Integrated Systems Project
ISP HomeWhat is ISP?ISP NewsThe PhasesThe TimelineThe Archives
 
 

ISP News
December 2001

WHAT'S NEW

Reports Running Faster
The ISP Reports team has recently made changes to dramatically improve the speed with which the following standard reports run:

  • IS.FM_Expenditure Detail by Project (Current Month)
  • IS.FM_Expenditure Detail by Project (History)
  • IS.FM_Project BBA by Expenditure Type (Current Month)
  • IS.FM_Project BBA by Expenditure Type (History)
  • IS.FM_Project BBA by Child Organization (Current Month)
  • IS.FM_Project BBA by Child Organization (History)

If you run a version of these reports that is not prefixed with ‘IS.’ (i.e.; you’ve modified or saved a version of the original report), you will need to do one of the following to take advantage of the improvements:

  1. Open the ‘IS.’ Version of the report and re-do the changes/ re-enter your parameters and save the workbook with the same name as your current workbook.
  2. If you’ve made significant changes, or have created a new report based on one of these reports, you can find directions on the Integrated System Reports web page (December 6 announcement) on how to retro fit these changes in your workbook.

New Website: Processing funds in Oracle - from deposits to budgeting
How does money flow through Oracle, from making a deposit to creating a project budget and setting budgetary control? Who does what, when, and how can I tell it's happened?

The ISP and Financial Administration have created a new website to walk you through the answers to these questions for every type of funds at the University. This information is part of a course being developed to help employees better understand how Oracle General Ledger and Grants Management work at UVA. We are making the website available in advance at the request of people who have helped us pilot the course. When the course is ready, it will demonstrate how these processes fit into the Oracle General Ledger and Project Centric structure.

The information contained on this website is accurate and may be used by fiscal administrators, award managers, and project managers to guide their work when using the Oracle GL and GM applications. You will note that the last two columns (reports and fund sources) are, at this time, incomplete. We will be adding this information, as well as links to on-line procedures, in the weeks ahead.

The Processing Funds website (which is best viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer) can be linked to from the Document Repository and from the General Ledger FAQs (How do I deposit different types of funds, and what happens next?).

Patch Improves Processing Time
A mega-patch, applied December 2, has significantly improved processing time in the Grants Management module. Departmental users will primarily notice quicker processing times in the budget forms, particularly when entering a project number and using the LOV feature to select the award. Also, you no longer receive the message "Save Changes?" when querying up the award budget for the first time. The Award budget baselining process time has also improved, although not dramatically, so you should continue to confirm that your Award budget has finished processing before proceeding to your Project budget. Although we have tried to thoroughly test this patch, it is possible that users will notice differences not identified by us. If this is the case, please do not hesitate to contact the IS Customer Support Center at 3-7550.

More Info on Modifying Budgets
At the request of fiscal administrators, the University Budget Office recently distributed information on how to modify budgets, outlining the steps to achieving what was previously completed using a budget amendment. These instructions apply to awards with the prefixes of SG, SS, SE, SR, SA, LG, LC, LS, LA and LO. Please note that this outline is simply to aid you in this process. You should refer to the detailed instructions in the GM Training Information for the specific actions required in each screen.

The steps can be found through the Integrated System website, via the following frequently asked questions:

DOT Assumes Responsibility for Delivery Location Codes
UHR's Division of Training now has the responsibility to add and update Delivery Location Codes. Delivery Location Codes are required by Procurement Services to ensure that goods and services are routed to the appropriate destination. Additions or changes must be initiated by the submission of the Request to Add/ Change Oracle Table Values form authorized by the Organization's Data Security Contact. Any questions should be directed to dot-reg@virginia.edu or 434-243-9800.

WHAT'S IN THE WORKS

Windows 2000 Compatibility Very Close
For all of you who have been patiently waiting to buy and/or use the Windows 2000 operating system with Oracle, we're near the finish line. We are in the process of testing a database upgrade that will support the new j-initiator that is certified by Oracle to work with Windows 2000. We expect that testing to be completed in January.

In the meantime, we hear that people are using Oracle successfully with Windows 2000 with the current j-initiator. Since it is not certified, and therefore not supported by Oracle, we cannot vouch for its performance. However, departments can move forward with their plans to install Windows 2000, with the understanding that it is not yet supported, but will be soon.

We will be sending out information on how to load the new j-initiator as soon as our testing is complete.

Tips on Modifying Reports Added to Courses
Discoverer reports were formatted with the "general" user in mind. However, one can legitimately ask if anyone actually fits that description. While the data, as formatted, may meet many people's needs, it will certainly not meet everyone's.

Enterprising users have experimented and discovered ways to modify the reports to meet their needs. We have now enhanced some of our courses so that you can be guided in your experimentation and see many of the options available to you. For example, we will show you how to sort, reformat, add a column, view the same data in different ways, and more.

This material has been incorporated into existing courses for new users. If you have already taken a course that covered Discoverer and want to learn more about how to modify your reports, register for the ODS Viewer course via the Training website.

ISP Task Force Hears and Finds Answers to Users' Issues with Oracle
If it seems as though a few of the things you've been wanting, wondering, or asking about the Oracle applications are being answered recently, one reason is the efforts of the ISP Task Force. (This is, of course, in addition to the efforts of the Application Support Center, IS Customer Support Center, and central offices.) A number of administrators from across the University have volunteered to meet regularly to help identify issues users in their departments have with the applications that do not require changes to the system, but rather, better information.

Three resource materials that emerged as the result of issues raised by the task force include:

Much more is to come. As the task force works its way through its list of issues, information will be made available through the most appropriate vehicle, be it website, ISP Bulletin, or email. With the HR Division of Training facilitating the group, information will also be built into training materials and communicated to Customer Support Center staff. Another effort in the works is to provide a search engine for Oracle-related websites so users can more easily find the information that is available about the Integrated System and University policies and procedures related to work they do in the system.

We will get better and more efficient in how we provide information, just as users are becoming better and more efficient in how they use that information. The ISP Task Force is one more step in helping us reach that goal.

Oracle at UVA: the Big Picture
In the last issue of the ISP Bulletin, we talked about a "big picture" view of Oracle being developed by Financial Administration and ISP. That course has gone through two pilot reviews with school personnel and will be rolled out before the holidays.

The materials provide information that bridges the gap between the General Ledger and Grants Management applications, and is targeted for people with the following Oracle responsibilities: GL specialist, award manager, and project manager. In addition to the "processing funds" information noted above (New Website), the course addresses:

  • What is the difference between expense projects, revenue projects, revenue child projects, and revenue parent projects?
  • Who is responsible, by fund source, for modifying award installments and on what schedule is that done?
  • How do I know when a particular activity has been completed in GL and GM?
  • What reports should I review and when?
  • Who should use recovery and revenue expenditure types in GM for cost transfers and when should they use them?
  • What fund sources should I use when I deposit money?
  • How do I find out how much cash I have?

"This effort represents the first installment of what we expect to be a much more comprehensive effort to develop models and learning aids related to various aspects of the Oracle application modules," says Steve Kimata, interim University comptroller. "Our aim is to provide system users with mental images of how the major processes work and how the major components are interconnected. We encourage feedback during these sessions so that we can improve what we have developed so far, and so we can identify new learning aids and reference materials that can be developed."

ISP advisors will be scheduling sessions for users in their areas. If you have questions about sessions in your area, please contact your ISP advisor.

Users to Help Review Reports
Almost everyone who runs a report has an idea of what information they wish could be added to it. The Applications Management Board (AMB), which reviews requests for changes to the Oracle applications and reports, has been receiving some of these individual requests. In an effort to consolidate, evaluate, maximize benefit, and minimize time spent on enhancing reports, Financial Administration is creating a Reports Review Group to make recommendations to the AMB about top priority changes in reports that would benefit users.

"We will use the reports subject matter expert list as our starting point for pulling a group together," says Rick Seaman, director of Financial Information Services, "but if someone has a burning desire to contribute, they can contact me directly (afs@virginia.edu) and volunteer. We hope to get started before the end this year."

PHASE 2 UPDATE

HR/Payroll Conference Room Pilot 1 a Success
"The scripts were great. Everything worked well. I can't wait to go in and play with it."

Not to say that this HR/Payroll implementation won't be an adjustment, but certainly it is one Susan Breeden, of the Curry School, is looking forward to. Breeden was one of 60 participants in the first conference pilot for the Oracle HR and Payroll applications during the first week of December.

Clearly, one advantage of the July implementation will be that users will no longer have to maneuver the unnatural linkage between OPAS and Oracle Labor Distribution. "Integrating LD with the Payroll application will make our lives much easier," attests Breeden.

CRP participants went through all the steps of creating job requisitions, entering applicants, hiring people, entering time, and running payroll. "People entered as applicants at the beginning of the week got hired and were paid at the end of the week," says Barbara Henry, phase 2 functional lead. "And they got paid correctly!"

Melissa Pelletier, from Business Operations, felt "the CRP provided an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the HR/Payroll modules and also presented the participants an opportunity to provide feedback on the functionality of the modules to the design team.  Having the experience of working with the Oracle financial modules was a plus when working with the HR/Payroll.  Based on the pilot it appears that HR/Payroll has some really good features, especially doing the entire hiring process on line."

Schools will benefit from having many more places to collect data, thus eliminating some of their shadow systems, according to Troy Dunaway, from the Law School. "It will also allow us to pay short term people much more easily."

Dunaway also notes that training will be absolutely critical. "It will have to be specific, hands-on, with real world scenarios geared to departmental needs," he says. "It's complicated, but workable."

"We received good feedback from CRP participants," says Henry. "We will try to make adjustments in response to the issues they raised. We really appreciate the time and effort everyone put in."

Oracle HR Show Getting Ready for Road
Now that the first conference room pilots are complete, the HR/Payroll teams can better tell us how things will change on July 2, 2002. We are putting the final touches on a presentation that outlines the major HR/Payroll processes, introduces new Oracle terminology, and identifies what will be done the same way as today and what will be done differently.

"Our plan is to offer presentations during January and early February, and then to provide demonstrations of the applications to future users in February and March," reports Barbara Henry, phase 2 functional lead. "Our hope is that this will familiarize people with the new system before they begin formal training in April."

If you have a group interested in scheduling a presentation, please contact Carole Horwitz at chorwitz@virginia.edu.

What is Oracle Time Management?
No more bubble sheets! Oracle Time Management (OTM), the timekeeper application in the Oracle Human Resources/Payroll suite, is providing the impetus for the University of Virginia to finally join the automated time sheet and the bubble sheet.

"Time will be autogenerated for all classified salaried employees, whereas hours will be keyed in for wage employees," explains Barbara Henry, phase 2 functional lead. "Employees will simply designate the type of time on the timesheet, for example 8 hours of leave versus 8 hours of work, in the day slot. Salaried faculty will not complete timesheets."

As with Oracle Labor Distribution being implemented before HR/Payroll, there will be a lag time during which some extra steps will be required when using OTM until we upgrade to Oracle version 11i in 2003. "OTM is designed to work with Oracle Self Service, so that employees can enter their time directly on-line, and it can be routed to supervisors for approval," explains Henry. "However, we will have to wait until 11i before we have that Self Service capability. In the meantime, employees will fill out a paper form that looks like the on-line screen, sign it, and give it to a designated departmental employee to enter into OTM."

"OTM will be a definite improvement over our current timekeeping system in the long-run," says Henry. "But in the short-term, departments will be doing some keying they haven't had to do in the past."

Fixed Assets Team Complete
Richard Gatlin, formerly of Rocco, Inc., in Harrisonburg, adds the final piece to the Fixed Assets team puzzle. He now joins other team members completing the future process (to-be) model for the Fixed Assets application. The team will begin identifying University requirements for the application after the holidays. That will be followed by gap analysis:  an assessment of which requirements can be met through off-the-shelf Oracle functionality, which will require modifications to the software, and which can be met by workarounds.


Go to ARCHIVED ISP NEWS DIRECTORY


ISP NEWS FROM OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Inside UVA
March 30, 2001
virginia.edu
Spring 2001
virginia.edu
Fall 2000
Cavalier Daily
September 28, 2000
Inside UVA
September 22, 2000

 


"Integrating LD with the Payroll application will make our lives much easier."

 
 
ISP HomeWhat is ISP?ISP NewsThe PhasesThe TimelineThe Archives
 
© 2001 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
Thursday, 22-May-2003 14:31:18 EDT
U.Va. Home Page Website Index U.Va. Map Calendar People/Web Search