of reports for one day or a date range.
– AJS is flexible enough to be used for various applications.

We are proposing that this browser based JAVA application be marketed via SAAS to organizations that need user based Control-M scheduling flexibility. This application could also be marketed to BMC as a CTL-M frontend.
- Stacey Johnson

“UCOP Directory lookup application” This is to facilitate easy directory lookup for the UCOP employee on the go. Tailored to provide facility, floor, department and other handy information for easier access. User friendly lookup on the web and mobile devices.
- Bhanu Polakam and Sushant Prasad

The UC system-wide Payroll system (PPS) is a highly flexible, cost effective system with a proven track record of supporting a complex, diverse payroll environment. We propose porting the system to a containerized environment and marketing it as a SAAS solution to small/midsized higher educational institutions.
- Stacey Johnson

Integrate Third-party Cloud-hosted service management tools with UCOP Service Now to automate tracking and scheduling of incidents/changes for ITS.
- Pamela Sampson-Smith

Integrate ITS VM Build Intake process with all of the various ITS configuration management tools (SN CMDB, Puppet, etc.) into a single, seamless interface for users requesting new server builds, etc., which, at the same time will support our ITIL processes, such as Incident, Change, Request, etc.
- Pamela Sampson-Smith

For UCOP ITS employees, one access badge for all UCOP buildings, thus saving cost, time and effort tracking multiple badges for different buildings.
- Pamela Sampson-Smith

This idea is to do with Service Now and the need felt to build an automation solution using two integration opportunities:-

VM ware integration will pull IPs and build information directly from the source of truth, once approved and completed through the intake process.

Puppet integration will allow server configuration information automation - possibly push change requests (CM processes) to initiate puppet automation causing infrastructure to automatically configured to the desired specifications.
Also , changes to any server configurations can be automatically reflected in the CMDB CI information ( For example below puppet attributes can be source of truth for CMDB through automation:
Hostname   CNAME   Role   Product   Version   InstallPath   OS   Release   RAM   CPU)
Thus through this process the power of puppet's open source approach can be leveraged with the governance offered by service now (as in its change management, request and CI processes)
- Sara Matthews

A new way to evaluate employee performance. I don't know what it will be, exactly, but the first step is to NOT start with a design. Instead, we will ask employees at every level (line staff, managers, upper management) what would be the best imaginable performance management outcome for them. We want to design a system from the point of view of what each participant wants to get out of it instead of from the point of view of what kinds of performance measuring sticks we are familiar with.
- Patrick Rogers

Public/Private mentoring or cross-training. This would be a program that enables staff within UCOP or ITS to spend a week at a dotcom or any kind of private company to see how they do their X, Y, or Z. It's a way to get exposure to how other businesses operate today, without people having to job-jump to get that experience.
- Patrick Rogers

Documentation Umbrella: Imagine a central, searchable, shared index for documentation stored throughout ITS - collected under a single "umbrella". This began as an internal infrastructure team project and we would like to workshop it with a larger ITS group. We are looking for staff who have taxonomy or UX experience, or anyone with strong opinions about documentation! You can view our original proposal at
- Deborah Chase