Software Made Simple
Acquiring extra software at UMass Boston was tedious and time-consuming before Software Support Specialist Rocky Haggard of the IT Service Desk took it upon himself to simplify the process. Now, users can go to the new umb.OnTheHub.com web site and find a much easier way to get the software they need.
So, what is umb.OnTheHub.com? It’s a new service offered by UMass Boston to students, faculty, and staff for acquiring software applications needed for learning, teaching, and working. As John Mazzarella, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Client Services explains, the process was anything but easy before. “It was kind of a long, manual process. People had to email Rocky Haggard and say, ‘I want this software’, and Rocky would reply and ask questions back and forth to better understand the software request. Some software products are free, some aren’t, some are just for staff and faculty, some just for students” etc., etc. Basically, each software request required Rocky to go back and forth with the requestor before he could proceed with the transaction, making it a difficult chore for everyone involved.
In comparison, using umb.OnTheHub.com is simplicity itself. “You go to the URL, you login with your UMass Boston login credentials, and you add software to your cart like you’re making an Amazon purchase,” Rocky said. The system answers any questions shoppers may have that Rocky used to have to answer himself via email. Prices, availability, classification, are all right there on the website. It also recognizes students, faculty, or staff so it doesn’t show apps which the user isn’t eligible for.
The new umb.OnTheHub.com service was rolled out in August 2022, and Rocky said the initial response from users was “overwhelmingly positive,” with one or two people saying “this is fantastic.” There was even an “it’s about time” remark from one slightly facetious user.
Finally, one of the features of umb.onthehub.com that Rocky is most happy with, is that it accepts modern payment methods, such as credit or debit cards, PayPal, and so on. He described how different that is from how payments were taken before. “Usually when a student wanted to purchase software, they’d have to bring in a personal check. When was the last time you saw someone writing a check?”
Well, no more checks, and no more going back and forth with Rocky either. From this point onward it’s all about ease of access, thanks to Rocky Haggard and his focus on continuous improvement and simplicity.