Historically, the University’s administrative systems were mostly comprised of in-house developed custom applications and some commercial software packages. Although cutting edge when developed, the existing toolsets are near the end of their natural lives, creating the need to migrate to more modern systems that can provide greater support for the University’s academic and research missions.
In 2004, the University’s Commission of 125 spoke to the need to actively pursue innovative solutions to all facets of IT. UT’s Commission of 125 Report states:
“In a world increasingly dependent upon innovative information systems, it will be impossible to reach these goals unless the University maintains its leadership in information technology.”
In 2006, the Core Application Strategy for the Enterprise (CASE) project compared the University’s current Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) system with major, off-the-shelf ERP software systems. The CASE report concluded that the University should continue to invest in the custom-developed legacy systems and revisit the administrative systems and the technology associated with those systems after three or four years to determine whether the ERP landscape had changed sufficiently to support a decision to move to a modern platform. While administrative systems are only part of the overall IT landscape, efficient and well-aligned administrative systems benefit all of campus by providing ways for students, faculty, and staff to conduct business with the University.
In 2009, University President William Powers endorsed the Strategic Information Technology Advisory Committee (SITAC) report and recommendation to create an Administrative Systems Master Plan. Recommendation 9.1 of the SITAC report proposed the creation of the Master Plan by stating:
“Creation of a Master Plan for campus-wide administrative systems will clearly align resources and investments with the University’s missions and goals. By providing a comprehensive roadmap for work ahead, the Master Plan will encourage coordination and collaboration between business areas and within the development community.”
In 2010, the Business Services Committee (BSC), in conjunction with the IT Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC) and the Administrative IT Leaders (AITL) advisory group, began the process of researching, analyzing, benchmarking, and developing the Master Plan.
It was clear that change was needed. UT Austin must take advantage of technical advancements to enhance service delivery, provide the basis for offering new mission-oriented services, mitigate the risks of relying on an aging technology toolset, improve the ability to interface with vendor products, and adopt improvements to IT practices.
The Administrative Systems Modernization Program (ASMP) was born out of the 2012 Administrative Systems Master Plan to fulfill three requirements, which included:
- Creating Business-Driven Systems and Data Management
- Modernizing the Administrative IT Infrastructure
- Strengthening the Systems Development Process
ASMP began work in early 2014 with the vision to transform administrative operations to efficiently support productivity and innovation throughout the University and to serve as a model for operational excellence in higher education.
After issuing a Request for Proposals and reviewing all major Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products, both cloud-based and client server options, it was determined in 2013 that Workday would be the best option to meet the needs of the University. Visit Workday.utexas.edu for information on the Workday selection.
In 2014, IBM was selected to be the consultant to provide the University with services to collect business requirements, design and configure the Workday system, and select and implement the new administrative systems technical architecture. A two-phased program plan was developed with a Phase 1 HCM/Payroll implementation followed several months later by a Phase 2 Financials implementation.
As the program developed, contract renegotiations with IBM became necessary and Workday became the primary consultant. The gap in time between the original intended launch of an HCM module and the Financials module began to shrink, making the work and cost of bridging less viable. There was little indication that integrating Workday into the existing mainframe financials system was possible. The decision was made to move away from the original phased approach to a big bang approach, with both the HCM and Financials modules going live at the same time.
With University leadership in flux with the advent of a new University President, Provost, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), ASMP continued to make progress toward launching a new administrative systems technical architecture and configuration of the HCM/Payroll Workday modules. However, due to many internal and external factors, campus needed more time to develop a new Financial Data Model and gain general agreement on many outstanding business decisions. Contingency planning to mitigate risk to the University has been ongoing and became a necessity in 2016 as it became apparent that the Financials module would not be ready for a July 2017 launch. To address potential risks, President Greg Fenves also called for an Independent Validation and Verification (IV&V) Assessment of ASMP and Workday at this time. The IV&V recommendation to return to a phased approach was accepted in January 2017.
The ASMP program underwent a reset in spring of 2017 and was narrowed to focus solely on the Workday implementation as of August 31, 2017.