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Financial Information System- What is MVP?

Image courtesy of @Krispy Kreme @andreacrofts

Change is Coming

It’s a time of significant change, both on- and off-campus at UC San Diego. We’re seeing new technologies, discoveries and revolutionary social changes. However significant these changes may be, they really hit home when they affect us on a personal level. Such is the case with the imminent changes coming to us via ESR and more particularly through our new financial system in Oracle Financials Cloud (OFC).

We are certain the capabilities and opportunities in OFC are well beyond anything possible on our mainframe system, IFIS. Change can be difficult and we understand. It can create a significant amount of anxiety, if not outright fear. 

The ESR team is aware of the concerns of our faculty and staff. We know these concerns can only grow if we do not address them. Since the beginning of the project, we organized a very robust change network involving well over 200 of you to improve our communications and alleviate the anxiety as much as possible. However, no matter how robust our change network is, we know there will still be concern.

The implementation team made up of functional and IT Services staff, as well as strategic consultants, started with some key principles as they approached design and configuration in Oracle. Let’s go over some of these key principles that might put you more at ease.

The Power of Why

First, we left the old world behind.

We deliberately left our old ways of doing things as a relic of the past. We completely embraced the way Oracle works (WoW), designing and configuring our business processes around new business process maps built from scratch. We wanted to think about things in a new light in a fresh environment.

We asked ourselves many questions and encouraged everyone to frequently ask “why?” and “why do it that way?” Trust me, the standing joke was always the response, “well, we’ve always done it that way!” It helped us keep things light and encouraged everyone to be open.

Our configuration in Oracle is replete with new and standardized processes common to all departments on campus. No more of the “one-off” ways of doing business. Whether you work at Scripps, Academic Affairs, Research or anywhere at UC San Diego, you should be able to perform similar work wherever you are on campus.

Setting the Foundation for Success with MVP

We are under an aggressive timeline for good reasons. Drawing out this work and the implementation schedule would be an extreme disservice to our fellow staff members. It drives cost, fatigue, and stress.

Basically, we’ve been on an eighteen-month timeline. As we’ve gone through our decision making for design and configuration, we’ve tried to stick to keeping things as simple and straightforward as possible. We realize that many external and internal pressures drive us towards complexity. We’ve continually questioned complex solutions.

In fact, our credo during this time has been to keep things MVP, which stands for “Minimum Viable Product.” An MVP solution supports our schedule and it supports you, our customers, as we approach go-live.

MVP doesn’t mean we’ve compromised the product, it means we aim to build the foundation within Oracle Cloud that delivers capability that allows us to perform our work, meet compliance requirements and positions us for evolution and growth long into the future.

Oracle Financials Cloud, at its core, is a product and solution that is continually evolving. The software promises to go well beyond what it can deliver today – think Artificial Intelligence and Business Intelligence. The more solid the foundation we deliver at go-live, the better we will absorb these new capabilities in the future. 

By adopting MVP, we also simplified our integrations of legacy systems and significantly enhanced our ability to conduct more robust testing well before July 2020. Functional complexity adds so much overhead as we build out this software that if not managed, could easily break our product, schedule, and budget. 

So we deliberately chose to go live with MVP. Should you be concerned? We don’t think so. We believe MVP will allow users to more quickly absorb and adopt the new financial system. We don’t want to understate the significance of this move from current systems to Oracle Cloud, they are still huge. But, by adopting MVP, we believe we’ve made the ability to transition much easier. 

Does MVP mean you won’t be able to do things you can do in the old system? Possibly it does. But the changes in process, workflow, and data management are so profound it’s like comparing a Volkswagen Beetle to a Tesla Model 3. It’s a complete shift in thinking about financial management and business process. Over time we believe this shift holds so much greater promise to your work, your data and the future success of UC San Diego. 

We hope you will embrace our concept of MVP. It’s not the destination, rather it’s a foundation for the future. We will listen to your feedback. We will continually work to build out capabilities in process, integrations, reporting and will embrace and in some cases, define Oracle’s roadmap for future enhancements. We have a special relationship with Oracle, especially around areas like procurement, where our voice is valued as they shape the direction of their software development. 

Final Takeway

This change is big, we get it and we understand many of you are anxious about the coming transition to a new financial system. We are working hard to communicate and share all we can to help with this transition.

In the coming months, we will be engaging at an increasing intensity to move the financial system into your workspaces. Till now, we’ve been in design and configuration. We’re quickly moving to provisioning, testing and delivery, where we will be soliciting your support. We expect lots of questions that we are actively preparing to answer.   

The FIS team is a phenomenal group of dedicated people driven to deliver the best MVP product on July 1, 2020 and move it forward well into the future. They have sacrificed a lot to deliver this new capability to UC San Diego. I hope you will join them to more comfortably embrace the change that’s coming. It’s going to be big and this game changer puts us on the path of success.

See Financial Information System MVP requirements.

Category: Financial Systems