New platform allows online requests for FPM, EHS services

A system that launched July 1 will allow all faculty and staff to submit online service requests to facilities planning and management (FPM) and environmental health and safety (EHS).

The new platform, FAMIS 360, is the updated, cloud-based version of the FAMIS software FPM had used since 1999 to manage work and purchase orders, inventory, space, inspections, keys, utilities and other assets. (FAMIS stands for Facilities Asset Management Information System.)

Faculty and staff previously had to be on a list of approved requesters to submit an FPM service request online, a requirement established to make the custom system more manageable. But with FAMIS 360's built-in online submission function, it's easier to open up the online request option to all employees, said Kris Koerner, FAMIS manager for FPM. Starting July 1, employees can access FAMIS 360 by adding the app to their Okta login page using the search bar at the top of the page.

"This will be new for lots of people," Koerner said. 

Status updates available

Users will receive updates on their service requests and can send messages related to the requests within the system, new features that will be appreciated, said Jody Danielson, FPM business services director.

"Customers really want to know the status of a request because that's what we're used to for everything else in life," she said.

Any service FPM provides can be requested through FAMIS 360, from routine maintenance to initiating a project. FPM service center staff will let faculty and staff know if a request requires an identified funding source. EHS requests listed as suggestions in FAMIS 360 include ergonomic evaluations, safety training, waste disposal, and services related to automated external defibrillators and fire extinguishers. 

Employees can still call the FPM service desk at 294-5100 or EH&S at 294-5359 to submit a service request. Just like online submissions, requests made by phone will generate email updates and an opportunity to correspond within the FAMIS 360 system. Non-employees such as students and visitors can continue to use the "report a problem" online form or call the FPM service desk if they notice issues on campus that need attention.

Other benefits

FPM began the process of replacing the classic version of FAMIS in fall 2019. The platform, which FPM developers had added about 300 customizations to over the years, was built with aging code and wouldn't be supported by the vendor at the same level in the future, said Ayinde Popo, FPM information technology manager. The bid was awarded in mid-2020, and the implementation team started its work last fall. 

In addition to improving the experience for users submitting service requests, FAMIS 360 integrates with other university systems, such as Workday, and includes a business intelligence tool that will allow FPM IT staff to present customized data in a more modern and visual layout, Popo said.

"It's going to be a lot more efficient," he said.

New software for managing documents and payments for projects went live at the same time as FAMIS 360, which made launching both software programs more complex. About 100 people on campus worked on implementation, including a core team of about 40, Popo said.

"There are so many people who came together to make this successful," he said.

Training and tipsheets

FPM added three self-help articles to the ISU Service Portal to help faculty and staff navigate FAMIS 360: an introduction and guides for creating a request and viewing requests and adding comments.

A video demonstration also will be available later this summer, Koerner said.