AITP Launches Web Portal
Saturday, August 9, 2003
Posted by: Mark Gilfand, CDP - Association Director
On July 11, AITP unveiled its latest member benefit, the AITP Web Portal. The Web Portal represents a new opportunity for AITP members. It features many of the benefits members have been asking for: enhanced forums, white papers, a member directory, easier navigation, better access to information on member benefits, enhanced chapter search, online renewal, and much, much more.
Visit AITP's Web Portal at www.aitp.org. Be sure to log in. If you log in by August 31, you will have a chance to win a free copy of NFR (not-for-resale) Windows Server 2003 and the Jerry Honeycutt book 'Introducing Microsoft Windows Server 2003', compliments of AITP's partner affiliate Microsoft.
There is a new look and feel to www.aitp.org. It emphasizes that we are an association of people, brought together to provide opportunities in education, advocacy, networking and leadership. Navigation is simple and direct. It will be much easier for both members and the general public to find information about AITP including its mission, vision, code of ethics, organization, benefits of membership, chapters, regions, interest groups, and events.
The AITP Web Portal is broken into five major sections: Organization, AITP News, Affiliates, Publications, and Members. While the first three sections are open to the public, the Publications and Members sections are exclusively for AITP members and require a valid username and password for access.
All AITP members received an email in July announcing the launch of the portal and explaining how to log in. But even if you no longer have that email, there is an easy way to learn your username and password. The Web Portal's home page contains a link that says: 'Forgot Username or Password'. Clicking that link will allow you to obtain your unique username and your current password.
The Organization section features a wealth of information about AITP. This includes its mission, vision, history, list of member benefits, and organization. The list of Manuals and Forms used by chapter, region, and committee leaders has been redesigned. Here you will find many hints, tips, and techniques for committees, meetings, conferences, seminars, chapters, and regions. There is a list of promotional material, including brochures that you can hand out to prospective members and to employers. AITP's interest groups and committees are prominently noted in this section of the portal.
The Organization section includes an enhanced chapter search. Not only can you search for chapters by state, like in the old site. Now you can also search for chapters by city or chapter name. And when you find the chapter you are looking for, you'll be able to see the list of key officers and directors, as well as a link to the chapter's Web site, and a way to contact the chapter via email.
A special note to professional and student chapter leaders: Please be sure to periodically check your chapter's information at the AITP Web Portal. Make sure the list of officers and contact information is correct. If it isn't, contact AITP Headquarters as soon as possible.
The AITP News section features an Announcements page, with news about AITP benefits, publications, and items of interest to AITP members. There is an Events page, listing all the upcoming AITP-related events, including Region Conferences, the Association Conference, the National Collegiate Conference, ISECON (Information Systems Education Conference), and more. There is a calendar of events listing not only the events but also key dates for awards and the submission of forms.
The Affiliates section provides access to information about all the organizations that work with AITP to provide benefits to AITP members and the IT industry. Here you will find links to affiliated associations and the major corporations that partner with AITP. You will also find, under Vendor Affiliates, all the companies that provide direct benefits to AITP members. The benefits include discounts on education, products, financial services and much more.
The Publications section is exclusively for logged in AITP members. Here you will find a number of AITP newsletters including 'Information Executive / Nanosecond' and newsletters from AITP regions, the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP), and AITP's special interest group on Education (EDSIG). You will also find the latest member benefit, quality white papers, on a wide range of Information Technology topics. Search through these white papers. Not only can you search through the list of titles, but you can do word searches to find the papers you need. Over time, more and more papers, surveys, and research studies will be posted in this area.
The Members section contains some of the most exciting benefits for AITP members. One of the most requested benefits is featured here -- a member directory. Here you can search for members by last name, by organization, or by chapter. This directory is available only to logged on AITP members.
There is an enhanced forums page. Here you will find forums on specific topics, where you can network with other AITP members. There are forums about: meeting announcements, jobs, AITP issues, spam, security, networking, hardware, software, IT Management, wireless, leading edge technology, certification, and more.
The forums page offers a unique benefit. You can create a forum account. When you sign onto to your forum account, you will be able to ask the portal to track specific forum postings. You will automatically get an email when someone replies to that posting.
The Members page also provides easy access to the account information. Here you can see your personal information and, if necessary, request changes. You also can renew your membership online -- another highly requested enhancement.
There is one more area to the Members page, which is 'My AITP'. Here you will find a number of small applications such as interfaces to weather services, mapping services, search engines, and more. You can tailor this section of the portal so it shows the applications you are interested in. There is an 'Industry Center' page for those applications that interest you at work and a 'Personal Center' page for those applications that interest you outside the job.
These are just highlights of the new Web Portal. Future issues of Information Executive will feature even more in depth information about the functions and features you will find there. The Web Portal introduces a new set of benefits for AITP members. But this is only the beginning. With the introduction of the Web Portal, we have set up the infrastructure for many other exciting changes and enhancements.
If you haven't already, sign onto the portal. Explore the site. See the benefits it offers. Remember, if you sign on by August 31, you are automatically entered into a chance to win a NFR copy of Windows Server 2003.
The introduction of the AITP Web Portal has been a long and demanding project. It involved many individuals volunteering their time and talent to review the site, make suggestions, research items and much more. Included in this list are Nita Adams, Mike Welch, Larry Schmitz, Karan Smith, Darlene Hite-Dickinson, the entire Board of Directors and Headquarters staff members Liz Windisch, Sean Gallagher and Karen Kuhlman. Most of all, the success of the portal belongs to our newest Association Director, Mark Kleine. Without his tireless dedication and tremendous knowledge, this project would not have been possible.
We are proud to have been a part of this important AITP endeavor. But the work doesn't stop here. We will continue to enhance the portal to bring you, the AITP member, even more benefits of AITP membership.