new@OnePurdue, Issue 24, June 2008
Angie Delwort (left), director of financial affairs in the College of Consumer and Family Sciences, Amy Copas (center), a business systems analyst in the Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning, and Melissa Johnson, director of Budget and Fiscal Planning, were heavily involved with the implementation of the new Business Warehouse-Business Planning Simulation (BW-BPS) budgeting system. Copas coordinated and led the project. Read more in the story below, which also includes news about the new Effort Reporting system. (Photo by Steve Jones)
Purdue moving to Cognos as new reporting tool
Purdue has adopted Cognos as a common reporting tool for the new Banner student systems going into production this year, the SAP human resources and financial software that went online in 2007, and Advancement databases. While the initial emphasis will be on using Cognos to report from these systems’ data, this tool also can be used to generate reports against departmental databases.
This transition will occur over time, said Jeff Whitten, associate vice president of ITaP’s Enterprise Applications unit and OnePurdue’s chief architect. “We know the shift to the new financial and HR systems last year was not without some reporting bumps and curves in the road, so we are doing everything we can to make the change to Cognos a smooth one.
More than 50 West Lafayette information technology leaders, departmental computing managers, and representatives from the Calumet, North Central and IPFW campuses met May 7 in West Lafayette to discuss the future of reporting at Purdue. This briefing, presented by Whitten, Mike Szczepanski, director of Business Services Computing, and Lee Gordon, assistant vice president for Student Services and Technology and Assessment, addressed several topics, including:
- The reason Cognos was chosen
- What will happen to Purdue’s current reporting tools
- The OnePurdue Enrollment and Student Affairs team’s experience using Cognos
- How additional Cognos licenses will be purchased
- The next steps in implementing Cognos
The presenters stressed that Cognos will be phased in over time. Whitten also emphasized that Brio, one of Purdue’s current reporting tools, will not be going away. “We really want people to know that Brio will not be decommissioned anytime soon,” he said.
“We’re going to take as much time as we need to do this right.”
In addition to the presentation, Rhonda Kerr, a member of the OnePurdue training team, demonstrated Cognos and many of its features.
“This was a good way to begin familiarizing the University community about Cognos,” said Whitten, who answered several questions from the audience about licensing, training and browser support.
Those unable to attend the May 7 Cognos briefing (or view it live online) can watch a recording of and see the PowerPoint slides used during the presentation from the Demos and Presentations page on the OnePurdue Web site. (The links are near the bottom of the page under “Cognos Information.”)
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Budgeting, effort reporting modules go live
Theresa Jacobsen was responsible for implementing OnePurdue's new Effort Reporting system, which was released in March. (Photo by Steve Jones)
Components of the SAP software for budgeting and certification of effort for sponsored programs are now in production.
Although the bulk of OnePurdue’s financial systems went “live” in February 2007, the Business Warehouse-Business Planning Simulation (BW-BPS) and Effort Reporting modules needed to wait until this year. BW-BPS was released in February and Effort Reporting in March, and both had successful implementations, said Lerry Holladay, director of the Business Services System Support Group (SSG).
“This was, in large part, the result of the work of Amy Copas and Theresa Jacobsen,” Holladay said. Copas, a member of the OnePurdue finance team since July 2005, was responsible for the BW-BPS implementation; Jacobsen, who joined OnePurdue in August 2007, coordinated the effort reporting project.
At its core, Business Planning Simulation is a budgeting application within SAP’s Business Warehouse (BW) structure, said Pam Bower, OnePurdue interim financial team manager. (The BW is the database used by the new financial and human resource (HR) systems.) The system is used to establish an annual budget for the University, which includes salary merit increases.
BW-BPS was not implemented with the other financial software in February 2007 because it required data from the new HR systems, which went into production in July 2007, Bower said.
“The budgeting module draws data from HR as well as the business side, and we needed all systems up and functioning prior to the BW-BPS go-live. This gave the team additional time to coordinate a successful implementation of BW-BPS.”
“System users provided considerable input during the process,” Copas said. “Staff from Purdue's Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning, business managers and others from all four campuses participated in extensive system testing and training. More than 150 business office staff members were trained to use the BW-BPS system.”
The first payoff came this spring, when it was used to prepare Purdue’s 2008-09 budget.
“We’re pleased at how successful it was,” said Bower. “Amy did a fantastic job with a complex project.”
Copas has moved from OnePurdue back to the Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning, where she continues to monitor the new system as a business systems analyst.
Unlike the other SAP modules that are the heart of OnePurdue’s financial and HR systems, the effort reporting component was a pilot program developed jointly by Purdue and SAP. It replaced the University’s “legacy” effort reporting system, ACER, a “homegrown” application that had been used for more than 25 years.
Effort reporting, a process of recording and tracking time spent on sponsored programs (e.g., academic research) is important because, by law, all work, or “effort,” spent on projects receiving federal appropriations or other external funding must be certified.
At Purdue, this certification must occur each semester. A Personal Activity Report (PAR) form is completed and submitted to Accounting Services. About 4,000-5,000 PARs are processed each semester.
“Instead of the current practice of filling out PARs on paper, faculty will eventually be able to input their data directly into the new Effort Reporting system,” Jacobsen said, “but that probably won’t be for at least another year.”
Although Effort Reporting is not yet fully functional, OnePurdue’s SAP software, which comprises the bulk of the new financial and HR systems, could not interface with ACER, said Kim Hoebel, manager of cost accounting in Business Services, with whom Jacobsen worked closely during the implementation.
“Kim was a huge help,” she said. “Her contribution to this project was invaluable to me.”
Several other OnePurdue team members also played key roles, including Blake Haan and Jahnavi Jilledumudi (ABAP team): Rob Campbell (portal team); Kim Campbell and Gail Holzer (HR team); and Stacy Smith, Andrea Siebecker, and SaiRupa Murali from the Cost Department.
“We would not have been able to go live without their support and quick action,” Jacobsen said.
Holladay agreed. “The effort reporting project owed its success to everyone’s hard work and dedication.
“Theresa, especially, really hit the ground running when she joined the SSG last August,” he said, “coordinating resources from the SSG teams (Postings, Public Sector and HR) and the Costing Department to complete comprehensive functional and user acceptance testing.
“In addition to the communication challenges of working with SAP’s development team halfway around the world, she did a great job learning about effort reporting and the issues that needed to be addressed before we could go live with the new system.
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Improvements made to SRM
Recent improvements to OnePurdue’s Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) module have made the system easier to use, said Larry Pherson, director of Purchasing Services. Processes now require fewer screens and keystrokes, and some confusing elements have been removed.
“These enhancements are freeing up time so employees can focus on more meaningful things,” Pherson said.
In August 2007, Pherson and Comptroller John Shipley convened a group of SRM users to discuss ways the system could be improved. After studying these issues, Purdue hired the Shelby Group consulting firm to help improve Component Planning (the system used by Physical Facilities to order material for projects) and Inventory Management (the University Stores portion of SRM).
Following a series of workshops with SRM users, the Shelby Group developed a number of “Quick Hit” items, which were implemented in April. “These were extremely helpful in enabling University Stores to deliver orders in a timely manner,” Pherson said.
With the Quick Hits in operation, the Shelby Group then worked on changes to the ordering process. These changes went into production June 4, and included the following:
- Physical Facilities Component Planners now order goods for their projects via the same Shopping Cart method used by the rest of the University, saving considerable time over the previous process.
- Orders through University Stores are placed via SRM’s Internal Goods/Services link, through which requisitioners can find accurate pricing and availability.
- Requisitioners now receive e-mail confirmations of their purchase orders.
“We’d heard from our customers that it needed to be easier to order from University Stores,” said Alan Leonard, director of Service Enterprises. “With the Internal Goods/Services link, customers can now go directly to University Stores items and place orders. They’re able to see the current quantity and cost of items that are in stock.”
In addition to the Shelby Group enhancements, staff from the Business Services System Support Group and Anna Tang, OnePurdue’s human resources/financial technical lead, developed an automated workflow for Shopping Cart transactions.
“The new SRM approval workflow is great,” says Sylvia Cotten, business manager of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. “This improvement really saves us time and helps ensure that the correct approvals are in place for each order placed.”
Jolene King, fiscal director of Physical Facilities, has been impressed with the coordination between key constituents that led to a successful implementation. “We are in a learning curve right now, but we know once we gain more experience, we'll see even more increases in efficiency. We are excited about the enhancements of workflow and optimistic about the changes from component planning to SRM for our Physical Facilities users."
The next phase of improvements will focus on SRM’s accounts payable component, which manages the invoicing and payment process required for purchasing.
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Countdown under way for final Banner release
Comprising every new student system except financial aid (released in February), Banner Student, scheduled to launch this July, will be OnePurdue’s fourth and final — and most visible — major software release.
Although Banner’s official “go-live” date is July 7, it’s a little more complicated than that, said Rita Clifford, the Enrollment and Student Affairs (ESA) team lead.
“Not all functions will be immediately available July 7. We’ll be rolling out most of it over the course of the following two weeks.” (The Academic History and Degree Audit features will be released in October.)
There are three important dates to remember, she said: July 3, 7 and 21.
Purdue North Central (PNC) also is implementing Banner. “PNC is an active partner in OnePurdue and will be going live in July with Banner,” said Larry Barrett, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student services. “Its implementation schedule and functionality, however, is slightly different than that at West Lafayette.” (For more information about Banner at PNC, contact Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
At 5 p.m. July 3, just before the Independence Day holiday weekend, a “freeze” will be put on student-related business transactions at the West Lafayette campus, said University Registrar Bob Kubat. “At that point, we will no longer process anything for the fall semester under the old system.” (Registration for fall semester will stop, too, but will recommence July 21 — using Banner.)
From July 7-21, Banner will be used primarily by staff in Admissions, Office of the Registrar, Enrollment and the Bursar’s Office in West Lafayette, while the system undergoes final “validation.”
This process will cover a number of last-minute checks, Clifford said, including verifying that the fall schedules were converted properly into the Banner system and that course information is accurate.
Banner training also is currently being planned, and information on how to register for classes should be available by the first week in June, said Connie Bilyeu, director of training for ITaP Customer Relations. “We’ve put together a tentative training calendar, but this is a working document and subject to change.”
“July 21 is the date that will be important to most people in West Lafayette,” Clifford said. “That’s when the system will be made available to all faculty and students, in addition to staff who will use Banner in their jobs.”
The most visible aspect of this will be the widespread release of myPurdue, the Internet portal through which all West Lafayette faculty and students will access Banner and its self-services. (PNC’s Banner portal is called myPNC.) This will have an immediate impact on students, who will then be able to register for and drop and add their fall classes.
Several Informational resources, including online demonstrations and presentations, are available to introduce Banner and myPurdue to the user community. Click here to read more.
“This is not only the last piece of OnePurdue,” Kubat said, “but also the part that will impact the most number of people, including all faculty and students.
“A lot of people have worked hard to make this happen, and we’re going to build on this foundation to keep improving the system over time.”
General questions about Banner and myPurdue can be sent to email@example.com. If you need specific help accessing or using myPurdue, contact the ITaP Customer Service Center at:
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Lahrman to lead support group’s HR/payroll team
John Lahrman has been named as human resources/payroll team manager of the Business Services System Support Group (SSG), announced SSG Director Lerry Holladay.
Lahrman, who joined the team May 5, has 12 years of experience with SAP implementation projects, service pack applications, new functionality implementations and systems support. He most recently led the SAP competency center human resources support team at the Chemtura Corporation in West Lafayette.
“We’re really pleased to have John onboard,” Holladay said. “He has worked on SAP projects around the world, and his experience will help us better support the user community at Purdue in the post-go-live environment.”
Lahrman replaced Sue Davis, who led the OnePurdue HR team for more than three years and has returned to Human Resource Services at the West Lafayette campus.
“I am excited by the opportunity to join Purdue University,” Lahrman said, “and looking forward to the challenge of working with the SSG team and our business teams to make our SAP system the best it can be.”
The SSG is a department composed of members of the OnePurdue finance and HR teams that provides support to SAP users and coordinates system enhancements. Click here to read more about the group.
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myPurdue demos and other online resources now available for faculty, advisors
After the new student systems are released in July, the myPurdue Web portal will offer many new online self-services. To help introduce system users to myPurdue, several informational resources have been added to the OnePurdue Web site, including video demonstrations, and recordings and slides from past presentations and a town hall meeting.
In addition, training courses — both online and instructor-led — are being developed and planned for this summer.
The online demonstrations now available for faculty, academic advisors and students give basic overviews of the myPurdue portal and how to access and navigate Self-Service Banner (SSB), the name of the application “under the hood” that drives myPurdue and its features. (These demos show the portal in its development stage; myPurdue may look different when the final version becomes active in July.)
Advisors can see common tasks they’ll be doing in SSB covered in these demos:
- Preparing for Student Appointments
- Finding the
- Viewing Student Schedules
Faculty members can see myPurdue functions specific to them demonstrated in these videos:
- Viewing Student Data
- Viewing Course Rosters
- Entering Final Grades
(Although not mentioned in the demos, faculty members will still have the option of using Blackboard to view course rosters and enter final grades.)
To view these demonstrations, visit the Demos and Presentations page on the OnePurdue Web site. (You will need to enter a valid Purdue Career Account username and password to access this page.) Demos are currently being made for schedule deputies and will be posted there when they are available.
Demos designed specifically for students also are available on this page.
“The demos are good resources and a nice introduction to SSB,” said Connie Bilyeu, director of training for ITaP Customer Relations, “but they only offer a quick look. Those who will use the new student systems will learn how to get the most out of them during training and from more complete online documentation.”
Bilyeu and her team have been busy preparing training for advisors, faculty and staff members in various departments.
“There will be two types of training for advisors corresponding to their system role assignments,” she said. After reading through online SSB navigation documentation, many advisors assigned the SSB role will take a short, hands-on course to learn what they’ll need to know in order to use it. These classes will be offered beginning about mid-July and continue into August.
“Since advisors will not be enrolling students, and most of them will only use SSB, their training will be straightforward and concise,” Bilyeu said.
A smaller number of advisors will perform more advanced administrative functions in the system through another interface called “Internet Native Banner” (INB), and they will have the opportunity to attend hands-on training in late June.
“Core staff” in the Bursar’s Office, Admissions, Office of the Registrar and other areas will receive their training — and offered time to practice their new skills — during June.
“We do not anticipate that faculty will need to attend any training classes,” Bilyeu said. “Our goal is to offer them short, online documentation and optional hands-on workshops timed to coincide with related semester activities.
Schedule deputies will attend their training about mid-July.
Presentations & More
There have been three events over the past few months that introduced Banner to the Purdue community:
- April 8, 2008, presentation to schedule deputies
- Feb. 5, 2008, presentation to PACADA
- Nov. 15, 2007, town hall meeting
Links to the PowerPoint slides used during each of these, in addition to Adobe Connect (Breeze) recordings of two of them, also are included on the Demos and Presentations page.
Other resources are still to come, said University Registrar Bob Kubat, including demos for schedule deputies, brochures, flyers and quick-reference cards.
“We think all these resources will help users not only see the new student systems and learn how to use them, but also allow them to experience their potential.”
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New on the OnePurdue Web site
The OnePurdue Web site is updated daily; here are some new additions:
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Web site gets face-lift
A new, redesigned OnePurdue Web site was released May 14. Although its Web address (URL) remains the same, much of the site’s content was reorganized into a more logical structure. It also now better reflects where the project is today. For example, now that the financial and human resource components of OnePurdue have jointly moved into a post-go-live, support environment, information about them have been combined on the site as well.
URLs for some pages on the old site have changed. Although a few of these will be redirected on their new locations, links to others may no longer work. So please explore the new Web site and update any pages you may have bookmarked.
If you cannot find something on the new site, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do our best to help you find it.
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