At the UW System Controllers' Conference, held at UW-Superior, a discussion was held to determine how UWS institutions should best approach future accounting needs. UW-Stout (Datatel) and UW-Stevens Point (Oracle) presented what they had done in terms of acquiring new accounting systems for campus use.
A brainstorming session produced an initial plan focusing on (1) identifying all external data requirements; (2) developing a group vision; (3) creating a time line; (4) defining the roles of the UW Processing Center. It was further suggested that this all take place in the structure of the UW System's Best Business Practice study group, and to ultimately achieve the endorsement of the Chancellors and the Board of Regents. Nine people volunteered to help staff a team to accomplish this.
Members were appointed to serve on the Best Business Practices for Financial Systems.
January - September
The Best Business Practices Team for Financial Systems analyzes various approaches and continues to look for alternatives in financial systems, including cash- and accrual-based systems.
At the UW System Controllers' Conference, held at UW-Madison, UW-Stout and UW-Stevens Point gave updates on their financial system implementation efforts. UW-Whitewater announced its intention to purchase PeopleSoft Financials, Student Administration and HR. UW-Oshkosh and UW-Platteville announced their intention to install PeopleSoft Student Administration modules.
The Best Business Practices Team for Financial Systems invites financial software companies to demonstrate their products. Only PeopleSoft and Oracle respond.
The Best Business Practices Team produces a draft of its findings. Institutional Business Representatives discuss the draft report at their retreat and offer comments and changes. Controllers discuss the draft report at their conference at Pigeon Lake Research Station. They decide that if any action is to be taken on this matter, it will be up to them; a Financial Information Systems Team (FIST) is formed.
Marcial Bromberg (VP for Finance) appoints FIST members and asks them to begin developing a more specific plan to advance the principles underlying the recommendation of the Best Business Practices team report. Controllers participate in a one-day facilitated strategy session to develop a strategy for implementation. Draft report is developed and circulated to team members for editing.
Final report of the FIST is sent to Marcia Bromberg. The report recommends a phased implementation plan using PeopleSoft financial software modules for general ledger, accounts payable, purchasing, asset management and accounts receivable. UW Processing Center Board meets to discuss Best Business Practices draft report and offer comments and changes.
UWPC Board of Directors appointed to serve as Steering Committee for the Financial Systems project implementation. A Negotiating Team is appointed to define the products needed for the project and to begin negotiations with vendors. A Financial Resources Team is appointed to identify possible sources of funding for the project and evaluate different financial options.
Recommended plan is presented to UW System Chancellors for their discussion; they grant their approval to proceed. UWPC Board establishes the teams for implementation: General Ledger Team, Purchasing/Accounts Payable Team and Technical Support Team.
Negotiating Team arranges for systemwide data base license from Oracle. Team negotiates for the financial system software license from PeopleSoft. Implementation teams attend first formal PeopleSoft training classes on General Ledger.
Contract signed with PeopleSoft for financial system software license. Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP) guides UW staff through the initial planning stages for implementation of the Shared Financial System (SFS).
Vision and Project Scope paper is prepared and issued by CTP and the Project Coordination Team (later designated SFS Core Team). The paper contains a detailed plan for implementation of Phase 1 by July 1999. A contract with CTP for Phase 1 implementation consulting is signed. Prototyping for the General Ledger module begins. Purchase orders issued for the SFS file server (Dell 4200) and SFS database server (RS6000 H50).
PeopleSoft Financials version 6.0 is installed on new server. CTP and SFS Core Team continue prototyping and setup exercises.
PeopleSoft Financials version 7.0 is installed.
Shared Financial System implementation plan is described to Big 10 Controllers in Indianapolis.
All prototyping and setup for general ledger, purchasing and accounts payable are complete in PS Financials 7.0.
CTP and SFS Core Team begin testing general ledger, purchasing and accounts payable.
CTP and SFS Core Team present first online demonstrations of SFS to UW institution controllers.
CTP and SFS Core Team present demonstration of the purchasing module to business managers of the 13 UW College campuses.
Testing of all modules is accelerated. Testing of all interfaces to and from SFS are begun.
Shared Financial System is upgraded to version 7.02.
UW-Whitewater and UW-Platteville go live with general ledger, purchasing and accounts payable. UW-Milwaukee goes live with purchasing and accounts payable, and UW-Colleges goes live with purchasing.
Phase 2 campuses begin training and adaptation exercises on general ledger. UW-Extension and UW Processing Center staff receive training in accounts receivable and billing modules.
October - December
Training and adaptation for general ledger and purchasing is complete; accounts payable training and adaptation is begun for Phase 2 campuses. Adaptation for accounts receivable and billing is complete.
Phase 2 adaptation for accounts payable is complete.
UW-Extension goes live with accounts receivable and billing modules.
Phase 2 full-range testing begins. PeopleSoft Financials version 7.5 loaded as test database; several Phase 1 campuses begin limited testing.
UW-Colleges goes live with general ledger and accounts payable. UW-Milwaukee goes live with general ledger. UW-System Administration, UW-Parkside, UW-Green Bay, UW-Extension and UW-La Crosse go live with general ledger, purchasing and accounts payable. New zero-balance check writing system is implemented for all UW campuses that are live on SFS. PeopleSoft End User Training software is purchased for all financial and student administration modules.
PeopleSoft consultant assists DoIT in applying an interim rollup of patches and fixes to the 7.5 test database; it is a rollup of over 440 patches and fixes for the financial modules.
October - December
Additional UW campuses receive training in the PeopleSoft accounts receivable module. Organization and planning meeting for Phase 3 implementation is held at UW-River Falls. Phase 3 campuses attend PeopleSoft training classes in general ledger, purchasing and accounts payable.
UWSA, CTP and Phase 3 campus staff participate in general ledger module adaptation classes at UW-River Falls. Initial information on Service Pack 1 for version 7.5 received; it contains over 1,800 patches and fixes.
UWSA, CTP and Phase 3 campus staff participate in purchasing and accounts payable module adaptation classes at UW-River Falls. PeopleSoft announces Project Gemini, the merging of its financial products for commercial applications with the versions for education and government. It will be available in early 2002 and be fully web-enabled.
Full range testing of all SFS modules by Phase 3 campus staff continues. Testing of 7.51 goes forward; decision is made to upgrade production SFS in the fall of this year. SFS Core Team targets Thanksgiving 4-day weekend for the upgrade to 7.51.
UW-River Falls, UW-Superior and UW-Oshkosh go live with general ledger, purchasing and accounts payable. Zero-balance check writing system is implemented for UW-Stout, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Eau Claire. UW-La Crosse decides to stop using SFS and reverts to its local accounting system.
Service Pack 2 (7.52) is applied to SFS in test status; decision is made to upgrade to this version if testing goes well.
Main test database is upgraded to 7.52; functional and technical testing intensifies.
Production SFS is taken down on November 20 and the data base is turned over to the DBA. Upgrade is complete by November 23. CTP and UWSA staff complete setup and testing on November 25; SFS Core Team members test on November 26. Production SFS, version 7.52 is available for use on November 27.