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SIS Replacement Project Update: Why We’ve Chosen Oracle Campus Solutions January 22, 2007 As you have probably heard, the University of Colorado intends to award the contract for a new student information system to Oracle Corporation for its Campus Solutions product (formerly PeopleSoft Student Administration). The plan is to have the Campus Solutions product eventually replace the university’s current Student Information System (SIS). How did we get here? What led us to this point? We need a new student information system Our current SIS is 20 years old and uses outdated technology. The needs and expectations of our students, faculty, and staff have changed considerably over the last two decades. This was confirmed during various demonstrations and town halls that we’ve held over the last few years. Vendor support for our current system ends in 2009. Due to retirements and evolving technology, fewer people have the programming skills needed to keep the current system running. The university faces a significant risk of SIS failing or being out of compliance beyond 2009. We developed and engaged in a community-wide RFP Process In late 2006, we undertook a very deliberate and comprehensive evaluation process. Many faculty and staff were enlisted from the campuses to review business processes and identify requirements (over 4500!) for the new system. Our executive steering committee and other executives provided guidance regarding mandatory factors and the weighting of major, critical areas for the evaluation. The executive steering committee delegated the evaluation of the proposals to the experts on the campuses and at UMS. The process narrowed down our selection to two vendors, Oracle and SunGard. Seventy-six people participated in the evaluation, and over 220 people literally went the distance to Aurora (over sometimes snowy roads) to participate in the vendor demonstrations in November and December. In the end, the RFP evaluation committee unanimously chose Oracle Campus Solutions as the best choice for the university. Why did we pick Oracle over SunGard? The RFP evaluation committee found the functional differences between the two products to be profound. The Oracle system is at least a generation ahead of SunGard Banner in meeting the needs of a complex, multi-institution university system such as CU. The evaluation committee found Oracle to be the clear winner among all factors that they used in our evaluation. Oracle won based on these major factors: the most feature-rich system the most flexible and configurable system to meet the complex requirements of CU a superior technical solution the best implementation services for implementing the system, and the lowest cost proposal Oracle has a strong user group with institutions more like CU, including these large, multi-campus universities: Minnesota, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Missouri, Ohio State, and the California State University system. Significant areas of strength in the Oracle Campus Solutions application are student self-service, prerequisite checking, concurrent registration, enrollment management, creation of admissions applications, tuition calculation, integration with the general ledger, financial aid packaging, and overall flexibility. Here are a few comments from the evaluation committee: “The academic administrator & faculty work team is confident that the functionality provided by the Oracle/Peoplesoft product best fits the complex needs of the CU system.” “Simply put, Oracle seems a better fit for a multi-institution environment such as ours. In the written requirements, and particularly in the demos, SunGard seemed to require substantial customization for even basic cross-institution functionality (e.g., viewing academic history from all campuses on a single screen). While SunGard’s customizations could eventually meet these needs, it is hard to see how this could result in a better product than one, such as Oracle, that handles this core requirement much more natively.” How will this project be different than ASP? The Administrative Streamlining Project (ASP) was launched in 1996 to reengineer the university’s financial and HR processes, and implement Peoplesoft Finance and HRMS software. The focus was on reengineering with the system as a tool to accomplish that goal. The SIS Replacement Project is different from ASP in several significant ways. There is a grassroots desire to replace the current SIS and move to a system that is easier to use, more flexible, provides better access to data, and takes advantage of current technology. This is much more campus-driven project than ASP. We have adopted principles for the project that we think are distinctive from ASP – more inclusive project governance, more open project decision making, and much more campus involvement. We are replacing old technology that has been a hurdle to offices that are trying to improve and update their business processes. The CU System Office is not attempting to centralize or decentralize student services work. If desired, an individual campus, school or department may decide to take advantage of new capabilities to reorganize how their work is done. The focus of the SIS project is on replacing the technology because of the lack of vendor support, out-of-date technology, and upcoming retirements of key technical personnel. At the same time, we will seek ways to take advantage of the new system to improve services and be more efficient and effective. The functionality of the software will necessitate some changes in how we do our jobs. Software implementation is never easy. We should expect to have some difficulties along the way. What is Next? We are beginning a 12-week “Fit/Gap” project in February that will identify areas in which the software does not meet our needs. “No surprises” is our goal. We believe this process will allow us to have a much smoother implementation. Implementations are difficult by nature, and the complexity of today’s software makes for a great deal of up-front work. We are working to be as well-prepared for that as possible. The outcome of the fit/gap evaluation is as follows: to understand the effort and cost required to implement the system to identify necessary customizations to the base product, to develop a solid project plan for implementation, to finalize the project budget with this information, to make sure there will be no major surprises during implementation, and to make a recommendation to the President as to the desirability to proceed with contracting with Oracle and proceeding with the project. The President and Board of Regents will make a go-forward decision based on a revised project budget and recommendation from the SIS Replacement Project executive steering committee. How much will this cost? The estimated budget is $47.5 M, which includes internal reallocation of funds of $1.9 million. Budget will be finalized this spring. This budget is very comparable to similar projects at large research universities. $20.0 M Project Staffing $12.5 M Hardware and Software $11.8 M Vendor Consultants $1.5 M Degree Audit System $1.2 M Project Operations $.5 M Gap Fit Analysis How will it be paid for? To date, the President has committed about $20 M from his initiative funds towards funding the project. Additionally, President Brown has a strong preference of providing additional initiative funds to further support the project, but needs to balance the project needs with other competing needs in the university. Given that, other funding options which include use of student fees and/or additional campus funding are being considered. Over the course of the next several months, the Vice Presidents, campus CFO’s and the President’s Executive Team (including the Chancellors) will evaluate the options, leading up to a presentation and recommendation to the Regents in the Spring of 2007. Can I find out more information, and maybe give you some feedback? Yes, we are having a few Town Hall meetings very soon. Check out our web site for the locations and times: https://www.cu.edu/ums/sisreplacement/SISproject.htm We update the site with project news every week. The project charter is on the web site and provides much more detail about project goals, principles, and structure. We’ve also got a project journal, for a more informal kind of update, where you can make comments here: http://metamorphosiscolorado.blogspot.com/ You can send an email to the project at firstname.lastname@example.org We have project liaisons from each campus to help organize the project locally: Barb Todd, Boulder Campus Teri Burleson, Ingrid Eschholz, and Kaye Orten Denver and Health Sciences campuses Steve Ellis, Colorado Springs campus Thank you for reading, Trish Pottersmith SIS Replacement Project team 303-492-1971 https://www.cu.edu./ums/sisreplacement/sisproject.htm **You are on the SIS Replacement Project Community email list. If you wish to be removed, please send an email to: email@example.com . Please forward this to anyone in your department who may be interested.**
"SIS Replacement Project Update 01-22-07"