CUNYfirst Project Overview and Implementation

What is the CUNYfirst ERP Project?

FIRST stands for Fully Integrated Resources and Services Tool. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. For CUNY, it means a massive change in how we’ll do things in the future. ERP processes in Student Administration, Human Resources and Finance will change how we do everything from registering for classes to paying our bills.

ERP computer systems will replace such aging legacy systems as SIMS and CUPS and help us streamline and standardize many of the things we do at our colleges. The PeopleSoft™ processes that our students, faculty and staff will interact with via the Internet will be implemented in phases — we will create our base processes for business, HR and academic structure first, then add new elements (modules) in the next few years. This project is planned to last until early 2012, with the processes and upgrades expected to last a long time.

What is the biggest difference between current systems and CUNYfirst?

The answer is right there — systems vs. system. Our current systems, which are numerous, operate to conduct all our business at CUNY. Very few of them interact with each other. CUNYfirst will integrate all our financial, HR and student processes so that data can be used instantaneous across departments and across the university.

Will we have both systems (old and new) up and running at the same time?

When we retire systems like CUPS (City University Personnel System) or SIMS (Student Information Management System), we will no longer be using both processes. The systems may be up for data reasons only until CUNYfirst stabilizes. But once we launch new CUNYfirst processes for Finance, HR and Student Administration, there will be no need to do processes twice. Some systems will remain, as they perform functions that CUNYfirst will not (example: printing theater tickets), but there will be interfaces if their data is required for university or campus reporting.

If my campus is not involved in the current activities to implement Finance, Human Capital Management, or Campus Solutions, how will my ideas and concerns be addressed?

Each campus has identified campus liaisons who will be reviewing our activities. All decisions regarding new processes or procedures will be referred to these liaisons for input. Eventually, each campus will have the opportunity to participate in a "hands on" development phase of the system.

Are Human Capital Management and Campus Solutions different from Human Resources and Student Administration processes?

No. Those are the "pillar" names used in PeopleSoft™ software for HR and Student Administartion processes respectively. They are the subject headings for the modules that will function in those areas and will integrate together and with our Finance modules for the future.

Will I hear more about this project?

Yes! The project team is committed to keeping you informed on its progress, changes related to work processes that affect you, training plans and product support.  Each college has an ERP liaison team that will lead and support campus implementation.

Can't we just implement the software immediately? Why will it take so long?

If we had a community of only 50 people, possibly, but this is something that is affecting over 35,000 people on our faculty and staff and more than 400,000 students at 23 campus locations. It will take time. We have chosen to cut this up into phases —like a building, we must first build the base for our Financial work, our Human Resources, Payroll and Academic structures. Later, we will add on more detail — Purchasing, Accounts Payable and Expense, Benefits Administration, Student Admissions, Financial Aid. The building will take time so we get everyone's input on what it should look like, and then train everyone on how to use what they need.