A&M System’s Digital Center of Excellence launches

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As one of the largest systems of higher education in the country, presenting a unified digital experience among the Texas A&M University System’s 11 universities, seven state agencies and comprehensive health science center can be daunting.

In 2014, the Texas A&M University System’s Digital Center of Excellence Steering Committee formed in order to make sure that all System members had access to information and resources that would enable each of them to implement best practices in digital communication.

This fall, the group officially launched the Digital Center of Excellence. Initially, the Center will have four areas of focus: website development, mobile app development, mobile web development, and email communication.

The new website serves as a central clearinghouse for standard policies, processes, and master lists of approved vendors, useful tools and platforms, and contact information for relevant personnel. It will also be the portal through which new information and guidelines about both internal and external digital communication will be distributed.

“It is our hope that the Digital Center of Excellence will serve as a vital resource for System members, particularly the roughly 70 individuals we have identified as working in the digital media arena in our communications and marketing offices around the System,” said Terry McDevitt, the A&M System’s vice chancellor for marketing and communications.

The initial focus areas were selected as a result of a System-wide survey conducted by the steering committee in fall 2014 in an effort to assess the existing digital resources and needs. There were more than 200 responses.

Mark Stone, the A&M System’s chief information officer, said that, in addition to improving the quality and consistency of the A&M System’s digital presence, the use of the Center is likely to result in cost-savings.

“By implementing the information housed in the Digital Center of Excellence throughout the System, we will achieve a more unified digital experience and more efficient publishing processes,” he said.

An announcement from the Center about a master contract with a digital apps vendor will be coming soon. Meanwhile, the Steering Committee has already entered the second phase of the project. In addition to keeping the existing content current, they will explore adding new focus areas, such as social media and web analytics.

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