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Summer 2006

On-Line Shopping at U.Va. Due in December

December 2006 is the announced launch date for the University to implement UVA Marketplace, a new electronic procurement system. ISDS and Procurement Services have assembled a project team, headed by Terry Butler, Assistant Director of Procurement Services, and the kick-off meeting was held on May 26.

“We are very excited at the prospect of on-line shopping for the University community,” says Eric Denby, Director of Procurement Services. Virginia Evans, Assistant Vice President for ISDS adds, “The past several years have been devoted to implementing, upgrading, and stabilizing the Integrated System. Now we can take the next step.”

The December timeline is dictated by the Commonwealth of Virginia, which implemented a state-wide e-procurement system, eVA, while U.Va. was implementing the Integrated System. “All state agencies are required to use eVA or pay significant fees to the state,” explains Denby. “We have already paid the state over $1.1 million.”

Using eVA directly would require considerable reengineering of U.Va. processes, according to Butler. Therefore, “we conducted extensive research on the best solution for U.Va. that could feed into eVA,” she says. That solution is an on-line shopping environment, provided by SciQuest, but accessed from within the Integrated System using the Oracle iProcurement application.

“Users will log into the Integrated System before seamlessly entering the UVA Marketplace, where they may browse, search, view product images, comparison shop, and buy from a large number of U.Va.’s most commonly used and preferred supplier catalogs,” says Denby.

“The marketplace should be intuitive. We expect training to be primarily web-based, rather than classroom (except for central users), though large introductory sessions will be held to preview the UVA Marketplace, and work sessions will be provided prior to and following go-live.”

The UVA Marketplace mission is to provide the University community with an efficient, effective, and user-friendly electronic system for purchasing that satisfies Commonwealth mandates, integrates tightly with the Integrated System, and improves the U.Va. procure-to-pay operations.

“We see a number of direct benefits to purchasers,” says Butler. “These include single sign-on to access multiple web catalogs; easier access to negotiated pricing; and easier access to preferred suppliers and featured SWAM vendors. We expect that more specific benefits will emerge as we delve into and design the marketplace.”

For information on the UVA Marketplace project and to follow its progress, visit the project website.