Campus Computing News
By Dr. Maurice Leatherbury, Senior Director of Academic Computing
Enterprise Information System Selection Status Report
As most of you probably know, UNT is currently in the process of selecting a new "Enterprise Information System," (EIS as we've started to call it.) This system will eventually replace virtually all of the aging administrative systems on campus over the next three or four years, at which time our IBM mainframe computer will be decommissioned and we'll no longer be referring to SIMS, HRMIS, NOBIS, CEATS, and all those other acronyms we've grown to love. The new system will truly be a "UNT System," because it will be shared by the Health Sciences Center and the Denton campus (and of course the future UNT Dallas.)
Where we stand
Here's where we stand in the process of making a decision about the system or systems to which we'll be migrating:
In August we released a Request for Proposal for the new system software, with a due date of mid-September. The deadline for responses was extended to September 29th because of the terrorist attacks in the Northeast, and we've received three responses from vendors of software designed to provide solutions to higher education institutions such as ours. The three responding vendors were Oracle, Peoplesoft, and SCT.
Several groups of users of administrative systems at both the Health Sciences Center and here on the Denton campus have been poring over the responses to the RFP. This is not a trivial task because there each vendor responded to about 20 general questions as well as nearly 3,000 very specific questions about their software's ability to meet our needs. If you're interested, you can see the RFP as well as much other information about the EIS, including the membership of the various committees, at the site dedicated to the project (http://www.unt.edu/eis/EIS_Homepage.htm).
Concurrently, we've released and have received responses to an RFP for "implementation services" for the new software and hardware systems we'll be purchasing. 12 vendors that provide expert help on implementing Oracle, Peoplesoft, and SCT have replied to the RFP, and their responses will be evaluated in conjunction with the software so we can make informed decisions about the combination of software and implementation of the software.
The rather ambitious schedule for the evaluation and selection of the new software system is that by the end of October we'll have made preliminary decisions about which software vendors we wish to investigate further. Then the evaluators will contact reference sites, visit other users of the systems, and get structured (by us) demonstrations of the capabilities of the systems during the remainder of this calendar year. By mid-January 2002 we intend to have made a decision about which system or systems we will recommend to the Board for purchase, including implementation services vendors. We have explicitly told the vendors that we may purchase "best of breed" products (the student system from Vendor A, the human resources system from vendor B, for example,) so it's possible that UNT will end up with contracts with more than one vendor. By late February, we hope to have wrapped up a contract or contracts and can start the process of acquiring the software and hardware necessary to run the new system.