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PeopleSoft Campus Solutions Upgrade

Leading the way with Campus Solutions 9.2: CIT, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the University Registrar, Financial Affairs, Undergraduate Enrollment, the Graduate School, and Alumni Affairs and Development

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The PeopleSoft Upgrade Team
The PeopleSoft Upgrade Team

The Need

Cornell University was previously operating an unsupported version of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 8.9. This presented a host of challenges for users and administrators alike, making system improvement a top priority for the university and its stakeholders. The PeopleSoft Upgrade Team led plans to optimize and transform the framework, with a focus on supporting financial aid regulations, upgrading and enhancing student systems, and improving functionality in all business areas. The guiding principles were to create a business-driven student and alumni information system that supports innovation, and the evolving business practices and goals of the Cornell community.

PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.2 was launched in February 2017. As the comprehensive system of record for academic and personnel administration at the university, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is used for a variety of programs and student information, from recruiting and admissions to student services and alumni relations. Dedicated solutions modules within the system interact to offer integrated working and reporting across the university. Modules include: Campus Community, Student Records, Academic Advising, Contributor Relations, Student Financials, Financial Aid, and Recruiting and Admissions.

The Challenge

Implement a successful upgrade of the outdated PeopleSoft Campus Solutions system to bring users a better, more productive experience with increased functionality, while migrating content across platforms with minimal workflow disruption, and advancing efficiently within the scope of the project timeline, budget, and objectives. The PeopleSoft Upgrade Team assessed the ability of different options to meet current needs, while best positioning Cornell for the future in a rapidly changing higher education landscape.

The Solution

Over the course of three years, as part of a capital-funded project by the University Provost's office, the PeopleSoft Upgrade Team, nearly 80 in size, overhauled the Campus Solutions platform by migrating first to version 9.0 in July 2015, and ultimately deploying 9.2. The team was able to save enough capital on the first upgrade to fully fund the second one, and still come in at $200,000 under budget. Cornell is one of the first institutions to emerge using PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.2.

"We pursued the opportunity to lead with Campus Solutions 9.2 immediately following the 9.0 upgrade," said Chris O'Brien, IT project manager, CIT Project Management Office. "The conditions were ideal. We had the required resources, the motivation, and an intact high-performing team, so we kept moving."

Cost savings were garnered by engaging with a qualified implementation partner, relying on subject matter experts, and following a formal project change management process. The mission, vision, and dedication of those involved, including strong visible executive sponsor support, empowered the team to make quick decisions at the right level.

“It’s stunning that we can report being one of the first schools to successfully go live with 9.2 after being the last school standing with an old, unsupported version," said executive sponsor Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost and dean of the Cornell Graduate School. "Thanks to the entire team for this incredibly professional accomplishment.”

The upgrade allows the university to lead among its peers as an early adopter of the new technology, offering users the most advanced experience, while saving on the total cost of operation. PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.2 has a modern, more accessible interface for use with any device, and expanded options that support more innovative learning and engagement.

The system's built-in flexibility also matches the university's needs through configurable frameworks. Overall, users are more easily able to connect to the applications they need to succeed and meet goals within the colleges and units, and administrators have easier ongoing management of the upgraded system.

The Clients

  • Executive Sponsors: Dave Lifka, vice president for information technologies and CIO, and Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost and dean, Cornell Graduate School.
  • Project Director: Cassie Dembosky, university registrar
  • Technical Project Director: Vicky Mikula, assistant director, CIT Commercial Applications
  • Project Manager: Chris O'Brien, IT project manager, CIT Project Management Office (PMO)
  • Team Leads:
    • Tilly Garnett, functional analyst, Alumni Affairs and Development
    • Lisa Clark, associate university registrar, information support
    • Ben Stein, applications systems analyst, Bursars Office
    • Brenda D’Angelo, associate director of student services, Cornell Graduate School
    • Lloyd Hall, senior business analyst, Undergraduate Admissions
    • Colleen Wright, associate director, business analysis & systems integration, Admissions and Financial Aid
    • Sherri King, PeopleSoft lead, CIT Commercial Applications

The Collaborative Relationship

The PeopleSoft Upgrade Team is a cross-campus partnership between CIT, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the University Registrar, Financial Affairs, Undergraduate Enrollment, the Graduate School, and Alumni Affairs and Development.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 10:33pm

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