Report of the Audit Committee

Board of Governors - APPENDIX IV - September 24, 1998


1. Update: PeopleSoft Administrative Application Software

Status of Implementations

Human Resources System (HRIS)

The HR system was successfully upgraded in June from version 5.12 to version 6.01. The upgrade was planned and implemented in roughly half the time a PeopleSoft customer typically experiences. This is a testament to the commitment of the teams involved. The upgrade process was a significant learning experience that will provide practical insights into the management requirements of the PeopleSoft systems. This will provide a solid framework of experience upon which we will build the PeopleSoft Resource Centre (see below).

At this time, the Human Resources team is working to define and plan for the priorities of the next 6 months. This will be brought forward within the context of the Resource Centre.

The Human Resource System internal controls have been reviewed. A report will be issued in the near future. The next step is to review the efficiency/effectiveness of the administrative processes.

Financial System

The Financial System went live with modules for General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Purchasing, Accounts Payable and Billing in July. This represents another significant milestone in UWO's implementation plan. UWO is the first PeopleSoft university customer to bring up all the Financial applications at one time and the teams involved should be complimented and recognized for this achievement.

The roll out of system reporting and access is continuing in a staged fashion. Over 500 end-users have been given system access and detailed training. Inquiry access and electronic journal entry access is currently in the process of starting across many University budget units.

In addition to this, the financial reports for the month of August will be distributed electronically. This represents a significant paradigm shift for the organization and will likely require some time and experience before the benefits are fully realized.

As with the Human Resources team, the Financial systems groups are setting priorities and plans which will feed the early planning efforts of the PeopleSoft Resource Centre.

During the fall, the Financial modules internal audit will be completed.

Student Administration System (HE1)

The HE is the largest and most complex of all the PeopleSoft applications. Moreover, it is also on the tightest time-line and is dependent on the timely delivery of elements from PeopleSoft and the development of elements at UWO. The University continues to work closely with PeopleSoft on the definition and development of the Canadian requirements. A significant set of upgrades have been received and implemented with the Canadian functionality that is required for the implementation at UWO.

The first phase of the HE module will go live in November and will include admissions for all students and include records, student financials and financial aid for graduate students. This will allow for a phased implementation of the HE module which will can help reduce risks associated with a full roll-out of the complete system in 1999. Final conversion of student records from the old system to the new system is planned for mid-1999.

Currently all main business processes associated with student admissions, processing and finances are being reviewed. These processes will be categorized for inclusion in the November roll-out, inclusion in the spring roll-out, exclusion or one with potential difficulties. This last group of processes may require contingency plans. It is expected that if graduate students go live in November, that this will entail a conversion of 70%-80% of the processes required for undergraduate students.

Advancement System (AS)

The initial prototype of the advancement system has been installed and upgraded. Definition of additional functionality has been completed and development of conversion programs and utilities has begun. Much effort is currently dedicated to confirming the integrity of the existing information as part of the conversion process. The AS is expected to go live in January/February, 1999 and remains on schedule.

Production Environment - PeopleSoft Resource Centre

The PeopleSoft Human Resources and Finance Systems are now implemented and plans are underway to transform the teams into operational groups with responsibility for maintaining and upgrading the applications. Mr. Bill Genn joined ITS in July as Assistant Director and has been given responsibility for developing the operational group. The operational group is currently being designed as part of the University's PeopleSoft Resource Centre.

The mandate and scope of the Resource Centre is being developed collaboratively among the major system stakeholders. The services of the Resource Centre will be defined, along with relative roles and responsibilities. In parallel to this, priorities of the existing functional units and technology support groups are being articulated. These will be integrated with the external requirements of PeopleSoft's upgrade schedules and reviewed by the PeopleSoft Steering Committee over the next two months for decision and establishment of a coordinated action plan.

Currently, the proposed mission and goals of the Resource Centre are as follows:

Mission: To provide a virtual and dynamic organization which provides effective management of the University's corporate information systems and helps the University realize the greatest operational and strategic benefits from the use of those systems.


PeopleSoft Project Expenditures

Capital Costs (Hardware/Software) and Comments

Purchase of PeopleSoft Applications $2,160,000
The PeopleSoft Advancement/Alumni applications is not yet available.

Platform (database, servers, disk, etc.) $1,240,000
Two servers running two applications; test server; storage archive system.

Access systems and software $600,000
To enable end users to use existing PCs; enable web-based access.

Training $240,000

Implementation Costs:

Implementation 1997-98 $1,000,000
Implementation 1998-99 $2,200,000

2. Year 2000 (Y2K) Update

The University of Western Ontario has had a strategy for dealing with issues surrounding Year 2000 problems since 1995 when it began a review of its core administrative systems. Senior University Administrators, including the President, Vice-President (Academic) and Vice-President (Administration), are aware of the potential problem and have been pro-active in supporting all approaches addressing potential Year 2000 problems.

The University's primary administrative/business systems are its Human Resources, Financial, Student Administration and Advancement/Alumni systems. These systems embody key functions and information needed for the ongoing operation of the University. There are also a number of secondary systems involving facility tracking, physical plant, housing, etc.

The following provides a brief overview of the University's current status of its Year 2000 initiatives.

I. Core Administrative and Business Systems

An analysis of the primary University systems was undertaken during 1995 and their status in regards to the Year 2000 was determined: 1) the systems were developed in-house during the 70's and 80's and indeed were likely to have difficulties as Year 2000 approached; 2) the database systems on which the applications ran were old versions and they themselves were likely to have Year 2000 problems; 3) the tools used to develop the applications were of several varieties, some of which were no longer available; 4) the IBM system on which the primary applications ran was itself not capable of operating past the Year 2000 and would need replacement.

The University decided to move toward packaged applications that could not only address the Year 2000 problem but would, in the end, provide the University with enhanced administrative applications and services. As a result, a suite of application packages was acquired from PeopleSoft, Inc.. This suite included a new Human Resources Information System, a new Financial Systems, a new Student Administration System. An Advancement/Alumni System would not be ready in time to meet the University's Year 2000 timeline, so a core Advancement/Alumni Systems was acquired from York University. It sits on top of the PeopleSoft Human Resources Information System and is being extended to meet the University's needs in this area.

All project modules are on schedule for implementation prior to the Year 2000.

II. Secondary Administrative and Business Systems

The other (secondary) administrative applications, such as those used in Physical Plant, are newer systems, primarily packaged applications, running on separate systems. These packages have already been upgraded to Year 2000 compliant versions as have the systems on which they operate.

III. Desktop and Local Systems

All unit heads have been notified about desktops, departmental servers (e.g. Novell) and standard desktop software (common operating systems, e.g. Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and desktop applications, e.g. Word Perfect, Word, Microsoft Office) which are known to be Year 2000 compliant or likely to have Year 2000 problems. Unit heads have also been directed to several sites that provide information about the Year 2000 status of a wide-range of software, given that there is a range of software used within different academic and administrative units which is unique to that unit.

For administrative users, the implementation of the suite of PeopleSoft applications has required the review and if necessary, upgrade of administrative desktop systems and software. These upgrades are required to support the remote use of the PeopleSoft applications and will ensure that the administrative desktops and their access to the PeopleSoft applications and databases will be Year 2000 compliant.

In June 1998, unit heads were asked to identify the Year 2000 status for all essential software systems, and computer and electronic equipment needed to support the ongoing operation of their unit. If essential systems are not Year 2000 compliant, plans to address the issue were requested. Survey results to August 15, 1998 indicate:

From the units responding:

IV. External Organizations

Since 1996, the University's Purchasing Department has been requiring all external vendors involved in any purchase to ensure the Year 2000 compliance of any systems (computer, electronic and other) and services being acquired by the University (i.e., through the Purchasing Department).

The University is currently in the process of contacting external vendors with ongoing relationships with the University to ensure that they have addressed Year 2000 problems and that any systems or services.

V. Year 2000 Awareness

Since the announced acquisition of the PeopleSoft suite of applications, the University has, and will continue, to provide ongoing awareness of the Year 2000 problem. Such information has been an ongoing part of the communications associated with the ongoing implementation and roll-out of the PeopleSoft applications. There have been periodic updates to unit heads about packages that are known to have Year 2000 problems as well as ones which are Year 2000 compliant. Through various technical committees, individuals in academic and administrative units have been made aware of potential Year 2000 problems with certain department servers. This will continue during 1998 and 1999.

VI. Future Action

  1. Raise the 'Year 2000 and Researchers' issue with the Senate Committee on Information Technology and Services (SCITS) for their suggestions on creating awareness.
  2. Discuss with legal counsel:
  3. Continue communication with the University community such as through an internal Year 2000 website.
  4. Follow-up on outstanding survey responses. Identify any high risk areas and University issues.