../Morning Post
Posted April 13, 2011


Renewal project underway, aging and dated technology to be replaced by one integrated system

Hamilton - A collaborative cross-campus process is underway to replace a number of aging and inefficient information systems that are critical to the day-to-day operations of the University.

When the five-year project is complete, stand-alone programs used to register and communicate with students, administer research activities, manage the University's finances and provide human resources information will be replaced by one integrated system that makes it more user friendly, saves time and produces more accurate and reliable information.

"This is the largest technology undertaking in McMaster's history," said Fred A. Hall, former associate vice-president academic and the chair of the steering committee overseeing systems renewal. "In order to be successful, it is important we hear from people across the University. We want to know and understand the problems people face with the current systems and which pieces of the project have the highest priority. This consultation and sharing of expertise is critical and we are determined to get it right."

Existing information systems used by the Registrar's and Faculty offices, Finance, Research Administration and Human Resources will be replaced by a single web-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.

The ERP steering committee consists of student, faculty and staff representatives, including John Kearney, McMaster's Chief Information Officer. A program director with expertise in ERP projects has also been recruited to provide leadership and ensure the complex project remains on schedule.

"We are fortunate to have the necessary resources and the support of senior leadership to ensure this systems renewal is completed effectively and efficiently," said Linda Elliott, program director in University Technology Services. "Having led a number of these types of projects in the past, I understand the importance of collaboration and ensuring an inclusive approach during all phases of the renewal."

Elliott, a graduate of McMaster's MBA program, has just joined the University. She has many years of experience implementing technology renewal projects at large organizations in both Canada and the United States.

The consultation process has already begun.

Hall, Kearney and Elliott and members of the steering committee participated in a full day session with people from the Registrar's office and the faculties. The project was introduced to more than 150 finance and administrative staff at a meeting last week. Advisory committees focused on each of the project's priority areas are also being formed.

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