new online finance system nearing completion
18 months, U.Va.'s Integrated
Systems Project staff, working with employees in a number
of departments and with software company Oracle, have completed
the design stage in finance and are now at the build-and-test
estimates that 90 percent of the affected employees already
have the basic technology skills needed to use the custom-designed
prioritized the work necessary to replace the University's archaic,
often incompatible and redundant business operation processes
into three timelines. Phase one targets the University's financial
processes. Departments will begin using the new set of integrated
software applications for this area in July. Phase two will develop
integrated systems for human resources and payroll tasks; and
phase three will produce new applications for the student information
next month, ISP advisers will be meeting with key finance personnel
in such areas as grants management, accounts payable and receivable,
and labor distribution to make sure that the interests of every
unit on Grounds are reflected in the final product.
Barbara Henry, ISP team leader for labor distribution who still
works half-time as director of HR's management system, likes the
new program and thinks the roughly 600 U.Va. employees who will
be using it come July 1 will, too. "Wow, I can do that,"
is what Henry hears employees say at meetings where the new system
"Users won't see too many changes," she said, but the
new system will allow departments more flexibility and ownership.
For example, departments will enter data themselves, instead of
sending it to Human Resources for data entry. They can also view
what they've entered online and make changes, if necessary.
new Oracle program will separate U.Va.'s funding information from
its personnel data, which in the old system was lumped together.
The new system also will replace U.Va.'s old funding account and
object code information with five new data categories, called
PTAEO (project, task, award, expenditure type, and organization).
The new system will eliminate the need for shadow systems, as
well, which departments now create to have electronic records
of paper reports generated by HR.
University's current budget program is being replaced, too, with
Oracle's "Awards and Projects" system. The conversion
will take place over two fiscal years. Next year's budget will
be prepared on both the current program and the new Oracle system.
"This is the only time we'll do this in duplicate fashion,"
said Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget,
who is also a member of the ISP executive committee. "In
addition to serving as a good learning exercise, this method will
create an important link between University budgets prior to fiscal
year '01-02 and after," she said.
to an integrated system reduces maintenance costs, makes the work
easier and more effective and provides better service to faculty,
staff and students, said ISP chief Bill Randolph.
"go live" date for ISP's finance phase -- when the new
software will be implemented -- is July 1. Many U.Va. employees
will be affected by this change, and ISP will provide training
sessions before the switchover. ISP estimates, however, that 90
percent of the affected employees already have the basic technology
skills needed to use the custom-designed Oracle programs.
Users will also have access to a reference manual, which generates
user guides, both in print and online. One feature of the online
guide is a visual flow chart of the entire procedure. "If
the user gets stuck mid-task, he or she can call up the flow chart,
click on the specific task, and see step-by-step instructions,"
said ISP training manager James Potter, who compared the program
to a "user-friendly version of U.Va.'s infamous gray financial
phase two HR and payroll systems will go live July 1, 2002. The
student information system should follow in January 2004.
Information about ISP is available online at http://www.virginia.edu/isp;
information about training is at http://www.virginia.edu/isp/training/prereq.html