Weekly update 2006-08-04

Topics include: Catalyst integration, BPRT, Hyperion planning, divisional reorganization

Good Morning, All,
It’s been eight weeks since I’ve gotten one of these out, not for lack of news but for lack of time and closure. I’ll try to go back and fill in some (the week I was teaching will be real easy!). But there were some significant events last week, bringing some of the work of the last two months to closure, and I want to make sure I’ve communicated about them.
First, there were a series of announcements associated with integrating CATalyst into campus operations. Pat Ainsworth, CATalyst Project Manager, announced that her husband had accepted a new position in Boston effective 1 October. She will be leaving UVM to join him by the holidays at the end of the year, when CATalyst transition has been completed. We’ll miss Pat’s drive, insights, and intelligence. And I’m sure we’ll have opportunities over the next couple of months to thank her for her good work at UVM.
Following several months of work by the associate vice presidents, we (Cauthon, Johnson, Todd,Winfield) met with the CATalyst staff on Thursday morning to confirm the specifics of their distribution back to campus offices. The CATalyst staff will be assigned to ongoing positions in home offices back on campus (HR, CIT, etc). The continuing commitment of those staff will be first to stabilize and finish up the Peoplesoft environment, but increasingly they will do that in the context of their own business areas. We (the AVPs) are committed to “rightsizing” our organizations over time through attrition or reorganization, and there is no longer a 30 June termination on the commitment to the CATalyst staff.
One group of six (as I recall) business function specialists from various business areas will not be assigned to their business function areas but will be working as a new cross-functional organization, the Business Process Reengineering Team. The BPRT is tasked with identifying and implementing changes in processes to leverage capabilities of our ERP systems. A specific charge is to identify cost savings and cost avoidances achieved by the Peoplesoft implementation. The team will be led by Julia Russell and will report through AVP Winfield to VP Gower.
We will work through the details of the transition over the next few weeks.
We continue to discuss the possibility of moving some number of CIT staff to the Colchester space currently occupied by CATalyst staff. With the expectation that we’ll all be moving within 10 months, this move would give us a chance to prototype the off-campus office model while still retaining a presence in Waterman. We’ll work though this over the next few weeks to figure out who, when, and how we might make such a move.
In other areas … (yes, other things did happen last week!).
I met with Chris Lamson, Marianne Incerpi, and Laurie Baser to review the planning for the upgrade of Hyperion to System 9. System 9 is the integration and version reconciliation of a number of products that Hyperion has assembled over the last few years. Two new functions included in the system are single sign-on (within Hyperion — an integration of their various tools into one environment) and Master Data Manager, which is intended to provide one interface for managing multiple ERP data sources. Chris, Marianne, and Laurie had been to System 9 training the prior week, and their sense was that MDM is not current at a stage in its development where it’ll save us much effort in data integration, but they’re continuing to explore the planning for that product. While I’d hoped to leave the meeting with a project prospectus and outline of a plan, it’s premature for that. The Hyperion staff will be visiting campus in the next few weeks to do a requirements assessment, and following that we will be able to develop a detailed plan. The short version of the project prospectus might be: “Hyperion System 9 Upgrade: upgrade to current versions of various Hyperion tools and implement single sign-on and Master Data Manager for data source integration.”
We had the last (we think) interview of candidates for the VACC Director. The remaining candidates seen quite capable and would be strong additions to the campus. They seem particularly sensitive to what a startup advanced computation center needs in terms of faculty support, and I think the campus will be well served by any of the final candidates — who would also be good partners for CIT.
Late in the week, I met with Bob Taylor, Director of the Honors College, to talk about implementing electronic portfolios in HC as a prototype for the rest of campus. We will begin planning for that project in September, when faculty have returned to campus. I think the division of labor will look something like this: CIT will handle infrastructure, Learning Resources will handle system support and training, and HC will handle pedagogical development. This will be a good project to work on together, and the service will be an important new academic support service.
The Division continues to work on major reorganization plans, and the AVPs met late in the week to review current and draft revised organization structures. Discussions are fragmented right now because of vacation schedules, but we’ve made good progress on a division-wide, customer-focused reorganization.
I’ll be out of town the week of 8 August, attending the Seminars on Academic Computing in Snowmass, CO, and then taking a couple of days to travel the area. I’ll have lots of news from my CIO colleagues, I expect, and come back with a bunch of ideas that’ll drive the directors crazy. 🙂
Have a good week, all.

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