Is upgrading your research management system worth the effort? Alex Skevofylakas has the answers

Name: Alex Skevofylakas
Role: Deputy Director – Research Strategy, Policy and Infrastructure
University: Victoria University (VU)
Q. Leading the upgrade of a university enterprise solution can seem like a monumental task when you also have your day job to contend with, how did you find the experience?

A. Our research services team had the usual business operations to contend with as well as the project, so it was challenging at times. The move from RME5 to RME7 was a significant step up but overall the upgrade has been a positive experience.

Q. What improvements would you make to the upgrade process if you had your time again?

A. I think we could have moved faster with the timelines, particularly by making more resources available for user acceptance testing.

Q. Did you access project implementation and development support during the upgrade?

A. Yes, ResearchMaster was there during the project, always providing a lot of support. By way of example, we were experiencing challenges with Active Directory integration during deployment. John Fernandes, a ResearchMaster Senior Developer worked closely with key members of VU Research Services and IT teams, we were under a lot of pressure but there was a lot of expertise in the room working together to ultimately resolve the challenging issue within 2 hours.

Q. Is the reward worth the effort?

A. Yes. The biggest benefit is RME7 can now be made widely available across the university. The self-service platform is available any time offering greater visibility and easier access to information. Our focus is on getting all users on board including academics, students, administrators, other stakeholders. We also now have access to the eForm technology, and we’re keen to realise the huge benefits they are bring in scope, automation, integration.

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