6 , 2000
Easier and Better Reports Come with Oracle
The promise of the Oracle applications
is the prospect of getting great reports right out of the original transaction
information rather than by creating and maintaining shadow systems. The
ISP Reports Team has found much to confirm that promise.
"Oracle has reporting tools to fit multiple needs,
from the simple to the complex," attests Lynne Hancock, reports team lead.
"There are standard reports bundled with all Oracle applications that
can be requested by an authorized user at any time. They have a fixed
format and layout, but their content can be focused each time the report
is submitted by specifying selection parameters.
A tool that will meet most users needs, according
to Hancock, is Oracle Discoverer. "For ad-hoc queries," she says, "Discoverer
offers the capability of accessing the database with an interface that
allows users to generate informative, decision-ready reports. Templates
for instant report layout, seamless connectivity to the databases, and
point-and-click query construction provide a simple mechanism for users
to retrieve information.
In addition to these reports tools, Hancock points
out two tools in Oracle Grants Management that will be useful for reporting:
· The Award Status Inquiry (ASI) is a feature that enables
users to quickly review actual and committed transactions,
invoices, and budget and expenditure data at the award, project, resource,
or task level. This feature allows users to view
financial data at the award and project levels for all projects funded
by an award.
· The Project Status Inquiry (PSI) is a feature that enables
users to quickly review the current status of their
projects and then drill down for more detailed expenditure data at the
resource or task level.
Both ASI and PSI data can be exported into a spreadsheet for further analysis.
New on the Website
Members of the ISP Advisory Committee have identified people throughout
the University to serve as subject matter experts for the ISP teams as
the teams configure the Oracle applications to meet the needs of our community.
The names of these subject matter experts, by department or school, are
now on the ISP website, under the respective teams. Link from the homepage
to the team that interests you, and scroll down to "Subject Matter Experts."
Also new on the website is an ISP slide show
that will change as the project progresses. Click the What Is ISP? tab
at the top of the home page, then click the slide show on the yellow bar.
If anyone knows how to get the slide show to fill the page, please send
an e-mail to email@example.com.
Planning for PTAEOs
Changing all the University's charging instructions for every transaction
seems like a daunting task, but the re-phasing allows time to make the
adjustment, and ISP staff will attempt to ease the transition in any way
possible, as early as possible.
On July 1, 2001, the PTAEO
will become the new University currency, replacing the current account
code/object code set of charging instructions. Valid PTAEOs (Project,
Task, Award, Expenditure Type, Organization) will have to be assigned
to every transaction upon initiation, be it a purchase requisition, a
request for services from Facilities Management, payroll, or a travel
While this is a huge undertaking, "it is required
by any organization implementing a modern system with the capability of
storing more and better information and, then, producing better reports,"
says Bill Randolph, ISP project director. "If we weren't choosing to go
Project Centric, it would not be a PTAEO, but it would still be different
from what we currently have. The current account code/object code structure
has been in place for almost 25 years - it is time for an improvement"
The University currently has approximately 12,000
fund codes, though not all of them are active. "The magnitude of the task
of converting this number to PTAEOs in the first effort will, of necessity,
limit how sophisticated we can be in initially setting up the PTAEOs,"
warns Randolph. "We have to get them up and running and then ensure that
they are working. Then, we can begin to explore ways to use more of the
potential contained within the Grants Management module."
Teams Get Stakeholder Input for Gap Analysis
As noted in the last ISP Bulletin, the ISP teams are currently identifying
potential gaps between the future business processes defined in March
and the functionality of the Oracle applications. The first step in analyzing
those gaps has been to identify the University's business requirements
for each Oracle application, using the Integrated System Task Force reports,
the goals and objectives of the RFP for the integrated system software
selection, and the strategic directions noted in the ISP Business Case.
Each team will hold a stakeholders meeting to receive feedback on their
success in identifying the critical business needs.
The General Ledger Team, Magic (Funds Management
and Labor Distribution) Team and the Accounts Receivable/Cash Management
Team will meet with key stakeholders the week of April 10. The GL group
will consider 180 potential requirements in the areas of security, general
ledger set-up, journal entries, encumbrance accounting, allocations, systems
balancing, outputs, month-end and year-end activities, reporting, and
The Magic group will consider approximately 175
potential requirements in the areas of Project-Task-Award setup and modification,
funds management, revenue management, reconciliation, reporting, close
out, and training, and approximately 150 in the areas of payroll creation,
labor scheduling, distribution adjustments, labor encumbrances, effort
reporting, timekeeping, reconciliation, and training.
The Accounts Receivable/Cash Management group
will consider approximately 175 potential requirements in the areas of
customer setup, invoicing, receipting, collections, non-invoiced receipts,
invoiced receipts, gift receipts, bank reconciliation, daily local cash
forecast, lockbox payments, SODC/CDS, and reporting.
Based on the input received at the meeting, the
teams will analyze how Oracle functionality can best meet our business
needs, identify any gaps in that functionality, and design solutions for
End of April Set as Deadline for HR Table Set-Up
The Human Resources Team has made huge strides in constructing the structure
for the HR tables that will drive the accessibility of the Oracle finance
applications. Examples of what this team will design are: defining the
Oracle business group as the University of Virginia (there really were
other options!), the type of currency to be used in the payroll system,
the number of separate payrolls that will be used (the same as now until
Phase 2 of the project), information necessary to accommodate the new
classified compensation plan, and other similar information.
At the suggestion of Peter Low, provost and member
of the ISP Executive Committee, several people have been added to the
HR team to ensure that two years from now, when all the tables are set
up and functional, we will have an improved capability to enter, store,
and report on faculty and academic information such as rank, tenure status,
administrative appointments, etc. Helping to focus on such issues are
Kathy Reed of the Provost's Office, Nancy Bertram from Arts and Sciences,
Kelly Gildersleeve-Price from the School of Medicine, and Anda Webb of
the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Project Schedule Set - Design Phase Ends July 31, 2000
ISP team has taken seriously the warning to protect, at all costs, time
for system testing and training before deploying an enterprise resource
planning system. The final project schedule for phase 1 is as follows:
Design Conceptual Solution
12/1/99 - 4/17/00
Design Solution Detail
4/18/00 - 7/31/00
Build and Test
7/5/00 - 1/31/01
11/6/00 - 5/31/01
3/1/01 - 7/31/01
Deployment and Stabilization
6/1/01 - 9/28/01
Unit test refers to the testing of each application
to be certain it performs its functions accurately. System test focuses
on assuring that the applications work together and that information flows
throughout the system accurately. Training of subject matter experts and
central office staff who will assume ownership of the applications after
stabilization will begin in early March, with refresher sessions close
to go-live. All other users will receive training between May and July,
depending on preference and need, as specified by their departments. Deployment
is shown as beginning in June because, while go-live is July 2, some "real"
data will begin to be loaded into the system in June to prepare for go-live.
Getting on Track for Training
U.Va. subject matter experts in the areas of management, funds management,
accounts receivable, and general ledger attended training focus groups
with ISP Training Manager James Potter during the weeks of March 14-24.
The purpose of the focus groups was to get an early read on what training
needs and preferences exist for deployment of Oracle financial applications
on July 1, 2001. "There is a clear preference
for 'high-touch' training such as instructor-led training and mentoring,"
reports Potter, "supplemented by web-based documentation. Focus group
participants also recommended departmental or area help sessions and a
need for a phone number to call for help both during and after implementation."
Other needs noted in the sessions included:
· just-in-time training for go-live, keeping in mind year-end
and grant requirements, and
· identifying non-Oracle prerequisites and communicating them
early, e.g. downloading information into Excel,
ability to navigate on the Internet, and the ability to send and retrieve
Number of Anticipated Interfaces and Conversions Fit Norm
The Technical Team has identified approximately 75 interfaces and
36 data conversions that might be required to adapt or convert legacy
systems and data to the Oracle environment. As we proceed with our analyses,
these numbers could increase or decrease. Conversions are one-time events
where legacy data is transferred into the new system. Interfaces are on-going
events where data continues to be converted because, in most cases, the
functionality will come in a later phase of the project, or, in a few
cases, because the new system does not provide the functionality of the
legacy system. According to KPMG, this number is average for a project
of this size. The list of identified interfaces and conversions has been
distributed widely for feedback, and team members continue to meet with
departments to evaluate specific needs.
An issue that will require future attention,
but that can be anticipated now, is the need for data clean-up to assure
that information populated into Oracle is accurate and eliminates or inactivates
old and duplicate records.
to ARCHIVED ISP NEWS DIRECTORY
has reporting tools to fit multiple needs, from the simple to