UF Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) Project
Charles E. Frazier, Vice Provost for Information Technology
Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) is a term used to describe integrated computer systems that improve business processes and provide real-time information to users. Most major universities have already implemented ERP systems. The UF ERP Project, renamed UF Bridges on February 26, 2003, officially began in the fall of 2002 with the selection of PeopleSoft systems. This purchase came after six-weeks of extensive training and testing was conducted to learn more about the systems and how it will work at this university. To obtain savings on licenses, maintenance and implementation costs, UF joined with FSU and FAMU as a consortium.
Prior to the UF Bridges project, the university had already begun work that provides the foundation for these new PeopleSoft systems. In November 2001, we began working on a new directory that would serve as a reliable and central source of contact information about people affiliated with UF (i.e., their unique identifier, date of birth, address, phone number, etc.). This single database replaces the old network of 18 sources holding similar (and often conflicting) information. The process of creating the UF Directory, along with a new identification system called the UFID number, has helped us identify and fix any problems that existed due to having a non-integrated system. Implemented on January 21, 2003, the new UF Directory and UFID number are essential components of the UF Bridges project.
This project is a multi-year effort, led by Fred Cantrell as project manager. UF Bridges will introduce several new PeopleSoft systems over the next four years: Web Portal (March 31, 2003), Reporting and Data Warehouse (July 2003), Finance (July 1, 2004), Human Resources (July 1, 2004 tentative), Payroll (January 1, 2005 tentative), and Student Administration (by 2006). As these new systems become operational, they will be accessible through a Web portal called my.ufl. On March 31, my.ufl will provide access to existing systems such as the Admin menu, ISIS and GatorLink account services.
Many UF employees are either working on the UF Bridges project or serving on one of the 16 Advisory User Councils. Project plans were completed in January 2003 and the installation of most of the PeopleSoft software was completed last week. Currently, project teams for each system are conducting testing and evaluating how the PeopleSoft business processes and screens compare to the University’s current practices and systems.
For more information about the UF Bridges project, including details about the systems being implemented and weekly status reports, see the project Web site at http://www.bridges.ufl.edu.