Enterprise Resource Planning Initiative to Improve University-Wide Systems

August 09, 2012 — Coral Gables — A staffer in the University of Miami’s Business Services division files an electronic purchasing order for a new copier machine. That same day, inside a dormitory room at Eaton Residential College, a student registers for Fall 2013 classes, going online to select the courses she needs to graduate. And in Human Resources, a records assistant logs onto his computer to answer an employee’s question about vacation and sick time.

While such actions appear unrelated, in reality they are very much connected, falling under the umbrella of a multitude of operations that are being upgraded with the major overhaul of UM’s administrative systems.

Through its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Initiative, UM is upgrading the information technology that drives its student, financial, and human resources systems, introducing new software that will allow employees and students to perform several functions—be it submitting a purchasing order or registering for a class—more efficiently.

“This is one of the most far-reaching projects in UM’s history,” wrote Thomas J. LeBlanc, executive vice president and provost, and Joe Natoli, senior vice president for business and finance, in a recent letter addressed to UM employees. “Over the next several years, it will impact each and every one of us. Many of our jobs will evolve as we implement more efficient and effective ways to deliver services to our students, faculty, and staff.”

Phase 1 of the multi-year endeavor began this year with implementation of new software for the student system. Everything from registration and records, recruitment and admissions, student accounts, and financial aid will be affected by the new student system, according to Scott Ingold, co-leader of the student component of UM’s ERP project.

The new student system also will offer course waiting lists, prerequisite checking, student academic planning, improved tools for academic advising, and increased off-campus access to integrated academic information and services. “It covers the entire academic life cycle of a student, from the time they make an inquiry about attending the University to the day they graduate,” said Ingold.

The initial phase of the project begin this year and will continue through 2013. The vendor-supported software that powers it will be continuously upgraded, according to Lori Shipley, project manager for student ERP implementation.

Training sessions will be offered as appropriate.

The rollout of upgraded systems for payroll and human resources and financial and supply chain management will follow. The project team will develop a website to keep the UM community informed about the ERP initiative.

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Upgrade of Information Systems

Upgrade of Information Systems!
Photo Credit: Stuart Miles