Planning Process Underway
Date: July 31, 2002
For New UC Financial System
By: Carey Hoffman
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Archive: General News
If you want input into how UC conducts its business, August 13 is a day to remember.
That will be your chance to offer ideas and suggestions about the operation of the much-anticipated replacement financial computer system. This summer, UC began a process to replace the College and University Financial System (CUFS) currently in use. The Financial System Replacement Project will mark its first major milestone this fall with the selection of a vendor who will help create the new system.
In building up to that decision, sessions have been held with selected staff to chart all of the university's current business processes, as well as plan for improvements that will be possible with the new system.
On Tuesday, Aug. 13, the results of those sessions will be put on display at University Hall. Oversize paper charts depicting each step in the processes will be up for inspection. UC employees will then be invited to "fingerprint" the process - that is, to closely examine each process and offer comments as to what is being proposed.
Providing input and ideas will be simple. All it takes is a few Post-It notes. A green Post-It note would be put up to signal strong approval of a certain proposal. A yellow note would be a caution or potential problem, and red would be used for a definite problem.
"Implementing a new enterprise-wide information system is a very difficult process, with many more failures than successes," UC Vice President and Chief Information Officer Fred Siff told more than 200 employees at an informational session earlier this month. "We go into this knowing that. We will succeed."
"I would like UC to be the first university to go through this process without having the horror stories we've heard from other universities," added Lyn Cravens, the director of business solutions consulting for Sogeti, a firm that is overseeing the initial selection process. Sogeti already heard from 174 UC employees during focus groups that started the process forward.
After the processes are agreed upon, a request for proposals to vendors will be sent out. The university anticipates selecting a vendor for the project by the end of the year. Michael Calhoun, the director of UCit's Core Application Services, estimates a realistic target date for bringing all components of the new system online as the beginning of the 2005 fiscal year.
"What we have now is a 1988 system and I'm not sure we've ever looked at it in a holistic sense," Siff says. "We want to get rid of redundancies and streamline this, not just from an information technology perspective, but more so from a business perspective. We don't have the answers yet, and these activities, like Aug. 13, will develop them."
For more in-depth information, visit www.uc.edu/fsrp, a web site set up to provide updates about the project. If employees have questions about the process or won't be able to make the Aug. 13 event to offer their input, they can submit e-mail to email@example.com.