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FAQs

We've received a lot of questions about this major, multi-year project, so we want to present some background information on the project and enterprise systems in general.

Please browse the topics below and then feel free to submit a follow-up question — or request a presentation for your department or division.

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General Elevate

A multi-year project to transform and improve business practices at the University of Maryland through the use of a modern cloud-based enterprise solution (ERP).  This modernization of our administrative systems will benefit our partners at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and the University of Maryland System Office.

This next-generation administrative computing solution will replace current systems involving:

  • Human Resources (replacing PHR and eTerp),
  • Finances (replacing Kuali Financial System), and
  • the Student Information System.

Our core administrative systems are at the end of their useful lives and in dire need of replacement. We need modern, sustainable, and secure systems with functionality that supports the complex work of a leading research university. 

Replacing these systems gives us an opportunity to standardize and streamline our core business processes, lightening the administrative burden on our faculty and staff and freeing them to spend more time on mission-driven work and improving our ability to demonstrate compliance.

The Elevate Project will: 

  • provide better support for our students, including 24/7 access to the core student system and the ability to use mobile devices.
  • enable better strategic decision-making through improved data management, reporting, and access to information.

Doing nothing is truly not an option. Our outdated systems grow increasingly difficult to maintain and secure.  

Because of technical limitations, our ability to respond to new campus policies through new functionality, and to continue meeting regulatory requirements is increasingly difficult.  

There are increasing instances of system problems that could eventually lead to lack of reliability and interruption of core functions tied to HR, Finance, and the Student Information System.

Current outdated systems create difficulties in accessing and analyzing financial, HR, and academic data.

Relatedly, many of our administrative systems that have related data do not “talk to each other” in real time. As a result, it’s difficult to share information across the institution and perform timely analyses.

 

The ERP project leadership is comprised of key leaders with deep understanding of the University and our future needs.

Huron has experience implementing Workday in other higher education institutions. Specifically for UMD, they bring leading practices and Workday lessons learned from 7 other R1 higher education institutions including Iowa State University, UT Austin, and the University of Washington

Replacing an enterprise system is a significant task that involves not just technical changes but fundamental changes and improvements in every business process throughout the university’s HR, Finance, and Student systems.  This is a multi-year process.

To fully implement the entire new system (HR, Finance, and Student) will take at least 5.5 years: 

  • Once implementation begins it is expected to take a minimum of 2.5 years to fully implement the new HR and Finance systems. 
  • Following the implementation of HR and Finance it is estimated that it will take an additional 3 years to implement the Student system.

Importantly, time estimates for project completion may change once we begin an in-depth evaluation of current systems and undertake the implementation process. 

  • Updates regarding the project timeline will be posted whenever additional information is available.

The Elevate Project will rely on the active engagement of the entire campus community to ensure its success. One of our highest priorities will be to engage members of the university community to provide guidance, insight, and feedback to help shape new ways of working.

Campus involvement began with the selection process that included 87 technical and functional users drawn from across HR, Finance, and Student support areas. Further, the vendor presentations in Fall 2019 had over 700 campus attendees including staff, students, faculty, and administrators. These attendees completed over 400 surveys to share their assessments with the Technical Evaluation Committee.

The team that will be involved with implementing the new systems will be comprised of campus staff who are subject matter experts drawn from the functional areas of HR, Finance, and Student. Having our own staff work collaboratively with the implementation partner will ensure the success of the project and will build internal knowledge regarding the new systems.

Student and faculty liaisons will be part of the Elevate team to ensure that their needs are addressed.

Yes. Modern cloud-based enterprise systems include optimized business processes, so there will be changes to improve our existing business processes.

The Elevate Project’s business process and organizational change management teams will work with units across campus to review as-is processes, develop new processes, and help make necessary preparations.

This will lead to streamlined business processes, allowing users to spend more time on mission critical tasks to better support our students, staff, and faculty.

 

The student system replacement will begin after the new HR and Finance systems have been implemented and gone live (expected summer 2023). This staging is necessary as the student system relies on elements of the HR and Finance system to run. 

Once implementation for the new Student system begins, it will take approximately 3 years to be fully functional (approximately Fall 2026).

Once implemented, the new Student system will streamline how students register for courses and will offer mobile capabilities and 24/7 access.

Students who are employed by UMD will also be impacted by the Workday Finance and HR implementation. This impact, however, will be modest and likely affect activities like applying for jobs and time reporting.

In February 2020 the university announced that Workday has been selected for negotiations to provide our new enterprise system.

The Workday contract was approved by the Board of Regents (November, 2020) and Board of Public Works (December, 2020).

Workday is a leading cloud-based enterprise system that is now being used by by the state of Maryland to manage employee benefits.  Workday is used by a number of universities including: Ohio State University, University of Virginia, Pennsylvania State University, Iowa State University, University of Rochester, Arizona State University, University of Texas – Austin, Texas A&M System, University of Washington, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Arkansas System, Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Brown University, Yale, USC, and NYU.

The review and selection process has been part of a robust multi-year evaluation of our enterprise systems and needs.

In 2017 and 2018 the University engaged a consulting firm to begin assessing current enterprise systems and to provide information on modern cloud-based enterprise solutions used in higher education.

The university released a Request for Proposals (RFP) in August 2019 to solicit vendor proposals for a modern cloud-based ERP solution. Proposals were received from Oracle and Workday, the two major vendors offering cloud-based enterprise systems in higher education.

To review proposals, a 20-member Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) was created with technical and functional experts from across campus and the TEC was supported by another 49 technical advisors from across campus.

From September 2019 through February 2020, the TEC considered the following in their review of vendor proposals to make the final vendor selection:

  • vendors’ responses to over 600 technical requirements put forth by the university,
  • campus presentations by each vendor with a total of 743 campus attendees (involving staff, students and faculty),
  • responses from over 400 online surveys completed by attendees at the vendor presentations, and
  • references from other universities that have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, these cloud-based ERP systems.

Our current systems are housed in physical “servers” located on campus (or “on premises”) and we are responsible for maintaining and upgrading these hardware and software systems.

Modern ERP systems are cloud-based and thus accessed via the internet. This is part of a software as a service (SaaS) model where the vendor is responsible for maintaining the hardware and regularly updating the software.

Among many other aspects, the benefits of a cloud-based enterprise system include:

  • The ability to utilize data more effectively to get a more complete picture of the business.
  • System functionality that offers students, staff, and faculty self-service, enabling users to update or access their information privately from any computer or mobile device with internet access.
  • Regular upgrades that ensure constant improvements in the enterprise system.
  • Enhanced data security and regulatory compliance.

The Elevate project is a multi-year effort that started in January 2021.

Implementation of the Human Capital Management and Finance systems will start first and these systems are expected to be completed in Summer 2023.

The Student system implementation will begin in 2023 and will go live in Fall of 2026

During implementation, and until the new system is live, systems related to Finance (e.g., KFS), Human Capital Management (e.g., PHR), and the Student Information systems are in containment, meaning that we will not perform upgrades or make significant changes to these and related legacy systems. 

Relatedly, the campus will seek to avoid the purchase and integration of new software systems that involve the Finance, HCM or Student systems.

There are several reasons for this:

  • A new ERP system, once implemented, will completely change our processes and functionality for HR, Finance, and SIS. The new ERP system will make many of today’s change requests for the old system (or adoption of new software) unnecessary or irrelevant.
  • Any change to our current systems can generate a new process. Processes take time to develop and adopt, and in most cases, a new ERP may already be live before the process (based on the old system) would have a chance to be widely adopted.
  • We have limited time and resources to dedicate to our administrative systems. Many of our staff who ordinarily perform these upgrades will be allocated to the ERP implementation.

Kuali Research will not be replaced with Workday, but our team is developing integrations between Kuali Research and Workday. Workday will be used for post award processes, not pre-award

Interested UMD employees who are in a current "exempt" position may apply for ERP opportunities by accessing https://ejobs.umd.edu. On the “Login” screen, applicants will select “Current Employees Select This Link to Login.” After CAS authentication, applicants will select the “Search ERP Internal Jobs” tab on the left-hand side of the ejobs website, which will display available ERP opportunities.

We are not rolling Workday out gradually to beta groups. All users of Workday functionality will go live at the same time. Workday HCM (Human Resources modules) and Finance will go live to all users July 1, 2023. The Budget planning functionality will be rolled out 1/1/2024 to all users, as well.

General Workday

The Workday platform will be accessible to all users regardless of abilities. Workday's approach to accessibility is in line with the University System of Maryland's web accessibility policies. Workday evaluates its platform and all new products or functionalities against international standards such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)  2.1 A/AA and Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act.

Yes, the Elevate Program will be implementing Workday's Learning Management System, Workday Learning. Workday Learning includes the ability to manage, organize and deliver learning content and to leverage HCM data to create targeted learning campaigns. 

A variety of learning content is supported - including but not limited to video, packaged third-party content, and user-generated content. 

Workday Learning also offers the ability to manage certifications and instructor-led course enrollments, and to gather feedback and analytics relating to the learning experience.

 

HCM (Human Capital Management) modules include:

  • Recruiting
  • Hiring and Onboarding
  • Academic Appointments
  • Payroll
  • Compensation
  • Time & Absence
  • Academic Information
  • Benefits
  • Talent/Performance

Financials modules include:

  • Procurement
  • Payroll & Benefit Accounting
  • Grants & Effort Reporting
  • Supplier Accounts
  • Supplier Contracts
  • University Receivables
  • Business Assets
  • Financial Accounting
  • Adaptive Planning (budget and forecasting)

Yes, Workday allows users to easily change their display language. There are over 30 different languages to choose from. We will be providing a quick demonstration of this feature during our next Functional Overview.

There are a number of ways that users will be able to tailor reports to their needs, including through filters, saved report configurations, and drill-down pivot table options. Additionally, there will be a way for a group of specially-trained users to do ad hoc reporting within the system.

Training

The Elevate Program Team has developed a Glossary which has crosswalks between legacy terms and Workday Terms.

Training will be role-based, for the parts of the system each user will be using for their jobs. It will be delivered in the Spring of 2023 before the system rolls out in July so that everyone gets the training they need. In addition, there will be User Labs offered before and after Go Live for additional help

End-user training for the HCM and Finance portion will begin in Spring 2023, which will prepare users for the system’s Go Live date in July 2023.

Our team is going to be holding a series of Workday demonstrations, or Functional Overviews, starting in 2022.

 

Each Functional Overview will cover a different set of processes. Sample topics include:

  • Intro to Workday and Navigation
  • Time Tracking and Absence
  • Procurement
  • Reporting and Worksheets

More information on sessions, dates and registration will be posted on our website in early 2022.

 

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