September 25, 2012
As you are probably aware, the current windows-based, grants management system licensed by SunGard Bi-Tech to the Research Foundation will no longer be supported by the company. Migration to the new web-based system offered by SunGard Bi-Tech was not fiscally possible. As a cost saving measure, a decision was made to convert the existing system to the campus PeopleSoft system. This conversion to a centralized system offers users the advantage of access to both Research Foundation and campus accounts through one system. It is important to note that Research Foundation information will not be merged with university data, rather, the Research Foundation is being set up as a separate Business Unit on the campus PeopleSoft platform.
Since many of the policies and procedures will have to be changed as we undergo the conversion, we see this as a window of opportunity to change past practices to streamline processes and increase efficiency to provide improved and expedited services to our clients. The Research Foundation and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs are working collaboratively to facilitate this transition which will take place in a coordinated fashion over the next three months. We apologize for the inconvenience that this conversion will cause during the transitional period but we believe that in the long run the services provided to our clients by our respective units will be improved as a result of the implementation.
The Research Foundation will transfer all accounts and balances from the old system to PeopleSoft in mid-October. A summary statement generated as of September 30, 2012 from the old reporting system of transferred accounts (07, 17, etc.) with balances and budget information, where appropriate, will be sent by email to all PI’s in mid-October together with an equivalent summary statement generated from the new PeopleSoft system. This will be accompanied with a crossover table that will index old account numbers to the new fund numbers in the PeopleSoft environment. This will enable PI’s to verify the fidelity of the transfer process. Any errors, queries or inconsistencies should be reported immediately to the FIS Help Desk at: firstname.lastname@example.org. A correctional process has been developed to implement changes where appropriate.
As we move forward, we understand that most of our users will not be familiar with the PeopleSoft environment. We are equally mindful that access to the reporting system needs to be preceded by training. On-site training on custom reporting has been scheduled to begin in mid-October. Additional in-person training sessions will be scheduled for later in the semester and in the New Year if necessary. Attendees will be authorized to access their accounts at the time of training. Accompanying user-manuals of the training session will be available both on the ORSP and the Research Foundation websites for those who cannot attend the training workshop in person. More information about the training sessions and links to register for training will be provided shortly.
As mentioned previously, there will be some changes in forms, policies and procedures. To facilitate the transition and minimize any disruption to our users, we will not require the use of any of the new forms or new account codes during the first couple of months. Our offices will convert the information to the new system during this transitional period while we gradually roll out the new forms, policies and procedures. During this interim period it is our aim to keep you informed, both by email and by the websites, of new information and training as it becomes available. We anticipate that most of the necessary changes will be either transparent or minimally disruptive. However, our implementation schedule will be dictated by the level of comfort of our clients as we go through the process. Our aim is to get all users to a common knowledge base and comfort level with the new system over the next 3 months.