What is Banner?


Ellucian's Banner program is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software application that is designed specifically for use at higher education institutions. UNCG uses a database system called Oracle to store the data that Banner uses. Banner works as an interface that makes it easier to retrieve and add data that is stored in Oracle. As an interface, Banner has features and processing capabilities that allow the utilization of student information (admissions, registration, etc.), alumni information (sponsor identification, campaign management, etc.), human resources information (employee benefits, salary/deduction history, etc.), financial aid information (needs analysis, packaging, etc.) and finance information (general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, etc.).

Because Banner uses one common database (Oracle), multiple departments can access and use the information. This keeps information current across the University; for example, a name change would be immediately reflected in the Student, Financial Aid, Human Resource, and Alumni modules.

“Giant steps toward success require a change in culture, clear expectations for growth and big ideas.” Chancellor Gilliam, 2016 State of the Campus Address

Why are we upgrading?

We elected to do this because we believe this work is long overdue and we cannot go forward into the future as an institution without undertaking this work. Provost Dunn

Technology, by its nature, is ever-evolving. Improving technology not only leads to a more sustainable, more robust system, it leads the way to more capabilities and better experiences overall.

Banner 9, the newest release of the Banner ERP System, is the ERP of choice by all UNC system campuses using Banner. The benefits of Banner 9, which resonate with UNCG’s Core Values of Sustainability and Access, include the following:

  • Employs a new application architecture that is non-proprietary, open and extensible
  • Provides web-based mobility across devices and locations
  • Features modern functionality built into the application, minimizing the need for customizations
  • Replaces the traditional software cycle with an evergreen release strategy, eliminating version-driven upgrades that cause operational disruptions

UNCG presently runs a highly customized Banner 8 environment. Significant customizations have been made to provide extended functionality to business units at UNCG, including 148 Customized Internet Native Banner (INB) forms and 498 Customized Self Service Banner (SSB) pages. These Enhancements were programmed in-house over the years to provide needed functionality that was not available at the time of implementation. For campuses with minimal customization, moving from Banner 8 to Banner 9 represents a mere upgrade. For UNCG, however, where the ERP environment has become so complex that regular upgrades are large-scale service interruption events that require down-time and extensive functional unit testing, the move to Banner 9 is a major transformation.

Another consideration for this move is that the Oracle database software will no longer support Banner Administrative Forms Technology as of December 31, 2018. When this happens, INB forms will no longer be supported, making any future upgrades extremely time-consuming.

SSB pages rely on technology within Oracle called Mod PL/SQL. Support of this technology will be discontinued on June 30, 2021. When this happens, students will no longer be able to use the SSB pages to register for classes.


How will this
affect you?

Students

  • Students use UNCGenie, which is a part of Banner, to register, view records, access account information, apply for Financial Aid, review Financial Aid information, and keep their tax information up to date. This update will make these processes much more streamlined and mobile friendly.
  • The new DegreeWorks module will allow students to run “what if” scenarios against a degree path and identify the courses available to them. Faculty and students will have a better experience during advising as the information that they need will be at their fingertips with this new function.
  • Because information can be accessed and utilized via electronic resources, less paper will be used/needed.

Faculty

  • The new DegreeWorks module allows “what if” scenarios and identifies courses available to students, creating a more streamlined and informative advising experience.
  • CourseLeaf (by Leepfrog) automates the catalog and curriculum management processes. It will streamline the approval process for new and existing courses. Programs will be modified, tracked and approved by an online catalog.
  • Travel Forms and Time Cards access and processing will be available online, saving time and paper.
  • Increased data integrity and improved analytics will provide earlier identification of students that need support, enhancing student success and retention.
  • Because information can be accessed and utilized via electronic resources, less paper will be used/needed.

Staff

  • Staff will have easier access to information that they need for meetings, routine assignments, and special projects. This can lead to deeper conversations about the information they are getting and can help drive their initiatives further.
  • Clearer information can be gained faster with less guess work. This means that there will be less time spent digging and working with solutions that are kludgy.
  • Time and other resources spent nursing current customizations along can be “reclaimed” for new ideas that will propel the University forward.
  • Increased data integrity and improved analytics will provide earlier identification of students that need support to aid in their retention.
  • Travel Forms and Time Cards access and processing will be available online, saving time and paper.
  • Because information can be accessed and utilized via electronic resources, less paper will be used/needed.

When will this happen?