ERP Assessment Project

ERP/SIS Initiative FAQ page 

Central Michigan University is reviewing options for replacing its aging enterprise resource planning software. Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, is the process of managing and integrating important organizational functions such as human resources, finances and student information. 

A committee established by Provost and Executive Vice President Mary C. Schutten in October 2019 is reviewing viable software providers capable of supporting an institution the size and complexity of CMU, as well as conducting peer research, studying costs and handling other aspects of the review.  

The committee is working with Moran Technology Consulting to provide vendor-neutral guidance through the first phases of the project: change readiness, process gap analysis and final vendor request-for-proposal services. The final report is due June 30, 2021. 

More information about the project

What are the main goals? 

CMU must fully evaluate needs and opportunities for core systems that manage and support our financial, HR and student functions. We will review the solutions available and provide senior leaders with analysis so they can come to a decision that makes the best use of CMU’s resources.  

Why now for this initiative? 

CMU has a collection of aging home-grown solutions as well as the need to address platform changes mandated by our current provider, SAP, by 2025. It is logical to assess the market now to ensure efficiency and provide robust solutions for the next 15-20 years.  

Is the project underway? 

Moran Technology has been working with the committee for the past two months and has conducted nearly 30 change-readiness interviews.  

How long will this take to complete? 

The steering committee’s assessment is due June 30, 2021. Once university leadership assesses the findings and reaches a decision, implementation work can begin and is likely to take 3-5 years.  

Will what I do today change? 

Many of today’s business processes will change to reflect current and emerging best practices. These changes will add efficiency, continuity and increased usability of data for managing the university.  

What are some key benefits to newer platforms? 

Moving to the cloud makes our tools more agile. We will use tools “out of the box,” and reducing customizations means faster time to delivery of new functionality. Reducing customizations reduces our accumulation of technical debt, which can lead to unsupported and less secure solutions. We can leverage best practices from vendors and peers who use the same solutions.  

I’m concerned a new system will impact my duties or cause staff changes.  

The goal will be to have the right solutions to assist us in our essential functions with an eye always on ensuring our students are well served — which is our core reason for being here. It is too early know how individual duties will evolve at this time, but will become more clear as decisions on solutions are made in 2021.   

I have input to share about CMU’s systems, needs or challenges on this initiative. Can I submit my questions and comments anonymously?  

Yes, any CMU faculty or staff member can submit items confidentially to CMU@MoranTechnology.com

Have final vendors been selected for consideration? 

Due to CMU’s size and complexity, four major vendors could offer solutions and roadmaps scalable for current and future needs: WorkDay, Oracle, SAP and Ellucian. 

Will CMU host the next generation of ERP/SIS on site?  

No, CMU has a cloud-first IT, or Software as a Service strategy (SaaS), that aligns with both current product trends, best practices. CMU utilizes a number of solutions across the University in the SaaS environment.

Will any product chosen require every tool used by CMU to change? 

While final selection may require moving to a new tool, many — such as our Microsoft product suite and Blackboard, to name just two — will not change.