Quest Q&A Magazine Issue 4 2016 - Page 8

Accelerating Growth Award-winning PeopleSoft Financials solution fuels UCF research growth By Christyn Smith When the research foundation at the nation’s second largest university committed to ambitious growth in research funding as a strategic goal, it assembled an award-winning project team to replace its legacy accounting system with Oracle PeopleSoft Financials, Supply Chain Management, and Enterprise Services Automation products. UCF has few peers in terms of growth rate, increasing in size and prominence from its origin as Florida Technological University, which enrolled 1,948 students in its inaugural class in 1963, to the nation’s second largest university, today serving over 63,000 students on 10 regional campuses spread across central Florida. In fiscal year 2016, UCF received an all-time-high $145.75 million in funded research, a 9.3 percent increase over the previous year and a new organizational record for federal funding. Even for an institution accustomed to rapid growth, a publicly announced goal of doubling the amount of funded research created an urgent need for the UCF Research Foundation (UCFRF) to reassess its infrastructure and service levels in anticipation of reaching that goal. UCFRF recognized that it needed to scale up its accounting software to meet the challenges of managing that kind of growth. UCFRF serves the university as a direct-support organization with a vision of delivering excellence in research support by assisting faculty in clearing through the administrative landscape to provide an open road for research and innovation. Charged with strengthening its resources to handle additional millions in research funding, UCFRF began evaluating software solutions. Oracle PeopleSoft quickly emerged as a favorite. After evaluating and eliminating alternative solutions, in November 2014 UCFRF partnered with an established team of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) information technology (IT) professionals at the university’s Finance and Accounting department to implement Oracle PeopleSoft Financials. The existing Financials Support Services (FSS) team, headed by Director of Information Technology Financials Systems Rebecca Vilsack, was comprised of functional business analysts, application systems programming managers and leads, and training and communications specialists. The seven-month collaboration implemented the following suite of PeopleSoft Financials, Supply Chain (FSCM), and Enterprise Services Automation (ESA) modules for UCFRF: • Accounts Payable • Accounts Receivable • Billing • Contracts • General Ledger • Procurement Card (PCard) • Project Costing 8 Q&A • Issue 4 • 2016