To help better understand why we are transitioning to a university-wide intranet, newly named My UT Health based on your vote, we’ve answered some common questions from faculty, staff and students.
What is an intranet?
An intranet is a private network that is contained within an organization such as UT Health San Antonio. The main purpose of an intranet is to create a centralized hub to share internal institutional information. It can also be used to facilitate many other business functions such as team collaboration. Another common term for an intranet is a portal.
Why do we need an intranet?
Intranets have evolved into an essential business tool. This has happened because of their ability to allow employees and people within an organization to communicate, collaborate, and search and share information easily, efficiently and securely.
Last year, we conducted an engagement survey of both faculty and staff. We heard from numerous UT Health San Antonio employees that communication is lacking in many areas. This intranet will serve as “Communications Central” for our UT Health San Antonio family, providing one source of truth for all types of information. This easy-to-use technology platform will provide continuous, up-to-date communication within the organization, and at the same time will allow us to highlight the achievements of our valued workforce.
Looking beyond improved communication, employees also shared they wanted a way to work more efficiently. Our current portal technology is almost 20 years old and for anyone who uses it, the out-of-date technology is evident. With the new intranet, users will be able to access what they need more quickly and find employee and student directories, news and information, business applications, and informational resources in one convenient place.
Finally, collaboration is key. This tool will take us beyond email for information sharing and will facilitate discussion and teamwork through forums, team chat rooms, and document and content management systems that will be available to all departments across our campuses.
How long will the process take?
In February, we began an extensive discovery and research phase. We spoke to many of you—faculty, staff and students alike—to identify what our true needs are. This included numerous stakeholder focus group sessions and user interviews. We led task-priority exercises and conducted user surveys to identify the challenges we face with the existing portal and must-have features for the new intranet.
Building on your feedback, site development has now begun. User testing occurred in July, and the intranet will launch university-wide Aug, 14.
How will this affect me?
My UT Health will replace the aging “portal,” at inside.uthscsa.edu. The tools and links that you need to do your job that were found on the portal, sometimes after much searching, will now be housed on a centralized, more efficient and modern online hub. Instead of having multiple locations for internal information, such as one with campus news and events and another with business links and payroll information, this site will be centralized for common information, and dynamic to connect to information needs tailored to employees and students.
Offices, departments and units will also have the opportunity to build their own locally managed secure section of the intranet so that departmental events, announcements and information can be shared with the people who need it, when they need to see it. We’ve never had that capability in the past and we’re excited to give departments a new tool that will improve communication and business efficiency.
When will training be available?
We will offer extensive training this summer and into the fall, offered at various times and dates to reach as many people as possible. Because the goal of the intranet is an easy-to-use platform, training is not mandatory but encouraged for a greater understanding of the site’s extensive features.
As always, our team members in the Office of Information Management & Services and the Office of Marketing, Communications & Media stand ready to lend a hand and answer users’ questions.
As we get closer to launching the site, we will also provide an online tour of My UT Health. This tour will highlight important business applications and tools, and will be available to everyone on demand.
Stay tuned to news.uthscsa.edu, inside.uthscsa.edu and your email inbox for more information and training schedules as we get closer to launch.