January 6, 2005
Present: Doug Gelinas, Ginny Gibson, and John Gregory (UMaine), Dick Campbell (UMA), Sharon Nadeau, Laurie Gardner, and Frank Roberts (UMF), Don Raymond (UMFK), Tom Potter (UMM), Lida Pinkham (UMPI), Bill Wells (USM), Laurie Pruett (University College), Gerry Dube (UNET), Elsa Nuñez, Joanne Yestramski, Tracy Bigney, Tracy Elliott, Tom Hopkins, and Jim Breece (UMS), Cindy Mitchell, Bill Elsemore, Alison Cox, Eddie Meisner (Project Enterprise)
Oracle Acquisition of PeopleSoft Update
Joanne Yestramski had previously distributed an FAQ list provided by Oracle addressing its acquisition of PeopleSoft. She noted that Oracle pledges support for current versions of PeopleSoft for ten years, but is silent regarding development of additional PeopleSoft products. We should have a better sense of Oracle’s direction later in the spring, following a webcast on January 18 (12:30 p.m.) and the Higher Education Users’ Group (HEUG) conference in March. PeopleSoft’s technology is HTML-based; Oracle’s is Java-based. In the long term, we can anticipate that eventually PeopleSoft will be migrated to Java. Joanne suggested that our best strategy at this point is to remain optimistic and keep moving forward. And for the time being, we will continue to refer to “PeopleSoft.”
G/L and Purchasing Updates
Cindy reported that we’re now in the 90-day countdown to Financials go-live, and that training and testing are in full swing. During this month, system testing takes place. February will see integration testing, and in March, user acceptance testing begins. User acceptance testing will involve representatives from the campuses; more specific information about this phase of testing will go out next week. The next issue of the Employee Update newsletter, to come out in early February, focuses entirely on purchasing.
Bill Elsemore led the group through a demonstration of the many excellent features of GL Inquiry Pages. The Pages are not quite ready for prime time; a GL Inquiry for Trainers session has been postponed from this afternoon until January 24.
Project Enterprise Timeline
Cindy had previously distributed two draft timeline options (attached to hard copy of these notes). The driving principles behind these projections were iterated at the last meeting of the Sponsors (following news of the Oracle/PeopleSoft merger), and included: a) a desire to compress the schedule; b) a need to upgrade the Student Administration module; c) a desire to move to PeopleSoft 8.9 for its functional Time and Labor advantages; d) the efficacy of getting all of Financials onto P/S 8.4 rather than worrying about upgrading to 8.8.
Observations by the group included:
- The HR upgrade should not require the massive amount of time and effort that were required during initial implementation.
- Are these timelines too aggressive? The campuses are faced with so many issues needing attention in addition to P/S implementation, which has huge impacts.
- The Strategic Plan informs this process, especially in consolidation of backroom processes.
- The timeline provides a framework and targets; it is not absolute.
- It’s probably best to start earlier, allowing more leeway if things go more slowly than anticipated/hoped.
- The philosophy on fit/gap teams may be different for future sessions, especially in light of the small campus consortium.
Joanne noted that she hopes a decision on a new timeline can be made at the next Sponsors and Steering Committee meeting (March 23, 2005). In the meantime, UMS representatives will research Oracle/PeopleSoft options, attend HEUG, and begin the search for a Student Financials consultant. Cindy will modify the timeline on the Project Enterprise website, making it clear that the timeline represents guidelines and reasonable targets, but is NOT final. A future issue of the newsletter should provide information about the new timeline, as well as information about the Oracle/PeopleSoft merger.
Student Services Administration Update
Alison Cox provided a brief update. The members of the Student Records team have been confirmed and should now be notified, if they have not yet been. Training for this group is scheduled for March 14-18, 2005. Sponsors will select the subject matter expert for this group.
Potential members of the Student Financials team have been identified. Joanne will follow up with a memo reminding Sponsors and Steering Committee members to select the appropriate individual(s) to represent their institution. Training will begin in May.
Alison noted that Student Administration work is going “beautifully.” She also said that a delay until version 8.9 in July 2006 would be welcomed, as it would, among other benefits, eliminate the need for some big modifications.
Joanne said that the “SSTP-II” advisory team has been selected and will begin work on January 31. Allen Berger (UMF) will oversee the work of this group. Laurie Pruett will facilitate. SSTP-II has a double function, focusing on strategic direction related to centralization of backroom operations, as well as PeopleSoft work.
Document Management System
Gerry Dube reported that he has surveyed the top candidates based on use by other universities, searching for a flexible, generic system that could be used in any application area we want. His top four choices are:
Perceptive Software Product: ImageNow
Matrix Imaging Product: OnBase
ATI-Imaging Product: Stellant Acorde
MindWrap Product: Optix
The group agreed with Gerry’s suggestion that we invite each of these to provide a 2 ½ to 3-hour presentation to the University of Maine System. He will proceed with arrangements, including checking with Purchasing. It was suggested that a large group be invited to one location, and that the presentations be broadcast to other locations as well.
The meeting was adjourned.
Eddie Meisner, Recorder