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PRESTO is here: the SIS rapid response team

Drop-in training and personal visits provide additional support
June 10, 2015
Source: University Communications Services


More than five months into the implementation of the new Student Information System (SIS) at Concordia, the community is collaborating to get the most from this enterprise-level improvement in student-related services, processes and business functions.

To further complement the existing support structure for the transition to the new SIS, a rapid response team called PRESTO (Personalized Response for End-user Support and Training Office) is here to help.

“PRESTO was really effective when I needed help inputting new course prerequisites for the graduate program,” says Cynthia Law, manager of Graduate Admissions and Student Academic Services for the John Molson School of Business. “Prerequisites for previously existing courses rolled over nicely into the new SIS, but we had 12 new graduate courses to add to the curriculum, so I needed to input their prerequisites for the first time.”

With help from team PRESTO, Law got one-on-one training and was ready for fall registration.

When the Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics needed help getting students registered in late May, PRESTO was on the job.

“Three people from PRESTO came to the department to listen and problem solve, which was great because they didn’t just come to diffuse our complaints,” said Parissa Zohari, department coordinator, academic programs. “They brainstormed with us, trying different options until we found a fix. We also identified and corrected a few grade glitches, at the same time.”

PRESTO’s mandate

PRESTO was created to provide more dedicated support for academic units within the university — including  Deans’ Offices and Academic Departments — and individual Faculty members.

“The team is here for drop-in training, the facilitation of group training sessions, personalized visits and help with responses to questions via phone or email,” says Reham Mahdi, IITS Training Coordinator and Coordinator of the PRESTO team.

Additionally, PRESTO will take a more proactive and personalized approach with faculty and staff, working with each of the departments to understand their priorities, needs and deadlines across the academic calendar. The team has already worked with 37 academic departments, all deans’ offices, and several service and support units. They have also hosted additional group training activities on both campuses.

Early success

“Our first mission was helping departments with grade entry and concentration changes,” says Kristina Millet, change management and training–support analyst on the SIS team, as well as PRESTO team member. “We also helped them to update their grade approval processes through training material, drop-in sessions and one-on-one assistance. ”

How to call PRESTO

Resolution of issues is ongoing in the current phase of the project’s implementation. To continue to help the community adapt to the new environment, there is a PRESTO group email for faculty and staff outreach.  The manager of the sustainment team will assess the needs and send out the team accordingly. Faculty and staff can continue to report more technical issues at

“Sometimes a desk-side visit is required or perhaps a group training session is, but often issues can be resolved over the phone or email,” says Bradley Tucker associate vice-president of Registrarial Services and university registrar. “Sometimes it’s simply a matter of pointing to specific training materials or keeping people up to date about new system resolutions.”

PRESTO will be on the ground for the coming year, providing assistance through the continued implementation of additional SIS features and upgrades.

To learn specifics about the SIS support structure and more, consult the SIS Project Renewal Hub.


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