A Tale of Two Vendors: The Administrative Systems Replacement

The freshly renovated 4th Floor of WashU’s West Campus has been a flurry of activity preparing for the administrative systems replacement, or as the program team knows it, “The Roadmap.”

The program has made significant strides over the past several months planning and preparing for its launch. The Roadmap’s newly formed lead team is actively managing day to day decisions and activities, while the executive committee is meeting regularly to provide direction on scope, strategy and high-level planning.

The program team has directed much of its recent attention to the selection of two vendors: A software provider and an implementation partner. The vended software will replace our aging human resources, finance and student administrative systems with an integrated cloud solution. Both of the leading providers for these systems – Oracle and Workday – visited campus last fall to demonstrate their products to campus leaders and subject matter experts. After a thorough vetting process, the vendor selection team made a recommendation for one of the vendors, and we are working to finalize contract negotiations with them.

This program will not just replace our administrative systems, however. We are also redesigning our business processes, expanding our data warehouse, increasing our reporting capabilities and completing several other supporting initiatives to ensure a smooth transition to the new systems. This program is big, bigger than most we have undertaken at WashU previously. It will touch all of us, improving how we make decisions and run our operations.

Because of this widespread impact, we also are engaging an implementation partner to provide expert knowledge of the software and seasoned experience bringing it to life in the university and clinical setting. Additionally, this partner will help us design new reports and business processes to support the system and improve our daily operations.

We will finalize contracts with both the software vendor and the implementation partner next month after our Board of Trustees has an opportunity to review the business case and give the program its final stamp of approval.

Want to learn more about the administrative systems replacement? A new website for the program is in the works, but in the meantime you can find more information on the CIO’s project page.