Campus communication – Nov. 2, 2017

Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to inform you about an exciting new development on our campus.

All universities operate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems for finance, human resources, payroll, and student functions. As with all technology, these systems have evolved dramatically over the years. The system used at Louisiana Tech is a legacy system that requires considerable efforts to program and manage. 

Following a detailed review process that involved numerous faculty, staff members, and students, I am pleased to announce that Workday will become the University’s ERP platform for the future. 

The system is a fully cloud-based, configurable application that allows users to “make better decisions with real-time reporting and analytics. The financial management, HR, and student applications from Workday enable you to review live data and take action, anywhere, anytime, on any device.” 

Once the HR/Finance component is fully implemented, faculty and staff can accomplish many HR and finance functions online including the onboarding of new employees, updating personal HR/payroll information, routing of appointment request and overload forms,  time and attendance reporting and approval, improved access to departmental accounts and grant activity,  purchasing transactions, and  travel expense reimbursement requests.  The student component will include one application for recruiting, admissions, curriculum management, student records, academic advising, financial aid, and student financials.  Enhanced real-time access, reporting capabilities, and embedded data analytics will facilitate decision-making and planning processes throughout the campus and allow us to provide greatly enhanced customer service to our students and employees.  

Louisiana Tech began exploring ERP options nearly three years ago. Because of its aging legacy mainframe system, the University faced a significant ERP conversion process irrespective of platform choice. 

Accordingly, our ERP Core Team, which includes members from departments across the campus, was charged with performing an extensive review of available systems.  Members of the campus community from across a broad audience of campus ERP users participated in various demonstrations and informational sessions hosted by ERP vendors.

The reviews and analysis by the ERP Core Team, as well as the feedback from those who took part in the demonstrations and sessions, overwhelmingly favored Workday as the most user-friendly option that also provides superior ease of accessing data and information for decision making and planning. 

As announced today, Workday, a cloud-based ERP suite, will be implemented by Tech, University of New Orleans, and Southeastern Louisiana following joint-contract negotiations facilitated by the administration of the University of Louisiana System. This collaborative contract allows each university to share in both the right solution and enhanced and efficient ERP systems for all campuses — and at a significant cost reduction. 

UL System President Jim Henderson acknowledged, “Beyond significant cost savings, this agreement is a realization of the potential of collaboration in our System.  This decision was not made lightly and I appreciate the time dedicated by our university staff and presidents with our System office to thoroughly review the options and make the wisest decision for the state of Louisiana.” 

The development of an implementation plan that includes the comprehensive engagement and training of all end users is underway. The first part of this huge and complex project –deployment of the financial and human resources parts of the Workday system — will begin soon and be operational in roughly 20 months. 

I express my appreciation to the many administrators and staff who have gotten us to this point, and particularly thankful for the leadership of Lisa Cole, Mark Shoemaker and Sam Wallace during this evaluation and planning period. We will all need to be patient and supportive during this transition period and be prepared to celebrate as we eventually have a system that will better support you and our students in many ways. 

We will continue to communicate and work with you throughout the coming weeks and months. 

Les Guice