Have you heard? SMS is here!

October 19th, 2018

Book your demo and schedule your FAST upgrade because this is something you want to have. We know it and you know it!

In FAST Version 4.5 we are pleased to announce the introduction of our brand new Communication Centre, with fully integrated functionality to:

  • Send and receive direct 2-way SMS
  • Send bulk SMS messages to groups of employees and/or students
  • Use Email as an alternate communication tool where SMS may not be available
  • Interact directly with your student body using a communication tool they actually use!
  • Improve retention, enrolment and registration
  • And so much more!

If you have not yet seen our Communication Centre in action, be sure to contact us for a demo. If you have, then what are you waiting for? Schedule your upgrade to make the most of these powerful new tools.

Click Here for a Video Intro!

Save Time and Effort with the Report Scheduler

August 8th, 2018

If you’ve not yet explored the wonderful world of the Pinned Report Scheduler, what on earth are you waiting for?

Pinned Reports allow you to save and capture exactly that dataset that you need to run over and over, right?

Well, take the next step and schedule that report to run for you on an automated basis. We’ll deliver it right to your inbox; at whatever time of day, interval, frequency and format you choose!

What’s more? Certain FAST permissions now allow you to also create and share Pinned Reports with the members of certain GROUPS on campus and even schedule reports to deliver directly to those end users.

Imagine the help you’re providing your campus community by not only creating and sharing that report content, but also scheduling it directly via email.

This is a real game-changer for us and we’re sure it will be for you too!

For training on the Report Scheduler and other FAST features, email training@mcsl.com 

Jefferson College Selects Millennium

June 27th, 2018

Jefferson College Selects Millennium’s FAST Enterprise Reporting Suite for Campus-Wide Finance, Human Resources, and Student Reporting

Ease of use, quick implementation, and proven integration with Banner administrative software key to the decision

Millennium Computer Systems, Ltd, a leader in reporting and analytics for higher education, today announced that Jefferson College selected their FAST Enterprise Reporting Suite for their Finance, Human Resources, and Student reporting needs.

Experiencing a lack of timely access to accurate and complete data from their administrative software system, Jefferson College needed to improve their reporting as well as enhance their analytics. Having pre-configured reports that allow administrators to access the underlying data based on their specific role as well as advanced analytics to identify trends and outliers provided both the form and flexibility they needed.

Jefferson College selected the FAST Enterprise Reporting Suite which includes:

FAST Finance – provides relevant, timely information for actuals, commitments and budgets, showing where money is being spent and how it compares to approved budget amounts.

FAST Student – covers important aspects of student activities, such as admission and registration levels, academic history reports and grading as well as operational reports like class lists, schedules, program lists, admissions reports, and student accounts.

FAST HR – tracks and manages all aspects of staffing including staff hires, jobs, faculty, leave and terminations as well as self-service departmental reporting by roles, such as class, employer codes and departments.

FAST Financial Aid – provides the ability to review financial aid applications, enables comprehensive fund management including disbursement and needs reports and the ability to send targeted student emails based on their individual requirements and/or awards.

“We needed a solution to give our staff and administrators better insight and information across departments,” said Tracy James, Senior Director of Information Technology at Jefferson College. “Millennium does that and more with their pre-configured reports, permission-level management, scheduled distribution, and dashboards.”

“Higher education administrators continue to be challenged with getting access to the right information when they need it,” said Peter Bruynzeel, Vice President of Millennium. “With Millennium FAST, they get the information they need, when they need it and don’t have to wait months for an implementation to occur.”

Designed specifically for the needs of higher education administrators, Millennium’s FAST reporting suite provides timely access and insights for Finance, Human Resources, Student Affairs and Financial Aid professionals all built on a flexible development platform that accommodates evolving reporting needs. Read more about products and client successes at [link to best landing page]

About Jefferson College
Established in 1963, Jefferson College is a fully accredited, nationally recognized, public, two-year institution with its main campus located in Hillsboro, Missouri. The college offers credit programs leading to one of five associate degrees or numerous career and technical certificates. Students may prepare for transfer to a four-year institution or receive training for a variety of technical careers. The college also offers extensive noncredit workforce development and lifelong learning opportunities to those seeking career training or retraining, working to boost basic skills or pursuing new areas of interest. Learn more at www.jeffco.edu

About Millennium Computer Systems, Ltd.
Millennium provides reporting and analytics software for higher education institutions so they can have timely access and better insights into the data in their administrative software systems. Our FAST software offers pre-configured reporting for Financial, Human Resources, Student Affairs, and Financial Aid administrators along with Budget and Forecasting, Decentralized Journal Vouchers and more. Over 45+ Higher Education clients in three countries have selected FAST as their administrative tool of choice. Learn more at www.mcsl.com

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Banner 9 Upgrade Looming?

May 22nd, 2018

You’re not alone, and we can help!

We know the deadline is FAST approaching.

Please Click Here to check out a short video on how we can help simplify the transition for your end users and ease the pressure on your internal resources!

 

Brand New Training Video Playlists!

April 3rd, 2018

You’ve asked for it, and we’ve delivered!

Based on your feedback and suggestions, we’re pleased to announce that we have completely overhauled the Training Video Tabs. We’ve made the Video playlists easier to navigate, easier to use and much easier to search.

Included in the latest release (as of FAST Version 4.4.04), are: curated playlists, a sophisticated Search option that looks for keywords in the Help Topic, and Video Tags that allow your end users to search for similar videos, by topic or “tag”.

Each Playlist is carefully divided by content and level to make the material more relevant to the end user and much easier to use. We have also enabled a Quick View of the video description and total length.

For more information, please email Customer Support to schedule your upgrade today! In the meantime, please Click Here to take a tour of the new Video Tabs in this short video tutorial!

Changes to Menu Access

January 12th, 2018

If you’re an Administrator in FAST, then this should pique your interest!

The Menu Access form has been re-vamped and we think you’re going to love it! We’ve improved the user experience on the form by cleaning up the look of the page, adding neat sub-folders for the “child” nodes of menu headers and added an X option to quickly remove access without the need to “drag & drop” it a second time. But even more importantly, we’ve given you the ability to apply a “Cascade” option that will apply the selected role to all children on a menu.

Now this is huge! This can make the difference between grabbing that role once or twice versus 15 or more times for the very same reporting menu!

 

For help with this or any other Admin functionality across FAST, please don’t hesitate to inquire about custom training availability and options!

 

What’s New in FAST 4.4?

November 3rd, 2017

With the dawn of FAST Version 4.4 (schedule your upgrade if you have not already!), we are pleased to introduce the all new FAST Notifications. No more wondering, guessing or trying to send out mass emails to your FAST user groups when updates are made to Group Pinned Reports, Group Dashboards or to notify an approver that there is a new JV that has been sent for approval!

Find all of your FAST notifications in one easy-to-find and easy-to-read panel. End users can then clear individual notifications, clear all notifications and even drill-down to the new or updated Pinned Report. This is a great way to make sure that your user community stays up to speed and in the know about all the great reports available to them.

To schedule your upgrade or add your institution to the list, please Email Customer Support today!

Last Call for IMUC Registration!

September 8th, 2017

Don’t miss out on your last chance to sign up for our annual user conference! IMUC is the conference you don’t want to miss and provides so much valuable training, demo and dedicated FAST material in an intensive 2-day format. We cover Administrative material, end-user training and application-specific courses all tailored to make you a better and more informed FAST user and bring those tips, tricks and powerful new features back to your organization!

This year’s conference is being held in beautiful Whistler, BC, just North of Vancouver.

Registration is only available until September 30th and remaining space is very limited! If you’ve been thinking of attending or sending a few delegates from your organization, now is the time.

For more information on registration, travel, hotel accommodations and a detailed overview of the courses being offered, please Click Here or contact your favourite Millennium employee!

Our conference always fills up and is a guaranteed great time, so you definitely don’t want to be left out.

Version 4.3.16 Pinned Report Changes

August 11th, 2017

This summer we released version 4.3.16 of FAST. You can read all of our release notes under the support menu and contact us if you have any questions.

This post is to clarify global changes made regarding Pinned Reports: sharing, security, access levels, etc. Specifically these release notes.

Here is a quick video overview of some of the Pinned Report changes.

And below are some frequently asked questions:

What is the difference between a Role and a Group?

The main difference is that a Group is intended to be used for communication purposes. If you set the Group Indicator on a Role (either a Baseline Role or a Custom Role), you are allowing communication to be shared between members of that group using Dashboards, Pinned Reports, Charts and Graphs.

In general terms, many Roles relate to functions; what users can DO in any given FAST application whereas Groups relate to access; what users can SEE and share in that FAST application.

I used to be able to save Pinned Reports to the Public library – you mean I can’t do that anymore?

You CAN, but we’ve limited the options to create less confusion. Any of your Public Pinned Reports have now been added to the Group option of “All Users”. By default, all users within an application will be auto-loaded to that role. If you want to save a Pinned Report that everyone within the application can see and run, just save it to the “All Users” Role.

For instance, in FAST Finance Reporting, you can save a report like Summary by Hierarchy: Comparative View and by assigning Run access to the Group All Finance Users, all users in FAST Finance will be able to see and run the report.

Only groups that have Menu Access to the report will show up on the list, so if you don’t see “All Finance Users” in the list, that is because this group has not been assigned Menu Access.

What does “read only” access mean when talking about Pinned Reports?

Read only is a limited role that allows users to view the Pinned Report without being able to modify the base filter options. They can see the report exactly as you’ve saved it, but that’s it! These users also do not have Menu Access to the base report so they can’t go and run it on their own. This is a function that is generally reserved for very limited users in FAST who may lack the training to locate and run their own reports and instead, you are delivering that data to them.

Here’s an important thing to consider: if a user is a member of a group that is set up as read only, but is also a member of another group which has normal menu access defined, the Pinned Report will not be read only for that user. Since the user has access to the base report through normal menu access they could just navigate directly to it and run it with whatever criteria they want, therefore the report will not appear as read only in this situation. The user will still be able to access the Filter Options tab to apply filters, change sort order, etc. This does not mean they can change the Pinned Report, just that the report will be fully functional for them as opposed to fully locked down.

What does “run and maintain” access mean when talking about Pinned Reports?

If you assign a user group the ability to run and maintain the Pinned Report and one or more users in that group have the role called “Create/Update Group Pinned Reports”, those users will now also be able to maintain, modify and/delete the Pinned Report as though they had created it. Keep in mind, this is a pretty powerful function and you should only assign “edit” access to a Pinned Report when that report should be maintained by that user group. But it’s a great option when you’re creating the reports centrally but ultimately want the control and management of those Pinned Reports to lie within a functional area or department rather than simply with the person who created it originally!

I assigned “read only” access to a Pinned Report to a Group but then found out one of the members of that Group can see it beyond read only – is FAST broken?

What has likely occurred is that the user you’re talking about has been assigned to more than one Group. Here’s an important note to make: if a user has Menu Access to a report based on one group, that user may also be assigned to several other groups. Their other Menu Access will always override the “read only” restriction because they can always go and directly run the underlying report anyway! A true “read only” report means that NO Menu Access has been defined and these Pinned Reports are therefore the only option for them to see the report data at all.

I am trying to save a Pinned Report and allow a user group access to edit and maintain it but the group is not showing up in the available drop-down options, what gives?

When saving a Pinned Report, and assigning the ability to maintain, edit or update that Pinned Report, the only groups that will display in the drop-down are those groups that have a) Menu Access to the Report and b) contain one or more users with the “Create/Update Group Pinned Reports” role within the application.

What does the role “Create/Update Group Pinned Reports” do?

This is an important role and it allows users assigned to this role the ability to create and manage your Group Pinned Reports library.

Used properly and in conjunction with your additional Groups and Menu Access, this allows users to be able to create and manage group Pinned Reports but always based strictly upon their underlying Menu Access; that means what reports do they have access to, based on which additional groups they belong to.  These go hand in hand and only provide as much power as you allow them to!

I want every user within the application (say, Finance Reporting or Student Reporting) to be able to run the Pinned Report, but I do not want anyone to be able to make edits to it, what should I do and do I need to assign access to every single group on the list?

Definitely not! There is a new Group Role that has been added to each FAST application as of 4.3.16. This role is called All Users and is replacing the need to distinguish between Public and Group Pinned Reports. If you want all Student Users to be able to see a basic Pinned Report that you’re saving, just assign Run access to the All Student Users Role. Just make sure, before you do, that Menu Access has been granted to the All Users Role to that report!

You keep talking about Menu Access… what exactly does that mean?

Good question! If you have not seen the Menu Access page, it likely means you’re not an application-level administrator. That’s ok – we just want to make sure you know how it all works! In a nutshell, Menu Access is what determines what reports (or menu nodes) are visible by what employees based on what user group(s) they have been assigned to. What you can see in FAST is determined, report by report, by your administrators and the reports that YOU see, may be very different than an employee in another department, who belongs to different groups.

What do User Groups have to do with the Report Scheduler?

When you create Pinned Reports, and intend on scheduling these out to automatically deliver to your end users using the Report Scheduler, you must save that Pinned Report to a Group. That is still a requirement for the Scheduler. By saving a Pinned Report to a specific User Group, you can then access that Group from the Report Scheduler option and schedule it for automated delivery; then each member of that Group will get the report, by email, based on the schedule you’ve set-up!

If you have any further questions about these changes in version 4.3.16 just contact Customer Support and we’d be happy to help!

Are you making use of FAST dashboards?

July 11th, 2017

If not, now may be the time! If you’re a fan of graphing, you want to pay attention right about now. There are some major changes brewing in the FAST Dashboarding world as of FAST 4.3.16+, so stay tuned!

FAST Dashboards allow you to create as many personalized Dashboards as you like to meet any number of reporting and workflow needs. You can then add as many different charts, graphs and grids as you need to keep track of! The beauty here is that you can keep track of your work, your way. Create charts and graphs for weekly, daily or monthly reference. Keep track of Registration, Vendor and PO Details, YTD Budget to Actuals or total spending, Admissions or Employee Leave – and make sure the data from each category is available quickly and easily! We also offer some handy new “sharing” options for your dashboards and the underlying reports.

From the dashboard, you can pop out the graph for review, you can click down to view the full details of your report, or you can even click on any individual section of your graphs (e.g. think of a delicious and colourful piece of pie in a Pie Chart or a single segment in a Bar Chart!) – and view the detailed results reflected in that sub-section of data.

Much more detail more to come, but if you’ve ever wanted to explore the wonderful worlds of Charting, Graphs and Dashboards, now may be the time! We are also offering some dedicated training programs to walk you through the essentials of these fab new features!