FirstLink Go-Live: Week One recap

Good Morning! FirstLink Colleges are heading into week two of ctcLink Go-Live. The project team is working with the colleges to resolve some conversion issues in all three pillars. In addition, a mock payroll run is planned for early this week prior to the first payroll run in ctcLink for the September 10 payday. Here’s a quick recap of last week’s activities:

  • The ctcLink system was turned over to FirstLink colleges on Monday, August 24th
  • More than 50 support staff from SBCTC and Ciber were on site at the three FirstLink colleges and the Spokane district office. The Olympia Command Center was open 7 am – 7pm and had check-in meetings with college command centers at 8 am and 4:30 pm each day. The on-site support and the check-in meetings will continue this week.
  • In all, 532 issue tickets were logged to the ctcLink Service Desk last week and 75% of those had been resolved by Friday evening. The majority of issues were security/role related, which was to be expected. In addition, there were data cleanup issues to address as well as initial account activation issues the first couple days.
  • During the first week, 3,521 people from Spokane and Tacoma activated their account and 1,982 of those were students. Many more students and staff will be activating their new ctcLink accounts this week.
  • About 107 new students applied to FirstLink colleges using the new Online Admissions Application and another 100 applicants were entered manually by college staff.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FirstLink Go Live: Day 4

Good evening from the ctcLink Project. Just a quick update on day 4 of go-live for FirstLink (Spokane and Tacoma) colleges. It was another productive and long day for all involved–TCC, SFCC, SCC, Ciber and SBCTC staff.

Before Noon today, a total of 2900 people had activated their new ctcLink account since Monday and 1515 of those were students. Some bugs are being worked out with the new Online Admissions Application (OAA), but there was still some success, with more than 50 new students applying to Spokane or Tacoma colleges using OAA. That number is expected to go up significantly next week when all 3 colleges actively advertise ctcLink and the new OAA to students/future students.

Stay tuned for a week-in-review blog post with a bit more detail on what was accomplished this first week of FirstLink colleges being the trailblazers in implementing ctcLink for the WA community and technical college system.

Posted in FirstLink Colleges | Leave a comment

FirstLink Go Live – Day 2

Quick Day 2 Update: More people from FirstLink colleges (Tacoma and Spokane) are in the new ctcLink system. As of 6:00 p.m. this evening, 1,985 people have activated their ctcLink accounts and about 855 of those are students. Based on the types of tickets the ctcLink Service Desk received today, it’s clear staff are performing more and different activities in ctcLink than on Day 1. There are still many issues to work out, which is exactly what the project team and colleges will set out to address as we approach Day 3.

ctcLink Command Center - Olympia

ctcLink Command Center – Olympia


Posted in FirstLink Colleges | 2 Comments

FirstLink Go-Live: Day 1

The ctcLink system was turned over to the FirstLink colleges today and college subject matter experts and staff spent the day activating their new accounts, starting to navigate the system and logging service tickets with their local help desks and the SBCTC/ctcLink Service Desk.

In all, 1,167 people activated their account in ctcLink and more than 300 of those were students. More than 135 tickets were logged to the SBCTC/ctcLink Help Desk and, so far, nearly 65 percent of those have been resolved. Many of those issues were login and security-related, which was to be expected. A lot was accomplished today, but there is much more work to do. The project team is looking forward to a productive ‘Day 2.’


No days 'til go live! The Financial Aid Team pulled a couple all-nighters Cutover Weekend and they were still up for a photo shoot. From Left: Neeraj Kripalani, Ciber; Luis(Tony) Rivera, Ciber; Rachelle Russell, SBCTC; Jodi Sharpe, SBCTC; Kim Wasierski, SBCTC; Jerry Perez, Ciber.

No days ’til go live! The Financial Aid Team pulled a couple all-nighters Cutover Weekend yet they still said ‘yes’ to a photo op. From Left: Neeraj Kripalani, Ciber; Luis(Tony) Rivera, Ciber; Jodi Sharpe, SBCTC; Kim Wasierski, SBCTC; Jerry Perez, Ciber.

Posted in FirstLink Colleges | 2 Comments

It’s Cutover Weekend!

The ctcLink Project Team Cutover Room

The ctcLink Project Team Cutover Room

“Cutover”–the process of moving FirstLink colleges from the old/legacy system to the new ctcLink system–is happening! The legacy system was shut down for Spokane and Tacoma colleges at 11:59 pm Wednesday evening and the ctcLink/Ciber project team has been on a 24/7 schedule ever since, performing conversion activities day and night. These activities include both automated and manual entry of data from the old system to the new, followed by a validation process to confirm the data is correct in the new ctcLink system.

As of this morning (8/22), the team is on track to pass the data validation process to FirstLink colleges by Noon tomorrow (8/23). Select college subject matter experts plan to activate their ctcLink accounts in the production (go live) environment and then spend some time validating their own data in the new system Sunday afternoon before ctcLink is handed over to them on Monday, August 24–the official Go Live day! FirstLink colleges will then introduce ctcLink to students, faculty and staff over the next couple weeks based on their individual campus rollout plan.

Be thinking of your peers at Tacoma and Spokane colleges as they make this momentous move to ctcLink. It has taken a tremendous effort on everyone’s part to get us to this point.

For a more in-depth look at the activities that began Wednesday, and from a college perspective, check out the latest “vlog” post from TCC’s Andy Duckworth:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Less than 2 weeks ’til FLC Go-Live!

Less than two weeks to go until FirstLink colleges (Spokane and Tacoma) switch over to the ctcLink system! It’s been a flurry of activity as we approach the finish line, with nonstop preparation on all 3 college campuses and Spokane’s district office, as well as at both the Bellevue and Olympia SBCTC offices.

Activities are too many to mention here, but include: finishing up the pre-go-live training, performing the myriad of weekly cutover activities (final conversion of data from legacy to ctcLink and migrating/finalizing configuration in the new system), onsite college visits for security matrix review, setting up the go-live command center and scheduling the “boots on the ground” support for colleges, and developing various other go-live support resources.

In addition, the Ciber team, along with some ctcLink team members, have been onsite at Tacoma (last week) and Spokane (this week) to provide staff an in-depth understanding of several of the key business process flows from beginning to end. For example, in the Campus Solutions pillar, going through the process of admitting a student, enrolling them in classes, awarding/disbursing financial aid, performing a refund, and seeing how that posts to the general ledger. They also were there to help staff gain more familiarity with the integration points and data points that drive certain business decisions and help them gain awareness of any key procedure and policy impacts to their business activities.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 24 go-live date confirmed for FirstLink colleges

Tacoma, Spokane and SBCTC leadership have reaffirmed their commitment to the August 24 go-live date for FirstLink colleges. That is the day Spokane, Spokane Falls and Tacoma community colleges will turn on and begin using the ctcLink (PeopleSoft) system.

“This is a monumental and momentous milestone, which we couldn’t have reached without the hard work and dedication from our project team; our implementation partner, Ciber, and their team; all the SBCTC IT Division staff in Bellevue and Olympia involved in the project; and especially the staff at our FirstLink colleges who constantly must juggle their ctcLink work along with their regular college duties,” said Project Director Barbara Martin. “I know it’s been a long and winding road, but we are so close and everyone’s involvement and input has made all the difference.”

With the August 24 go-live date confirmed, “cutover” begins right away, which is the process of cutting over from the old (legacy) system to the new ctcLink system. Cutover is the last step before go-live and includes a final extract of data from the old system, conversion into the new system and final testing of the new environment before it is turned on, among many other activities to ensure the system is ready to go for each college. The ctcLink project team will be heavily involved in these activities and the college subject matter experts will play a role in some of the activities as well.

In addition to cutover activities, FirstLink college staff members continue to be involved in training sessions, which will continue through August.

Stay tuned for more FirstLink go-live news and thanks again to everyone who has been involved in the ctcLink project.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment