"A perfect example is printing the payment voucher," says Gary Nimax, purchasing and accounts payable team lead. "Many people requested an easier way to print payment vouchers, especially when they needed to obtain their supervisors' signature. Since there was no standard Oracle report for this purpose, the only option prior to that was to print several Oracle screens to capture the desired information. Our technical support people quickly developed a custom report in the application to meet this need, and now we can run a simple report to print all of the information on one page."
In other cases, it is a matter of getting the answers out to all users with specific Oracle responsibilities. For example, when the month-end review procedures and reports were ready to use, an email message was sent to all individuals with GM Project Manager and GM Award Manager responsibilities. In addition, we share the answers with Customer Support Center and ITC Help Desk staff and add the information to the Current Frequently Asked Questions list on the Integrated System website.
"How quickly the nightly schedule runs has a lot to do with the sequencing and compatibility of the processes," says Teresa Wimmer, ISP technical lead. "By refining the order of processes, we have been able to reduce the nightly processing time.
"There are some days, especially during payroll cycles and labor encumbrancing, in which nightly processes may extend into the morning hours. This also may occur when there are errors in the processes. We are still working with Oracle to improve performance in these situations. We monitor the nightly processes daily to be sure things are running smoothly, and problems are caught and dealt with as quickly as possible. This is definitely a learning process, just as users in the departments are learning as they go."
"This is what stabilization is for and what it is expected to be," says Bill Randolph, ISP project director. "We know that people need extra support during this period, and the University has made every effort to set up a support network to provide it."
Asked Questions Website Reorganized
Coming of Age
Argaud found within days of month-end that there was a problem with the "history" reports that managers would require. She quickly pulled the reports from Discoverer to avoid confusion, and began the intense revision and test process that is required for any changes in Oracle.
"Any change we make to the system has to be tested in a non-production instance to be sure it doesn't negatively impact any other process," says Argaud. "On August 9, we were able to republish the revised reports. We truly appreciate everyone's patience."
General Accounting published month-end review procedures simultaneously. View procedures
Has Which Oracle Responsibilities?
System Application Support Center Ready to Assume System Management
The new Integrated System Application Support Center (ASC) will assume these responsibilities. Directed by Shy Hicks (GL team lead), the ASC will be staffed with functional and technical team members from phase 1, including Wayne Angell (AR team lead), Callen Molenda (GM team lead), Hedy Southard (POAP team member), Bill Brenneman (POAP technical track lead), Beverly DelPrete (GM technical track lead), and Richard Parkins (GL technical track lead). They will be supported by ISP data base administrators, reports team members, and developers.
"These are individuals fully versed in the new system and best able to manage, enhance, upgrade, and trouble-shoot it," says Bill Randolph, project director. "They will work closely with the ISP and central offices to assure that the system does the work of the University now and into the future."
Scheduled for Wave 2 and New Employees
"The IS Customer Support Center calls have calmed down to the point that the staff can periodically be relieved from phone duty to teach classes," reports Gary Helmuth, interim manager of the ISCSC. This is a relief to James Potter, ISP training manager. "This means we can, hopefully, see the pent-up demand met by the end of September, when we hand the reigns over to the Division of Training within University Human Resources." says Potter. "That was our goal."
2 Teams Explore the "To-Be" World
"Phase 2 is on a bit tighter timeline," says Henry, "so we have no choice but to barrel forward. The Training Administration go live date is November 1, 2001, and human resources/payroll will go live on July 1, 2002. A fixed assets team, led by Tim Gillet, will begin work in October, with a July 1 go live date."
The teams have already mapped the "as-is" processes, and are currently having reviewed the "to-be" process mapping. While as-is is self-explanatory, to-be refers to a "perfect world" scenario, according to Henry. "The to-be document gives us the opportunity to lay out everything we would like to see, whether or not we can actually have it," she explains. "The next step is to determine which of the to-be items is a University requirement versus a 'wouldn't it be nice.' Then we see what Oracle can do out-of-the-box. That is called 'gap analysis.' At that point we will ascertain how to meet all requirements, and how many of the 'desirables' can be met with no or minimal modifications to the software.
Administration Goes First
There is clearly a "to-be," however. "All Integrated System training has been managed through a program called OTIS, which has gotten us this far, but is not a good long-term solution," says Hill. "Oracle Training Administration (OTA) will better meet our needs for registration, class planning and scheduling, and registration management (adds, deletes, changes)."
OTA will also benefit other units doing training, for example ITC, Office of Development and Training, University Library, and Facilities Management, according to Hill. "This is the only system specifically designed to do this work, so it is more comprehensive and efficient than any system devised by departments. In addition, it is fully integrated with all Oracle applications, which means all the 'people' information already resides in the system and won't have to be reentered."
With a November 1 go-live date, OTA development is certainly on the fast track, and gap analysis and build and test will follow forthwith.
Some of the highlights of the to-be document include:
"These HR and Payroll documents address only classified employees at this point," says Henry. "We hope to be able to include faculty recruiting and vacancy processes in the system as well, to help units eliminate some of their departmental shadow systems."
Website Moves on to Phase 2