Southern Company

Southern Company is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers through our subsidiaries. We provide clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network, and telecommunications services.

Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices below the national average. For more than a century, we have been building the future of energy and developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, advanced carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and storage technology.

Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation and a low-carbon future, Southern Company and its subsidiaries develop the customized energy solutions our customers and communities require to drive growth and prosperity. Our uncompromising values ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and govern our business to the benefit of our world.

Southern Company: $500,000 Grant

Please list your top three (3) technology needs, in order of priority. Include estimated cost for each.

1. 2. 3.

Technology upgrades to the Center for Teaching Excellence $350,000 Digital Transaction Management/e-Signature $82,500
Mobile App Development $67,500

How could this project help your institution become more effective, efficient, and innovative (cost savings, time savings, reporting, resource re-allocation, data-driven decision making, responsiveness, etc.)?

Upgrades to the CTE for professional development delivery will help realize our mission and vision to stimulate faculty creativity, collegiality, and teaching excellence. Reallocating resources to support a complete upgrade and overhaul of the existing CTE’s technology will include remote instruction equipment, computers, and software, as well as provide furniture/space. Transforming this space will strengthen the education delivery model and better equip faculty to provide instruction that aligns with current educational trends to effectively develop our faculty.

Hampton University must identify ways to streamline educational business processes. We modified manual processes to assist remote-users in completing admissions, registration and financial aid requirements. Our short-term solution included using fillable forms, creating web-based portals, and modifying manual procedures. Shifting to paperless support for remote users requires a DTM solution. Adding e-Signature offers cost saving and will revolutionize how Hampton University’s agreements are prepared, signed, actioned, and managed.

Using Mobile Apps will support self–reporting, proximity, and location-based contact tracing and is the next logical step in protecting our community’s health and safety. App integration will require analysis, planning, and coordination before implementation. An integrated Mobile App will facilitate communicating information promptly, providing timely data-driven decisions, and responsiveness in this ever-changing environment.

Describe the project for which you are seeking support

Hampton University would like to use the project funds provided by Southern Company to upgrade the technology in the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) to offer professional development to improve remote instruction and delivery; purchase a digital transaction management system to streamline processes, secure data and authenticate signers; and develop a mobile APP to promote communication and integrate disparate technologies.

Recent technology infrastructure improvements have helped Hampton University streamline operations and increase the effectiveness of delivering remote instruction. However, the university has additional technology needs that must be met in order for us to deliver the highest quality of remote instruction. While we have received funds through CARES, individual donors, and campaigns to support the remote instructional requirement (e.g., Laptops for students, hot spots, cameras, etc.), funds have not been raised that target the three areas for this project: (1) Technology upgrade for the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), (2) Digital transaction management, or (3) COVID-19 communication Mobile App technology needs.

Southern Company: $500,000 Grant

1. Technology upgrades to the Center for Teaching Excellence $350,000

Technology upgrades to the CTE to provide professional development for our faculty and administrators is the primary and most critical priority for this proposal. Therefore, this proposal requests funds to renovate the existing facility by increasing its technological capabilities. The CTE is central to digitally transforming the campus to align with the current remote learning environment. The CTE has a qualified, committed staff who work in partnership with individual faculty. However, there is a dire need to offer greater technical assistance to facilitate the professional delivery of instruction in a manner that will promote student retention and enrollment for Hampton University. The CTE’s renovations will support innovative teaching methods, collaborative activities and faculty development that:

• Provides measurable ways to support faculty.
• Provides instructional advancement.
• Offers a SMART classroom model for hands-on training.
• Includes an experimental lab space to test new hardware and software. • Delivers CTE calendared workshops.
• Incorporates technology to further student engagement.

2. Digital Transaction Management/e-Signature $82,500

Implementing Digital Transaction Management (DTM) by incorporating an e-
signature solution is the second priority for this proposal request. Adopting an
end-to-end methodology that includes well-defined e-signature processes will
fully enable Hampton University to serve our customers (e.g., faculty, students,
staff, vendors, parents, alumni, etc.) in this remote environment. More importantly, leveraging this technology supports the overall digital transformation strategy of the university to modernize.Many of Hampton University’s agreement processes remain manual and fragmented which creates both inefficiencies and reduced effectiveness. With the shift to remote instruction and learning, Hampton University needs DTM and an electronic signature solution. As the university works to convert many of the manual forms to support remote access to processes, the requirement for DTM is the next step to support digital transformation. Using a cloud-based application will allow our institution to send and sign (securely) and input other data into a document with an automated document workflow. Because Hampton uses Perceptive Content as our grant management software tool, integrating a tool like DocuSign to complement this product will provide our faculty, students, and staff with the ability to:

• Easily upload and send documents for electronic signature.
• Quickly access and sign documents that require a signature.
• Readily check a document’s status, send reminders, and view audit trails.
• Securely store documents online.
• Create templates using existing forms to help streamline the sending process.
• Oversee document workflow by identifying and managing recipients and routing. • Make forms available online, allowing for self-service and ease of accessibility.

3. Mobile App Development $67,500

Developing an integrated Mobile App solution is the third priority request for this proposal response. Working with Hampton University’s leadership to incorporate approved COVID-19 third-party-health Mobile Apps with a new myHamptonU Mobile App will transform how we communicate information campus-wide. The Mobile App’s goal is not to replace traditional communication vehicles like HUNews, Blackboard Announcements or direct email to students. Instead, the myhamptonu Mobile App will deliver personalized messaging to faculty, students and staff on their smart devices. Additional capabilities include supporting e-learning initiatives as well as augmenting communication across the campus.