On the Horizon

Advancement crm    |    MANAGEd print services   |  Repaving mainestreet   |    implementation of teamdynamix Remaining modules   | 

advancement CRM

In June 2020, an RFP for a new advancement platform was launched, with the intent of replacing the aging Ellucian Advance gift and donor management system. After a thorough and lengthy process, the RFP committee, consisting of representatives from all campuses, the UMaine and USM Foundations, Maine Law, and IT, awarded the RFP to UC Innovation and their Ascend advancement and constituent engagement solution.

The Advancement solution will assist us in maintaining our alumni database, including the maintenance of historical and current biographical records for alumni and donors, facilitating prospect management, and supporting all other associated activities of the various fundraising operations and alumni associations that partner in the collective Advancement operations of UMS.  

The Community, Donor, and Alumni Engagement solution will assist in the design, management, and execution of an online strategy for content management, email marketing, online giving, event management, membership management, and social networking integration. Ultimately, the Customer Experience Management (CEM) software will support philanthropy and other forms of interaction between the UMS campuses and their constituents.

Features included in the UC Innovation Ascend (“Ascend”) product include:

  • Gift Processing
  • Matching Gifts
  • Prospect Management
  • Support for Multiple Pledge Types
  • Support for Hard/Soft Credits
  • Pledge Payment Processing
  • Relationship Tracking
  • Enhanced Reporting

UC Innovation allows overall customizations flexibility to model our business practices with enhanced tools that improve performance when compared to the current state. By migrating to the UC Innovation platform, the University of Maine System can take advantage of the product being built upon a Salesforce foundation. This will allow for the further integration of other Salesforce-related products currently in use by other UMS departments and offer ‘lifecycle’ possibilities that can track the full lifecycle of applicant > student > alumnus/alumnae > donor. The lifecycle approach increases knowledge about a potential donor and facilitates personalized targeting.

By engaging with Ascend, campuses can more efficiently and effectively streamline operations, allowing organization staff to focus more on fundraising and campus-specific initiatives and less on time-consuming processes, which include moving data between the systems.

Implementation of the Ascend application will start in early 2022 with a projected implementation timeline of 12-18 months.


Ascend provides the ability to hold data in a single space while manipulating it with industry-specific plugins as needed, allowing each campus to determine what would work best for them. Additionally, it provides the ability for fundraising staff to become more deeply engaged with donors and prospects in a timely manner. Something as simple as checking people into an event can be streamlined ahead of time and be performed immediately, rather than staff spending hours manipulating spreadsheets and manually uploading them into Advance. Essentially, information can be gathered and used instantly. For example, gift officers could be notified on their mobile devices immediately when someone in their portfolio has arrived at an event, thereby allowing them to be more efficient in their cultivation with donors.

Ascend provides enhanced alumni and donor user experience with a highly intuitive user portal that includes self-service information updates, as well as the ability to view complete giving history and giving society memberships, reprint tax receipts, and access a year-end tax letter summarizing their donations. Currently, donors must contact us to obtain access to these things and we often have to generate this information manually.


The Ascend platform has a modern look and feel that, unlike our current solution, offers support for mobile platforms as well as the ability to visualize data more easily. The product has the ability to tie into Single Sign-On

Given the more user-friendly interface, Ascend will allow a significant amount of self-reporting to be done by non-reporting staff. This will allow gift officers and other Advancement and Engagement staff to quickly retrieve data, freeing up time for Report Writers to work on more complex projects.

Managed Print services

The contract for copier services is set to expire in June 2022, at which time UMS will move to a Managed Print Services Model.  By taking a holistic approach to printing/copying, the University of Maine System can reduce costs and improve efficiency.  In a Managed Print Services model the external vendor provides devices, services, and supplies for the entire fleet.  The external provider will track how the fleet is being used, identify issues, make recommendations for optimization, and work with UMS to remediate problems. 

This shifts UMS to a consumption-based expense model where reducing usage directly results in cost savings.  Based on research, other organizations have reported savings of 10% to 30% by moving to this model.

An RFP for Managed Print Services was released at the end of November 2021 and the plan is the new service will begin implementation by June 2022.  A survey was conducted in Spring 2020, completed by the point of contact for each copier in the current fleet, and was used to guide the RFP requirements. The selected vendor will perform a further assessment, hold conversations with end-users, and present recommendations for fleet management with our desired outcomes in mind. 

Desired Outcomes:

  • Fiscal savings
    • Reduced organizational risk by reducing capital expenditures 
    • Cost based on usage -> less usage = less expense
    • Cost based on devices -> less devices = less expense
    • No lease payments
    • Increased process efficiency
  • Reduce environmental impact
    • Optimization of the fleet to reduce the number of devices
    • Paper/toner savings with less usage
    • Reduced paper waste through swipe-to-release and Fax-over-IP implementation
  • Flexibility for users
    • Consistent work experience with the ability to print/copy/scan on any device at any location
    • Increased access to color and other advanced features
  • Security features
    • Swipe-to-release
    • Certificate of destruction when devices are removed

repaving mainestreet

The Repaving MaineStreet initiative will comprise three primary projects: Implementations of HR and Finance cloud platforms and a reimplementation of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions. The overarching goal is to implement the opportunities for improvement identified during the ERP Assessment that will optimize processes and technology to support the University of Maine System’s strategic objectives, particularly the requirements driven by Unified Accreditation.

The following efforts were completed over the course of the past year in preparation for the Repaving MaineStreet initiative: 

  • Completion of the ERP Assessment initiative with Huron, Inc. to assess current HRMS, Finance, and Student Administration business processes, identify opportunities for improvement and develop a plan to optimize processes and technology to support UMS’ strategic objectives, particularly the requirements driven by Unified Accreditation. 
  • Consultations with functional area teams for HR, Finance, and Student systems to verify the level of priority assigned to opportunities identified during the ERP Assessment. This work contributed to mapping the prioritized opportunities into distinct projects. 
  • Demos of Oracle’s Finance and HCM cloud platforms to determine if Oracle’s cloud platforms can support the opportunities and requirements identified during the ERP Assessment or if a review of other solutions is necessary. 
  • To help determine if a transition to Oracle’s Student Financial Planning (SFP) module is desirable, an initial demo of the platform was conducted. SFP is Oracle’s Financial Aid cloud solution that provides user-friendly and streamlined Financial Aid Self-Service functionality and automates the processing of ISIR records, award packaging and distribution, refunds, and enhanced analytic tools.
  • The RFP process was kicked off to select an Implementation Partner that will work with the UMS during all phases of the Repaving MaineStreet initiative including planning, business process review, design, build, validation, transition, and initial post-go-live support. Additionally, the vendor will collaborate with the UMS to determine the appropriate resource allocation levels (functional and technical) required to complete the individual projects within the UMS’s target timeframe and will partner with the UMS to provide personnel who will work collectively as a team to make the project a success.

Implementation of teamdynamix remaining modules

In April 2020, TeamDynamix (TDX) was selected as the University’s IT Service Management/Project Portfolio Management (ITSM/PPM) platform through a competitive RFP process. An ITSM/PPM platform provides tools that enable an organization to effectively manage its resources, services, and project portfolio processes in a manner that is transparent, sustainable, measurable, and aligned with institutional priorities. As the University of Maine System’s ITSM/PPM platform, TDX provides the following capabilities:

  •  IT Service Management: 
    • Self-Service 
      • Service Catalog  
      • Knowledge Base  
    • Incident Management and Service Request Fulfillment 
    • Satisfaction Surveys 
    • Problem Management 
    • Change Management 
    • Asset Management 
  • Project Portfolio Management: 
    • Project Request Management 
    • Project Management 
    • Resource Management 

Given the immediate need for Knowledge Base and Asset Management solutions, the implementation project kicked off in October 2020 starting with those modules. Since it closely intersects with the Knowledge base module, a project to implement the Service Catalog module was initiated in July 2021. For more information relating to these initiatives, see TeamDynamix Knowledge Management, Asset Management, Service Catalog.

In May 2021, The BOT approved Huron’s recommended ERP roadmap and the allocation of $16,800,000 in support of the Repaving MaineStreet initiative. Given the significant investment of financial and human resources the initiative will require, it was deemed imperative to proceed with implementing the full TDX platform and leverage its project and portfolio management, change management, and service management modules. Opportunities identified during Huron’s ERP Assessment related to the management of functional processes such as online forms, workflows, improved knowledge management, ticket tracking, and MaineStreet security change approval can also be achieved through the use of the full TDX platform.

Additionally, TeamDynamix also operates as an Enterprise Service Management platform, meeting many of the same needs for other service areas within UMS as it does with IT. TDX has been licensed with this opportunity in mind and as the IT implementation of the suite of tools progresses, other units will be given the opportunity to onboard into the platform. Implementation of the remaining TeamDynamix modules for use within IT will begin in early 2022, with availability for other areas following after.