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OnePurdue
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September/October 2007
Issue 21
Sam Conner (left), a lead analyst/programmer in ITaP's Enterprise Applications unit (ITEA), and Financial Aid Administrator Joni Byrd compare academic progress records, one of the many details involved with preparing for OnePurdue's new student systems, which will be released next year. Several ITEA staff members are working at OnePurdue, 11 of them devoted to the Enrollment and Student Affairs implementation. The Division of Financial Aid (DFA) at West Lafayette also has sent many of its staff to the Ross Enterprise Center to work with the OnePurdue team, ITEA and others on the project. Read about how DFA is getting ready for OnePurdue in the article below.
Photo of Sam Conner and Joni Byrd
Photo by Steve Jones
In this issue
System improvements will ease growing pains
OnePurdue making post-implementation plans for HR, finance
Financial Aid gearing up for Banner
Purdue committed to making new OnePurdue student systems a success at West Lafayette, North Central: A Message from interim Provost Vic Lechtenberg
New on the OnePurdue Web site
Learn more about OnePurdue
Contact OnePurdue
Subscribe to this newsletter
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System improvements will ease growing pains

Although the OnePurdue systems released earlier this year were historic, positive steps for the University, the road has not been without a few bumps and curves.

As faculty and staff members became more familiar with the new financial applications, some OnePurdue users have expressed concerns. Some of these issues involve SRM, the purchasing component of the SAP software that is the foundation of the new systems.

“It’s requiring more staff time to use it than we had anticipated,” said Larry Pherson, director of Sponsored Programs and Purchasing Services, “but these issues are now being addressed, and we’re committed to making this system better for us.”

To solicit feedback about the new software and how it’s working at Purdue, a meeting was recently held in West Lafayette with about 20 purchasing staff, materials handling and distribution personnel and procurement expediters in Physical Facilities, who were asked which SAP issues were having the greatest impact on their ability to do their jobs.

“We want people to know that we hear them loud and clear, and understand their concerns,” Pherson said. “Not only will this feedback help us make things better, but it also reflects what we’ve been hearing from others across the University.”

SRM
The group identified several areas that need improvement, giving priority to four:

  • Workflow (SAP’s automated routing and approval product)
  • Inventory Management and Contracts
  • Training
  • Ability to View Shopping Carts

Some issues were already going to be resolved as part of planned post-implementation system enhancements, Pherson said. “We knew we’d be doing some of this after the financial and HR systems went live anyway. For example, we will be updating the SAP software this fall. Although this will not specifically address the current SRM concerns, this system maintenance must be done first so Purdue can run year-end payroll work and produce employee W-2 forms in January. While this is being done, however, the OnePurdue production system must be temporarily “frozen” to implementing new development, including other improvements.

“We had hoped to have these SRM matters resolved before the freeze,” Pherson said, “but that’s not going to be possible.” Nevertheless, plans are underway to improve the situation for staff using SRM.

“We hope to have the Workflow issue resolved at the beginning of 2008.

“To address the inventory management and contracts problem, we’re working on restructuring about 120 contracts, which should resolve several issues that have resulted in blocked invoices, stores catalog issues and vendor relationship problems. We’re working closely with our vendors to help with this.”

Pherson said this should be resolved by mid- to late-December.

SRM training courses are being updated as well, and they will be offered to staff members to refresh their skills. “We went through a lot of this last winter, but it was all theory then. Now that we’ve actually worked with the system, it will be a lot more meaningful.”

The staff’s concerns with shopping carts primarily involve not being able to view ones created by others. “This is basically a configuration issue,” Pherson said, “and can be changed.”

“Although it was initially decided not to include this functionality, there are a variety of reasons why one might need to see someone else’s cart. So now we’re going to add it. We hope to have this wrapped up by the end of September (prior to the freeze).”

“Some of what we’re going through now is part of the normal learning process,” Pherson said. “But we also need to go back and fine-tune some things. This is all part of what will be a continuing process of enhancing and improving OnePurdue’s applications.

“We’re not going to be stagnant; we’re moving forward.”

Reports
“We knew when we went live with Release 1 in February that all the reports we wanted hadn’t yet been developed,” said University Comptroller John Shipley. “There just wasn’t enough time to create them all then.

Among the numerous reports that are needed by Business Services staff to do their jobs, about 35 have been identified as priorities, Shipley said. For example: Transaction Listing, Account Balance Listing, Detailed Payroll Data and Information on Open Purchase Orders.

“We know that some people do not have all the reports they need to conduct their day-to-day business and that things are taking too long. We also know that waiting until after the service packs are installed would put us another two months behind, and we wouldn’t get them until next year.

“That’s why we’re working with the developers at OnePurdue to accelerate the process and build these reports in parallel with the system update. Our goal is to have them by the end of November or early December (immediately after the freeze).”

In addition, the most important ones will be available through the OnePurdue portal, so users will not need access to the SAP GUI in order to get to them, Shipley said. (All SAP applications are available through the SAP GUI, for which not everyone has authorization, but only some through the portal.)

“We’re trying to get as much end-user reporting available as we can.”

Beginning Oct. 10, updated information on major system improvements will be posted every two weeks in the OnePurdue Finance folder on Purdue-Board. In addition to SRM and report issues, AIMS, DREFs, payroll and password concerns also will be addressed there.

Please send any comments and questions you may have about OnePurdue improvements to onepurdue@purdue.edu.

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OnePurdue making post-implementation plans for HR, finance
Now that the OnePurdue financial and human resources/payroll applications have been in use for a few months, what’s next?

Who will manage the SAP software that drives these systems? What will happen to the OnePurdue team? How and when will improvements and upgrades be installed? Who will make these decisions?

Project and University leaders have been preparing to address such issues for some time, says Jeff Whitten, associate vice president of ITaP’s Enterprise Applications unit and OnePurdue’s chief architect.
Photo of Jeff Whitten
Whitten

While OnePurdue’s student systems are currently preparing for release, the financial and human resources/payroll systems are ready to move to a post go-live status.

A Post-Implementation Advisory Committee for HR and finance was formed in spring 2006.

This group defined a governance structure, Whitten says, which will be composed of at least 60 people from throughout the University to make decisions regarding ongoing enhancements to OnePurdue.

Presiding over this governance structure will be the OnePurdue Oversight Executive Committee, which will determine high-level institutional priorities and resourcing. The committee is jointly chaired by Executive Vice President and Treasurer Morgan R. Olsen and Interim Provost Vic Lechtenberg.

Three new advisory committees will focus on operational priorities for OnePurdue’s business, advancement and student applications. Also providing input will be cross-functional advisory committees concerned with shared-data resources, training and support.

All of these groups will make recommendations to a OnePurdue Applications Steering Committee. That committee will be responsible for balancing Purdue’s institutional and operational priorities with technical needs, in addition to prioritizing projects and overseeing continuous improvement to OnePurdue systems.

These governing bodies are designed to be similar to those in the current project governance, Whitten says.

“The idea was to build and improve upon OnePurdue’s existing governance structure,” he says. “In addition, the majority of people serving on these committees will be non-technical personnel, with membership drawn from all four campuses.”

Most of the post-implementation groups will begin their work in September and October.

“OnePurdue as a project will eventually end and go away,” Whitten says, “but its applications will be around for a long time.

“All the decisions and priorities made for the post-go-live systems will be driven by the user community — as they should be. Although the post-implementation advisory committees will report to the steering committee, they will be responsible for recommending priorities.

“Our overall goal is to be even more customer-driven than before.”

Planning is under way to create a method for those in the University community to suggest improvements and enhancements to OnePurdue. This will be built by extending the database of Remedy, a tracking system used by the ITaP (Information Technology at Purdue), OnePurdue and Purchasing help desks.

“It will be like a Web-based virtual suggestion box,” Whitten says.

Another decision already made by the post-implementation organization regards how best to use the knowledge and skills acquired by OnePurdue team members, who have been working together on the nuts and bolts of the new systems for more than two years.

As part of returning those employees to their home departments, most of the OnePurdue staff will move into “competency centers,” which are groups of people with specific expertise in the new systems. Not only will these individuals serve as valuable resources for their colleagues learning new business processes, but their unique and detailed understanding of OnePurdue will help sustain and improve the systems.

There will be two competency centers: a functional one within Business Services responsible for maintaining system configurations, and a technical competency center in ITaP that will be involved with implementing technical enhancements to OnePurdue. Those should be in place by October.

“The entire process should be completely transparent,” Whitten says. “The only things users should notice are continuous improvements to the systems.

“Purdue has spent a lot of money, time and effort to build a modern, highly integrated set of applications, and we want to maintain that high degree of integration and functionality.

“We weren’t able to do everything we wanted in the first releases of the new financial and HR/Payroll systems, but we can build on what we have.

“There’s still a lot to do, but the time we’ve spent planning for what occurs after implementation will ensure that we don’t waste our resources making it happen.”


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Financial Aid gearing up for Banner
OnePurdue's implementation of Banner, the suite of applications that will comprise the bulk of the new student systems at the West Lafayette and North Central campuses, is divided into two parts: the Financial Aid and Student modules — or, as is sometimes said, “Financial Aid and everything else.”

Indeed, the financial aid software is so far-reaching and complex that it will be released in February 2008 so the Division of Financial Aid (DFA) in West Lafayette can use it to get ready for disbursements to students in the fall.

DFA has had a stand-alone financial aid system since the early 1980s, and it’s undergone several major conversions and system upgrades over the years since then. Getting it to communicate with other student systems at West Lafayette has been increasingly challenging and time-consuming, said Joyce Hall, executive director of the Division of Financial Aid.
Photo of Joyce Hall
Hall

“Since this is a stand-alone system, we’ve needed to have major interfaces created for it so we could access student information and be able to convert our data into a format useable by other home-grown systems in other departments.

“This has been quite a feat for the programmers,” Hall said, “and maintaining these interfaces has made our work even more complex. With Banner, however, we will be part of an integrated student system that should smooth out some of these rough edges and make accessing data from others much easier.”

DFA is doing several things to prepare for Banner. Its Operations Group, comprised of eight financial aid leaders, is now meeting weekly with the Enrollment and Student Affairs (ESA) implementation team at OnePurdue. The committee is beginning to discuss issues related to resources, staff training, and project calendars.

In addition, financial aid personnel have been working closely with OnePurdue’s Enrollment and Student Affairs team to help prepare for and learn Banner. “We have had some very dedicated staff working on this project, and they’ve brought this knowledge back home to everyone,” said Hall. “So the people who stayed in the office are now getting more involved, too.”

The department also is working to maintain the current mainframe (“legacy”) computer system for summer 2008 financial aid in case there is a delay in the planned February launch. In addition, DFA has limited vacations for its 53 full-time employees from November 2007 to June 20 to help ensure a successful transition to the new systems.

“We are all working hard to make the move to Banner a reality while maintaining our current service and operations for students,” said Hall.

Marvin Smith, associate director for Financial Aid Services, was impressed by the positive reaction of staff members after they viewed a demonstration of Banner Sept. 6. “Our staff is really good at rolling with changes. When they saw Banner for the first time, they were excited, and they’re anxious to learn the new system. This is very encouraging.”

“We’re also continuing to benefit from the experience of other universities who use Banner,” Smith said. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently sent Bob Anderson, its senior associate director of financial aid, to West Lafayette, where he discussed implementation strategies, the hurdles UI overcame and demonstrated its Banner system for DFA staff.

“Getting this kind of help from a school similar in size to Purdue — and a Big Ten peer — is invaluable. They’ve been a good partner for us.”


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Purdue committed to making new OnePurdue student systems a success at West Lafayette, North Central
A Message from Interim Provost Vic Lechtenberg

Computing systems for admissions, financial aid, academic advising, registration, student accounts and other areas are windows to the University — and center stage for students and parents. Such applications also are critical to our prospective and current students, and to the faculty and staff who serve them.

These systems are vital to fulfilling our core academic mission, and it is essential that they are accurate, user-friendly and accessible online.

Purdue has purchased licensing for the Banner software package from SunGard Higher Education and other components that will make up OnePurdue’s student-related applications. Already in use at Purdue’s Calumet and Fort Wayne campuses, in addition to more than 1,000 other institutions across the country, Banner soon will be utilized at West Lafayette and North Central as well.
Photo of Vic Lechtenberg
Lechtenberg

The software will be implemented as is and will be in keeping with OnePurdue’s guiding principles. Banner will be integrated with the other two OnePurdue components: human resources and finance.

This is a great opportunity for the University to examine its policies, procedures and processes. Some of the ways we do business today will inevitably change, so I ask for everyone’s patience and active participation as we learn about the new student systems.

Banner will bring new and improved functionality when it goes live in 2008, and enhancements will be added over the next few years.

Information about the new systems will be continually updated on the OnePurdue Web site and presented to key constituency groups throughout the academic year.

Thanks to the OnePurdue ERP Implementation Steering Committee, Enrollment Student Affairs (ESA) Advisory Committee and subcommittees, ESA team and many others from all the University’s functional areas. Their input has been invaluable throughout the project, and is even more so now as we prepare to launch our new student systems.

University Registrar Bob Kubat also has been working with the University Senate's Educational Policy Committee on Banner issues affecting academic policy.

This is a significant step for Purdue, and we are committed to a successful implementation.


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New on the OnePurdue Web site
Screenshot of OnePurdue home page The OnePurdue Web site is updated every day, so check it often for the latest project information and news, including notices of system outages, both scheduled and unscheduled. Below are a few new additions to the site.

September 2007 edition of ESAnews


Updated scheduled milestones for OnePurdue's Enrollment and Student Affairs implementation

Updated ESA Team Organizational Chart

Latest OnePurdue News


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Learn more about OnePurdue

Explore the OnePurdue Web site at www.purdue.edu/onepurdue. New content and updated information is added daily, so check back often for the latest news and information about this important project.


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Contact OnePurdue

Business Hours
Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (Closed Fridays)

Address
OnePurdue
Ross Enterprise Center
1801 Kalberer Road, Suite 1
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone and Fax (Not for OnePurdue help)
office: (765) 494-2400
fax: (765) 464-2233

NOTE: If you have specific questions about using OnePurdue, please do not use the general office number or e-mail address at left. You will receive help more quickly by contacting the OnePurdue Support Center at:

e-mail: onephelp@purdue.edu
phone: (765) 49-46000

For all OnePurdue training- and access-related questions, please contact the Training Help Desk at:

e-mail: oneptrain@purdue.edu

e-mail
onepurdue@purdue.edu (for general questions and comments)
You can also send messages directly from OnePurdue's home page. See “Contact OnePurdue” in the left column.

Campus Mail Building Code
ROSS

Directions
For printable directions (with maps) from all four campuses to OnePurdue's office in Purdue Research Park, please select “Driving Directions” under the “About OnePurdue” menu in the upper-left corner of OnePurdue's home page.


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