OutlookSoft Budget & Planning Software (Business Performance Management System)

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1 Page 1 of 6 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ACTION ITEM: OutlookSoft Budget & Planning Software (Business Performance Management System) ISSUE: NAU seeks the Board s approval to purchase and implement a Business Performance Management System with an anticipated five-year budget of $1.535M. BACKGROUND: Northern Arizona University seeks a technology tool that will integrate and improve existing budgeting and planning processes and more fully support the university decision-making process. OutlookSoft technology will provide the infrastructure for NAU to move existing processes for budgeting and planning to a more advanced level, to consolidate information sources for consistency and to more fully develop analytical, forecasting and reporting tools. New technologies in business performance management systems support collaborative gathering and consolidation of information, as well as information sharing and distribution. These advances will enable us to improve and streamline our business processes, provide more accessible, up-to-date and reliable information for managing our resources and the ability to better support university decision-making. Over the past year NAU has been engaged in gathering information and evaluating university business performance management systems. NAU participated in Arizona State University Request for Proposals process and product evaluation for a business performance management system in ASU purchased a product from vendor OutlookSoft and NAU regularly monitors and discusses the project and implementation progress with ASU. Arizona Board of Regents has voiced support for creating Arizona Tri-University system wide information architecture and NAU views this as an opportunity to participate in advancing this system-wide architecture. DISCUSSION: The growing need for complex decision-making information on demand, for the ability to forecast various multi-layered scenarios at the drop of a hat, to track multiple funding sources and to monitor and evaluate institutional resources from all levels and components, drives our institution to seek an integrated and agile budgeting, tracking, monitoring, analytical and reporting tool. Contact: Fred Estrella, Chief Information Technology Officer, ,

2 Page 2 of 6 An integrated business performance management system will benefit the entire University community by providing robust and accessible planning and analytical tools. Centralized data and information interfaced with this technology tool will ultimately result in more consistent, accurate and reliable information and in a planning, forecasting and modeling tool that will enable the University to better evaluate and allocate resources. A centralized system will support improved forecasting and modeling in all functional areas and academic units, place usable what if tools in the hands of decisions makers, provide opportunities for online collaboration, facilitate more robust resource management and allocation modeling for use by managers, consolidate university central resource allocation tracking, and support decision making within shorter time frames allowing more immediate response. Significant opportunities exist for collaboration and information sharing between Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University in this process. NAU anticipates benefiting from the ASU contract agreement and from following ASU in implementing the same product and working with the same vendor. ASU has been generous in sharing project knowledge and experience and has expressed an interest to continue if NAU gains approval for this purchase. While the NAU implementation will not completely mirror that of ASU, we anticipate information sharing agreements and collaboration on key stages of the project. RECOMMENDATION: That the Board approve NAU s request to exercise contract rights and proceed with the purchase and implementation of OutlookSoft, a business performance management system.

3 University IT Project Justification SUMMARY SHEET Board of Regents Meeting Page 3 of 6 Institution Project Sponsor Name and Phone NAU Pat Haeuser, College or Unit Date Submitted Vice President Institutional Effectiveness July 27, 2007 Project Name Outlook Soft, a business performance management system (budget and planning system) Project Overview There has been minimal investment in technology infrastructure at NAU to support university wide budgeting, financial planning, analysis or forecasting solutions. NAU meets internal and external reporting, analysis, forecasting and business process needs primarily by relying on people resources, creative development and process improvement. This includes utilizing technology, development of data warehouses and stand alone database information systems. We have made good progress in improving information availability and reliability and progress on our business processes and we expect to continue to rely on our people skill and ingenuity. However, an integrated technology tool will provide the infrastructure for NAU to move existing processes for budgeting and planning to a more advanced level, to consolidate information sources for consistency and to more fully develop analytical, forecasting and reporting tools. Arizona Board of Regents has voiced support for creating Arizona Tri-University system wide information architecture and NAU views this as an opportunity to participate in advancing this system-wide architecture. Deliverables Northern Arizona University OutlookSoft implementation Budget Application Set The following Budget processes will be provided for within the OutlookSoft Application Set: o State Operating Budget o Use of Increased Tuition Revenues o Special Program Fee o Legislative Budget Request o Local Budget o Initial All Funds o Initial Expenditure Authority

4 Page 4 of 6 The OutlookSoft Success Factors, goals/objectives of this Phase One Project include: o Forecasting and Modeling- ability to project tuition revenues for purposes of estimating revenue and forecasting different scenarios. o Budgeting- flexible budgeting capability that will integrate and automate budget process and budget request. o Reporting- ability to report actual, budget vs. actual, multi-year scenarios in various formats. o Key staff fully trained and ready to train others. Service and Economic Benefits An integrated business performance management system will benefit the entire University community by providing robust and accessible planning and analytical tools. Centralized data and information interfaced with this technology tool will ultimately result in more consistent, accurate and reliable information and in a planning, forecasting and modeling tool. A centralized system will provide opportunities for online collaboration, facilitate more robust resource management and allocation modeling for use by managers, consolidate university central resource allocation tracking, enable the University to better evaluate and allocate resources and support decision making. Project Roles and Responsibilities Primary project sponsorship and ultimate decision authority lies with the Vice President Institutional Effectiveness, Pat Haeuser. Project oversight resides with Michelle DeAngeles, Associate Director of the University Budget Office (UBO). UBO will work collaboratively with a core team of NAU functional and technical experts across campus for a successful implementation. This project will be managed by the ITS staff. Specifically, Mike LaSpina, financial team lead, will manage the project. All technical aspects and project management tasks will be performed by ITS staff. ITS staff will be responsible for deciding technology matters such as what technologies are to be used, what project methodologies are to be used, and how this product is to integrate with existing products in the University s application portfolio. ITS will be responsible for hosting the hardware, maintaining all O/S and other tools for the machines (this excludes the OutlookSoft license fee), providing an acceptable level of data security, recoverability, and availability, and defining the interfaces to and from the new system. The University Budget Office (UBO) and their management will have the final say in all functional matters related to the implementation. These include business process definitions, scope of the implementation, and any other non-technical details associated with the project. ITS will provide advice and recommendations when needed for these decisions, but the final responsibility and authority for these decisions lie with the UBO

5 Page 5 of 6 In addition to deciding functional matters, the UBO will be responsible for all nontechnical aspects of the system setup and definition. These include security administration, workflow definitions, budget templates and any other task typically done by an application administrator. In addition to the above areas, a wide cross section of university areas will be required to collaborate in order to successfully complete this implementation. These areas include Financials, Human Resources, Student Systems, Purchasing, Grants, Distance learning, and others. A representative for each area shall be designated by that area s Jurisdictional Financial Responsible Party (JFR) to work with the project team. This individual shall be responsible for acting as a liaison between the UBO and their area. Finally, the vendor will be responsible for all tasks that require experience with the application. However, it will be the responsibility of the project management team to ensure that NAU is able to gain expertise from the vendor s consultants. Project Timeline Aug 2007 Aug 2007 Aug 2007 Oct 2007 Feb 2008 Mar 2008 May 2008 Approve project (ABOR) Determine hardware configuration (ITS) Begin documenting existing and new process (UBO) Hardware and software installation complete kick off project Template and configuration complete Alpha test begins Beta test begins University-wide go live Opportunities for Collaboration Collaboration will occur between a wide variety of campus areas for this project. This will be very similar to the Advantage 3 financials implementation that went live in July Each area will have an interest in how the budgeting process will work, and how the data is to be accessed. In addition, the ability to collaborate with ASU on this project will provide NAU with significant benefits. These include, but are not limited to, the following: A large number of budget templates for the application were developed by ASU. NAU can re-use a great deal of this work. ASU has trained several of the vendor s consultants on how the budgeting process works in Arizona. NAU can leverage this experience by retaining those same consultants and save a significant amount of consulting time. ASU has had a few consultants that were not as productive as some of their co-workers. NAU can use this information to avoid wasting time on the project due to ineffective consultants. ASU has a staff that just completed this project. All of the project details and work are fresh in their minds. NAU can make use of this knowledge in order to significantly increase the likelihood of success on this project.

6 Page 6 of 6 This will provide a standard budgeting system and process between the two Universities. This increases the chances of getting U of A to implement this system as well. This could potentially make budgeting common across all three Universities. Summary of Costs (All Funds) Five Year Total (in thousands) Description FY08 FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 Total Implementation $575 $575 Operating $235 $219 $163 $178 $166 $960 Total $810 $219 $163 $178 $166 $1,535 Recommendations It is recommended that approval be granted for the purchase and implementation of the OutlookSoft product for Northern Arizona University. Implementation Costs and Marginal Operating Costs for NAU OutlookSoft 5 Year Detail (in thousands) Description FY08 FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 Total Personnel FTE Budget FTE IT FTE Personnel Expense Budget Salary w/ ERE $80 $80 $80 $80 $80 $400 IT Salary w/ ERE $80 $16 $16 $16 $16 $144 Consulting Out Look Soft $235 $60 $10 $10 $10 $325 ASU MOU $52 $52 Business Objects Tuning $20 $20 Licensing & Maintenance Fees $295 $51 $53 $54 $56 $508 Hardware $14 $14 $28 Maintenance $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $15 Backup and Recovery $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $5 Training $30 $8 $38 Total $810 $219 $163 $178 $166 $1,535

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