As an early adopter of InfoReady, Penn State has been a champion for its use in automating formerly manual research office processes, such as Limited Submissions and internal funding competitions. As the number of InfoReady users grew across all of Penn State’s 24 campuses, the demand for individual microsites increased as administrators realized the additional capabilities of the platform. Administrators began to utilize the flexibility of InfoReady for multiple processes beyond competitions. For Penn State, InfoReady’s Platinum upgrade was the logical and cost-effective solution.
Significant Time Saving Advantages
One of InfoReady’s many benefits compared to manual processes is its potential to save significant amounts of time and resources. The opportunity to extend these benefits throughout the institution result in a sizable increase in efficiency and output that cannot be understated and are measured in weeks saved, not just mere hours. According to Michelle Hutnik, ScD, Penn State’s Director of Research Analytics and Communications, Office of the Senior Vice President of Research, “If you’re to manage a faculty award program using shared folders and email, and you have five different categories (involving nominations and recommendation letters from deans) and five review panels with seven faculty each – as we do – it can take a month or more of administrative time for that program alone, even if that’s the only thing you do. And with award programs of this nature, it goes without saying that mistakes simply cannot be made. Thanks to Platinum, we can quickly set up an automated template, which not only saves time but makes process continuity simple – and that’s transformational.”
From Unit Tool to Enterprise Solution
Chris Pfeiffer, Limited Submission Program Manager in the Office of the Senior Vice President of Research, was formerly IT Manager in Penn State’s Institutes for Energy and Environment. In that role, Chris had hands-on experience with InfoReady and saw its broader potential as units began seeking greater autonomy in managing their own competitions. Penn State’s seed grant programs are a case in point, where one-off competitions led to a choice between hiring additional administrators or opting for Platinum’s enterprise solution offering more microsites. Chris notes another important reason for Platinum’s adoption: “For both participants and administrators, it’s a lot easier, more efficient and more accurate to work in InfoReady Platinum than a spreadsheet.” The microsites function as centralized and branded landing pages for related units or processes, while allowing administrators the flexibility of managing their program as needed. All stakeholders and participants then have a common, shared experience with a standardized tool that is familiar to people across the institution.
“InfoReady Platinum has been a great way for us to go,” says Michelle. “Our metrics are showing increased numbers of competitions, use cases, and participants. For many units, it has transformed how they do business. Once administrators, faculty, and students use InfoReady they immediately see the benefits.”
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