Implementing Sap R/3 at the University of Nebraska
One of these recommendations addresses administrative systems directly: • Unify the management of computing and information technology through integrated networking, articulating an enterprise information architecture formation for one administrative systems network, and the implementation of state-of-the-art administrative systems. The University’s Strategic Framework incorporates this recommendation as one of several objectives: • Improve management information systems for the benefit of students, faculty and the public; continuously improve technological capacities.
In response to these initiatives, the Financial System Task Force (FSTF), under the direction of the Chief Business Officers, is exploring opportunities for a new quality administrative system. The team’s Vision Statement and Guiding Principles express the goals for this effort. The FSTF has established several other teams to identify the necessary requirements of an administrative system and to develop a business analysis of alternative solutions.
Implementing Sap R/3 at the University of Nebraska Essay Example
This phase of the project is to be completed by August 1996. In this information, you will find information on all of the teams and the project phases. Each team’s members and their e-mail addresses are identified. I encourage your participation in this project. Comments and questions can be directed to any team member. The success of this project is important in meeting the administrative needs of the University. Source: http://asp. uneb. edu/PhaseI/aspsmith. htm 629 Sieber, Siau, Nah, and Sieber
On a Monday morning in August 1998, Jim Buckler, project manager of the University of Nebraska’s Administrative System Project (ASP), was at his office in Lincoln, Nebraska, preparing for his weekly meeting with the project’s steering committee, the Financial System Task Force (FSTF). The ASP is an effort charged with implementing SAP’s R/3 client-server enterprise resource planning (ERP) product for the University of Nebraska’s multi-campus system. On this particular morning, Buckler and the steering committee were going to discuss a challenging issue that would impact the future of the project.
This issue would also affect the potential future of the University of Nebraska’s business and finance functions as well as its human resource functions. As a result of mapping the University’s future business processes to the SAP R/3 system, several gaps have been identified between these processes and those offered by the SAP R/3 system. These critical gaps have been tracked as one of the project’s critical success factors. With the assistance of SAP and IBM, the University’s implementation partner, a decision needs to be made regarding how these gaps will be resolved.
Several options have been developed for consideration. The FSTF, along with Buckler and his consulting project manager counterpart, must consider the impact of each option on factors such as the project’s timeline, scope, and budget, to name a few. THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA The University of Nebraska was founded on February 15, 1869, less than two years after Nebraska became the nation’s 37th state. The original goal of this new land-grant university was “To afford the inhabitants of this state with the means of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the various branches of literature, science and the arts.
This goal has stood the test of time, inspiring the University’s dedication to the education of students, research in a broad range of disciplines, and service to the state’s citizens. The University of Nebraska is the state’s only public university. It became the first institution west of the Mississippi River to offer graduate education in 1903 and joined the prestigious Association of American Universities in 1909. Founded in Lincoln, the University included a medical center in Omaha beginning in 1902. The University was reorganized under a 1968 act of the Nebraska Legislature.
The legislation provided for the addition of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (formerly the municipal University of Omaha) and designated the University of NebraskaLincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center as separate campuses. In 1991 the University of Nebraska at Kearney (formerly Kearney State College) became a campus of the University. The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, which provides instruction relating to food and agriculture at less than a baccalaureate degree, falls under the University of NebraskaLincoln administration.
The University also includes many research, extension, and service facilities statewide. The University is governed by a Board of Regents made up of eight voting members elected by district and four non-voting student members (who serve by virtue of being student body presidents on the respective campuses). The President is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the University and reports to the Regents. Each campus is administered by a Vice PresidentChancellor. (See Exhibit 1. ) The 1998-1999 University of Nebraska budget was almost $1.1 billion with 33% of the total being Nebraska state tax revenue allocated to the University. Additional information regarding the University’s estimated revenues and expenses can be found in Exhibits 2 and 3. Student enrollment and number of full-time faculty and staff employed by the University are presented in Exhibits 4 and 5. There are over 400 departments and auxiliary operations in the University of Nebraska system and almost 1,000 users currently access information systems online.
Approximately 150,000 orders/invoices and 360,000 paychecks or electronic deposit transactions are conducted on an annual basis. Over 42,000 employee records are stored in the human resource management system. STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK In April 1995, University of Nebraska President L. Dennis Smith formed a taskforce to study the best practices of the business community and public agencies and to recommend adoption and implementation of those practices that were most applicable to 630 Teaching Case: Implementing SAP R/3 at the University of Nebraska
the University of Nebraska. The document presented to the President, more commonly referred to as the Angle Report, has been used as the foundation for the University’s decision to improve its administrative processes by the implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system solution. As a result of this and other related initiatives, the Administrative System Project (ASP) was started under the direction of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Walter Weir, and the Chief Business Officers (CBOs).
The CBOs consist of the University’s Vice President for Business and Finance and the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance from each campus. Weir states, “The implementation of enterprise-wide software systems will transform the operational business infrastructure of the University of Nebraska, for the first time, into one integrated enterprise solution in the areas of financial management, budgeting, human resources, payroll systems, and related business activities. ” A steering committee, known as the Financial System Task Force (FSTF), was quickly formed.
Guiding principles and a vision statement were adopted by the FSTF. The vision statement read as follows: The University community will have access to information, including human, physical, and financial, through an integrated administrative system. The system will be user-driven and flexible in a seamless and distributed environment to support efficient and effective business processes necessary to accommodate the mission of the University of Nebraska and its campuses.
The next step toward the new integrated administrative system was a needs assessment, completed in August 1996. The resulting recommendation of this activity was to (1) solicit proposals to replace the financial management system and (2) upgrade the current human resource system to be Year 2000 compliant and evaluate if additional products available from the University’s current vendor will meet the University’s needs.
This recommendation was presented to the CBOs and shared with each of the campus Chancellors and their cabinets. CURRENT SYSTEM DEFICIENCIES Currently, the University of Nebraska system operates several disparate information systems for its administrative processes. These legacy systems have limited functionality and do not provide the openness and operability needed to meet the administrative requirements set forth by the University. Not all of the systems are Year 2000 compliant.
Weir describes the current information technology environment: Our current University automated environment is faced with several significant problems that this new system will resolve. These include (1) not being Year 2000 compliant, (2) not allowing the needed level of integration between systems required by the University, (3) not being responsive to the level of executive information needs of the University, (4) a software platform that is outdated and user unfriendly, and (5) multiple shadow systems that are costly to operate and are non-integrated and must be reduced.
The University understands the need for improving its administrative processes in order to stay competitive in higher education. Alan Moeller, Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) and member of the FSTF, provided the following remarks at the project kickoff event. This is a system that has been needed for a long time and is essential for the University to remain viable.