Why is Nillumbik U3A moving to UMAS?

  1. OASIS, the current membership database developed and administered by Tony Lee for the last 11 years, is reaching the end of its useful life. On 18th October 2023, Tony advised the U3A that OASIS is reaching the end of it’s life cycle and that we should begin to search for a replacement platform. Tony offered to maintain OASIS through to 2025 while we find the best supported solution and move across to it.
  2. A Nillumbik U3A Project Working Group was formed to manage this task at the start of November 2023 and two U3A membership administration systems were identified (recommended candidates by Tony), so research began. Detailed profiles were provided to the Working Group and they settled on one platform that stood out – UMAS – U3A Membership Administration System. Why?
    1. There are 56 other U3As currently using it (out of 104 U3As in Victoria) so it is a mature system.
    2. UMAS is supported by a group called the U3A Network Victoria who have a team of volunteers and an IT technician to help and advise incoming as well as all current U3As.
    3. Access to this administration system is free (the alternative was not).
    4. IT support is ongoing.
  3. UMAS was formally chosen as our OASIS replacement at the December Committee meeting following the Working Group’s recommendation. No further action took place until February, 2024.
  4. An implementation timetable (notional) was agreed upon at the February U3A Committee meeting following a January Zoom meeting with the U3A Network Advisor who provided information on the migration process. This entails forming …
    1. A Data Migration Working Group (liaising with the Network Support team) to migrate all current data over to UMAS which could take 4-6 weeks followed by testing and training before launching (OASIS continues unchanged). Progressing well.
    2. Review the implications for the website and how it should interface with UMAS.
    3. Develop and implement a communication plan to keep our membership informed. This e-mail is the start of that process.
    4. Prepare and provide training for members and tutors as required prior to the launch.
  5. Launch UMAS when the two working groups have completed their tasks and when members are ready to move over. Project timeline has been set to conclude at the end of term 2, but this is flexible as we don’t know what we don’t know. It could be earlier or later.